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Tone Roald and Johannes Lang

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Art and Identity

Essays on the Aesthetic Creation of Mind

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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.