The complex relationship between life and the arts has always been a crucial topic in philosophical discourse. The essays in this book discuss fundamental issues of modern and contemporary aesthetics, drawing upon the work of the French philosopher Jean- Pierre Cometti, a key figure in the studies of aesthetics, pragmatism, and Austrian philosophy. The volume covers a wide-range of topics, from the examination of fundamental principles of art and literary criticism to a new understanding of the Modernist notion of art. It proposes an anthropological aesthetics using Musil’s The Man Without Qualities or the analysis of literary characters such as Tolstoj’s Hadji Murat and Cervantes’ Don Quixote as a tool to cast light on themes in Wittgenstein’s philosophy. Editors Carla Carmona and Jerrold Levinson have brought together renowned voices in the field of philosophy to offer a window onto Cometti’s philosophical work, as well as an in-depth analysis of contemporary artistic and aesthetic practices, in an effort to overcome what can sometimes appear as a gulf between art and life.

Carla Carmona is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Seville. She is specialized in the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, the nature of pictorial art, and the Weltanschauung of Egon Schiele and fin-de-siècle Vienna. She combines her research in philosophy with her artistic practice.

Jerrold Levinson is Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is particularly noted for his work on the aesthetics of music, the aesthetics of film, the definition of art, the ontology of artworks, emotions in response to art, the nature of literary interpretation, the theory of humour, and the basis of artistic value.