Tanehisa Otabe
University of Tokyo – Institute of Aesthetics


We have been experiencing an “aisthetic turn” of aesthetics which focuses neither on our artistic experience or creation, nor on the idea of beauty, but on the aisthesis’s role in our aesthetic appreciation, or rather on our aisthetetic consciousness of our being. The purpose of this paper is to revise the idea of “common sense” of Aristotle and Kant, aiming at reorganizing and reanimating their insights and thereby contributing to an “aisthetic turn” of aesthetics.
Based on commonly held beliefs, there are two strands in the idea of “common sense”: the Aristotelian idea of something intra-subjective that is common to the different senses in one individual and the Ciceronian idea of something inter-subjective that is common to different individuals. Kant’s concept of common sense is regarded as belonging to the second strand. In contrast to such beliefs, I argue as follows: first, that in Aristotle there is already a productive germ of the second vein and, second, that Kant’s aesthetics succeeds prominently Aristotelean concept of “common sense.”
What is at issue in the sensus communis in the broad sense is, therefore, our aisthetic consciousness of our own being or life. Put in a modern terminology, it is the aisthesis that guarantees the “feeling of realness” (Hannah Arendt) of ourselves and, therefore, also the world in which we live together with others.

an aisthetic turn of aesthetics, common sense, perception of perception, feeling of life, aesthetic consciousness, co-perception



SAJ Vol. 7, 2015, No. 1