Conference | Call for Abstracts

Aesthetic Perception and Cognition

Aesthetic Perception and Cognition

Date: October 20–21, 2022

Venue: Uppsala University

Organisers: Elisabeth Schellekens, Maarten Steenhagen

Submission deadline: 10th of July 2022 (Extended)

Conference description:

The purpose of this conference is to reconsider one of the cornerstones of philosophical aesthetics: the idea that aesthetics is fundamentally about a form of perception. This assumption has crucial implications for our understanding both of the nature of aesthetic value and of how we form beliefs about such value. It leads, for example, to the widespread view that aesthetic properties are response-dependent and that aesthetic judgements must be formed via first-hand perception. However, these precepts raise serious questions. How, on the traditional perceptual model, do we explain the ascription of aesthetic value to non-perceptual entities such as mathematical proofs and conceptual art? Can we reconcile the insistence on first-hand perceptual experience in aesthetic judgement with the possibility of expertise? How do we explain the aesthetics of practices and habits, or moral beauty? These and other phenomena at least put pressure on the idea that aesthetics and perception are closely tied, and they invite a revision of our conception of the role of perception and cognition in aesthetic experience.

We intend the conference to be a stepping stone towards an edited collection on these topics.

Call for abstracts:

We invite abstracts for papers to be presented at the conference. Possible topics include (but are not limited to): What kind of perception is aesthetic perception? Does aesthetic judgment require or promote perceptual learning? Are there forms of beauty that are not sensory? How can we attune or refine our emotions through art? What does it take for a practice to become aesthetic? Is there still use for a concept of taste? What is the role of cognition in aesthetic experience? What is the relation between experience and understanding in our engagement with art?

We encourage scholars working in aesthetics, philosophy of mind, value theory, and related fields to send an abstract (max. 400 words) for 30-minute papers, together with title, author name(s), affiliation(s), and contact details to Early career scholars are especially encouraged to submit. The extended deadline for abstract submissions is 10 July 2022. Notification will follow by July 15th.