The Nordic Society of Aesthetics Annual Conference
26-28 May 2016
Uppsala University (Sweden)
Philosophy, Imagination, and the Arts
Noel Carroll (CUNY Graduate Center)
Stacie Friend (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Jason Gaiger (The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford)
Lydia Goehr (Columbia University)
From whichever perspective we approach the realm of the arts, the imagination has long been considered central to our experience and understanding of it. In some contexts, the purposeful exercise of the imagination is held to be intimately bound up with the role of art and thus also with why we value it in the first place. But has this link between the imagination and the arts come to be felt so surely that we have begun to under-theorize it and take it for granted?
There are at least two pressing reasons to re-examine the relation between the imagination and the arts. First, in the last couple of decades, considerable progress has been made in our understanding of the imagination and its applications. Developments in the philosophy of mind, for example, have equipped us not only with a taxonomy of several different kinds of imagination, but also an enhanced grasp of how the imagination feeds into creativity, mental imagery and our general cognitive architecture. But have these advances been sufficiently introduced into the discourse of aesthetics? Do practitioners, theorists and philosophers working in the arts need to look more closely at our concepts of the imagination?
Second, much 21st-century art challenges our imagination in new and often uncharted ways. How should we approach today’s artworks and with what tools do we best appreciate it? Does the imagination play an increased, decreased or simply different role in the art of today, and how might such changes necessitate revisions to the concepts of art with which we operate in practice and theory? Does the imagination play a different kind of role in different kinds of art and, if so, what are the ramifications for theories purporting to unify the arts?
Proposals for papers on these and other questions related to the theme of Philosophy, Imagination and the Arts are warmly invited.
Conference venue: Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University, Sweden.
Please send abstracts (approx. 250 words) by 15th March 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notification of acceptance: 1st April 2015.
PhD students are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal.
Non-presenting participants are also welcome. (NB Please register before 1st May 2016.)
For more information, please see: http://www.filosofi.uu.se