Martin Heidegger's notion of the work of art as Welteroffnung and his critique of the form/matter and knowing/experiencing schemata in the aesthetic thinking of Plato and Arthur Schopenhauer
Vanderford, Robert Ranson
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This thesis deals with Martin Heidegger’s approach to the work of art as the ‘opening of a world’. By contrast, in the Western aesthetic tradition, the work of art is characterized as a product of schemata such as form/matter and knowing/experiencing. Such characterizations of the work of art are found in philosophies as diverse as those of Plato and Arthur Schopenhauer. The work of art, for Heidegger, resists such schematic interpretations within philosophical systems. The work of art opens a world, or Welt, and, by so doing, attests to the unique and particular beings that we are. Heidegger’s term for such a being is Dasein. Heidegger’s notion of the work of art as Welteröffnung is examined in depth using examples from ‘representatio nal’ as well as ‘non-representational’ art forms.