chapter  4
47 Pages

Luxury

A special aesthetic experience
WithLambert Wiesing

Souvenirs, gifts and luxury goods have two ontological characteristics: first, they are what they are for a certain person at a certain time, and second, no one can tell by looking at them that they are what they are. An object becomes luxury for the time it is experienced by someone in a special aesthetic way that intensifies his sense of himself as human. So luxury announces itself in the context of someone perceiving something as luxury. What happens next is as follows, the first step is to explain what is special about an aesthetic experience as such, then to describe, in a second step, why luxury constitutes a special form of what is already special in any case—aesthetic experience. What is different with respect to ordinary experience is, first, that aesthetic experience is operationally oriented and second, that it is self-referential.