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What is the American Sublime? Ruminations on Peircian Phenomenology and the Paintings of Barnett Newman

What is the American Sublime? Ruminations on Peircian Phenomenology and the Paintings of Barnett... I argue that a fruitful approach to exploring the significance of the abstract expressionist Barnett Newman’s body of work, understood as as an attempt to “paint the sublime,” is by appeal to Peircian phenomenology and the conception of “originativity” that it entails. By attending, in particular, to Peirce’s conception of “the firstness of thirdness,” I show how this “reasonable feeling” both signifies our “affinity” with the world with which we transact and, with specific respect to what happens when looking at Newman’s paintings, explains why we are spurred to reflect upon the meaning of these experiences. In this way, “the firstness of thirdness” accounts for our recognition of a form of reasonableness that exceeds that exhibited in ordinary conceptualization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

What is the American Sublime? Ruminations on Peircian Phenomenology and the Paintings of Barnett Newman

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 16 (1): 10 – Feb 22, 2019

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-0161121
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I argue that a fruitful approach to exploring the significance of the abstract expressionist Barnett Newman’s body of work, understood as as an attempt to “paint the sublime,” is by appeal to Peircian phenomenology and the conception of “originativity” that it entails. By attending, in particular, to Peirce’s conception of “the firstness of thirdness,” I show how this “reasonable feeling” both signifies our “affinity” with the world with which we transact and, with specific respect to what happens when looking at Newman’s paintings, explains why we are spurred to reflect upon the meaning of these experiences. In this way, “the firstness of thirdness” accounts for our recognition of a form of reasonableness that exceeds that exhibited in ordinary conceptualization.

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Feb 22, 2019

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