The category of ugliness accompanies theoretical deliberations since their inception, namely the birth of philosophy in ancient Greece. However, the understanding of ugliness was always related to the philosophical interpretation of beauty as the opposite thereof. This does not mean that ugliness was not already used in man-made artefacts since prehistoric times and during various stages of the development of human culture. Broadly understood deformation used as a means of conveying meaning appeared at the very start of human history. The female figurines with exaggerated shape of breasts and hips, likely meant to symbolize worship of a mother goddess, used by prehistoric agrarian cultists, are a clear representation of such practices. An excellent example of that is the well-known Venus of Willendorf from the Upper Palaeolithic. Neolithic paintings also provide multiple specimens of deformation, whereas several years later the art of the ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Sumer and Assyria delivers further such pieces. Significant examples of using deformation during Christian times are icons, as well as medieval art, Mannerism, Romanticism, or Post-Impressionism and Expressionism. It is also present in art of cultures isolated from European influences, such as Pre-Columbian American art, art of Oceania and Australia, as well as that of the less distant Central and South African nations.

After the times of idealistic philosophical narrations, especially the idealism of A. G. Baumgarten and I. Kant, and the introduction by the former of aesthetics into the realm of philosophy we can observe a sudden rise in using ugliness as a means of artistic expression. The culmination of the process was the creation of turpism in European art (Lat. turpis ‘ugly’), which served as anti-aestheticism and certain reverence towards ugliness[1]. Based on this spectacular success, some theorists asked a paradoxical question “is ugliness not the beauty of our times?”[2], concluding that the beauty of our times is different than those of the ancient Greeks if for no other reason that “the contemporary man does not live in harmony with the world because too many conflicting tendencies enter his consciousness, enforcing a vision of imperfect things which are full of chaos”[3]. However, in order to respond to such narrations and better understand the nature of the process in which ugliness became an “independent” philosophical category and as a result also an artistic category, it is necessary to reach deeper into its course.

In ancient Greece beauty belonged to a broader idea of cosmological character, namely to order which was the antithesis of chaos. A precise and brief description of the Greek perspective on the matter was provided by Władysław Tatarkiewicz, who wrote: “only what is calculable, regular, clear and encompasses order, only that was perceptible to a man according to Greeks and only the perceptible was regarded as good and beautiful. Therefore, only the organised, the regular and the limited were considered sensible, good and beautiful. What was irregular and unrestrained was seen by them as chaos, the elusive, the irrational and could be neither good nor beautiful”[4]. Beauty (gr. kalós, łac. pulchritudo, pulchrum) was therefore understood as “analogously understood property of reality, human creations including art, and also as human behaviour expressed in the tradition of Western culture as harmony, perfection or radiance, which are delightful to watch”[5]. This ultimate generalisation which accentuates the classical and realistic philosophical perspective has to be followed by the indication of differences between the Greek interpretation thereof and by modern era philosophy which was built upon idealistic philosophy in which even today “beauty is associated with art, sensual perception and feelings. The Greek deliberations on beauty did not bring art pieces to the forefront but the reality (cosmos) and morality (kalokagathos). The first theories of beauty were not unambiguous but were meant to include its analogous, even transcendental aspect”[6]. Therefore, in this perspective of unambiguous explanation of beauty it is necessary to make note of the key moment in which the ugliness gained its philosophical (and as a consequence also artistic) identity and significance.

Before this reinterpretation in the field of classical opposition of ugliness against beauty came to be, it would have been necessary for ugliness to belong to the chaotic, the elusive, the irrational and ultimately also the evil. Therefore, the rational aspect, cognitive and logical, was associated with the aesthetic aspect, according to Greek philosophers. That fact was the consequence of analogous perception of reality in all philosophical narratives in ancient Greece, from Heraclitus to Socrates, from Plato to Aristotle. For many centuries a particularly momentous and influential system for the European tradition was the Aristotle’s system, which was realistic yet metaphysical[7] in its method of analogous recognition of being. Within that system, a recognised being is regarded within the order of perception as rational or real, and cognitively tangible via the transcendentals, which stand for objective properties of beings. “These properties uncover various aspects of individual beings’ existence, and therefore the reality as a whole, thus providing a key to understanding the nature of real objects”[8]. Within the framework of transcendentals we discover the being (ens) which contains essence and existence[9], therefore the most basic and crucial properties of real objects. The being is formulated by us as an object (res) in the sense of the existence of the essence and through that essence, determining the rule of identity, whereas as one (unum) the being is formulated as non-contradictory. Transcendental of separateness (aliquid) lets us perceive an object in the aspect of independence and individuality of its real existence. Transcendental of truth (verum), in turn allows us to understand that as a derivative of intellect (of the Creator or author) real objects are always carriers of truth, while through the transcendental of good (bonum) we understand that real beings are carriers of good as derivatives in existence from the will (of the Creator or author). The transcendental of beauty (pulchrum), which is of particular importance to these deliberations, presents real objects to us as a synthesis of truth and good, which means it uncovers a necessary link of real objects with intellect and will (of the Creator or author), constituting an expression of the perfection of the existence of real objects[10].

Metaphysical beauty of real objects therefore manifests itself in perfection as a product of intellect and will and at the same time in the commitment to perception and love. As highlighted by Piotr Jaroszyński: “because good formally contains only a connection of being with love, whereas truth – only with perception, it is beauty, which constitutes a certain synthesis of truth and good, that expresses the assignment of being to a person as unity and therefore the connection of being with love and perception”[11]. This means beauty engages both our love and our perception. Although in relation to a man such an attribute is not a necessity, the relationship is necessary in relation to the Absolute. Therefore, the expression “ugliness is not a being but an aspectual non-existence manifesting as an absence of beauty and not as an independent phenomenon. It is not a specification of transcendental beauty”[12] has to be understood from that perspective. This is why we talk about the metaphysical character of ugliness in perspective of the absence of being and, in turn, “identification whether a being contains the absence can only be done according to the idea of the nature of a given being. In case of human perception such an idea constitutes a notion conceived as a result of spontaneous or scientific perception. In the metaphysical aspect, the ultimate perspective can only be the one regarding ideas possessed by the Absolute in every being. Incompatibility of the idea with a given being in the aspect of integrating parts or the perfection of them is in fact understood as metaphysical ugliness. Because beauty constitutes a certain synthesis of truth and good, ugliness has to constitute a synthesis of falsehood and evil. Therefore, the ontic absence of the rightful part expresses the ugliness”[13].

Such metaphysical framing of ugliness has to be therefore referred to the issues of art which the Greeks also understood analogously. Art (grk. techne, lat. ars) was therefore understood as a rule of proper creation of intentional works, more precisely as a permanent disposition (virtue) of practical intellect to the act of creation which complies with the rules of a given forms of art[14]. Plato understood art in perspective of the creation skill, excluding poetry from that interpretation[15], which he understood not as art but as elevated rage and the result of inspiration which is irrational by nature and possessing a prophetic aspect[16]. Such broad understanding of art required internal subdivision. The differentiation usually performed a function of adopted overriding systemic decisions, however, regardless of the formation of internal subdivision of art, from the metaphysical perspective in classical philosophy it was approached from three perspectives mentioned at the very beginning: rational, ethical and artistic. These criteria were discerned by their significance. Whereas a certain discrepancy with reason and contradiction of an art piece was regarded as a relative and secondary flaw, the aesthetic criterion involving an offence against the rules of art was seen as unconditional and primary. The interpretation of the rules of art was therefore crucial, which consecutively relied on the tradition of a specific artistic form. Without the knowledge and practical application of a specific workshop tradition it is impossible to create art pieces. The knowledge of said tradition also allows the formulation of sensible statements regarding a specific piece as a work of a specific art form. It seems intentional that the reservation stating that the aesthetic order is grounded in the rationality of the rules of a specific art form and therefore the rejection of rationality by a work in a sense encompassed also the aesthetic aspect. Therefore, it was assumed as obvious that “in every creative process the creator seeks an intellectual norm-criterion for organisation of essence”[17] and that “the norm-criterion is of intellectual nature because under the influence of reason and through reason the creative essence is organised” as “an element of visio (intellectual vision), as it was recognised for centuries”[18], then the deviation from that norm constituted a radical disqualification of the artistry of a given piece. In this context, the ugliness of a work of art manifested as a fundamental departure from reason and rationality of art.

In the aesthetic sense Greeks regarded ugliness primarily as a deviation from measure, therefore Plato wrote in Sophist: “(…) ugliness seems nothing else but a certain absence of measure which is the contradiction of shape”[19], and in Timaeus: “that what is beautiful cannot exist without measure”[20]. What needs to be remembered is that the aesthetic aspect was closely associated the with ethical aspect, as well as the rational aspect (truth), therefore Socrates in his Philebus dialogue said: “ultimately maintaining measure and proportionality is the same as beauty and bravery”[21], adding: “(…) if we cannot represent the good with one form, let us take three forms: beauty, proportionality and truth”[22]. The theoretical representation of beauty, and by contrast also ugliness, was clarified in Aristotle’s idea, who wrote in Rhetoric that: “beauty is what deserves renown because it is worth choosing by itself or that which while being good is pleasant through that which is good”[23]. Also worth adding here, is an accurate observation of Władysław Tatarkiewicz, who wrote in Historia estetyki that “(…) Aristotle’s definition responded to the common Greek interpretation of beauty; but in terms of beauty he did the same as in relation to arts: he turned imagination into an idea, intuitively replaced the depiction with a definition. The idea was defined in such a way that it remained traditionally Greek, which means it is more general than a modern one. It encompassed aesthetic beauty but was not limited to it. Therefore, Aristotle’s definition does not mention the appearance or form but only the value and inclination. The thought of Aristotle can be presented in the following way: all beauty is good, but not all good is beauty; all beauty is pleasure, but not all pleasure is beauty; beauty is only what is both good and pleasure”[24]. This condition will be very useful for deeper understanding of modern conceptualisation of ugliness.

Further development of philosophical ideas encompassing the issue of beauty, and as a consequence, also ugliness can be described in short by stating that during the medieval period a certain conclusion of the classical philosophical tradition took place in that regard. The development of said tradition, the beginning of which reaches Greek times, most notably Plato and Aristotle, was being implemented the deepest in neoplatonic idea of Plotinus, and through the philosophy of Augustine stemming from this tradition reached the peak in the refined formula of medieval philosophy formulated by Thomas Aquinas[25]. In relation to beauty, the key merit of Thomas Aquinas was the brief and concise description of the previous conception within the so called objective definition of beauty[26], which he described in the following way: “(…) to the notion of beauty, namely that what it encompasses belong brightness and right proportion”, and supplemented by a thought regarding conceptualisation of beauty from the viewpoint of the subject formulated by Basil of Caesarea[27] and giving it a form of a definition: “beauty is what is to one’s liking when seen”[28]. Summing up the continuity of this tradition, Tatarkiewicz wrote: “the certain aesthetic viewpoint was started by Pythagoreans, then it was codified by Aristotle, metaphysically defined by Plato and finalised by Plotinus. In medieval aesthetics two groups of theorems remained. Augustine's theorem on the aesthetic experience or Thomas’s definition of beauty belonged to the first one, whereas the entire conception of beauty by Pseudo-Dionysius to the second”[29].

To close this stage of considerations and referring to, invoking the law of inversion, to the classical speculative conceptualisation of ugliness we can write that it was formulated thanks to continuous deepening of reflection differentiating between rational, ethical and aesthetic aspects. The rationality was revealed in the order of creating the work, which is the compliance with the laws of a specific art, which encompassed, apart from the technical aspect within the relationship with harmony and measure, the aesthetic dimension, manifested also in the order of the work’s idea. Ugliness was therefore an affront against the rules of art, including measure and harmony, as well as the rationality of the work. In turn the ethical dimension which reveals itself mostly in the metaphysical perspective of the analysis of being as a derivative of will/love of the Absolute, allowed to see that ugliness is the absence of beauty, analogously to the description of evil as the absence of good. Further analyses allowed the observation that ugliness as the opposite of beauty is both evil and unpleasant, but also as a consequence that although all ugliness is evil, not all evil is ugliness and although all ugliness is unpleasant not all absence of pleasure is evil. Thanks to such metaphysical analysis, a perception of ugliness as the absence of beauty was being developed along with the notion of the so called paradox of ugliness, which became the foundation of the modern manner of conceptualising it. In this paradox, already partially conceptualised by ancient Greeks[30] or in the idea of innate human imitation[31], or in catharsis[32] category, it is about the “explanation how it happens that in a certain way beauty always has to go beyond ugliness, which is understood objectively and relativistically, that it always absorbs it somehow and that ugliness cannot manifest itself independently. In spite of unpleasant sensations, we find something to our liking while observing”[33]. It would seem that the problem of the so called paradox of ugliness was overcome in modernity thanks to the theoretical radicalism, rejecting the universals developed in classical philosophy, in the nominalistic philosophy of William Ockham, clearing the path for modern empiricism[34].

The close renaissance association of beauty and art constituted an important step on the road to reinterpretation and narrowing down of the definition of beauty[35], however, a radical change in the way it was understood, which also included ugliness and all other terms used to describe the issues of art came only as late as in the 18th century. A significant event was the introduction of the term ‘aesthetics’ itself, though the true breakthrough was the isolation of aesthetics as a category of philosophy. The work of a German philosopher, A. G. Baumgarten, titled Aesthetica had a critical significance in that respect. That is where he dubbed the science about knowledge derived via senses as aesthetics and described its theoretical framework, though the key theoretical decisions were formulated by another German thinker, Immanuel Kant. He acknowledged that all opinions on beauty are individual opinions and that “all theorems on beauty are merely inductive generalisations of individual theorems and as every such generalisation they may prove false”[36]. According to the law of inversion the same applies to the opposite of beauty, which is ugliness, even more so because the subjectivist viewpoint allowed the beauty to be reduced to one of art categories as a category of equal rights to ugliness[37]. This subjective theoretical stance does not exclude the search for objective and common elements of these categories, however, their basis was sought out most intensely through the analysis of the psychological ground of aesthetic phenomena.

In this perspective, among other positively conceptualised aesthetic values[38], ugliness appeared as a “sharp aesthetic value”[39] and as such it was given artistic notability. Its foundation was based on the thought that “through the introduction of ugliness into the world of art a possibility of broader presentation of the world was obtained, greater possibility of expressing the problems involving the human world”[40]. Theorists indicated the use of ugliness for highlighting the gravity of the appeal of beauty as well as for indication that “beautiful things bear ugliness in their core”[41], for emphasising expression. They also noted that “ugliness excites, disturbs internal peace, breaks conventions and stereotypes (…) also awakens the reflex of disgust”[42], however, sublimed and irrelevant to association of extra-artistic nature becomes an object of an aesthetic experience[43]. Mieczysław Wallis conducted a differentiation in that regard into aesthetically ugly and non-aesthetically ugly items, describing the latter as unsightly[44]. Into the first group he included expressive and grotesque items, concluding that aesthetically ugly items can evoke aesthetic contentment when they express something and when “through their uniqueness, their deviation from norm they affect our fantasy with great force”[45]. As aesthetically unsightly items he regarded those which consistently inspire our disgust, and among them he also listed failed, poor and misguided works of art[46]. Antoni B. Stępień, in turn, believed that ugliness is found in items which are aesthetically neutral, aesthetically negative, artistically ineffective or aesthetically positive, which are considered one of aesthetic values[47], at the same time he doubted the possibility of obtaining inter-subjective knowledge about an aesthetic object[48]. Maria Gołaszewska noted that ugliness can be considered one of variants of beauty which are more in opposition to what is pretty rather than what is beautiful[49], at the same time pointing to the dialectic of values[50]. Another Polish aesthetician, Roman Ingarden, differentiated between primary aesthetic values, which are special qualifications of well composed and harmonised items[51], and “artistic” values. He recognised that “aesthetic values do not exist in the same way as real items, that they are most likely qualifications or a special superstructure of purely intentional items whose foundation of being is the highest among certain real items”[52]. He placed ugliness/unsightliness next to beauty, but also truth and false, in a group of special cultural values[53].

Regardless of the presented theoretical decisions challenging the classical objectivist conceptualisation of the issue of beauty and art from the subjectivist perspective, ugliness as an independent aesthetic value, analysed also from the psychological perspective has never effectively exceeded kallotropism[54], which is the original form of aesthetic sensitivity which humans possess by nature. And although artists eagerly and notoriously utilised the expressive force of ugliness, especially since the beginning of the 20th century, it was always with the intention of revealing the depth of beauty, highlighting the aforementioned paradox of ugliness. It was already discovered by ancient philosophers, it was understood also by Thomas Aquineas who said that the beauty of a work of art is always stated when it depicts a certain item in perfect sense, even when the item is ugly[55].

In that situation, radically breaking the boundaries of aesthetics and a certain sense of the paradox of ugliness required equally radical reinterpretation of the theory of art and drawing definitive theoretical conclusions from relativism and subjectivism, which constituted the foundation of the idealistic revolution in aesthetics as a separate category of philosophy. Contemporary theorists and artists representing extreme avant garde movements, namely anti-art, campaigned for breaking the boundaries of kallotropism and abandoning the misleading and societally reactive notions of aesthetic values[56]. Such anti-aesthetics pointed to the political character of art and recognised freedom as its essential value[57]. In art understood that way, freedom absorbs all other criteria and aesthetic values and also has to enter “the zone of philosophical anthropology alongside the question of responsibility which is inseparable from the issue of freedom”[58], at the same time depending on the competences of ethics and leading to the necessary conclusion that “artists are responsible for their own art as artists and as people”[59]. As a result anti-art absorbs also the classically understood goal of art and its selfless character. In this perspective, art therefore is not a permanent disposition (virtue) of practical reason for creation in compliance with the rules of a certain art but a discretionary activity, the goal of which is the manifestation of freedom from all conditions[60]. In order for activism interpreted that way to uncover its essence, which is its anarchic vector, it has to appear as anti-art[61] and anti-culture[62] in relation to the existing culture and art, and as strictly political activity. Ultimately this political activism of anti-art has to challenge the classical belief expressed by Thomas Aquineas that “it is not required of art that the artist is moral but that he creates good works”[63]. Anti-artists became subjugated to a reverse rule: they have to act in accordance with the assumed ideological norm, which places absolute freedom in its centre and it is completely unimportant what act/activity/artistic work is used to manifest that freedom[64]. The paradox of anti-art is even deeper due to the fact that manifestation can be done only through the use the existing institutions of culture, because without them the acts of anti-art would dissolve in all other human acts involving the rejection of various existing norms[65].

In this perspective ugliness manifests itself as permanently defeated ultimate remnant with aesthetic character in works/activities of anti-art. In this situation ugliness as an extreme negative qualification constitutes a basis for the work of anti-art, conditioning any type of graspability (sensual and speculative) in the area of human culture. And regardless of theoretical and practical intentions, it shows the aforementioned paradox of ugliness with full power, which involves its complete dependence on beauty regarded as perfection. Ugliness therefore reveals itself as an existential absence across the entirety of this issue, as well as, in perspective of values, as a certain aesthetic minimum of anti-art items. It does not mean that ugliness gains its autonomy that way, it becomes only a function of freedom as essential value of anti-art, its aesthetic equivalent and as such it becomes an expression of anarchy. Discernible in this perspective it provides a problem of moral nature, being a foundation of the degeneration of culture as an expression of anti-culture. Meanwhile, as duly noted by Henryk Kiereś, “the glory of art are masterpieces not anti-pieces but the presence of the latter in culture puts us before a problem of the boundaries of human activity in art”[66], we therefore cannot forget that “naive acceptance of all cultural facts leads from necessity to a certain form of ontological determinism and anthropological fatalism, while the culture and civilisations are being poisoned with absurd and driven into crisis”[67].

To sum up our reflections indicating various perspectives of speculative views on ugliness, we can highlight that everything that exists and can be perceived sensually, including the ugly, constitutes an object of perception and as such points to truth, good and beauty as analogously conceptualised properties of its existence and characterised as ugly it can be regarded as an absence thereof in respect of these properties, in particular as the absence of beauty. In fact, ugliness can never possess an existential, metaphysically perceptible separateness other than absence, also as an aesthetic value it ultimately points to its own counterpart and it depends on that to manifest its expression in the so called paradox of ugliness. This fact was already pointed out by ancient and medieval thinkers, it was also intuitively grasped by artists who instrumentally used ugliness as a tool for intensification of the artistic beauty of a work. In the process of subjectivisation and aesthetisation, ugliness gained only speculative separateness, while in anti-art it was paired with freedom as a supreme value. Therefore, neither the aesthetic value in contemporary art, which was understood even by turpists who proclaimed a certain cult of ugliness[68], nor through anti-art did ugliness gain full metaphysical or ontological autonomy[69]. “(…) Just as on the side of the object there is no absolute ugliness, absolute irregularity, etc., on the side of the subject, the recipient, we encounter the exceptional contrariness, which directed towards good at its foundation cannot pause before a purely negative feeling. (…) Even if the ugly drives us to disgust or other type of feeling, at the same time it has to be to our liking”[70]. All in all, the ugliness is always dependent on beauty and only in its light does it ultimately reveal its imperfect nature.

Janusz Janowski

Polski malarz, teoretyk i historyk sztuki, kurator, muzyk jazzowy, doktor nauk humanistycznych w zakresie nauk o sztuce, członek Polskiego Towarzystwa Filozoficznego, dyrektor Narodowej Galerii Sztuki Zachęta (2022-2026).

[1] P. Jaroszyński, Spór o piękno, Kraków 2002, p. 258.

[2] M. Gołaszewska, Zarys estetyki, Warsaw 1984, p. 352.

[3] Ibid., p. 352.

[4] W. Tatarkiewicz, Historia estetyki, Warsaw 2009, vol. I, p. 100.

[5] P. Jaroszyński, Piękno, [in:] Powszechna Encyklopedia Filozofii, ed. A. Maryniarczyk, Lublin 2007, vol. 8, p. 199.

[6] Ibid., p. 199.

[7] The name ‘metaphysics’ was introduced into philosophical language as a hint of librarian character by Andronicus of Rhodes (approx 50 B.C.) “who gave the name to the collection of fourteen books of Aristotle while organising and publishing them, which discussed general concepts of philosophy (about ‘what is’ – the substance, about the law of non-contradiction, about unity, causes, ideas, God), as a result of cataloguing them after the books on Physics. This description he provided was meant to signify works that come after physical publications” (M. Krąpiec, A. Maryniarczyk, Metafizyka, [in:] Powszechna Encyklopedia Filozofii, Lublin 2006, vol. 7, pp. 102–116).

[8] A. Maryniarczyk, Człowiek wobec świata, Lublin 2009, p. 89.

[9] The concept of existence as an act of being was introduced into metaphysical realism by St. Thomas Aquinas, releasing the metaphysical system of Aristotle from insurmountable aporia.

[10] See M. Krąpiec, Metafizyka, Lublin 1978; A. Maryniarczyk, op. cit., Lublin 2009.

[11] P. Jaroszyński, op. cit., Spór…, p. 259.

[12] Ibid., p. 261.

[13] Ibid., p. 260.

[14] H. Kiereś, Sztuka, [in:] Powszechna Encyklopedia Filozofii, Lublin 2008, vol. 9, p. 310; See. idem, Filozofia sztuki, Lublin 2020, pp. 111–141.

[15] W. Tatarkiewicz, op. cit., pp. 140–141.

[16] That was how he laid the foundation for classical opposition of craft/art and inspiration/elevated rage. Also worth noting here, is the influence of Plato’s understanding of poetry on romantic and as a consequence contemporary understanding of art.

[17] M. A. Krąpiec, Człowiek i kultura, Lublin 2008, pp. 194–195.

[18] Ibid., p. 195.

[19] Quoted after: W. Tatarkiewicz, op. cit., p. 151.

[20] Plato, Timaios, [in:] idem, Dialogi, translation W. Witwicki, vol. II, p. 738.

[21] Plato, Timaios, [in:] idem, Dialogi, translation W. Witwicki, vol. II, p. 651.

[22] Ibid., p. 651.

[23] Quoted after: W. Tatarkiewicz, op. cit., p. 189.

[24] Ibid., p. 176.

[25] See. Ibid, pp. 310–323; M. A. Krąpiec, op. cit., Człowiek…, pp. 202–208

[26] Compare W. Tatarkiewicz, op. cit., pp. 180–182.

[27] In this context it is necessary to revisit Aristotle’s observations regarding the aesthetic experience, the explanation of which was provided by him in Ethics: see Ibid, pp. 179–180.

[28] Quoted after: M. A. Krąpiec, op. cit., Człowiek…, p. 195.

[29] W. Tatarkiewicz, Historia estetyki, Warsaw 2009, vol. II, pp. 322–323.

[30] M. Wallis, Przeżycie i wartość, Kraków 1968, pp. 278–279.

[31] P. Jaroszyński, op. cit., Spór…, p. 263.

[32] The primary necessity is to have precise understanding the stance of Aristotle regarding the category of catharsis, who “among imitative arts isolated a group of cathartic ones. It included poetry, music, dance; visual arts constituted another group” (W. Tatarkiewicz, op. cit., vol. I, p. 172). Such understanding of the category of catharsis allowed to conceptualise the so called paradox of ugliness in perspective of cathartic goal of art; Compare M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., pp. 361–364.

[33] P. Jaroszyński, op. cit., Spór…, p. 262.

[34] E. Gilson, Historia filozofii chrześcijańskiej w wiekach średnich, Warsaw 1987, p. 443.

[35] H. Kiereś, Człowiek i sztuka, Lublin 2006, pp. 44–45.

[36] W. Tatarkiewicz, O filozofii i sztuce, Warsaw 1986, p. 199.

[37] M. Wallis, op. cit., pp. 270–284; M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., pp. 361–364.

[38] See M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., pp. 354–372

[39] A. B. Stępień, Propedeutyka estetyki, Lublin 1986, p. 30.

[40] M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., p. 361.

[41] M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., p. 361.

[42] M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., p. 361.

[43] M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., p. 362.

[44] M. Wallis, op. cit., p. 270.

[45] Ibid., p. 283.

[46] Ibid., p. 270.

[47] A. B. Stępień, op. cit., p. 30.

[48] Ibid., p. 124.

[49] M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., p. 362.

[50] M. Gołaszewska, Świadomość piękna, Warsaw 1970, p. 461.

[51] R. Ingarden, Studia z estetyki, Warsaw 1970, vol. III, p. 218.

[52] Ibid., p. 218.

[53] Ibid., p. 218.

[54] M. Gołaszewska, op. cit., Świadomość…, pp. 244–253.

[55] See H. Kiereś, op. cit., Człowiek…, p. 53.

[56] Ibid., p. 46.

[57] H, Kiereś, op. cit., Filozofia…, p. 263; Idem, op. cit., Człowiek…, p. 46.

[58] H, Kiereś, op. cit., Filozofia…, p. 263.

[59] Ibid., p. 270.

[60] Ibid., p. 263.

[61] Ibid., p. 263.

[62] Ibid., p. 259.

[63] Quoted after: H, Kiereś, op. cit., Filozofia…, p. 269.

[64] See Ibid, p. 294.

[65] Ibid, pp. 263–268.

[66] Ibid., p. 263.

[67] Ibid., p. 294.

[68] Stanisław Grochowiak in his article titled Turpizm - realizm - mistycyzm wrote: Turpists – as well as I understand us, turpists, even in the most extreme act of rebellion (whether it is against life or literary tradition) ultimately express an affirmative stance” (see Współczesność, 1963/2:

[69] P. Jaroszyński, op. cit., Spór…, p. 270.

[70] Ibid., p. 269

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