This book investigates the significance of Wittgenstein’s philosophy for aesthetic understanding. Focusing on the aesthetic elements of Wittgenstein’s philosophical work, the authors explore connections to contemporary currents in aesthetic thinking and the illuminating power of Wittgenstein’s philosophy when considered in connection with the interpretation of specific works of literature, music, and the arts. Taken together, the chapters presented here show what aesthetic understanding consists of and the ways we achieve it, how it might be articulated, and why it is important. At a time of strong renewal of interest in Wittgenstein’s contributions to the philosophy of mind and language, this book offers insight into the connections between philosophical-psychological and linguistic issues and the understanding of the arts.
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Garry L. Hagberg is the James H. Ottaway Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at Bard College, USA, and has also been Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, UK. Author of numerous papers at the intersection of aesthetics and the philosophy of language, his books include: Meaning and Interpretation: Wittgenstein, Henry James, and Literary Knowledge; Art as Language: Wittgenstein, Meaning, and Aesthetic Theory; and Describing Ourselves: Wittgenstein and Autobiographical Consciousness. He is editor of Art and Ethical Criticism and of Fictional Characters, Real Problems: The Search for Ethical Content in Literature, co-editor of A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature, and Editor of the journal Philosophy and Literature. He is presently writing a new book on the contribution literary experience makes to the formation of self and sensibility, Living in Words: Literature, Autobiographical Language, and the Composition of Selfhood.
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