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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the concept of genius in Schopenhauer’s aesthetics, or rather, as he puts it, in his “metaphysics of the beautiful.” The question is whether this kind of metaphysics is based on a distinct mode of knowledge that is neither theoretical nor scientific, but nonetheless immanent, or, as some authors suggest, whether it depends on the intuition of something that transcends experience—an alternative that gives a mystical quality to Schopenhauer’s thought. To determine which of these approaches is to be preferred, the author considers the relations between Schopenhauer’s and Kant’s aesthetics as found in Kant’s third Critique. In short, our questions may be put in this way: Is art an objective mode of knowledge, by means of a Platonic Idea of something that is actually given in the world, or is it instead a sort of enthusiastic metaphysics that reveals something that is hidden and cannot be known through reason?

Keywords: genius, metaphysics, Platonic Ideas, beauty, aesthetics

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