Reconsidering Ingarden’s Contribution to European Aesthetics: Aesthetic Experience and the Concept of Encounter

Małgorzata Anna Szyszkowska


Entering the discussion about European Aesthetic traditions, their aspirations and achievements, their metamorphosis and developments, author argues in favor of acknowledging the importance of what in her opinion should be seen as milestone in Polish tradition of aesthetics. One such important element of European Aesthetic tradition that author wishes to acknowledge is the phenomenological aesthetics developed by Roman Ingarden (1893-1970) in the 30-ties and especially two concepts which best show lasting power of Ingraden’s contributions. Author describes the concept of aesthetic experience used by Ingarden in his lectures on aesthetics (Ingarden, 1958-70) and its persuasive application to the field of music and literature. She suggests that its meaning deserves to be further explained and appreciated. It is argued that contemporary cognitive theories of aesthetic experience come very close to what Ingarden discovered and outlined in this writings without ever acknowledging preceding examples of complex approaches to aesthetics experience. Author suggests that one more concept from Ingarden’s aesthetics should be appreciated. It is the concept of aesthetic encounterbetween author, performer and the listener/recipient (spotkanie) that Ingarden tried to introduce as the important category for aesthetic research. These concepts where meant to be discussed and researched across different areas. Underling the differences and developments within European aesthetics in the last century author stresses the achievements and aspirations of axiologically orientated aesthetic theory of Ingarden and purports to affirm its lasting contribution to the European tradition.


Roman Ingarden; aesthetic experience; aesthetic meeting; Polish school of aesthetics; phenomenological aesthetics

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ESPES. The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics (ISSN 1339-1119) is published biannually by Faculty of Arts, University of Presov, Slovakia and the Society for Aesthetics in Slovakia

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