BSA Conference on Pictorial Experience: Aesthetics, Epistemology and Perception

September 4, 2019 - September 5, 2019
Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck College, London University, UK

Senate House, University of London
London WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom


  • British Society of Aesthetics


University College London
Birkbeck, University of London
New York University
Washington University in St. Louis
University of Pennsylvania
Stanford University


University College London
Birkbeck, University of London

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Philosophers have explored extensively and for many years the nature of linguistic and mental representations. But it was not until the second half of the 20th century that pictorial representation became a recurrent area of philosophical research and, for the most part, it has been developed within aesthetics and the philosophy of art. This is striking, given that pictorial representation is a topic with clear connections with other areas of philosophy. This conference aims to bring together philosophers working particularly in epistemology, the philosophy of mind and perception with philosophers working in aesthetics. We believe that this interaction will foster fruitful exchanges of ideas between participants of these disciplines. Specific topics or questions that will be addressed at this conference are the following: 

  • Is there a common nature of the objects of pictorial and perceptual experience? 
  • What is the scope of the content of pictorial experiences? Aesthetic and Epistemic interactions in our experience of pictures and picture appreciation. 
  • Can pictorial styles develop new ways of seeing? 
  • Can the nature of pictorial representation could help us to understand
    mental representation?

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