How Does an Aesthetic Object Happen? Emergence, Disappearance, Multiplicity
Studying visual and plastic arts, social researchers tend to assume that an aesthetic object is pre-given to a viewer who does not participate in the process of the object’s becoming. They problematise the aesthetic status of an artwork, but not its objectness. This paper shows that audience perception, considered as interaction and situated practice, does not merely define the meanings and emotions attached to a certain object, but plays a constitutive role in the objects’ physical state and its very existence as an object, i.e. as an integrated unity extracted from its surroundings and affording a direct, intensive encounter. Synthesizing the conceptual resources of Hennion’s pragmatics of taste, Simmel’s aesthetic theory, gestalt theory, and social phenomenology, I explain various ways whereby an object in the situation of perception happens and achieves a certain mode of existence or fails to happen and disappears. The paper is based on three empirical examples derived from the ethnographic study of the open-air land art/architectural festival ‘Archstoyanie’. The first case illustrates how an object is extracted from the environment and the festival’s infrastructure; the second, how the visitors destroy the incomplete boundaries of an object so that it dissolves into the surroundings; and the third, how an object maintains its integrity despite its inner complexity and multiple centres attracting the visitors’ attention.
The article concerns R. Wollheim’s theory of twofoldness, the one of the most acclaimed analytical theories of pictorial representation. Wohhleim has pointed to the structural distinction of seeing pictures from seeing objects and situations face-to-face, thus proposing the theory of seeing-in and twofoldness. This conception presupposes the split, simultaneous seeing of the picture’s object and material surface. Considering the basic influences, features and shortcomings of Wollheim’s theory, author specifies the question of to what extent the scope of this theory is limited to artistic pictures. Alongside with this theory’s reconstruction and critique, the article provides its interpretation based on spatially-oriented definitions of twofoldness (B. Nanay, J. Kulvicki) coupled with the actualization of the distinction between representational content of a picture and its figurative content. The first one includes all spatial relations that can be seen in it, the second one – all that can be seen in it and described by non-abstract concepts. Wollheim reframed to apply this distinction to his notion on twofoldness. But it gives the possibility to bring out the convincing definition of twofoldness as the simultaneous visual experience of pictorial surface (i.e., some material object in viewer’s egocentric space) and of representational content (i.e., semantically active spatial relations which one sees in the picture). This interpretation may be considered a useful instrument for non-reductionist description of pictorial experience and pictures’ ontological duality, hence it is devoid of Wollheim’s psychologism while maintaining his focus on visuality. Moreover, it provides some opportunities for applying Wollheim’s theory beyond the contexts of analytical philosophy of pictures, thus connecting it to the problems of phenomenological and hermeneutic theories of image.
Plato’s interest in vision and the visual is multifaceted, and complex. Visual words and images are frequent in the dialogues along with many direct and indirect discussions of physiological, intellectual, and social vision. The increased emphasis in recent scholarship on the importance of visuality in Plato is a part of a ‘scopic turn,’ the effect of which was to ground interpretations of the history of western European philosophy and metaphysics in its entirety in certain optical premises.
The present catalogue contains abstracts for some 150 volumes, among which books, periodicals, miscellanies, published by the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the principal institute in Russia for academic research in all kinds of philosophical knowledge. These works, written by eminent Russian scholars, cover such fi elds as the history of Russian, Western and Oriental philosophy, ethics and aesthetics, synergetics and epistemology, social and political philosophy and concentrate on problems that have attained particular importance in the age of globalization and growth of national self-consciousness.
This paper represents a synthesis of few working papers of the author, published in various mostly foreign publications. In the paper the author examines social consequences and social prerequisites for specific role that Russian state and Russian audiences are playing in the media. In our opinion the situation in Russian media cannot to be perceived outside the context of social structure of the Russian society and the role of the state in this society.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.