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Abstract

In this article, we want to show the relevance and importance of melancholy as an aesthetic emotion. Melancholy often plays a role in our encounters with art works, and it is also present in some of our aesthetic responses to the natural environment. Melancholy invites aesthetic considerations to come into play not only in well-defined aesthetic contexts but also in everyday situations that give reason for melancholy to arise. But the complexity of melancholy, the fact that it is fascinating in itself, suggests the further thought that it may be considered as an aesthetic emotion per se. To this end, we argue that it is the distinctive character of melancholy, its dual character and its differences from sadness and depression, which distinguishes it as an aesthetic emotion.

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