Arnheim, Gestalt and Media

An Ontological Theory

  • Ian Verstegen

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Philosophy book series (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Ian Verstegen
    Pages 1-14
  3. Ian Verstegen
    Pages 15-30
  4. Ian Verstegen
    Pages 31-43
  5. Ian Verstegen
    Pages 45-61
  6. Ian Verstegen
    Pages 79-92
  7. Ian Verstegen
    Pages 93-112
  8. Ian Verstegen
    Pages 113-131
  9. Ian Verstegen
    Pages 133-136

About this book


This monograph presents a synthesis and reconstruction of Rudolf Arnheim’s theory of media. Combining both Arnheim’s well-known writings on film and radio with his later work on the psychology of art, the author presents a coherent approach to the problem of the nature of a medium, space and time, and the differentia between different media. The latent ontological commitments of Arnheim’s theories is drawn out by affirming Arnheim’s membership in the Brentano school of Austrian philosophy, which allows his theories to be clarified and strengthened, particularly with the metaphysical writings of Roman Ingarden. The resulting theory is relational, portraying essential medial differences with neutral criteria and allowing for a rigorous definition of a medium. The way in which a medium is based on the inherent dispositions of medial materials creates a highly appealing theory that is determinate without being deterministic. The theory is thus highly timely as people in media studies seek to address the determinate nature of media after the post-medium condition. The book will appeal to researchers and graduate students in cultural and media studies as well as architecture and design.


Roman Ingarden Rudolf Arnheim Two Elementary Classes of Aesthetic Objects Defining Difference in Media Media Ontology What is a Medium Spatial and Temporal Modalities Ontology of the Individual Media Artistic Composites Medial Differentiation Ontology of Renaissance Realism 20th Century Animation and the Concretization of Make-Believe Presence and Virtual Reality

Authors and affiliations

  • Ian Verstegen
    • 1
  1. 1.Visual StudiesUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information