In Katerina Ierodiakonou (ed.), Colour Psychology in the Graeco-Roman World. 1253 Vandœuvres, Switzerland: pp. 43-80 (2020)

Authors
Elena Cagnoli Fiecconi
University College London
Abstract
Aristotle’s works on natural science show that he was aware of the affective powers of colour. At De an. 421a13, for example, he writes that hard-eyed animals can only discriminate between frightening and non-frightening colours. In the Nicomachean Ethics, furthermore, colours are the source of pleasures and delight. These pleasures, unlike the pleasures of touch and taste, neither corrupt us nor make us wiser. Aristotle’s views on the affective powers of colours raise a question about the limits he seems to place on the affective powers of pictures at De an. 427b15-24, where he implies that pictures do not affect us immediately. In this paper, I examine the contrast between the affective powers of colour and the affective powers of pictures. I argue that colours can give rise to pleasure and pain in themselves and generate emotions incidentally. Similarly, pictures can please us or affect us in themselves and incidentally. In light of this account, I suggest that, on a plausible reading of De an. 427b15-24, the affective powers of pictures as mimetic objects are not immediate because they require an intervening cause in order to be effective. The representations of pictures and statues affect us either with the mediation of deception or with the mediation of interpretation.
Keywords Aristotle  pictures  colours  perception  phantasia
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
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 Fragility of Goodness.Martha Nussbaum - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):376-383.
The Aesthetics of Mimesis: Ancient Texts and Modern Problems.Stephen Halliwell - 2002 - Princeton, USA: Princeton University Press.

View all 37 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Colour and Pictorial Representation.A. Lee - 2005 - British Journal of Aesthetics 45 (1):49-63.
Depicting Colours: Reply to Newall.John Hyman - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (229):674–678.
Digital Pictures, Sampling, and Vagueness: The Ontology of Digital Pictures.John Zeimbekis - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (1):43-53.
A Defence of Aristotle, Meteorologica, 3, 375a6ff.Brigid Harry - 1971 - Classical Quarterly 21 (2):397-401.
The Aesthetic and Science.Joshua C. Gregory - 1949 - Philosophy 24 (90):239 - 247.
Aesthetic Properties as Powers.Vid Simoniti - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1434-1453.
Do Colours Look Like Dispositions?Alex Byrne - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):238--45.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-09-04

Total views
142 ( #82,521 of 2,508,112 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #23,651 of 2,508,112 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes