Journal of Eurasian Studies - EPA

Journal of Eurasian Studies - EPA

April‐June 2010 JOURNAL OF EURASIAN STUDIES Volume II., Issue 2.


aesthetics stating/asserting and seeking the absolute ‐ that is, absolutizing aesthetics ‐ can be described,

modelled. Art philosophers stating/asserting the absolute ‐ Pál Pitroff, Béla Brandenstein, Antal Schütz,

Ákos Pauler ‐ constructed their theories speculatively, deductively, without the pragmatical restrictions of

art, staying within Neo‐Thomist philosophy. Striving for an objective synthesis, they resolved the

paradoxical facts, the contradictions they encountered from without, in the God of Christians as the

absolute. With the exception of Ákos Pauler, they created a metaphysical aesthetics, with the ontological

status of the work of art in its centre. A search for the absolute by Sík, who proposed the autonomy of

aesthetics, by the young Lajos Fülep, and the young Lukács resulted in a model which included the

elements of both stating/asserting and negating the absolute. In his aesthetics of phenomenon‐experience,

Sík remains within art philosophy, and solves a number of important aesthetical problems from the

aspect of the self. Striving to universality, his mentality was, however, unable to accept aesthetical

dualities, uncertainties and unprovabilities. That is why he suddenly concludes his aesthetics with a Neo‐

Thomist philosophy, postulating the existence of the absolute (God), which resolves all contradictions.

Similarly, the young Lukács also had this attitude of longing for the absolute, which sprang from his

hatred of relativism. The permanent problem of Lukács was the immanence of the absolute. It follows

from this that his art philosophy was intertwined with his feeling to existence. He was looking for

absolutes, essentiality, solid certainty in life, in art, and in philosophy. This search was realized in his

desire for authentic, essential existence, then later in his Marxist ideology, and in the aesthetics of the

1960s, in the concept of Gattungsmassigkeit.

Now I shall draft another comparative system of attitudes, also along a tripartite division. The

Hungarian aesthetics of the early twentieth century under consideration displays special characteristics

with regard to their relation to the work of art as their object. This is how aesthetical structures with the

element of experience, existence, or value of the work of art in their centre can be defined. The basic idea

of the so‐called (1) phenomenon‐experience aesthetics (that of Sándor Sík, among others) is that aesthetic

quality is kept in existence by experience, either authorial or receptorial. The aesthetics with the

ontological element of the work of art in their centre (2) create a metaphysical theory. The metaphysical

object‐layer of Lukács’s aesthetics of the Neo‐Thomists discuss the ontological status of the work of art,

analyzing in those terms the relationships among art, life, reality. They strive to ultimate principles of

explanation, to the knowledge of the essence of the work of art, which they find in some absolute. They

think in terms of the disruption of real existence and the essential world, but they assume that art is (also)

supposed to connect these two‐worlds. Axiological aesthetics (3), which have the value element of the

work of art in their centre (like that of Ákos Pauler), propose that a work of art is casued to exist by its

value, by the claim of value to existence.

I will discuss rather briefly the absolute‐seeking phenomenon‐experience aesthetics of Sándor Sík. His

scholarly attitude was peculiar: that of the complex aesthete, coming from the triple quality of author‐

receptor‐thinker. His trhee‐volume aesthetics published in 1943 is an exceptionally multifarios and

remarkable synthesis of its time; it was usable, centered on the aesthetic subject, reflecting the various

philosophical movements in the early twentieth century.

Unfortunately, the whole oeuvre of the Jewish‐born Piarist superior, his achievements in the fields of

literary history, lyrics, drama, and art‐philosophy would be rejected after World War II by the

art‐philosophical mentality dominated by Marxist ideology. One of the consequences of the political and


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