Schopenhauer's Aesthetic Ideology

In David Bather Woods & Timothy Stoll (eds.), The Schopenhauerian Mind. New York: Routledge. pp. 127-40 (2023)
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Schopenhauer’s aesthetics is perhaps the best-known aspect of his thinking, but much of that impact has been the indirect result of his influence on particular artists such as Mahler and Wagner. This chapter traces the foundations of Schopenhauer’s aesthetics in Plato’s doctrine of Forms (Ideas). Despite the tension between Plato’s pluralist and Schopenhauer’s monist ontologies, Schopenhauer’s aesthetics is permeated with concern for the role of Platonic Ideas in shaping our creation and engagement with art, from his distinction between subjective and objective aesthetic experiences, disinterest, and the quality of genius to his hierarchy of the arts and his valorization of instrumental pure music above all other art forms.

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Michel-Antoine Xhignesse
Capilano University


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