Art & Emotion

December 12, 2013 - December 14, 2013
University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

View the Call For Papers


  • Research Grants Council, Hong Kong
  • Department of Philosophy, HKU
  • School of Humanities, HKU


Amy Coplan
California State University, Fullerton
Matthew Kieran
University of Leeds
Anthony Long
University of California, Berkeley

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The Aim of the Conference:

There is a growing interest in understanding emotions and their place in human experience. What is emotion – is it a state, or is it a process? What, if anything, do our emotions tell us about the world or our needs? What is and should be the role of emotions in, for example, approaching ethical dilemmas? One of the areas in which these questions become most vibrant is in thinking about art in its broadest possible sense (fine arts, music, cinema, literature, etc). Do artworks arouse real or quasi emotions? How do we derive pleasure from experiencing negative emotions in art? Is there any moral – or pragmatic – value in an emotional engagement with artworks? If artworks succeed in evoking emotion, what can that tell us about the nature of emotions *per *se? This conference is designed to provide postgraduate students who are working on said issues in aesthetics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of art and other relevant fields (inc. psychology, arts, and literature) the opportunity to present their work-in-progress to peers for review and dialogue.

Keynote Speakers:

Matthew Kieran
Professor of Philosophy and the Arts, Leeds University

Co-author of Media and Values: Intimate Transgressions in a Changing Moral and Cultural Landscape*, 2008, Chicago: UCP.

Revealing Art: Why Art Matters, 2005, London: Routledge.

Amy Coplan

Associate Professor of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton

Co-editor of Empathy: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives, 2011,
New York: OUP.

Guest Commentator:

Anthony Long

Professor of Classics and Irving G. Stone Professor of Literature; Affiliated Professor of Philosophy and Rhetoric, University of California, Berkeley

The conference is free of charge (including tea, coffee and snacks during the conference days).

In addition, we will offer on-campus accommodation for two nights to up to 5 non-HK based participants. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for this award.

Contact: [email protected]

Organizing committee: Ho Ka Yan Kathleen, Li Hong-Ting, Suzuki Yumi, Ulas Ekin, Yeung Lorraine.

Department Advisers: Dr Timothy O’Leary and Dr Edoardo Zamuner

This Conference is supported by the Postgraduate Students Conference Grant of the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong. It is also supported by the Department of Philosophy and the School of Humanities at HKU.

HKU Philosophy Website:

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