Volume 16, 1998
María G. Amilburu
Understanding Human Nature
Examples from Philosophy and the Arts
Ours is not the first time philosophers have looked to art for examples to illustrate their arguments. One example would be Kierkegaard, who turned to Mozart's operas in an attempt to expose what he called the aesthetic realm of existence. I hold that if Kierkegaard lived today, he would consider the main character of Nikita Mikhalkov's Dark Eyes (1987) as a prototype of the aesthetic way of existence. In order to support my thesis, I first discuss Kierkegaard's theory of the three spheres of existence. I look especially at what he considers to be the main feature of the aesthetic stage, as well as the figure of Don Giovanni in Mozart's opera. Second, I will look at the character of Romano Podroni in Dark Eyes. Finally, I will point out what makes these two characters prototypes of the aesthetic existence: the inhuman way in which they live the temporal dimension of human existence.