On wonder, appreciation, and the tremendous in Wittgenstein’s aesthetics

Ka Hung, Thomas TAM

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Wittgenstein's elliptical remark on ‘the tremendous things in art’ in his 1938 ‘Lectures on Aesthetics’ has given rise to different interpretations as to the place this idea has in his aesthetics. This paper examines the views of Peter Lewis and Benjamin Tilghman on this issue. Both of them build their interpretations on the assumption that Wittgenstein contrasts the response to the tremendous with appreciation. Such an assumption, however, leads to results inconsistent with Wittgenstein's basic conception of aesthetics. For Wittgenstein, aesthetic appreciation is not a formalistic activity, and one clear aspect of it is indeed well illustrated by the response to the tremendous.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-322
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2002


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