Jean-Paul RIOPELLE, L'hommage à Rosa Luxemburg, 1992 (détail) [ * ]

Preface / Liminaire


The Canadian Society for Aesthetics / La Société Canadienne d'Esthétique is pleased to present the second issue of its new electronic journal, AE.

Roughly one year ago the Society presented its inaugural issue. Thanks to the efforts of Suzanne Foisy and Roger Seamon, contributors included Anne Cauquelin writing on "L'esthétique au risque des  technimages ", Francois-Marc Gagnon on "Les écritures de Riopelle", Melvin Charney writing on his current work, Arthur Danto's "Works in Progress: Art and the Historical Modalities", Joseph Margolis on "Radical Changes in Aesthetics", Wolfgang Welsch's "Mein Weg in der Aesthetik" and Gregory Currie on "Art, the Mind, and the Brain".

The entire issue together with information about the Society's annual conference program was made available on the Internet.

For this second issue we decided to invite contributions from a number of philosophers working outside North America in the philosophy of art and aesthetics. Although several invited colleagues were not able to participate this time, we were particularly pleased to receive in time contributions from a larger number than we had at first anticipated.

One persistent problem of course has been to organize these contributions into some kind of unified whole. Despite the proposed general title of this special issue, however, the rich variety of viewpoints represented by colleagues from such disparate intellectual and artistic contexts as St-Petersbourg, Seoul, Heidelberg, Buenos Aires, Haifa, Helsinki, Paris, Ljubliana, Siena, Gießen, Montréal, and elsewhere suggested the simple expedient of running these articles in alphabetical sequence only. Thus no attempt has been made to impose on these papers any other kind of unity than what their contents disclose.

Accordingly, this second issue of AE includes papers on widely different topics. Several papers focus on literary aesthetics, several others on questions about painting and images, still others about symbol systems, and another paper takes up questions about architecture and the sublime. There are papers as well on such joint themes as the problematic correlations between aesthetics and ethics and between aesthetics and hermeneutics.

The result, we think, is a limited but nonetheless strikingly thoughtful inventory of current reflection on traditional as well as contemporary philosophical questions about art and aesthetics not just in Canada and North America but throughout the world today. As such, we very much hope that this collection of quite recent pieces might serve all of our interests well in preparing for the next international congress in Aesthetics to be held in Ljubliana in early September 1998. On that occasion many of us might have a chance to meet several of the contributors to this issue of AE personally and surprise them with a question or two about some of their most recent work.

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