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Talk Prinz - Lecture series

Aesthetic Sentimentalism


Prof. Jesse Prinz

City University of New York


With the rise of empirical moral psychology, new evidence was adduced in defense of moral sentimentalism—the classical empiricist thesis that moral judgments are based on emotions.  The empiricists also defended a parallel view about aesthetics.  Emerging theoretical and empirical considerations can now be marshaled in defense of the view that aesthetic judgments are emotionally based.  Though less controversial than it’s moral counter-part, aesthetic sentimentalism bears on a number of core controversies: the nature of aesthetic experience, the mechanisms of evaluation, the specific emotions that underly appreciation, and even the definition of art.  Tentative answers to these questions will be presented, along with avenues for future research.


For more information, please check below references:

- Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion. New York: Oxford University Press (2004)

- http://subcortex.com/PrinzDispassionateCritics.pdf

- http://subcortex.com/EmotionAndAestheticValuePrinz.pdf