Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


The Aesthetic Experience That’s Brighter than My Future

What is my aesthetic perspective? Well, to even attempt to fully answer that question, I have to answer three other questions first. Hypothetically, the culmination of my answers for the other three questions should address my answer the main topic: What is my aesthetic perspective? So without further ado the three sub-questions that will lead to my answer are: What is Art? What is beauty? And, what is an aesthetic experience?

To me, art is the product of creative expression through words, paint, clay or other such methods. It is something that holds value, whether that be physical or emotional, and is seen as beautiful by the person subjected to it. As individuals, art is labeled differently from one another, and doesn’t have a wrong attachment to the name. Anything can be classified as art, as long as it meets that individuals criteria as to what substitutes as art.

Beauty is the idea and/or thing that invokes intrigue and pleasure within the one looking or experiencing the thing. In terms of an aesthetics standpoint, the beauty factor is heavily based off of sight and what is/has been seen. So something that is aesthetically pleasing to someone would be beautiful in their eyes. Much like art though, my definition of beauty is very perspective and opinion-based.

An aesthetic experience is an experience that one is completely immersed in. It requires all of one’s focus/concentration and to be intensely vivid. I believe most aesthetic experiences are first aesthetically pleasing, and then the concentration just becomes sort of natural. I also think one can’t classify an aesthetic experience as it’s happening, because that would kind of cut into the criteria of being fully immersed and concentrated on experiencing it. However, looking back if one can vividly remember very subtle details and basically re-experience it through recollection, then it would be classified as an aesthetic experience. This is because one’s memory of the experience would be heightened due to the amount of concentration on the experience while it was happening.

How does this relate to anything we talked about?

Well, my views on art and beauty relate well to Descartes theories on beauty in the “something that pleases” and “beauty is within the eye of the beholder” sense. My overarching theme between beauty, art and aesthetic experiences is that is is all based on perspective. More specifically my required criteria for an aesthetic experience came basically straight out of the aesthetics booklet we got. In other words, to have a quality aesthetic experience is to be fully concentrated on it while it’s occurring. I also agree with some aspects of what Kant said when referring to finding things beautiful and/or aesthetically pleasing unintentionally(or at least that’s how I interpreted it). He said something beautiful can cause delight no matter if there was an original interest or not. Not being interested in something doesn’t necessarily cause that thing to be unpleasing. However, in terms of having an aesthetic experience, it is said an interest is necessary, no matter how unconscious or conscious it is.

How does my aesthetic experience fits with everything I just said?

For one of my aesthetic experiences I went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge during the break so all the lights were up and everything is super pretty. I hadn’t ever been during Christmas time before mainly because December is a crazy hectic month in my household. But anyways, we made it out this year and it was absolutely beautiful. Now I’m not particularly crazy about all things Christmas, but I will admit to becoming a mesmerized two-year old when I see pretty lights. So Capilano was amazing! I can picture everything so vividly in my head, and this proves that my mind was solely focused of my experience at the time. I have been there before, but when recalling my memories again I was able to recall so many more aspects of the park that have always been there but I’ve just never taken to time to notice before. Some part of me thinks that it was only because everything was covered in lights and I am very intrigued by lights so that’s why I noticed. But even so this would subscribe to my aesthetic perspective because my interest in what I was doing (aka the lights) was required for me to have this aesthetic experience.

My questions:

The one question that I think I may have answered is does an aesthetic experience have to be organic? To which I would answer yes. This is because throughout winter break, looming in the back of my mind was “got to have those aesthetic experiences and how” and when I tried to plan stuff like going to the Vancouver Art Gallery, I found myself enjoying the experience but thinking about what I would say about it and how I could justify it being an aesthetic experience. Capilano Suspension Bridge was by far my favourite aesthetic experience because it was a spur of the moment kind of decision. I wasn’t thinking about my philosophy “homework” and was just enjoying myself and being in the moment. In the wise words of Drake “YOLO”.

The question that I really want to investigate further is, is there a standard for art/beauty that can change or slightly alter one’s perception of an aesthetic experience? Based off of everything I’ve said up to now the clear answer is no because everyone’s different and sees the world through a different lens. However, I do believe societal norms and pressures can have a serious affect on what one can perceive as aesthetically pleasing. For example, in my case, Christmas lights are generally seen as a very aesthetically pleasing thing, so did that influence my experience at Capilano because I’ve been raised to find Christmas lights aesthetically pleasing? Or if the general consensus on Christmas lights was bad, would my aesthetic experience not be so aesthetic anymore? Just a thought.

Photos from internet cause my phone is being stupid:






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