International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Volume | Article


L'estetica dimenticata

la vicenda della scuola di Graz

Venanzio Raspa

pp. 217-252


The essay gives an account of the aesthetics of the Graz school, focusing on the standpoint of the object as well as on that of emotions. Meinong’s reflection on aesthetics stems from a psychological background and comes subsequently to an ontological grounding. After examining the notions of imagination, phantasy-representation, relation and complexion, I show how the theory of production of representations, as well as that of higher-order objects, develops under the impulse of Ehrenfels’ concept of Gestalt qualities; both these theories may be applied to aesthetics in the explanation of artistic creation and of aesthetic objects. Meinong identifies the specific object of aesthetics with the “objective” and distinguishes aesthetic feelings, which are true feelings, from imaginary ones. Witasek develops a psychological aesthetics built on the conceptual framework of Meinongian philosophy: aesthetic properties are ideal and extra-objective, they connect the aesthetic object to the subject’s mental attitude; an aesthetic object is an object endowed with aesthetic properties, such as beauty, which depends on the degree of pleasure or displeasure the object may induce in the subject. Witasek, though, parts from Meinong on both the conception of aesthetic objects and of imaginary feelings. In the last sections, I review the reactions to Witasek’s aesthetics, both positive and negative, within the Graz school itself (in particular Schwarz’ and Saxinger’s ideas on phantasy-feelings, and Ameseder’s on value beauty), and I sketch Ehrenfels’ and Veber’s aesthetic views.

Publication details

Published in:

(2014). The other(s). Rivista di estetica 56.

Pages: 217-252

DOI: 10.4000/estetica.904

Full citation:

Raspa Venanzio (2014). L'estetica dimenticata: la vicenda della scuola di Graz. Rivista di estetica 56, pp. 217-252.