Whatever It Turns Out To Be: Oakeshott on Aesthetic Experience

Focusing his analysis on the lengthy “Voice of Poetry” essay, Abel provides a robust defense of Oakeshott’s nonrepresentational and nonpractical conception of art. Critics who suggest that Oakeshott goes too far in severing art from truth and morality fail to grasp that Oakeshott’s fundamental philosophical concern is to identify the differentia of aesthetic experience vis-à-vis other forms of experience. One of the most important dif- ferentiating features of aesthetic experience, according to Oakeshott as Abel interprets him, is its timelessness, its denial of historicity; here Oakeshott parts ways with the historicism of thinkers such as Gadamer and Ricoeur. Another important differentiating feature of aesthetic experience is its playful character versus the unavoidably worklike character of practical experience.

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 11.20.45 AMScreen Shot 2019-04-08 at 11.20.12 AMScreen Shot 2019-04-08 at 11.20.28 AM