Philosophy, historically at least, has played a large role in aesthetics, for philosophical aesthetics dates back to Aristotle's Poetics, and has attracted the attention of such notable thinkers as Kant, Dewey, Santayana, and Croce. Nonetheless, if I had to identify the philosophical foundation of most empirical astheticians, hedonism emerges as the clear winner. That is, researchers who study why people appreciate art subscribe to the pleasure theory of aesthetics. On the theoretical side, psychology of the arts is also richly endowed. Great names from psychology's past, such as Fechner, Wundt, and Freud—all have expressed views about the foundations of the aesthetic experience. Many of these early traditions survive in some form in current empirical research. At this point, the enthusiasm for cognitive science in general psychology has yet to filter down to empirical aesthetics in any conspicuous fashion, albeit some researchers would consider themselves cognitive psychologists. Perhaps the aesthetic experience is too innovative to fit readily in a cognitive framework. 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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DOI 10.1037/h0091420
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