Seminar: Hélène LEBLANC

14 December 2017

LLC Seminar


15.00 – 17.00


Aula Guzzo

via Po 18, Torino



Hélène LEBLANC (Université de Genève)


Beauty and meaning in Bolzano


Abstract. The experience of beauty — or ugliness — seems always to involve something inexpressible, some kind of residue that cannot be captured in words. Far from that almost mystical or romantic topos, Bernard Bolzano provides an esthetical objectivism that rejects such a metaphysics of art. In this paper, I intend to assess the way Bolzano conceives of the relation between beauty and meaning. I shall raise three main questions: 1) What does “defining beauty” amount to?; 2) Is beauty a univocal concept?; 3) Is the putative inexpressible moment of aesthetic experience real, or is it a mere fiction? My answers will have a certain anti-Kantian flavour, in combining scientific objectivism with meaning realism.