Aesthetics Seminar (Monday - Week 1, MT22)

aesthetics seminar

My main claim here is that communion requires the mutual possibility of interpersonal aesthetic experience. By ‘communion’ I mean time spent self-consciously in the company of another person, and by ‘interpersonal aesthetic experience’ I mean aesthetic experience of a person as a whole, the sort which alone can license holistic aesthetic evaluation of that person. Communion is the basic experiential building block of the relationships that populate our personal lives. It is an inescapably aesthetic phenomenon, though this fact has been much overlooked. I advance two arguments – one phenomenological, the other conceptual – for my main claim about the ineliminable aesthetic dimension of human togetherness. Between them these arguments illuminate the unshakeable value that is contributed to our lives by our practices of being attuned to one another’s aesthetic qualities, providing the context in which we should understand the pervasive harms that those same practices bring about.

Aesthetics Seminar Convenors: Catharine Abell , David Collins and Adriana Clavel-Vazquez