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Thu, 17 Jan


Room G2

Alfredo Vernazzani (Bochum) 'Visual Arts and the Aesthetic Depth of Seeing'

Time & Location

17 Jan 2019, 16:00 – 18:00

Room G2, Senate House, London WC1B, UK


I put forward a philosophical account of how artworks affect the way we see everyday things and scenes. While this phenomenon has frequently been object of artists’, art critics’, and novelists’ description, it has seldom been object of philosophical inquiry. I proceed in two steps. The first step consists in articulating a notion of aesthetic state of seeing as a mental state that has aesthetic depth, in contrast with ordinary states of seeing. I will thereby defend Carroll’s content view of aesthetic experience against Nanay’s recent criticism. The second step will involve using Goodman’s and Elgin’s concept of exemplification to show how artworks redirect our attention towards aesthetic, expressive, and design properties of everyday things and scenes. I conclude by briefly addressing the considerable epistemic power of the arts in affecting the way we see and therefore remember.

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