19 July 2012, 18.30 – 20.00

Distinguished Lecture Series: Jesse Prinz (CUNY Graduate Center)

“Works of Wonder: Emotion and Aesthetic Response”

“There is a growing body of neuroscientific evidence linking emotions to aesthetic response, but the results are not easy to interpret. They do no reveal which emotions contribute or the actual role that emotions play. This has also been a matter of controversy within the history of aesthetics, with seminal thinkers such as Kant and Burke offering divergent accounts. Here a theoretical considerations and a new set of psychological experiments are used to shed light on these issues. It is argued that the appreciation of an art work as good characteristically involves an emotion that has been called wonder.  Wonder tends to make great are seem grander, and even more magical than lesser art. Wonder relates to awe, and to the notion of the sublime, which have been historically important in aesthetics, but have since fallen out of popularity. Evidence suggests that we should return to wonder in trying to understand the role of emotions in the appraisal of art.”

Jesse Prinz is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York, Graduate Center. His work focuses on the role of perception, emotion, and culture and their influence on human human thought and values. His most recent book is Beyond Human Nature.  He is also the author of Furnishing the Mind: Concepts and Their Perception Basis and Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion, The Emotional Construction of Morals, and a forthcoming book, The Conscious Brain.
Homepage: http://web.gc.cuny.edu/philosophy/faculty/prinz.htm

All are welcome!



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