Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

pp 55-57


  • Tone RoaldAffiliated withInstitut for Psykologi, København Universitet Email author 


Aesthetics is traditionally a philosophical topic, although present in a marginalized fashion within psychology since the latter became an academic discipline. It includes extensive reflections on art and beauty. One approach, for instance, views experiences of the aesthetic as exemplary forms of meaning-making, revealing experiences which reach beyond formal language of concepts and propositions. Experiences of the aesthetic are seen as a starting point for investigating the nature of subjectivity in general, as aesthetic objects present possibilities for intensified forms of experience which catalyze new modes of awareness. As such, the aesthetic presents the perfect object for sensing, revealing meaning in a sensuous form otherwise inaccessible – meaning that can be found in a pre-reflective experience of bodily rhythms and affects as well as meaning of a political or historical character. Other approaches locate aesthetic experiences in the perception of ges ...

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