- 美学 (ISSN:05200962)
- vol.68, no.2, pp.1, 2017 (Released:2019-01-02)
This paper aims to clarify characteristics of aesthetic experience of blind people.
Aesthetics has long treated the blind as people who have extraordinary ability of sense
of touch under the strong influence of Molyneux’s problem. As Derrida advocated, sense
of touch has played a fundamental role in the tradition of Western metaphysical thought
because it can grasp an essence directly without any interference of preconception. This
study questions this connection between blind people and sense of touch by conducting
The result of interview shows that blind people rather tend to avoid to touch objects
by hand so as to follow the code of conduct of sighted people. Instead, they like to use
another sense modality such as audition or sense of smell. Of course they sometimes
rely on sense of touch too, but the way of using it is completely different from what
aesthetics has expected to be.
This misunderstanding about blind people was strengthened because aesthetics has
referred to them only in the limited context and has paid little attention to their real life.
This paper argues the possibility of aesthetical approach to handicapped people and
evaluates its significance from the viewpoint of disability studies.