Informations and abstract
Keywords: Judgment, Control, Uncontrollability, Je-ne-sais-quoi, Indeterminacy
Aesthetic experience highlights some fundamental features of human nature. The conditions that make it possible are internal to every kind of experience, but they emerge in the foreground on the occasion of a particular kind of pleasure. This pleasure – mixed with emotions, concepts, skills, and imaginative performance – can be experienced exemplarily in the enjoyment and production of works of art but is by no means limited to them. On the contrary, it reveals something about the very faculty of judgment in general. However, aesthetic experience would not be such if it were not essentially marked by different kinds of uncertainty: about its nature, its criteria, its genuineness, and the judgments derived from it. And, in a certain respect, aesthetic experience is indeed uncontrollable, because it reveals the indeterminacy that is internal to any kind of experience. Thus, its complex of uncertainties cannot be eliminated by a surplus of knowledge or information. However, the principle on which aesthetic experience depends is not merely contingent but can claim its peculiar necessity and universality. Paradoxically, it guarantees the possibility of making sense of our experiences through the impossibility of mastering them and empirically totalizing their meanings.