Wednesday 14.11.2018 14:00
Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics

IDEA Lecture with Ram Mall
Conceptualizing intercultural aesthetics with special regard to Indian aesthetics

This paper wants to delineate the important concept of interculturality as clearly as possible. It therefore suggests an alternative way of conceptualizing hermeneutics, avoiding hermeneutics of total identity and of radical difference. When applying the intercultural philosophical orientation, aesthetics inherits the ‘situated unsituatedness’ characteristic of the former. Such an intercultural aesthetics allows us not just to deal with the discipline of aesthetics in the comparison of culture, thereby illuminating basic similarities and telling differences between aesthetic traditions and theories, but also to ask anew for a human universal regarding aesthetic sensibility. Is there empirical–experiential–evidence for a universal aesthetic response? Can it be demonstrated in one specific aesthetic tradition? Using Indian aesthetics as an example, it should be discussed what kind of comparative approach, if any, can yield assumptions of universal cultural reach.

Prof. Dr. Ram Adhar Mall studied philosophy, psychology, and Indology at the universities of Calcutta, Göttingen, and Cologne. He taught at several universities in India and Germany (incl. Heidelberg, Munich, Jena) and was one of the founders and longstanding president of the Society for Intercultural Philosophy (GIP e.V.). Coming from English empiricism (esp. Hume) and German phenomenology (Husserl), his work pivots on the comparative study of religion and Intercultural Philosophy. Recently, he intensified his preoccupation with questions of aesthetics, its comparability and its universal human value, leading to publications like “India and Intercultural Aesthetics” (in Handbook of Phenomenological Aesthetics, ed. by H.R. Sepp/ L. Embree, Springer, 2010, 161-166) or “Aesthetics in an Intercultural Perspective. Towards the concept of an Intercultural Aesthetics” (in Komparative Ästhetik. Kunst und ästhetische Erfahrungen zwischen Asien und Europa, ed by R. Elberfeld/ G. Wohlfahrt, edition chora, 2001, 39-54). His maior publications include Die drei Geburtsorte der Philosophie: China, Indien, Europa (Bouvier 1989); Philosophie im Vergleich der Kulturen. Interkulturelle Philosophie – eine neue Orientierung (WBG 1995); and Indische Philosophie – vom Denkweg zum Lebensweg. Eine interkulturelle Perspektive (Alber 2012).

Please note that the talk will be held in English.

The IDEA Lectures (Interdisciplinary Debates on the Empirical Aesthetics of Music) aim at bringing together internationally well-known researchers who discuss questions that relate to the production and reception of music from various perspectives. Musicologists from all branches of their discipline take part as do musicians, psychologists, cognitive scientists, sociologists, philosophers and ethnologists.

External guests are welcome.
Please call for registration 069 8300 479-201.