Aesthetics in an expanded field towards a performative model of art, experience and knowledge

Linker, James A.

This dissertation is a recasting of the concept of the aesthetic which seeks to reinstate “the full etymological range of the Greek αισθησθαι – to perceive, sense, feel,” which “is analogous with ‘sensibility,’ the immediate physiological contact with the world through intuition (Anschauung)” (Scherer, 1995). This is achieved by recasting the aesthetic as a second order performative phenomenon – that which is illocutionary in any sensory experience, social interaction or utterance (Austin, 1962, Deleuze and Guattari, 1987). With the aesthetic understood as such, art becomes a way of knowing and doing which may function analogically relative to all other facets of human experience and endeavor. The aesthetic – the illocutionary – may be understood as the motive force infusing all socio-cultural relations and productions.