On Art and Selfhood lies at the intersection of existentialism and the philosophy of art. On the philosophy of art side, it addresses questions about why art matters and how we ought to appreciate it. On the existentialism side, it attends to questions pertaining to authenticity or authentic selfhood. That is to say, it focuses on issues and problems having to do with our personal identity or our sense of who we are. The goal of the book is to bring together these two topics in a productive manner by showing that works of art matter partly because they can help us with the project of selfhood. In other words, works of art are important in part because they can offer us much needed guidance and support as we try to figure out who we really are. To make the case for this thesis, On Art and Selfhood draws on the works of the Danish thinker, S ren Kierkegaard (1813-55). It mines his writings for insights regarding aesthetics and personal identity, and then uses these insights to contribute to current discussions of these topics. Thus, the book speaks not only to those with interests in contemporary analytic philosophy but also to those with interests in historical scholarship on Kierkegaard.
About the Author
Antony Aumann is associate professor of philosophy at Northern Michigan University.