Global Humanities Junior Research and Teaching Stay at Freie Universitaet Berlin
March – July 2016
Cognitive constants and the appreciation of cultural artifacts: unfolding the dynamics of aesthetic experience
Cultural difference does not seem to preclude the enduring reality of our appreciative practices that are thought to be deep-rooted in human nature. This research project seeks to examine the importance of cognitive capacities to the aesthetic reception of works of art in a diachronic perspective, with particular attention paid to the evolution of aesthetic and artistic discourse based on empirical studies. By intersecting cognitive approaches to aesthetic experience with empirical developments in art history, Ancuta-Maria Mortu aims to set the framework for conceptualizing a cognitive model of aesthetic appreciation that remains sensitive to the historical and cultural context within which this type of activity arises.
Ancuta-Maria Mortu holds a PhD in Aesthetics from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (2015), where she completed a doctoral dissertation entitled From Aesthetic Cognition to Cognitive Aesthetics. A Genealogical Study. She studied foreign languages and literatures, philosophy of art and philosophy of mind in Bucharest, Lyon and Paris. Her research interests focus on the mental processes engaged in aesthetic experience and on the evolution of cognitive trends in aesthetics over several periods of time, starting from the canonical works of the Enlightenment up to contemporary information-processing models.