Naturalizing Aesthetics: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Emotion, Book Panel and Workshop

Naturalizing Aesthetics: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Emotion, Book Panel and Workshop

Friday March 6, 2020

Drama Studio, 10 Hadenfeld Avenue (Y3A), Room 187, Macquarie University

Convenors: Karen Pearlman (Macquarie) and Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie)

Participants: Karin Kukkonen (Oslo), David Macarthur (USyd), Richard Menary (Macquarie), Karen Pearlman (Macquarie), Robert Sinnerbrink (Macquarie), Murray Smith (University of Kent), Wyatt Moss-Wellington (Nottingham Ningbo), John Sutton (Macquarie), Julia Vassilieva (Monash)

Book Panel and Symposium

What can a naturalistic approach bring to the philosophy of art and film? Can a naturalist aesthetics meet the objections of skeptics and provide a robust account of art and aesthetic experience? What can naturalism offer to theorising our emotional engagement with art and film? This event brings together philosophers and film theorists to explore the question of naturalizing aesthetics and how this might help bridge the divide between the humanities and the sciences. Murray Smith’s Film, Art and the Third Culture: A Naturalized Aesthetics of Film (Oxford: 2017) has stimulated much debate in aesthetics and philosophy of film. Alluding to C.P. Snow’s famous account of the adversarial ‘two cultures’ (scientific and humanistic) and advocacy of a ‘third culture’ combining the two, Smith argues that a naturalized approach to aesthetics has much to offer contemporary philosophical understanding of art and the philosophical theorization of film. Philosophers and film theorists will address key claims in Smith’s work on the naturalization of aesthetics and examine how this might help us advance inquiry into the aesthetics of film.

Other symposium presentations will address the topic of naturalizing aesthetics from a variety of theoretical perspectives (cognitivism, phenomenology, film theory, literary theory moral psychology, and so on). Participants will explore how a naturalistic approach informs their work on art and culture but also what art and culture requires us to consider when using naturalistic approaches. Topics to be addressed include naturalism and aesthetics, theorising cinematic experience from a naturalistic perspective, the role of emotional engagement in evaluating cinema, and cognitive approaches to narrative and literature.

Naturalising Aesthetics: Book Panel and Workshop

Drama Studio 10 Hadenfeld Ave (Y3A), Room 187

10:15 Welcome and Intro
10:30 -- 12.30 Book Panel on Murray Smith's Film, Art, and the Third Culture (Oxford, 2017):
David Macarthur (Sydney), Robert Sinnerbrink (MQ), Wyatt Moss-Wellington (Nottingham Ningbo) with response from Murray Smith (Kent)
Lunch (self-catered) 12:30 to 2pm
2:00-4:00 Workshop on Naturalising Aesthetics
Karin Kukkonen (Oslo), ‘Getting Things Wrong: Form, Literature and Predictive Processing’
Karen Pearlman (MQ), ‘Distributed Cognition and Filmmaking Practices’
Richard Menary (MQ), ‘Aesthetic Niches’
Murray Smith (Kent), ‘Graded Consciousness, the Attentional Blink, and Film Perception’
John Sutton (MQ), ‘Distributed Creativity: domains, dimensions, differences’
Julia Vassilieva (Monash), ‘Eisenstein and naturalised aesthetics’
4:15-4:30 General wrap-up discussion and conclusion

This event is generously supported by the Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University and the Centre for the History of Emotions node, Macquarie University.

For further information please contact Robert Sinnerbrink.

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