Does Aesthetic Feeling Still Matter? Does The Library of Congress Still Matter?

Posted: June 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

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  1. Grace Heaps says:

    What do you mean when you say, aesthetic feeling, Brian? Is it feeling or searching for beauty? Or understanding what makes us human, like quoted in the article? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about that. By the way, I think it is awesome that there is an official position in the Library of Congress to help U.S. citizens understand the importance of poetry. I wish I was more adept at it myself. Honestly, I will be really glad when my formal education is over so that I can explore other more creative, artistic, and historical endeavors on my own. The idea of spending all day in a bookstore or library like you have talked about sounds so refreshing, and feeling my way through different topics, guided by instinct. . . As much as I love nursing and can’t see myself doing anything else for now, it has taken over my life, and it is hard to find time or energy to studying things like poetry, as much as I would like to. Anyway, I am rambling, and have strayed far from my original question. It has been a long day.

    • Aesthetic feeling is what I was trying to address in our most recent discussion of Kant. It is the idea that a representation – painterly, poetic, musical, or natural – can lead us into a state of consciousness which is simultaneous cognitively intensive and emotionally relaxed. This is something which goes beyond mere immediate gratification, and opens us to the possibility that there may be a soul within us which certain phenomena can stir. For Kant, this feeling is the feeling of life itself – free of all external impositions and urgencies. The point I tried to make in class is that this feeling is the zero-degree of human experience. While all of us have a potential to enjoy it, it must nevertheless be cultivated to enjoy completely. Meanwhile, the pervasive sense of urgency and perpetual insufficiency promoted by our contemporary culture will deaden it almost immediately.

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