Philosophy and Aesthetic Psychology
This conference was the culmination of a research project, the general aim of which was to delineate the concerns and tasks of aesthetic psychology conceived as a branch of philosophical aesthetics.
More specifically, it set out to examine questions to do with aesthetic perception, representation, emotion, and cognition as explored in other disciplines (including psychology; cognitive science; anthropology) in order to establish whether, and if so how, philosophy can benefit from it.
The approach adopted was inter-disciplinary, and principally aimed to strengthen the accounts that have been and are being developed in philosophical aesthetics.
Related disciplines of interest include:
- (Social) Anthropology
- Biology/Darwinian theory
- Cognitive and developmental psychology
- Cognitive science
- Developmental psychology of perception and emotions
- Evolutionary psychology of perception and emotions
Examples of concerns include:
- Does (i) creating and (ii) appreciating art have an evolutionary function to do with our emotional responses?
- What emotional and/or intellectual deficits (e.g. autism) inhibit the use and/or understanding of aesthetic/artistic representation?
- In what way(s) is the use of our imagination significant for the development of aesthetic assessment?
- How do normal children learn to appreciate art?
- How, if at all, can pretend-play contribute to the way in which we learn to refine our aesthetic experiences?
- How can neurological models of visual perception be applied to the case of aesthetic perception?
- Peter Lamarque (York): 'On Keeping Psychology Out of Literary Criticism'
- Noel Carroll & Margaret Moore (Temple): 'Music and Dance: Feeling Movement'
- Dorothy Singer (Yale): 'Contributions of Pretend Play to Later Adult Consciousness'
- Gregory Currie (Nottingham): 'The Body's Response to Pictures'
- William Seeley (Franklin & Marshall): 'Imagining Crawling Home: A Case Study in Cognitive Science and Aesthetics'.
- Thomas Cochrane (Geneva): 'A Simulation Theory of Musical Expression'
- Ellen Dissanayake (Washington): 'Genesis and Development of "Making Special": Is The Term Relevant to Aesthetic Psychology and Philosophy?'
- Chris McManus (UCL): 'Beauty is Instinctive Feeling'.
- Stephen Davies (Auckland): 'Cross-Cultural Sensitivity to Music's Expressiveness'.
- Jesse Prinz (Chapel Hill, North Carolina): 'Emotion and Aesthetic Value'.
- David Cooper (Durham): 'Beautiful People and Beautiful Things'.
- Norman Freeman (Bristol): 'Varieties of Pictorial Judgement: Issues of Representational Authority'.
- Dahlia Zaidel (UCLA): 'Neuroscience of Visual Art, Biology, and Brain Evolution'.
- Amy Coplan (Fullerton): 'The Low Road to Affect: Why Movies Are So Good at Arousing Emotion'.
- Johan Veldeman (Antwerp): 'Pictorial Twofoldness and Perceptual Psychology'.
- Nick Zangwill (Durham): 'Musical Experience and Realism'.
Durham Research Community
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