This is the first book dedicated to Husserl’s aesthetics. Paul Crowther pieces together Husserl’s ideas of phantasy and image and presents them as a unified and innovative account of aesthetic consciousness. He also shows how Husserl’s ideas can be developed to solve problems in aesthetics, especially those related to visual art, literature, theatre, and nature.
After outlining the major components of Husserl’s phenomenological method, Crowther addresses the scope and structure of Husserl’s notion of aesthetic consciousness. For Husserl, aesthetic consciousness in all its forms involves phantasy—where items or states of affairs are represented as if actually perceived or experienced, even though they are not, in fact, given in the present perceptual field. Husserl also makes some extraordinarily interesting links between aesthetic consciousness and nature, showing how natural things and environments become instigators of such consciousness when apprehended in the appropriate terms. This "unreality" of the object of aesthetic consciousness anticipates contemporary debates about pictorial representation and is also relevant to Husserl’s accounts of literature and theatre.
The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Consciousness and Phantasy will appeal to scholars and advanced students interested in aesthetics, philosophy of art, phenomenological aesthetics, and Husserl’s philosophy.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Husserl’s Phenomenology and Phenomenological Aesthetics
Chapter 1. The Scope of Aesthetic Consciousness
Chapter 2. The Phenomenology of Visual Representation
Chapter 3. Aesthetic Form and the Phenomenological Reduction
Chapter 4. The Phenomenology of Literature, Theatre, and Music
Final Review: And Some Glimpses of the Digital…
Paul Crowther is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Ireland Galway, and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. He has published many monographs on phenomenology and the arts, most recently The Aesthetics of Self-Becoming: How Art Forms Empower, Routledge (2019)
"This much needed study does a masterful job of knitting together Husserl’s texts on art and aesthetic consciousness and of showing how relevant they are for addressing the fundamental questions of aesthetics."
John Brough, Georgetown University, USA