AESTHETIC DIS/INTERESTEDNESS AND AFFECTS
- Society for Philosophy of Emotion
- LOGOS Research Group in Analytic Philosophy (University of Barcelona))
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This workshop aims to foster the study of affects, aesthetics and the relationship between the two, analysing the rewarding tension among three widely accepted thesis: that aesthetic experience is disinterested, that affects constitute partly the aesthetic experience and the idea that interest is the mark or a paradigmatic feature of the affective.
Affects (emotions, moods etc.) often play a central role in aesthetic experience. Many accept this as almost a truism, even when they are puzzled by some aspects of this phenomenon (cf. paradox of fiction, paradox of negative emotions). Also widespread is an understanding of the ideal of aesthetic experience as one that is disinterested, i.e. disconnected from personal interests or desires. On the face of it, however, such disinterestedness is in tension with the nature of many affects as typically related to the affected person’s personal interests. The exploration of such a prima facie tension between aesthetic disinterestedness and the interestedness of affects can disclose important insight about emotions, aesthetic attitudes and the relation between them.
Topics for papers may include but are not limited to:
- Ascertaining whether the tension is in place for certain (kinds of) affective states or events, more than for others (e.g., “aesthetic” vs garden-variety emotions, or positive vs negative affects etc.)
- Understanding the difference that there is, if any, between affects elicited by art (including fiction) and affects elicited by practical concerns
- Describing and/or discovering any phenomenological differences in our affective experiences arising from our interested encounters with the world, as opposed to those arising from encounters with aesthetic objects
- Locating where, if at all, the dis/interestedness of the aesthetic experience lies: e.g., whether it is in its affective components or elsewhere;
- Exploring the extent to which affects are in fact central to, or can even define aesthetic experience;
- Exploring the relationship between aesthetic dis/interestedness and active participation on the side of the audience: e.g., whether audience’s interpretative efforts (e.g., deploying imagination in an adequate manner, relating the aesthetic contents to their own experiences and thoughts, etc.) and even their actions (e.g., interactive fictions) are ingredients of aesthetic interest that renders their affective experiences intelligible
- Ascertaining to what extent interestedness really is the mark of the affective and aesthetic disinterestedness a counterexample to it.