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Comment: Moderate wear; corner of blank flyleaf torn off; previous owner's seal embossed on several pages; lightly scuffed covers; mildly creased spine; a bit of soiling on edges of page block.
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The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience (Spep) Paperback – September 1, 1989

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Language Notes

Text: English, French (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Series: Spep
  • Paperback: 578 pages
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (September 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810105918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810105911
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,760,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gustav Jørgen Pedersen on February 27, 2014
Format: Paperback
I must say I both agree and disagree the previous review by Tom S: the beginning of the book is arguably quite boring, but Dufrenne does not in any way reduce the pictorial art work of art to the play of its colors - and should not either (in my view) have gone in-depth into any "structural exploration or analysis." The former is just plain wrong, while the latter falls beyond the scope of the book.

The book is primarily a phenomenology of the aesthetic object (part I) and the aesthetic perception (part III), not primarily an structural analysis of the work of art (part II). I read the second part to be a necessary step on the way of clarifying the material foundation of the appearance of the aesthetic object. It provides, among other things, an interesting and original problematizing of the traditional divide between the spatial and temporal arts.

Part IV is a transcendental critique of the interdependent notions of aesthetic object/perception. Here Dufrenne argues that an affective a priori is the condition of possibility for the occurence of aesthetic experience. Furthermore, part IV provides an interesting connection between aesthetic experience and truth, by which he aims to defend the value of aesthetic experience.

By all means, the book is not perfect, and it could easily have been way shorter. However, if you are interested in aesthetics - and especially a phenomenological approach - then this book is essential and well worth the time it will take you reading it. It is thought provoking and its construction and structure (I do not mean the spine, Tom) is nothing but impressive.

I wrote my master thesis on this book, which can be found her:
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tom S on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have finished the first 170 pages and will update the review when I am finished reading the entire book. So far I can only agree with the review published in 1975 by The Journal of Philosophy (first page can be viewed through JSTOR by internet search) that the book is verbose, dull, and doesn't seem to be delivering on it's promises, i.e. in my opinion it is a typical book written by a modern academic. I think my time would have been much better served by exploring more 18th century German aesthetic writers.

Update: My original rating was two stars, but I have given it additional stars. The book really did not get interesting for me until Chapter 6 (p.199...that's 266 pages counting the introductory commentary). I did find some very worthwhile nuggets, but Dufrenne's concept that painting consists of interesting color combinations is just inexcusable. He bypasses any real in-depth structural exploration and analysis in favor of "affective" qualities. The book construction is rock solid; the spine never creased during reading from cover to cover.
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