Home » British Society of Aesthetics » BJA Special Issue: Forms of Experience and the System of the Arts | Call for Papers

BJA Special Issue: Forms of Experience and the System of the Arts | Call for Papers

Deadline for submissions: 25th April 2025

Guest Editors: Enrico Terrone (University of Genova) Luca Marchetti (University of Genova)

The arts have often been studied in relation to ‘aesthetic experience’, however, it is possible that an over-reliance on the notion of ‘aesthetic’ obscures the myriad ways in which different types of art relate to different types of experience. By analysing and connecting the concept of art and the concept of experience this special issue aims to produce a revised and reconsidered account of ‘the system of the arts’. Its working hypothesis is that the variety of the forms of experience can help us to understand how different arts can be unified in a system as well as their specificities within that system.

The guest editors invite papers discussing topics that include but are not limited to:

— What notion of experience is best suited to explain our responses to art.
— Do we really need ‘the aesthetic’ to characterise experiential responses to art?
— Can we classify forms of art on the basis of the experiences they elicit?
— What role do non-perceptual experiences –such as agentive phenomenology, cognitive phenomenology, or mental imagery– play in our appreciation and classification of artworks?
— Is the traditional distinction between arts of space and arts of time be elucidated by thinking about temporal and spatial experience.
— How can recent work in philosophy of experience allow us to modify/augment the idea of a ‘system of the arts’ so that it can better accommodate more contemporary forms of art (e.g. conceptual art, mass art)?
— Can a focus on experience help us to determine the similarities and differences between works of art and technical artifacts?
— How can reflection on the sorts of experience generated by a form of art aid us in situating that artform within the system of the arts?
— Is the notion of the system of the arts still relevant to aesthetics? Given the varieties of forms of art, can the notion of experience shed light on the possibility of such a system?
— How the system of the arts can be connected to (or included into) an alleged system of technical artifacts?

Papers should conform to the usual BJA requirements and be submitted for consideration through the BJA submissions site by April 25th, 2025.

Any queries should be addressed to the editors, Paloma Atencia Linares (patencia@fsof.uned.es) or Derek Matravers (derek.matravers@open.ac.uk).