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  • 1.
    Cooper, Ruth
    Uppsala University, Department of Aesthetics.
    Choragraphies for a new age: On deconstrucion, on Heidegger, on the new psychoanalysis1999Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The dissertation treats the three subjects named in the title in separate sections, each of which can be read independently of the others, though all three of which are also strongly interrelated. Parts one and two offer original interpretations of the works of Jacques Derrida and Martin Heidegger, showing the fundamental logic of both philosophers' overall production to be strikingly similar. The major texts and themes of both thinkers are demonstrated to be structured according to a profoundly systematically followed anti-dialectical logic, and to a far greater extent than is overtly acknowledged by either philosopher, and with far more significant consequences. This structuring logic is implied to carry a psychoanalytic meaning, though this meaning isnot fully eaborated until section three.

    The psychoanalytic portion of the text aspires to introduce to a non-clinical audience the basic concepts of the newer psychoanalysis, which builds on insights from the socalled preoedipal years of development, during which the mind is taking fundamental form. The point is to show how these insights can inform projects of cultural criticism, and even potentially support a general theory of culture. The dissertation proposes, in the interest of this last, the thesis/hypothesis that human cultural history is interpretable in terms of an evolution of consciousness towards increasing individuation and consolidation of subjective mind, the determining aspects of which are illuminated by the evidence derived from developmental psychoanalysis, developmental psychology, and the study and treatment of personality disorders. It argues the need for, on the cultural as on the individual level, working to overcome the disposition of symbiotic identifications, which prevent adequate (dialectical) registration of self and other and corrupt psychic functioning in a number of other regards as well. Finally, the dissertation suggests the potential importance of this kind of change for unleashing a deeper existential appreciation for, and broader cultural expression of, our human creative essence.

  • 2.
    Entzenberg, Claes
    Uppsala University, Department of Aesthetics.
    Metaphor as a mode of interpretation: An essay on interactional and contextual sense-making processes, metaphorology, and verbal arts1998Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This essay is an attempt to assess the oddity and importance of metaphor, both viewed as inseparable, internal aspects of the metaphorical sense-making activity. To outline the "challenge" of metaphor, arguments are made against the traditional approaches to metaphor, namely the idea that metaphor is a thing, an entity out there in the discourse or text, whose meaning is embedded within its discrete units and parts. This issue concerns the very ontology of metaphor. It is argued that the "nature" and "structure" of metaphor are inseparable from the very process of interpretation.

    The first chapter deals with the Western history of theorizing about metaphor, a practice more than two thousand years old. From this non-uniform tradition of thinking I have chosen some alternative views: the traditional outline of metaphor as a deviant linguistic entity, which places the metaphorical "content" within some external structure that can add elegance and vivacity to discourse; and three alternative "romantic" view-points: (1) the description of the metaphorical activity as essential to the art-making activity, sometimes outlined as organically tied to early phases of the human development; (2) the effort to point out that transference underlies every conceptualization of perception, making thinking and language essentially metaphorical ("metaphorical universalism"); (3) the view that claims that abstraction presuppose a transference from ordinary language use. These views on metaphor and itssupposed, more or less implicitally stated, relation to interpretation are used to point out the importance of creating an alternative perspective to all these perennial views.

    The second chapter focuses on the huge amount of effort that has been made in this century to provide general semantic or pragmatic theories of metaphor. One of the main motivations behind this chapter is to show some important difficulties surrounding linguistic approaches to metaphor, especially concerning its "location" of meaning within the structure itself or as conversationally implicated, to show the need to focus on the very transfigurational process that constitutes metaphor.

    The third chapter tries to illuminate the process constituting metaphor, by relocating metaphor from the structure of Iinguistic strings within some, more or less extended context, to the particular interpretation of that locus. To illuminate this context-related sense-making activity I demonstrate its workings by interpreting some literary texts. In this connection I try to show how the different contexts are used as operational frames in interpreting literary works, undermining every effort to state monistic, universally applicable principles for the particular interpretive determination of meaning. Metaphor becomes one way of determining meaning within an interpretive activity.

  • 3.
    Säätelä, Simo
    Uppsala University, Department of Aesthetics.
    Aesthetics as grammar: Wittgenstein and post-analytic philosophy of art1998Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This work attempts to assess the significance of Ludwig Wittgenstein's later thought for philosophical aesthetics, both by showing its direct relevance and by criticizing certain prevalent misunderstandings of it. Chapter one deals with the application to philosophical aesthetics of the idea that philosophy is concerned with a grammatical investigation, which means clarification of concepts as well as therapeutical analysis of various philosophical diseases. This conception is developed with reference to Ben Tilghman's and Stanley Cavell's work, and it is contrasted to the prevailing understanding of Wittgenstein within analytic aesthetics. In the following chapters this approach is brought to bear on some central problems in philosophical aesthetics.

    The second chapter discusses and criticizes Arthur Danto's idea that a theory-dependent interpretation would be required for a thing to be "transfigured" into a work of art. Wittgenstein's remarks on aspect perception will be used to counter these claims and help us get a clearer view of the problems at issue.

    Chapter three shows how Wittgenstein's appeal to "aesthetic reactions" can offer an alternative to such an interpretive view of understanding. The first part of the chapter deals with the relation of the notion of aesthetic reactions to that of "primitive reactions", the appeal to which has a central but frequently misunderstood role in Wittgenstein's later philosophy. The second part is devoted to showing how aesthetic reactions are involved in our traffic with art. The fourth chapter explores the close connection between understanding art and understanding human beings, which is highlighted through the idea of an "attitude" (Einstellung). Understanding this kind of attitude proves to be of utmost importance if we want to describe how the nature of our involvement with works of art is similar to our relations to persons. Thus chapters three and four attempt to show that the problem of understanding is practical in its nature, having to do with how we can come to react to objects as works of art and how they can come to play an important role in our lives and be objects of attitudes typical of our relation to art.

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