Skip to main content
  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2015

Investigations Into the Phenomenology and the Ontology of the Work of Art

What are Artworks and How Do We Experience Them?

  • Critically compares and integrates phenomenological and cognitive aesthetics

  • Shows how the study of aesthetic experience and artworks offers a window to human cognition

  • Brings together a unique group of interdisciplinary researches

  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Contributions to Phenomenology (CTPH, volume 81)

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-vi
  2. Introduction

    • Peer F. Bundgaard
    Pages 1-13Open Access
  3. Temporal Aspects of Literary Reading

    • David S. Miall
    Pages 15-30Open Access
  4. Memory and Mental States in the Appreciation of Literature

    • Marisa Bortolussi, Peter Dixon
    Pages 31-49Open Access
  5. Temporal Conflict in the Reading Experience

    • Cathrine Kietz
    Pages 51-73Open Access
  6. What Is a Surface? In the Real World? And Pictures?

    • John M. Kennedy, Marta Wnuczko
    Pages 89-107Open Access
  7. Why We Are Not All Novelists

    • Shaun Gallagher
    Pages 129-143Open Access
  8. Aesthetic Relationship, Cognition, and the Pleasures of Art

    • Jean-Marie Schaeffer
    Pages 145-165Open Access
  9. Depiction

    • John Hyman
    Pages 191-208Open Access
  10. The Appropriation of the Work of Art as a Semiotic Act

    • Francis Édeline, Jean-Marie Klinkenberg
    Pages 225-242Open Access
  11. Sculpture, Diagram, and Language in the Artwork of Joseph Beuys

    • Wolfgang Wildgen
    Pages 243-257Open Access
  12. Back Matter

    Pages 259-264

About this book

​This book investigates the nature of aesthetic experience and aesthetic objects. Written by leading philosophers, psychologists, literary scholars and semioticians, the book addresses two intertwined issues. The first is related to the phenomenology of aesthetic experience: The understanding of how human beings respond to artworks, how we process linguistic or visual information, and what properties in artworks trigger aesthetic experiences. The examination of the properties of aesthetic experience reveals essential aspects of our perceptual, cognitive, and semiotic capacities.  The second issue studied in this volume is related to the ontology of the work of art: Written or visual artworks are a specific type of objects, containing particular kinds of representation which elicit a particular kind of experience. The research question explored is: What properties in artful objects trigger this type of experience, and what characterizes representation in written and visual artworks? The volume sets the scene for state-of-the-art inquiries in the intersection between the psychology and ontology of art. The investigations of the relation between the properties of artworks and the characteristics of aesthetic experience increase our insight into what art is. In addition, they shed light on essential properties of human meaning-making in general.


  • Aesthetics and art
  • Art History
  • Artwork and Perception
  • Cognitive Semiotics
  • Knowing Art
  • Ontology of art
  • Phenomenology and cognitive science
  • cognitive aesthetics
  • phenomenological aesthetics
  • psychology of art

Editors and Affiliations

  • Center for Semiotics, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

    Peer F. Bundgaard

  • Humanomics Centre Department of Arts and Culture, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

    Frederik Stjernfelt

About the editors

Peer Bundgaard is professor at the Center for Semiotics, Aarhus University, and is the Editor-in-Chief of Cognitive Semiotics.

Frederik Stjernfelt is professor at the Center for Semiotics, Aarhus University, and is member of the Danish Academy as well as the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. Post-doctoral habilitation Diagrammatology (Springer 2007). He is also a guest professor at Humboldt University Berlin 2010.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Investigations Into the Phenomenology and the Ontology of the Work of Art

  • Book Subtitle: What are Artworks and How Do We Experience Them?

  • Editors: Peer F. Bundgaard, Frederik Stjernfelt

  • Series Title: Contributions to Phenomenology

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, Philosophy and Religion (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and the Author(s) 2015

  • License: CC BY-NC

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-14089-6Published: 30 June 2015

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-319-36455-1Published: 15 October 2016

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-14090-2Published: 22 June 2015

  • Series ISSN: 0923-9545

  • Series E-ISSN: 2215-1915

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VI, 264

  • Number of Illustrations: 32 b/w illustrations, 8 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Phenomenology, Cognitive Psychology, Aesthetics

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)