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  1. The concept of “aesthetic experience “was introduced in a narrow sense by John Dewey in his work” Art as Experience ” (1934). Dewey's concept is presented in any textbook of aesthetics: he saw aesthetic experience as a kind of argument that applies equally to objective reality and subjective reaction to it. At the same time, in continental philosophy, J. Bataille created the term “inner experience”, which is close to the concept of” aesthetic experience”: inner experience resembles mystical experience, but differs from it in methodical reflection. The best introduction to the understanding of aesthetic experience is Merab Mamardashvili's “Lectures on Proust”, usually published under the title “Psychological Topology of the Path” – only recently an expanded edition was published, close to the academic standards of publishing monuments of thought. Mamardashvili, relying on the images of Joyce's “epiphanies”, Proust's “instant experience”, and on the problematization of the concept of identity in Deleuze's philosophy, proved that aesthetic experience is a special instantaneous identity, when consciousness experiences itself not as reflection, but as life experiencing itself.

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