A Transformation Theory of Aesthetics

1st Edition

Michael Stephan

Published October 2, 2017
Reference - 242 Pages
ISBN 9781138651401 - CAT# Y228738
Series: Routledge Library Editions: Aesthetics

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First published in 1990. How we perceive and respond to the visual image has been traditional concern of psychologists, philosophers and art historians. Today, where the visual image increasingly permeates our everyday life and consciousness, the question becomes ever more relevant. How do we, for instance, instinctively ‘know’ what it is that a picture represents without having to be taught? How it is that we experience (aesthetic) pleasure in looking at certain pictures? How is it that we often want to talk about the pictures we look at?

Such questions are currently asked by a wide range of disciplines, including: semiotics, psychoanalysis, anthropology, neuropsychology, and in general, contemporary critical analysis of the visual arts. In A Transformational Theory of Aesthetics, Michael Stephan links the findings of these areas. Drawing on their common area of knowledge, he has developed a theory of picture perception and aesthetic response, arguing that images can generate in us a complex pattern of mental changes, or transformations.

A Transformation Theory of Aesthetics is essential reading to those seriously involved in linking the arts and cognitive sciences.


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