Third International Conference on Beauty and Change - “Aesthetics and Human Flourishing: Theories, Experiments and Applications”

October 17, 2024 - October 19, 2024
University of Turin

Fondazione Giorgio Amendola, Via Tollegno 52, Torino
Torino 10145

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The BraIn Plasticity and Behavior Changes (BIP) Group at the Department of Psychology, University of Turin and the Giorgio Amendola Foundation are delighted to invite contributions for the Third International Conference on Beauty and Change, a three-day international and interdisciplinary conference that will be held in Turin, Italy on 17-19 October 2024.

Established in 2022, the International Conference on Beauty and Change is a highly successful interdisciplinary forum for discussing recent advancements in philosophical and empirical aesthetics. This year’s conference will be devoted to the theme “Aesthetics and Human Flourishing: Theories, Experiments and Applications” and will gather leading scholars from the fields of philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience to reflect on how our aesthetic experiences impact our wellbeing and our psychological functioning.

The Theme
According to a long-standing philosophical tradition, backed up by present-day research in psychology and neuroscience, our aesthetic encounters contribute in important ways to our individual and collective flourishing. The ways in which they are said to do so are many. Some argue that engaging with great art offers valuable knowledge about our world and our condition, our social lives and our relationships, or our mind and its workings. Others claim that our aesthetic experiences can boost or promote certain capacities, such as learning, problem-solving, attention, and empathy. Still others claim that engaging with the arts can constitute a form of emotion regulation and help alleviate anxiety, depression, and other psychopathological conditions. Artistic endeavours are also said to be potent vehicles of self-expression and self-transformation, deeply involved in the development of our personal identities. On a collective level, having an aesthetic sensitivity towards how objects, spaces, and environments are built and altered is said to promote deeper, richer, and more caring forms of interactions with others and with nature. Plausible as they might seem, however, these claims are subject to sustained theoretical debates, and the current empirical evidence in favour or against them is far from being conclusive.

The aim of the Third International Conference on Beauty and Change is to probe all these lines of enquiry in a thoroughly interdisciplinary way, to get a clearer picture of whether and how the arts and aesthetics are conducive to human flourishing. Philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, and professionals working in the arts, design, architecture, and urban planning will gather to discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the various proposals in the debate, their empirical support, and their applications in concrete scenarios.

Confirmed Invited Speakers
Anjan Chatterjee (University of Pennsylvania)
Emily Cross (ETH Zürich)
Joerg Fingerhut (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Shaun Gallagher (University of Memphis)
Stefan Koelsch (University of Bergen)
Helmut Leder (University of Vienna)
Lucia Sacheli (University of Milano-Bicocca)

The Venue
The conference will be held at the Giorgio Amendola Foundation, Via Tollegno, 52, 10154 – Torino, Italy.

Conference Costs
Conference fee for students (BA and MA): free
Conference fee for untenured researchers (PhD students and postdocs): €100
Conference fee for tenured researchers: €200
Conference dinner (optional): €45

Scientific Committee
Carola Barbero (University of Turin)
Alessandro Bertinetto (University of Turin)
Alice Cancer (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan)
Jacopo Frascaroli (University of Turin)
Irene Ronga (University of Turin)
Maria Luisa Rusconi (University of Bergamo)
Pietro Sarasso (University of Turin)
Sander Van de Cruys (University of Antwerp)

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