Nicola Di Stefano, Stefano Oliva

Insights into the Aesthetic Experience Through an Embodied Approach to Wittgenstein’s Hearing-As

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Aesthetics, Embodied Cognition, Form of Life, Grounded Cognition, Music Listening.

Over the last few years, scholars have been debating whether aesthetic experience is characterized by a peculiar detachment from ordinary experience, i.e., «doubling», or by an intrinsic pragmatic and interactional nature. Within this debate, the embodied cognition paradigm contributes the position that the contemplative quality of aesthetic experience is rather grounded in sensorimotor representations triggered by the perception of aesthetic objects. In this paper, we show that the concept of embodied simulation can be useful for reading Wittgenstein’s notion of hearing-as, conceived of as a peculiar aesthetic experience essentially characterized by intersubjectivity. We then link our findings to the notion of form of life, suggesting that aesthetic experience is a whole of interactional bodily rooted practices intertwined with, and grounded on, the world and others besides ourselves.

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