Emotions in the Psychology of Aesthetics

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Ever since Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714–1762) introduced the concept of aesthetics, the prevailing idea has been that the fine arts provide an alternative source of knowledge to the traditional sciences. Art, however, has always been closely associated with emotions. Taking Baumgarten’s treatise on poetry as a point of departure, I argue that Baumgarten laid the ground for a conception of art that emphasizes emotion rather than cognition with a particular appeal to psychology to provide principles of aesthetic appreciation of art. This appeal is met here with a phenomenological discussion of a series of precepts within contemporary emotion theories, which provides the necessary and sufficient conditions for a psychological theory of aesthetic appreciation of art.
Original languageEnglish
Article number76
Issue number4
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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