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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 29, Issue 2, 2019

Philosophy in an Age of Crisis, Part II

Robert Elliott Allinson
Pages 53-64
DOI: 10.5840/du201929221

An Aesthetic Theory in Four Dimensions
Collingwood and Beyond

The purpose of this article is to synthesize four major elements of aesthetic experience that have previously appeared isolated whenever an attempt at conceptualization is made. These four elements are: Immanuel Kant’s disinterested pleasure, Robin G. Collingwood’s emotional expressionism, the present writer’s redemptive emotional experience, and, lastly, Plato’s concept of Beauty. By taking these four abstracted elements as the bedrock for genuine aesthetic experience, this article aims to clarify the proper role of art as distinct from philosophy and intellectualization. Rather than a medium conducive to intellectual understanding, it is argued that the sphere these four elements of aesthetic experience demarcate is one in which art leads to an emotional understanding that transforms the human condition and it imbues it with new meaning only to be found in a moment of aesthetic experience.

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