With support from




Philosophy of Science and Aesthetics

Natalia Baeza

The central topic of this research line is the relationship that science and art have to truth, and therefore to knowledge. Up to the late 18th century, philosophical knowledge is generally taken to be more encompassing than both natural science and aesthetic experience, but all are seen as harmonious. In the 19th and 20th centuries, many important thinkers begin to argue that philosophy has to follow either the model of modern science or that of aesthetic experience, and that the two models are opposed. Continental European philosophers have tended to argue that art has a privileged relation to truth, while the scientific model of reason is only a matter of technique, whose primacy actually occludes the possibility of truth. Philosophers associated with the Anglo-American tradition, on the other hand, have usually argued that science is the paradigm of knowledge and art has only emotive value. Our aim is to clarify the central issue at the heart of this dispute. We propose that it lies in two different conceptions of truth: a notion of the correspondence between mind and reality (adequatio rei et intellectus) for the anglo-American tradition, and a dynamic model of the revelation of Being as disclosure (Unverborgenheit) for the continental tradition. By tracing the debate over the value of science and art back to its roots in divergent conceptions of truth, we aim to offer a diagnosis of the antagonism between science and aesthetics that characterizes contemporary thought, and to suggest new ways to think of the relation between art, science, and knowledge.