V is for Valve of Release

| April 30, 2014

One of the meanings attributed to the term aesthetic is “pertaining to the senses”. As I read over my primers for the first time since the beginning of this course, I start to spot a general trend that spans across all of them in one way or another. The common theme seems to be that of perception. That is, I seem to focus on the processes by which the physical properties of a “work of art” (for example light and sound) enter our minds through our senses and are integrated with each other leading to the potential manifestation of an aesthetic experience. Perception is instantiated by the brain, which is what I have been conducting research on for the majority of my academic career, hence, it is not surprising to find that this a recurring theme in my project. After all, we are all have a tendency to write about things we have a strong passion for, motivated by the intrinsic desire to get to the bottom of themes close to our hearts. However, what distinguishes this assignment from the ones I am usually confronted with, is not so much the context as the manner in which I chose to approach these issues. Due to the intrinsically empirical nature of scientific subjects, I seldom get the chance to discuss such matters from a philosophical perspective. In this assignment I did just that. I took it as an opportunity to explore the scientific nature of an aesthetic experience from a humanistic point of view. In retrospect, I realize this project has represented for me a much appreciated release valve through which I could channel the thoughts and considerations which I am normally forced to exclude from my papers due to their purely “speculative” nature (as I cannot back them up with any concrete evidence besides my own opinion). I am now very curious to see what trends will be spotted by the person writing my introduction, and how she will chose to interpret them.