How May the Aesthetic Language of Artwork Represent Reality

Dan Nesher


Dealing with how our cognitions represent reality we have to inquire how they can
represent it truly. We start from our perceptions in order to continue to other modes
of representing reality: scientific, ethical, and aesthetic. These three modes of
representations echo Kant’s three Critiques, although he did not see them all as
modes of representing reality. Therefore we have to turn the tables on his Copernican
Revolution to overcome the basic transcendental epistemology. I analyze briefly
Wittgenstein’s two philosophical systems as prototypes of the Analytic Philosophy of
formal semantics and the Phenomenology of interpretation, show their difficulties,
and suggest Peircean Pragmaticism as an alternative to deal with how the languages of
artworks represent reality aesthetically. Aesthetic representation by allegories
differs from Scientific representation by general theories and from the Ethical
representation by moral norms guiding our lives. However, only through our
confrontation with reality these three cognitive enterprises can represent reality,
which cannot be explained by the Analytic Metaphysical Realism or Phenomenological
Internal Realism, being severed from reality.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; Nachlass research

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