Chapter

Toward a Science of Aesthetics

Arthur P. Shimamura

in Aesthetic Science

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732142
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918485 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732142.003.0010
Toward a Science of Aesthetics

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The nature of aesthetic experiences can be approached from many perspectives. Philosophers, psychologists, and recently neuroscientists have considered the variety of ways art influences our sensory, emotional and conceptual processes. Four philosophical approaches are considered: 1) mimetic approach or how successfully an artwork offers a window to the real world, 2) expressionist approach or how well an artwork expresses feelings and moods, 3) formalist approach or how well an artwork induces a sense of significant form, and 4) conceptual approach or how well an artwork conveys intellectual or thought-provoking statements. Psychologists and neuroscientists have conducted empirical analyses of aesthetic responses to art. These issues are introduced with a framework for considering our art experience, the I-SKE framework, which considers the artist’s intention and the way artworks influence the beholder’s sensations, knowledge, and emotions.

Keywords: aesthetics; art; philosophy; mimetic; expressionism; formalism; psychology; neuroscience

Chapter.  11259 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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