Empathy pp 181-199 | Cite as

The Empathic Body in Experimental Aesthetics – Embodied Simulation and Art

  • Vittorio GalleseEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Theory and History of Psychology book series (PSTHP)


Gallese evaluates neurocognitive and brain-imaging studies that investigate the role of mirror neuron systems and embodied simulation in aesthetic experience, and examines similarities and differences to the concept of “Einfühlung” from aesthetic theory around 1900. He argues that embodied simulation can be relevant to aesthetic experience in at least two ways: First, embodied simulation generates the seeing as that plays a special role in our aesthetic experience. Second, because of the bodily memories and imaginative associations that works of art provoke in the beholder’s mind. He concludes that experimental aesthetics can revitalize the scientific study of artistic styles, focusing on their biological bodily roots, and, by acknowledging the complex entanglement of our body with the world, can foster a “bio-cultural” turning point within the human sciences.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine and Surgery, Unit of NeuroscienceUniversity of ParmaParma PRItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced StudyUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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