Thursday, 02 November 2023, 16:00-18:00
Senate House, Room 243
*Please note the change of day for this session*
My aim in this paper is to argue for the claim that aesthetic experience is best conceived as a kind of explorative thought process which allows us to engage in a set of contemplations, considerations and observations which, although not directly aimed at acquiring knowledge, often lead to an enhanced understanding both of the object of appreciation itself and of the wider epistemic context in which it is lodged. On this conception, aesthetic value acts as an invitation to engage in a series of deliberations during which we rely not only on the perceptual, imaginative and affective abilities which have occupied such a central role in aesthetic theory, but also on our capacities for sense making and theory-building. Aesthetic experience can, then, be understood as a way of rendering intelligible possible avenues of thought through the rich and complex interplay of these abilities and skills. I shall refer to this as the noetic conception of aesthetic experience in virtue of its emphasis on what may broadly be referred to as the intellect (as opposed to the sensory). If time permits, I shall also discuss how this account differs from theories within the ‘everyday aesthetics’ approach to aesthetic experience.
Following NHS guidance, all attendees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated (including boosters) against Covid-19, unless medically exempt. Our group is diverse; please continue to be considerate of those who wear face coverings and those who don’t. Thank you.