Aesthetics as an Emotional Activity That Facilitates Sense-Making: Towards an Enactive Approach to Aesthetic Experience

  • Ioannis Xenakis
  • Argyris ArnellosEmail author
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 73)


Nowadays, aesthetics are generally considered as a crucial aspect that affects the way we confront things, events, and states of affairs. However, the functional role of aesthetics in the interaction between agent and environment has not been addressed effectively. Our objective here is to provide an explanation concerning the role of aesthetics, and especially, of the aesthetic experience as a fundamental bodily and emotional activity in the respective interactions. An explanation of the functional role of the aesthetic experience could offer new orientations to our understanding of embodied cognition and of aesthetics as a fundamental part of it. We argue that aesthetic experience, especially its emotional dimension, is an evaluative process that influences the anticipation for stable and successful interactions with the environment. In other words, aesthetics facilitates sense-making as they affect what might be anticipated by an action tendency with respect to an environment.


Enactivism Sense-making Emotions Embodied mind Human experience 



A part of this work was accomplished when A.A. held a Marie Curie Research Fellowship (IEF-273635) at the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, IAS-Research Centre for Life, Mind, and Society, University of the Basque Country, San Sebastián, Spain. The authors would also like to thank Alfonsina Scarinzi for organizing this collection of book chapters.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Product and Systems Design EngineeringUniversity of the AegeanSyrosGreece
  2. 2.International center for advanced studies in theoretical biologyKLI InstituteKlosterneuburgAustria

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