Jahrbuch für Geschichte der Literatur und Wissenschaften / Yearbook for the History of Literature, Humanities and Sciences
Ed. by Albrecht, Andrea / Danneberg, Lutz / Regn, Gerhard / Schmidt-Biggemann, Wilhelm / Vollhardt, Friedrich
Editorial Board: Mahlmann, Barbara / Epple, Moritz / Fick, Monika / Grafton, Anthony / Jaumann, Herbert / Klippel, Diethelm / Kühlmann, Wilhelm / Müller, Jan-Dirk / Nisbet, Hugh Barr / Proß, Wolfgang / Schönert, Jörg / Strohschneider, Peter
This article investigates the way in which the psychological »turn« of late 19th- and early 20th-century German aesthetics plays out in a wide-ranging discussion - and redefinition - of the classic paradox of tragic joy. In contrast to the understanding of catharsis as affective »discharge «, which has been introduced by 19th-century philologist Jacob Bernays, the proponents of turn-of-the-century psychological aesthetics develop new typologies of tragic feelings designed to distinguish between »pathological « and genuinely aesthetic forms of pleasure. This separation - according to which tragic affects like pity and fear are to be reconceived as merely simulated states of consciousness (Scheingefühle) - serves to negotiate a tension that arises from the two-fold aspiration of aligning aesthetics with the methodological standards of empirical psychology while maintaining its discoursive specificity as an academic discipline in its own right.