The Phenomenology of the Experience of Enchantment
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While meditating upon the natures of aisthetikos and enchantment, I remembered a past lived-event that I consider to reveal the relationship between aesthetics and the experience of enchantment. Through a phenomenological reflection on this personal account, the primary goal of this paper is to ascertain the essential characteristics (eidetic principles) of enchantment as an experiential domain. Its treatment in anthropological accounts, broadly speaking, and in art forms suggests the possibility that “enchantment” inappropriately designates or characterizes my personal testimony. But, there is no other more appropriate description for the experienced aesthetic value-complex that is to be described. A provisional bracketing of the treatment of enchantment both in art forms and in empirical/historical exemplification is necessary so that the structure of enchantment as a lived process can be uncovered. Someone may have the experience while engaging a work of art regardless of whether the work portrays enchantment in its content. Conversely, a work of art may portray enchantment without an accompanying manifestation of an enchantment in experience. Enchantment is not merely a category employed in the thematic contents of the various fine arts, even though the generally fantastic and hyperbolic treatments in literature, for example, may suggest such.
KeywordsCognitive Style Aesthetic Experience Fairy Tale Symbolic Meaning Symbolic Significance
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