|Eino Krohn (1902 - 1987) is one of the most remarkable Finnish aestheticians and critics of art. His numerous academic works include aesthetic and theoretical treatises as well as studies in literature and drama.
As an aesthetician, Krohn relates to the antipositivistic trend of the beginning of the 20th century. He considered aesthetics as part of the general philosophy of values. Krohn's approach was mainly influenced by German phenomenology, especially by Maximilian Beck, on whose theories Krohn drew in his dissertation Objektivistinen estetiikka (Objectivistic Aesthetics 1935). Its main idea is that consciousness is autonomous in relation to everything grasped by it, and what is thus grasped exists outside the consciousness, transcendently and objectively. In stressing the irrationality of reality and the transcendent character of the final principles of existence, Krohn came to his definition of aesthetic experience. According to his definition, aesthetic experience is irrational, free from interests, and it contains the presence of reality.
According to Eino Krohn, works of art are symbols, leading us to realize beauty. Art is for him an inspirer of aesthetic orientation; the specific cultural task of aesthetic education is based on art. The experience of art makes one able to enjoy reality for its own sake. In freeing oneself from the bounds of standard perception, one is also released from a narrow and egoistic commitment to one's own self. In connection with this, Krohn thinks that literature is, above all, an internal struggle of the writer. The task of a critic is, on the other hand, to explicate how the many-layered symbol world of a work reflects its author's life. "Aesthetic emancipation" is concerned with the process of man's self-recognition, or with the enlargening of the "real" ego as carrier of superpersonal values. Expressed in Platonistic-romantic language, one makes contact with the all-encompassing idea which lies behind objects as the Real Being.