Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Berger, Douglas


Aware, as generally conceived in Japanese aesthetics, refers to the felt content within a particular work of art that drives the aesthetic value of that work. In this thesis presents a theory of art that places aware as central to the aesthetic experience in the Japanese as derived from Shinto and Buddhist ontology, as well as the aesthetic theories of Motoori Norinaga. This theory is then contrasted with the aesthetic theory of Susanne K. Langer as presented in Philosophy in a New Key, Feeling and Form, and Problems of Art, to provide a full explication of what it means to have an aesthetic experience or create art in the Japanese context.




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