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Phenomenological aspects of the Indian theory of aesthetic experience (rasa theory)


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Džimbeg, Igor. (2018). Phenomenological aspects of the Indian theory of aesthetic experience (rasa theory). Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. [mentor Čargonja, Hrvoje].

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This thesis is a comparison of the main theoretical approaches and concepts between phenomenology and rasa theory as given in Nāțya Śāstra, the founding work of Indian theory of aesthetic experience. In this way, the thesis draws attention to an important approach to aesthetic experience, an approach that has been somewhat neglected in the Western aesthetic tradition, although nonetheless present. It is an approach that puts emphasis on the processual affectivity of aesthetic experience. In that regard, Indian theory of aesthetic experience represents an opposition to Western aesthetics. It sees aesthetic experience as progressive unfolding of affective components conceptualized as foundational emotions, stimulators of emotions, indicators of emotions and transitional emotions. These components attuned to the demands of a particular foundational emotion interchange in the flow of aesthetic experience and thus refine or amplify foundational emotion to the state of rasa, to the state of an affect's aesthetic delight. The thesis of this work is that rasa theory, as given by the legendary sage Bharata Muni, traditional author of the Nāțya Śāstra, is Indian phenomenological aesthetics. Therefore, as an endeavour in cross-cultural thought on aesthetics, this work posits foundational comparative platform between Western and Indian aesthetics on the level of phenomenology of affective dynamics in aesthetic experience. One interlocutor, on the side of Indian aesthetics in this cross-cultural comparative dialogue is the text of Nāțya Śāstra along with its later commentators especially Abhinavagupta and Bhoja. On the side of Western aesthetics, the thesis finds footing in the ideas of Western phenomenologists, particularly those of Mikel Dufrenne in his work "The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience" (1973). The first argument presented in thesis is found in the fact that both aesthetic traditions prescribe different intentionality of the aesthetic object as opposite to the real object. Second argument shows how approach to affectivity in rasa theory is consistent with phenomenological method as explained by Husserl. The third argument for the thesis is found in the emphasis, in a specific focus on the varieties of affective embodiments proscribed for particular affective categories elaborated in rasa theory.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: aesthetics, phenomenology, rasa theory, Indian aesthetics, affective aesthetics, emotions, phenomenological aesthetics
Subjects: Ethnology and cultural anthropology
Departments: Department of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology
Supervisor: Čargonja, Hrvoje
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2019 12:06
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2019 12:06

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