Department of Philosophy
Conference 2017

Nordic Society of Aesthetics' Annual Conference 2017

This Conference will explore the full range of issues pertaining to aesthetic experience, what may set it apart from other experiences, what its value is, as well as its relations to art, science and the everyday.

Bryggen, Bergen
The conference is situated in Bergen, Norway, 8–10 June 2017.

Main content

Aesthetic Experience: Affect and Perception

The question of the nature and importance of aesthetic experience has been at the core of philosophical aesthetics since its beginnings. Even though attempts to define aesthetics have encountered much philosophical criticism, it seems likely that any such attempt must include some sort of story of the role of aesthetic experience and its distinguishing features. Lately, the discussion of aesthetic experience has gained new impetus from developments in empirical and experimental aesthetics. In this conference, we wish to explore the full range of issues pertaining to aesthetic experience, what may set it apart from other experiences, what its value is, as well as its relations to art, science and the everyday.

We propose to analyse and discuss how aesthetic experience connects with affect, percept, and concept, with art and non-art. While we welcome contributions that discuss empirical or experimental aesthetics, we want them to discuss the conceptual issues underlying such research rather than to merely present empirical results.

Keynote Speakers

Registration - Registration is now open

Conference fee: NOK 1430 (DKK 1158, SEK 1492, EUR 156 ); PhD Students NOK 1185 (DKK 960, SEK 1236, EUR 129) . The conference fee includes access to all sessions, refreshments during coffee breaks and buffet lunch. 1-year membership of The Nordic Society of Aesthetics and 1-year subscription to The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics is also included.  Please contact nse2017@uib.no if you have already paid the 2017 fee 

  • Meet and Greet on 8th of June (no cost)
  • Conference dinner on Saturday 10th of June: NOK 600 (DKK 486, SEK 626, EUR 65)
  • Non-presenting participants are welcome

Registration is now open. Click on the link to register your conference participation https://form.app.uib.no/NSA17


Thursday 8 June

12:00-13:00 Registration and coffee  
13:00-13:15 Opening and welcomeOle Martin SkilleåsSal (room) 5
13:15-14:30KeynotePeter Lamarque Sal (room 5)"Aesthetic Experience and the Experience of Poetry"Chair: Ole Martin Skilleås
14:30-15:00 BREAK
  Sal 4Sal 5Sal 6
15:00-16:40Parallel sessionsSession A (Chair Solveig Aasen)Session G (Chair Morten Kyndrup)Session F (Chair Jacob Lund)
15:00-15:30 Gunnar Karlsen – Aesthetic appreciation of nature – a multisensory approachMartta Heikkilä – Deconstruction and the Aesthetic PerceptionSolveig Bøe – Aesthetic collisions: Interventions in Musical Space
15:35-16:05 Malgorzata Kadziela – From the Performative Models in Music to the Neurocognitive “Reorganization” of the Perception of Music Frank DarwicheHarri Mäcklin – Going Elsewhere: Reconfiguring Aesthetic Experience as a PlaceNuno Fonseca – Fine-tuning our senses with (sound) art for aesthetic experience
16:10-16:40 Nicole Hall – Aesthetics, Art, Nature, and Cognitive Science

Béla Tarr - Aesthetic Experience as the Holing Out of Time

Jane Vanhanen - Chaos and Form in the Perception of Noise
16:40-17:10 BREAK
17:10-18:15Parallel sessionsSession N (Chair Bente Larsen)Session P (Chair Kalle Puolakka) 
17:10-17:40 Anders Dam –Aesthetic Experience in Walter de Maria’s New York Earth RoomSimo Säätelä –Affect-based value judgements and normativity: Hume’s “Standard” revisited 
17:45-18:15 Kimmo Sarje –Rausch as Aesthetic Experience in Rolf Lagerborg’s Physiological TheoryClotilde Torregrossa –Hume and the Psychology of Aesthetic Experience 
18:45-21:00 Reception at Studentsenteret, the CanteenAddress: Parkveien 1Map in the conference folder

Friday 9 June

09:30-10:45KeynoteDominic McIver Lopes Sal 5"Aesthetic Experience Is Not Where the Action Is"Chair: Simo Säätleä
10:45-11:15 BREAK  
  Sal 4Sal 5Sal 6
11:15-12:20Parallel sessionsSession R (Chair Wolfram Bergande)Session M (Chair Irene Martinez Marin)Session L (Chair Rebecca Wallbank)
11:15-11:45 Iris Vidmar –Aesthetics of poetry: a Kant-inspired accountAdam Andrzejewski  –Photographs of ruins, or how aesthetics ruins ethicsRagnhild Tronstad –Towards a Presence-Oriented Aesthetic of Play
11:50-12:20 Rona Cohen –Between Aesthetic Perception and Aesthetics Beyond PerceptionZoltan Somhegyi –Ruins as context and scenery:Temporal interference as source of aesthetic experienceNelio Conceicao –Play as an aesthetic experience in the intersection between art and non-art
12:20-13:20 LUNCH  
13:20-14:30KeynoteAngela Breitenbach Sal 5"Aestethic Experience in ScienceChair: Elisabeth Schellekens-Dammann
14:30-14:50 BREAK  
14:50-15:55Parallel sessionsSession D (Chair Solveig Bøe)Session E(Chair Knut Ove Eliassen)Session K (Chair Harri Mäcklin)
14:50-15:20 Pablo Olvera Mateos –Transparency and discontinuity in aesthetic experiencesGianluigi Dallarda –The Kantian Sublime and the SubreptionGuy Dammann –Why we undervalue sentimental value
15:25-15:55 Servaas van der Berg –How it Happens: A process-first approach to appreciationKuplen Mojca –Kant and Aesthetic Comprehension of Abstract and Emotion ConceptsOiva Kuisma – From Artistic Entertainment to the Experience of Beauty: Some Remarks on Plato’s Criticism of Homer
15:55-16:05 BREAK
16:05-17:00AGMAnnual General Meeting of the Nordic Society for AestheticsSal 5 

Saturday 10 June

09:30-10:45KeynoteRita Felski Sal 5"Getting It: Art and Attunement"Chair: Erik Bjerck Hagen
10:45-11:15 BREAK  
  Sal 4Sal 5Sal 6
11:15-12:20Parallel sessionsSession I (Chair Ingvild Torsen)Session J (Chair Sorin Bangu)Session O (Chair Vibeke Tellmann)
11:15-11:45 Simon Roy Christensen – Apophatic Aesthetics– on silence as a foundation for aesthetic experienceParysa Mostajir – The Shared Ontology of Science and Aesthetics: A Pragmatist AccountMegan Brunsvold – Kinesthetic Empathy and the Performing Arts
11:50-12:20 Hyun Hochsmann - Wittgenstein on Affective and Cognitive Dimensions of Aesthetic ExperienceHenrik Zinkernagel – Aesthetic experiences in scienceSolveig Aasen – The Movement in Music and the Movement in Dance
12:20-13:20 LUNCH
13:20-15:00Parallel sessionsSession C (Chair Guy Dammann)Session B (Chair Gunnar Karlsen)Session H (Chair Jeremy Page)


Kalle Puolakka – The Two Faces of the Aesthetics of LiteratureHilda Loury –The Brain, the Beautiful, and the SublimePaal Antonsen – Appreciative and Imaginative Engagement
13:55-14:25 Matilde Accurso Liotta – Do I Need to Cry to Understand Anna Karenina?Maria Balaska – Beauty and ExpressionGuillaume Schuppert – From “Engaging With Fiction” to “Understanding Fictionality”
14:30-15:00 Sarka Lojdova - Danto and BeautyIngvild Torsen – Truth and Beauty: Two aspects of aesthetic normativityTingwen Li –“Bad Art” and “Bad Aesthetic Experience”
18:30-23:00 Conference Dinner at Scandic Hotel NeptunValkendorfsgaten 8, Bergen 

Further information about the conference will soon be available on the NSA website and on our own conference website.


Key note abstracts

Please find the other abstracts here

Aesthetic Experience in Science

Angela Breitenbach, University of Cambridge

Scientists routinely speak of the aesthetic merit of theories, proofs and explanations, often regarding the experience of beauty and elegance in science as a motivation for their workand an indication of its truth. But aesthetic judgments in science are as controversial as they are widespread. On one side, aestheticians have worried that statements about the beautyof a theory or the elegance of a proof are merely metaphorical and lack genuine aesthetic status. On the other side, philosophers of science have wondered why aesthetic concerns shouldplay any role in the search for scientific knowledge. I address this two-fold challenge by asking how judgments of beauty could be both aesthetic proper and relevant for scientific enquiry.I propose an answer inspired by the Kantian idea that aesthetic experience is grounded, at least in part, in the subject’s spontaneous intellectual activities. I argue that relevantaesthetic judgments are grounded in the subject’s awareness of her creative intellectual activities in devising and grasping a theory. And I suggest that judgments of this kind may offera heuristic tool for scientific enquiry by indicating achievements of understanding.

Getting It: Art and Attunement

Rita Felski, University of Virginia and University of Southern Denmark

How does one “get” or fail to “get” a work of art?  Why are we drawn to a certain painting or novel or piece of music and stubbornly unmoved by others that seem, on the face of it, not so very different?  Can we do justice to what such a response feels like and why it matters—yet without scanting the prompts and pressures (a college syllabus, an over-the-top review, a parent’s approving look or raised eyebrow) that incline us toward some works rather than others?  Perhaps attunement will give us a fresh slant on such questions. My talk considers various examples of attunement--both sudden and slow--with a particular focus on Zadie Smith's conversion to the music of Joni Mitchell.

Aesthetic Experience and the Experience of Poetry

Peter Lamarque, University of York 

Literature doesn’t lend itself easily to talk of ‘experience’, far less ‘aesthetic experience’. No doubt drama is an obvious exception but drama is partially visual. Any kind of sensory experience seems at best marginal to, for example, the novel. To speak of the experience of a novel seems not to be speaking of sensory experience. Yet the aesthetic—certainly aesthetic experience—seems closely tied to the sensory. Do we then mean something different when talking of experience in the literary realm? Maybe. But poetry lends itself more readily to talk of experience, aesthetic experience in particular and even sensory experience. Is not much of the pleasure of poetry bound up with the sounds, rhythms and textures of poetic language? And is that not both sensory and aesthetic? Although this might seem incontestable it also hints at a kind of formalism in the aesthetic appraisal of poetry. If our focus is on sounds and rhythms what becomes of poetic subject matter? Is that excluded from aesthetic appraisal? That seems undesirable in itself, especially so for those who promote the indivisibility of form and content in poetry. Can form-content unity in a poem afford aesthetic experience? If so, how is that explained? If not, then are we back to a different kind of experience (more like the novel?) in associating poetry with aesthetic experience? These are some of the issues that the lecture will explore. 

Aesthetic Experience Is Not Where the Action Is

Dominic McIver Lopes, University of British Columbia, Vancouver 

Facts about an item’s aesthetic value are normative. Tradition conceives aesthetic normativity as doubly theoretic and practical. That is, facts about aesthetic value make it the case both that aesthetic experiences can be correct or incorrect and that one has reason to perform acts of appreciation that involve having aesthetic experiences. I argue that it is common ground among all theorists that aesthetic value facts give agents reasons to act but that philosophical tradition mistakenly assumes that the only acts we have aesthetic reason to perform are acts of experiential appreciation. Once we reject this assumption, a new theory of aesthetic normativity comes into view. 


Venue and Accomodation

The conference will take place in Scandic Hotel Neptun were we also have pre-booked rooms for your convenience so that you can stay in the same hotell where the conference is taking place. The hotel is situated in Bergen City Centre.

The hotel rooms are not included in the conference price. But we have pre-booked rooms at the conference hotel at the standard rate of NOK 1790 for a single room and NOK 1990 for a double room. Breakfast included in the room prices.

Booking code: 778UNI080617
Pre-booking until 23rd of May

Other hotel options:

We have pre-booked rooms at two other hotels in Bergen City centre.

Please note that each hotel has a different policy on when the rooms will be released.

Scandic Byparken:
Price for a single room NOK 1 890 breakfast included. An additional NOK 200 per night for a double room.
Booking code: BUNI080617
Pre-booking until 1st of May

Thon Hotel Bristol:
Price for a single room NOK 1 895 breakfast included. An additional NOK 200 per night for a double room.
Booking code: 24497044
Pre-booking until 29th of May