Institut Jean Nicod

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The Sublime and Aesthetic Experiences

SublimAE (the Sublime and Aesthetic Experiences) seminar, in connection with SublimAE ANR project, will focus on the interdisciplinary study of Aesthetic Experiences with an eye to the sublime by bringing together philosophy, psychology, and social sciences. We will explore, on the one hand, how the experience of the sublime connects to other similar or contrast experiences (the beautiful, terrible beauty, awe, wonder, the uncanny, …), and, on the other hand, the impact these experiences, and more specifically aesthetic ones, have on our representation of the self. The seminar will feature presentations by members of the project, as well as by invited speakers.

Venue : Virtual BigBlueButton room

Contact : Margherita Arcangeli, Jérôme Dokic

For the full programme click here.



15 mars, exceptionnellement de 17h00 à 19h00
Emily Brady (Texas A&M University)
The Sublime and Wonder


This paper explores the contemporary relevance of the sublime and wonder to questions and issues within the context of nature, environment, aesthetics, and religion. I begin with a brief, recent history of aesthetic and religious discussions of sublimity, before examining the contemporary sublime in relation to ‘other-regarding attitudes’ toward nature.
I then consider recent cross-disciplinary discussions of varieties of wonder and show how wonder invites receptivity in relation to the more-than-human world. In the concluding section, I offer a comparison of the sublime and wonder in order to show the different ways in which they support sympathetic attitudes with respect to the environment



22 mars, exceptionnellement de 9h00 à 11h00
Tom Cochrane (Flinders University)
Aesthetic values are distal versions of practical values


In this talk I will outline a novel general theory of aesthetic value that is supposed to apply to all the specific aesthetic values such as the beautiful, the sublime, the comic, and the dramatic. This theory balances Kantian considerations about valuing the object for its own sake with more recent theories that aesthetic values have motivational aspects that are continuous with the rest of our lives. I argue that when we value an object aesthetically, we regard it as simply good, rather than good for me or good for us (contra practical value and moral value). Yet this is made possible by psychological mechanisms that humans possess for the distal detection of something of potential practical value. Thus aesthetic values are ‘distal versions’ of practical values and both continuous with, and explicable by reference to our practical drives.



12 avril, de 13h00 à 15h00
Jérôme Dokic (EHESS-IJN)
Self-transcendent experiences and the sublime



17 mai, exceptionnellement de 17h00 à 19h00
Sandra Shapshay (CUNY)
The Sublime Aesthetics of Monuments