In Alfonsina Scarinzi (ed.), Aesthetics and the Embodied Mind: Beyond Art Theory and the Cartesian Mind-Body Dichotomy. Springer. pp. 117-138 (2015)

Maria Brincker
University of Massachusetts, Boston
What does it mean to be an aesthetic beholder? Is it different than simply being a perceiver? Most theories of aesthetic perception focus on 1) features of the perceived object and its presentation or 2) on psychological evaluative or emotional responses and intentions of perceiver and artist. In this chapter I propose that we need to look at the process of engaged perception itself, and further that this temporal process of be- coming a beholder must be understood in its embodied, contextual and dynamic speci- ficity. Through both phenomenological and neuroscientific explorations I analyze what is characteristic about a more “aesthetic stance” and argue that there is a certain asym- metry between beholder and beheld, which has to do with a disengagement of goal- directed action, and which allows for other kinds of perceptual involvement than in a more “practical stance”. It is a multi-disciplinary project integrating a sensorimotor no- tion of aesthetic affordances, 18th century philosophy, and large-scale brain network findings. What ensues is a new dynamic framework for future empirical and theoretical research on aesthetic perception.
Keywords aesthetics  affordances  embodied cognition  art  neuroaesthetics  large scale brain networks  appraisal  perception  action  Kant
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception.Marc H. Bornstein - 1980 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 39 (2):203-206.
Self-Projection and the Brain.Randy L. Buckner & Daniel C. Carroll - 2007 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (2):49-57.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Enacting the aesthetic: A model for raw cognitive dynamics.Carlos Vara Sánchez - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-23.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On Preserving Nature’s Aesthetic Features.L. Duane Willard - 1980 - Environmental Ethics 2 (4):293-310.
Aesthetic Essays.Malcolm Budd - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Aesthetics and the World at Large.James Shelley - 2007 - British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2):169-183.
“Aesthetic Primitives”: Fundamental Biological Elements of a Naturalistic Aesthetics.Ellen Dissanayake - 2015 - Aisthesis: Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi Dell’Estetico 8 (1):6-24.
A Gray Matter of Taste: Sound Perception, Music Cognition, and Baumgarten's Aesthetics.Alessia Pannese - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (3):594-601.


Added to PP index

Total views
699 ( #8,556 of 2,439,388 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
57 ( #12,207 of 2,439,388 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes