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06/14/2010

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Kevin

Hi Dan, in ordinary awareness, says Schopenhauer, we experience things in the world through the subjectivity of our goals, desires, and interests.

Typically, a tree is experienced as an object with potential use value. It can be harvested for lumber, or it can be seen as an obstacle, say, it blocks your view of a lake.

In this sense, we don't experience objects as they are in themselves (not noumenally but empirically speaking). We experience them relative to the dictates of our own willing, relative to the satisfaction of desire and the avoidance of pain and suffering.

But some times, in moments of inspiration, the pressure of one's will
relents, and the intellect is able to consider the object as it is in
itself, independently of one's goals, desires, and interests.

Aesthetic awareness has dawned.

This is schopie Schop's picture of aesthetic experience.

Do you see any similarities between Dewey's "experience freed ... from factors that subordinate an experience as it is directly had to something beyond itself" — when the "something beyond itself" is understood as the 1,001 things we can pursue relative to this or that object of perception — and Schopenhauer's pure, will-less perception?

Regards,
Kevin

Dan Green

I don't know Schopenhauer well enough to make the comparison, but your account of his view seems compatible.

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