Energy of Aesthetic Experience

E. N. Ustiugova


The article is devoted to the comparison of classical and modern understanding of the subject of aesthetics. During the theoretical self-definition of aesthetics in the system of philosophy (Baumgarten, Kant) it was understood as a bridge uniting empiricism of individual sensuality with universality of rational knowledge, as an experience of unity of sensual and supersensual activity of aesthetic consciousness of the subject. Such an interpretation corresponded to the ideal of a whole person in the unity of reason, feeling, spirit, will, and imagination. Contemporary aesthetics defines its subject matter as individual sensual experience, removing from it the basis of the cultural subject's self-consciousness of value. The central problem of the article is a characteristic of aesthetic experience as a procedural form of living through the value and meaningful depth of the experienced aesthetic feeling. Experiencing is treated as an emotional and intellectual process, producing inner work of comprehension of the feeling of staying in the self-relation of the cultural-historical subject with the world. The inner energy of aesthetic experience is born through the creative work of intuition and imagination, creating the likeness of a work of art, but not materialised in the language of art, but staying in the continuing state of internal residence of the imaginary image. The aesthetic experience expands the threshold of human sensibility and reveals the dimension of each phenomenon of reality in such a way that the aesthetic object is more than the object, and the subject more than the empirical individual. This is the essence of the aesthetic, indicating the difference between the aesthetic sense and the mere sensual response of individual consciousness to contact with an object. The subject of aesthetic experience is the subject of a world-relationship, experiencing the world differently in images of chaos or harmony, eternity or the mutability of time of being. Space and time in the axiosphere of culture become subjectivized and are experienced as sensual and semantic phenomena included in the aesthetic thesaurus of culture. In his analysis of the sublime, Kant spoke of the special creative energy of the aesthetic feeling, giving it the depth and duration of the subject's state of mind. Due to the inner tension of the interaction of feelings and meanings, aesthetic experience evokes a vivid sensual and supersensual response of man to his belonging to being.  It extends the range of emotional and intellectual faculties of consciousness, which remains as the memory of aesthetic experience, multiplying the possibilities of future experiences. Aesthetic experience expresses the process of synergy between sensuality and the existential meanings of the historical subject's existential world. The final conclusion of the article is that in aesthetic experience based on a complex set of sensual and supersensual transformations of aesthetic existence of man in the world, sensual experience is only one of the components, which convinces the need for modern research to address the totality of the contents of aesthetics, especially its axiological aspects.


classical and modern definition of aesthetics; subjectivity; integration of sensual and supersensible; experience; socio-cultural nature of aesthetic axiology


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