Number four 2015

Topic of the Issue: HOMO AESTHETICUS
Issue editor: Ivanka Stapova
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords

Ognyan Kasabov – Vital Feeling and Pre-established Harmony: Kant between Leibniz and Nietzsche
: At key places in the Analytic of the Beautiful, Kant points out that aesthetic experience is founded on a „feeling of life“ that we possess as the sensible and thinking beings we are. In this article, I reconstruct the main lines along which Kant conceives this under-researched vital feeling, arguing that it provides a promising starting point for grasping the unity of Kant's aesthetics with Kant's teleology, on its part devoted to the idea of life. The proposed unified reading of the third Critique places Kant in a broad field of thinking about the aesthetic, which includes Leibniz's idea of a pre-established harmony and Nietzsche's aesthetization of vitality.
Keywords: Kant, beauty, enlivening, embodiment, harmony, teleology, organism, Leibniz, Nietzsche.

Sylvia Borissova – Systematic ?otentialities of Negative Aesthetics
: The paper outlines the main sources and subject area of negative aesthetics and then focuses on its systematic potential; in direct consequence, it draws attention to the basic weakness of negative aesthetics – its bias toward reflexive regression and the dissolution of the aesthetic in the negative. The author also indicates two possible paths for overcoming these weaknesses. The aim of the paper is to present the field of negative aesthetics and its potential for topical interpretations of the phenomena of the contemporary (aestheticized) cultural situation.
Keywords: non-classical aesthetics, negative aesthetics, non-identity, subjective negativity, transgression of the aesthetic code of beauty, negative aesthetic values, neoclassical pragmatist aesthetics, existential semiotics.

Andrey Leshkov – Negative Aestheticism? (Spinoza and Vermeer)
: This article aims to show how Baruch Spinoza's refusal to render the aesthetic self-sufficient contains a kind of negative aestheticism. Its artistic correlate is Johannes Vermeer's gesture of affirming the aesthetic as a self-sufficient realm. These two gestures reveal, however, not only the thinker's effort to transform philosophy from a merely abstract rational reflection into an effective form of life, but also the painter's effort to sublate the formulation ut pictura poiesis, which reduces art to a pictorial re-presentation. The Spinozian kinds of knowledge find their meaningful parallels in the paintings of Johanes Vermeer (there being no evidence of direct „influence“, however) precisely through artistic roles, statements, poses regarding the main borderline forms that determine the dialogue between arts.
Keywords: art, being, God, idea, image, painting, philosophy, Spinoza, time-being, Vermeer.

Ivan Popov – Aesthetics and Institutions in the World of Art
: The author explores the use of the concepts of aesthetics and the aesthetical in the philosophy of Arthur Danto, who formulated the idea of the existence of an „artworld“ and influenced the formation and development of the so-called institutional theory of art. From the standpoint of the thesis about a connectedness between art and social institutions, art cannot be defined through the arguments of the classical philosophical aesthetics that emerged in the 18th century and ended, according to Danto, with the work of Clement Greenberg. Greenberg's work is described as representing a tradition in art theory that proved incapable of accounting for the avant-garde as a cultural and conceptual phenomenon. The article discusses to what extent it would be correct to consider Greenberg in the context of this continuity of philosophical ideas, and analyzes the specificity of his understanding of the reception of works of art. The article also discusses the definition of the institutional, as opposed to the aesthetic, approach to art.
Keywords: Arthur Danto, Clement Greenberg, philosophical aesthetics, institutional theory of art, American analytic aesthetics.
Iskra Tsoneva – On a Bulgarian Stage Director, on an English Cook, and on the Meaning of Tragedy
: This article attempts to present a classification of the views on the nature of classical tragedy. According to this classification, there are three types: the tragedy of metaphysical guilt; of moral guilt, and of „aesthetic“ guilt. The typology is used as the methodological framework for the analysis of Ivan Dobchev's staging of Jean Anouilh's Antigone at Sofia Theatre.
Keywords: tragedy, metaphysical guilt, moral guilt, „aesthetic“ guilt, societal racism.

Valentin Angelov – Aesthetic Experience
: Taking as a point of departure the concept of „aesthetic experience“ in American pragmatist thought (Dewey, Mead, Munro), the paper compares this approach with an interpretation proposed by the European idealist tradition (Schopenhauer, Heidegger). This article aims to delineate an approach to aesthetic experience that takes into account present-day cultural conditions, mainly in view of the relationship between art and truth.
Keywords: aesthetics, aesthetical experience, art, truth, culture, society, knowledge.

Ivanka Stapova – The Conflict between the Aesthetical and the Ethical
: The article is focused on the difficult relationship that exists between two value fields: the aesthetical and the ethical. The main emphases are: the aesthetical and ethical in the historical-philosophical context, these two concepts in an axiological perspective, the contemporary point of view, and grounds for pessimism.
Keywords: aesthetical, ethical, relationship, Santayana, the contemporary point of view.
Ivan Kolev – Architectura ex machina. The Futurist Rift
This article discusses some ideas of Italian futurism aimed at the creation of a new architecture. To delineate the profile of these ideas, a schematic comparison is made between Futurist and Vitruvian classical ideas. The opposition of Futuristic versus Classical architecture, drawn by the author, is also relevant for a better understanding of certain trends in contemporary architecture.
Keywords: architecture, classical, futurism, Vitruvius, Antonio Saint'Elia.
Petar Plamenov – Sight and Hand. Aesthetical Rediscovery of the Body (P.1)
: Paradoxically, sight and hand are instruments of the spirit. What is that within us that emancipates sight and hand from their sensory spontaneity and makes them instruments of aesthetic freedom? While the hand presents the body as volume and in relief, as performed space and tactile sensory availability, as flesh and skin, weight, etc., the eye speaks of the body in terms of light, distance and image. The body is created through sight. The body literally emerges from the eye to the other body. The flesh of the universe is not interpreted through the body, but is experienced immediately, directly and in a timely manner in the body.
Keywords: aesthetics, body, hand, sight, phenomenology, postmodernism, archetype, mirror, spirit, I-You relationship, flesh, game, image, otherness.

Galin Penev – Iconographic Space (Aesthetics and Theology of the Icon)
The article deals with the structure of iconographic space and its relation to linear perspective in Renaissance painting. The author's main focus is on the aesthetics and the theological sequences of Renaissance innovation in the compositional principles underlying the depiction of sacred images. The emancipation of the senses and the autonomy of art are vivid signs of the secularization of sacred images. The ontology of the image is suspended when the individual point of view in linear perspective becomes a principle of image-making. This fact directs the whole attention of the artist to the aesthetic form.
Keywords: linear perspective, inversed perspective, aesthetics, theology of the icon, aesthetic form.

Anna Tsolovska – Visual Art: Understanding and Interpretation
The article deals with the problem of „understanding“ contemporary visual art, not in terms of reading its message or evaluating it on the basis of research and knowledge, but in terms of grasping and experiencing – via the means of our personal experience – something hitherto unknown.
Keywords: understanding, interpretation, hermeneutics, work of art.

Vyara Popova – Constructing the Nomadic? (Ten Theses on the Metaphorics of the Way)
: The paper construes nomadicity not in terms of „forms of life“ such as migration, unsettledness, mobility, but in regard to world-view metaphorics represented by ideas such as the way and the journey. The author's theses constitute an attempt to present these metaphorics as artistically embodied. The author considers that a model form of such an embodiment is photography, understood in its cultural quality as a „nomadic“ art.
Keywords: image (imagery), metaphor, monadicity, nomadism, photography, reality, way (journey).
Maya Ivanova – The Comedy of Freedom and the Delight of Nausea
: This essay presents the aesthetic views of Jean-Paul Sartre, primarily as expressed in his novel La Nausee (1938), which illustrates his approach to the times in which he lived. The significance of Sartre's „aesthetics“, viewed as his effort to interpret de-humanization, is delineated.
Keywords: aesthetics, alienation, art, de-humanization, nausea, Sartre, contemporary times.

Tatyana Batuleva – Albert Camus: the Double Imperative of Art
: The article examines the various hypostases of art in the works of Albert Camus. These include: art as a response to the absurd; as a corrected creation of reality; as authentic rebellion and a measure between „no“ and „yes“. The author argues that Camus sees the work of art as always being the result of a double imperative: it lies between „intellectual rationalism“ and „divine irrationalism”; it is born from solitude and solidarity; it is responsible to beauty and to the oppressed. This double imperative does not lead to mutual cancellation of the terms or to the synthesis of reconciliation, but maintains a space of tension and aporia.
Keywords: the absurd, rebellion, art, measure, solitude, solidarity, realism, „l'art pour l'art“, socialist realism, double imperative.

Nonka Bogomilova – Man and God: Philosophical-literary Projections
: The paper makes a comparative analysis of the interpretations that the famous Bulgarian writer Emilian Stanev gave of man and his relationship to God in the novel Anti-Christ and corresponding interpretations in some of the major works of Immanuel Kant. The comparison reveals both differences and similarities in their respective views regarding the essence of man in the perspective of his freedom and independence of God.
Keywords: Man, God, Anti-Christ, freedom, independence.

Pravda Spasova – Tolstoy as a Pragmatist Thinker. What is Art? Revisited
: The article explores the aesthetical views of Lev Tolstoy in the context of the broad understanding of art in contemporary pragmatism. The article poses questions about the tendencies in the development of contemporary art, and proposes an old, yet evergreen, solution.
Keywords: art, emotions, pragmatism.

Antoaneta Nikolova – Specifics of Chinese Poetic Expression
: On the basis of some specific features of Chinese poetry, the article presents certain characteristics of the worldview inherent in Far Eastern cultures. The dynamic nature of reality is outlined as a main feature of the Far Eastern understanding of the world. The visions of comprehensive unity, synchronicity and structured transformation derive from this understanding. In Chinese landscape poetry, the vision of comprehensive unity is represented by the specific logic of non-doing. According to it, the described object unfolds as if by itself, while the observer is part of the landscape. This seemingly indifferent description of the external object is in fact a description of the inner state, due to the unity of opposites inherent in this way of thinking. The principle of synchronicity and repeatability in the models of transformation is presented in the structure of Chinese verse. It is designed according to the principles of response and holographic interrelation between the whole and its aspects. The conclusion is that, due to the Chinese worldview model reflected in it, Chinese poetry does not need the figures of speech developed in Western poetry.
Keywords: Far Eastern worldview, Chinese poetry, synchronicity, vision of dynamics.
Andrey Leshkov – Aisthetikos. A Conference in Aesthetics in Memory of I. Pasi
Maya Ivanova – The Passions of Thinking
Mariana Farkova – Sofia Film Fest and „The Petrov Dossier“
Pravda Spasova – On an Artist's Philosophical Quality. In Memory of Stefan Despodov