Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Art, University of Art, Tehran


Mikel Dufrenne, French phenomenologist philosopher, has elaborated a systematic description of the aesthetic experience in some of his works, especially his most important book, The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience. This article addresses an orientation that outlines his phenomenology of art: giving priority to the original sense of the word "aesthetics", i.e. perception (aisthesis) as the integral and irreplaceable element of the aesthetic experience. Dufrenne does this mainly by distinguishing aesthetic object from work of art. In this article, it is shown how this distinction leads to the originality of the sensuous (le sensible) in the aesthetic experience. At the same time, it is explained that Dufrenne's emphasis on sensibility and the sensuous in aesthetic experience is not meant to deny or underestimate the cognitive elements in the experience. However, according to Dufrenne, these elements are immanent in the sensuous and could not be found and grasped without it. In other words, what can be said "in" work of art, can be said only "by" work of art.

Keywords: aesthetics experience, aesthetic object, work of art, performance, the sensuous, phenomenology.


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