Aesthetics and innovation

Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press (2007)
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Abstract

In this book we attempted to gather together a set of chapters that describe new ways of approaching questions about aesthetics and innovation. Rather than going over old ground, the chapters describe attempts to break out in new directions. The book begins with a description of von Ehrenfels development of a Gestalt theory of aesthetics so evocative of the Vienna of 1900 that readers will wish that they had been there to experience the intellectual excitement and ends with a survey the very latest research on brain scan research on perception of art. In between, we encounter chapters as diverse as a description of cognitive effects on art perception and on the analogies between oscillations in art history and waves in the physical world. About half of the book contains chapters by well known western psychological aestheticians and half chapters by Russian scholars many of whom will be new to western readers. As well as describing new methods and results, the chapters by Russian scholars will be novel to most western readers, because the Russian perspective on aesthetics and innovation is rather different than the traditional western perspectives. Looking at phenomena from new viewpoints never hurts and very often helps in science.

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