Conference: ‘Perception and the arts’
Institute of Philosophy, London
September 16-17, 2015.

Conference theme:

The aim of this conference was to bring together philosophers of perception and aestheticians to examine how much aesthetics could and should learn from philosophy of perception and vice versa. While perception used to be a central concept in understanding the arts (from Baumgarten through Kant to Dewey), there has been a turn away from perception in the second half of the 20th Century. This tide seems to be turning again with many aestheticians explicitly interested in philosophy of perception questions and vice versa. The conceptual apparatus of philosophy of perception has been used in as diverse corners of aesthetics and philosophy of art as debates about depiction, aesthetic experiences, character engagement, our engagement with fictions, our engagement with narratives, aesthetic properties, metaphors, and so on. The aim of the conference was to provide a general framework for these ways in which philosophy of perception and aesthetics can be fruitfully combined, but, it is important to emphasize, a framework where not only aesthetics is enriched by philosophy of perception but philosophy of perception can also learn from aesthetics, making the interaction between the two sub-disciplines genuinely bidirectional.


Dan Cavedon-Taylor (Oxford University and Institute of Philosophy, London)
Ophelia Deroy (University of London)
Anya Farennikova (University of Bristol)
John Kulvicki (Dartmouth College)
Heather Logue (University of Leeds)
Mohan Matthen (University of Toronto)
Matthew Nudds (University of Warwick)
Elisabeth Schellekens (University of Durham and University of Uppsala)
Sonia Sedivy (University of Toronto)
Barry Smith (University of London)
Dustin Stokes (University of Utah)
Lambert Wiesing (University of Halle)


The programme, comprising seven men and five women has been put together with the BPA/SWIP good practice guidelines in mind. It has a much better ratio of women to men than the discipline as a whole. Those speakers who have children of the relevant age have also been asked whether they require access to a crèche and none requires this facility.