TL;DR: It is argued that negative emotions are an important resource for the arts in general, rather than a special license for exceptional art forms only, and it is proposed that concomitant mixed emotions often help integrate negative emotions into altogether pleasurable trajectories.
Abstract: Why are negative emotions so central in art reception far beyond tragedy? Revisiting classical aesthetics in the light of recent psychological research, we present a novel model to explain this much discussed (apparent) paradox. We argue that negative emotions are an important resource for the arts in general, rather than a special license for exceptional art forms only. The underlying rationale is that negative emotions have been shown to be particularly powerful in securing attention, intense emotional involvement, and high memorability, and hence is precisely what artworks strive for. Two groups of processing mechanisms are identified that conjointly adopt the particular powers of negative emotions for art's purposes. The first group consists of psychological distancing mechanisms that are activated along with the cognitive schemata of art, representation, and fiction. These schemata imply personal safety and control over continuing or discontinuing exposure to artworks, thereby preventing negative emotions from becoming outright incompatible with expectations of enjoyment. This distancing sets the stage for a second group of processing components that allow art recipients to positively embrace the experiencing of negative emotions, thereby rendering art reception more intense, more interesting, more emotionally moving, more profound, and occasionally even more beautiful. These components include compositional interplays of positive and negative emotions, the effects of aesthetic virtues of using the media of (re)presentation (musical sound, words/language, color, shapes) on emotion perception, and meaning-making efforts. Moreover, our Distancing-Embracing model proposes that concomitant mixed emotions often help integrate negative emotions into altogether pleasurable trajectories.
31 Jul 2013
TL;DR: The Sublime in Modern Philosophy: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Nature as discussed by the authors examines the sublime's contemporary significance through its relationship to the arts; its position with respect to other aesthetic categories involving mixed or negative emotions, such as tragedy; and its place in environmental aesthetics and ethics.
Abstract: In The Sublime in Modern Philosophy: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Nature, Emily Brady takes a fresh look at the sublime and shows why it endures as a meaningful concept in contemporary philosophy. In a reassessment of historical approaches, the first part of the book identifies the scope and value of the sublime in eighteenth-century philosophy (with a focus on Kant), nineteenth-century philosophy and Romanticism, and early wilderness aesthetics. The second part examines the sublime's contemporary significance through its relationship to the arts; its position with respect to other aesthetic categories involving mixed or negative emotions, such as tragedy; and its place in environmental aesthetics and ethics. Far from being an outmoded concept, Brady argues that the sublime is a distinctive aesthetic category which reveals an important, if sometimes challenging, aesthetic-moral relationship with the natural world.
01 Jan 2005
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors propose a method to solve the problem of "uniformity" and "uncertainty" in the context of video games.1.11.11
01 Jan 2004
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that the very ambiguity of architecture, its status as both art and artefact, with objecthood and also a certain autonomy, can serve to anchor thennegative but necessary alienation of the museum institution from empirical reality.
Abstract: In the architecture of some recent social history museums can be seen a series of newnand significant developments in the museum institution more generally. This thesisnexamines these developments with reference to two specific works of museumnarchitecture: the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and the National Museum of Australia,nCanberra.n Both buildings are simultaneously functional museum spaces, and artworks ofngreat affective power. Both are centred upon absence, loss, and the ineffable pastnessnof the past as such, and both rely on a certain level of interactiveness between art andnbeholder to enact their commemorative function. Perhaps most significantly, each ofnthese works of museum architecture can be understood as specifically allegorical. Thisnis true in the sense that they invite interpretation, they are politically engaged, sitenspecific, and explicitly 'constructed'. They are also pledged, hopelessly, to the materialnworld. All this is to say that they have a double existence - they are both specific andnuniversal, engaged 'and autonomous, container and contained. They are objects, butnobjects mortified and hollowed. This is an architecture always already conceptuallyn'ruined', and a museum institution that addresses its mausoleum character bynincorporating it equally as form and as content.n The thesis argues that the very ambiguity of architecture, its status as both artnand artefact, with objecthood and also a certain autonomy, can serve to anchor thennegative but necessary alienation of the museum institution from empirical reality.nFurther, it argues that it is this very deathliness from which the museum's principalnsocial utility derives. The museums examined here demonstrate that it is still viable tonhave an institution that contains and requires objects - albeit artworks as well asnartefacts. The appearance of art in and as the museum thus brings the larger argumentnfull circle: art can represent the unpresentable, equally as it acts as a bulwark againstnthe disappearance of objects, of all categories, from museums altogether. And if the artnof museum architecture provides it with the capacity for critique, the artefactuality of thisnsame architecture, and the objects contained within, provides it with both motivationnand reward for this critical role.n
TL;DR: Hume's most definitive expression of his views on aesthetic questions, the famous essay "Of the Standard of Taste" as mentioned in this paper, is fraught with difficulties and, as the diversity of views on the piece demonstrates, only the most confident reader would take it as an unambiguous statement of Hume's position.
Abstract: While there is hardly an aspect of Hume's work that has not produced controversy of one sort or another, deciphering and evaluating his views on aesthetics involves overcoming interpretive barriers of a particular sort. In addition to what is generally taken as the anachronistic attribution of "aesthetic theories" to any thinker of the eighteenth century, Hume presents the added difficulty that unlike the other founding-fathers of modern philosophical aesthetics, he produced no systematic work on the subject, and certainly nothing comparable to his efforts in epistemology, morals, politics, history, and religion.1 Even interpreting Hume's most definitive expression of his views on aesthetic questionsÂ—the famous essay "Of the Standard of Taste"Â—is fraught with difficulties and, as the diversity of views on the piece demonstrates, only the most confident reader would take it as an unambiguous statement of Hume's position.2 Some have also emphasized Hume's relative neglect of phenomena to which one would expect an aesthetician to be drawn. The Treatise, in Peter Kivy's estimation, for instance, reveals an "almost total lack of interest... in works of art"Â—the examples being confined to the beauty of nature and artifactsÂ—and Peter Jones writes that with the exception of literature, Hume's "references to the arts ... are infrequent and fleeting. He almost never refers to music or to sculpture,