Art has the capacity to shape and alter our identities. It can influence who and what we are. Those who have had aesthetic experiences know this intimately, and yet the study of art’s impact on the mind struggles to be recognized as a centrally important field within the discipline of psychology. The main thesis of
Art and Identity is that aesthetic experience represents a prototype for meaningful experience, warranting intense philosophical and psychological investigation. Currently psychology remains too closed-off from the rich reflection of philosophical aesthetics, while philosophy continues to be sceptical of the psychological reduction of art to its potential for subjective experience. At the same time, philosophical aesthetics cannot escape making certain assumptions about the psyche and benefits from entering into a dialogue with psychology.
Art and Identity brings together philosophical and psychological perspectives on aesthetics in order to explore how art creates minds.
Tone Roald is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Copenhagen, where she also obtained her Ph.D. in psychological aesthetics. She has been a visiting fellow at Stanford and has previously written
Cognition in Emotion: An Investigation through Experiences with Art (2008), also published by Rodopi.
Johannes Lang is a postdoctoral researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, working on social-psychological aspects of genocide. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen, has been a postdoctoral fellow at Yale, and was one of the recipients of the Danish Research Council’s ‘Young Elite Researcher’ awards for 2011.
Art and Identity is a book any scholar working the field of art or psychology should read. Those invested in the visual arts and the psychology of emotions and experience will find in it a wealth of sources and material. For those invested in literature, this book will prove
resourceful as a stepping stone to further their research.
- Aleksandar Kordis,
The European Legacy, 21:5-6.
Table of contents
Tone Roald and Johannes Lang: Introduction
Mark Johnson: Identity, Bodily Meaning, and Art
Ciarán Benson: Acts not Tracts! Why a Complete Psychology of Art and Identity Must Be Neuro-cultural
Gerald C. Cupchik: I Am, Therefore I Think, Act, and Express both in Life and in Art
Simo Køppe: Sense, Modality, and Aesthetic Experience
Judy Gammelgaard: Reading Proust: The Little Shock Effects of Art
Kasper Levin: Becoming Worthy of What Happens to Us: Art and Subjectivity in the Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze
Bjarne Sode Funch: Art and Personal Integrity
Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht: Steady Admiration in an Expanding Present: On Our New Relationship to Classics
List of Contributors