"Phänomenologie" bezeichnet eine an der Jahrhundertwende in der Philosophie zum Durchbruch gekommene neuartige deskriptive Methode und eine aus ihr hervorgegangene apriorische Wissenschaft, welche dazu bestimmt ist, das prinzipielle Organon für eine streng wissenschaftliche Philosophie zu liefern

Edmund Husserl

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04 Styczeń 2016

Guest lecture of Carlos Lobo on aesthetics

The Polish Phenomenological Association

in cooperation with

the Polish Academy of Sciences

 invites to the seminar on the „Perspective of Contemporary Phenomenology”

with Carlos Lobo on:


Relativity and Invariants in Aesthetic Experience

Following Husserl’s Phenomenology

January 11th (Monday), 2016 at 5:00 pm

Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences,

Staszic Palace, Nowy Świat 72.

The relativistic approach consists in taking seriously appearances and in considering exclusively the conditions of possibility of objectivity, i.e. of translatability and communicability of observables between possible observers. As Bachelard suggests, this relativistic approach equates a transcendental one: “The Relativist does not merely establish the a priori possibility of an experience. He studies this possibility by itself and for itself. He builds up a system of the possible. One even gets the impression that the Relativist goes further and that, taken by a true Platonic realism of the possible, he is inclined to assign a kind of substantiality to a rich and consistent organization of the possible.” (La valeur inductive de la relativité, 1929). Weyl’s book on Symmetry (1952) provides us with a striking insight on the tasks falling upon a rigorous relativistic theory of art. What has been named traditionally “form” (and related concepts), in works of arts and more generally in aesthetic experiences, can be mathematically described as group structures, i.e. symmetries (viz. symmetry breakings) in the mathematical sense of the term. As experienced, these structures are correlated to dynamical processes from the part of the listener, reader and spectator. As suggested by Weyl, Paul Andrew Ushenko has already developed such a theory of relativity (hence of invariants). Following A. Speiser (Musik und Mathematik, 1926), Weyl insists on the fruitfulness of this approach. But he admits that “certainly we have not already discovered the adequate mathematical tools”, to describe it. A preliminary treatment of this correlation is thus necessarily “morphological”, i.e. phenomenological in the ordinary sense of the term. But how can it become phenomenological in a strict sense? In order to describe the full and complex structure of aesthetical experience, the a priori correlation, it is particularly enlightening and inspiring to follow Husserl’s analyses. Through the vast variety of “works of art”, through the unlimited diversity of experiences, it is possible to trace specific lines of variations and distinguish diverse functions, operations, dimensions and layers of experiences (pleasure related to aesthetic forms and units, interplay of emotions and perceptions, affective perspectives, kinaesthetic dispositions and accomplishments, etc.). Although perfectly acquainted with contemporary philosophical extensions of the principle of relativity, and sometime promoting it, most of the phenomenological approaches (Geiger, Ingarden, Dufrenne, etc.) do not explore systematically the intersubjective constitutional strata of aesthetic experience, but stick to the solipsistic experience. With Husserl, on the contrary, the investigation culminates explicitly in a genetic phenomenology of the intersubjective constitution of aesthetic values (and “objects”), considered as a “relativization” of solipsistic absolute subjective experiences.

The meeting is organized as a part of the seminar of the Polish Phenomenological Association on the “Perspectives of Contemporary Phenomenology.” The main aim of the seminar is presentation of phenomenological researches in contemporary philosophy. The organizers want not only to reread classical phenomenological texts, but also and foremost to present a possible contribution of phenomenology to contemporary philosophy. The organizers suggest to understand phenomenology mainly as a method, and by doing this they encourage to rethink contemporary practical applications of phenomenology to other sciences. For this reason, the organizers also want to cross narrow limits of academic circles, and invite practitioners, e.g., medical doctors, psychologists, anthropologists, and culture experts. So, the seminar is open for different circles, as well as for researches done in different branches of philosophy and sciences.

More info available here.

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