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Talk Eileen John (Brain & Cognition Seminar)

13 February @ 12 h 15 min - 13 h 15 min

Mixed Feelings in Response to Art Eileen John, University of Warwick The notion of mixed feelings allows us to refer to a range of complex affective phenomena. This range includes feelings we might call directly opposed or contradictory (eagerness and dread? compassion and contempt?) and feelings that differ in some less sharp way, pulling us in different, but not inconsistent directions (anger and fear? jealousy and love?). What prompts us to experience conflicting or importantly divergent feelings, and are there norms or ideals for how we should respond to them? Should we aim to resolve them, to reach an affective equilibrium in which opposition and divergence are lessened or eliminated? With belief, there is an imperative to eliminate conflict, but the same does not seem to be true for feeling. This is a sprawling topic; my focus is on a narrow domain in which mixed feelings have, I think, an interesting role: engagement with and evaluation of art. Art is a domain that can prompt mixed feelings for good reason. The mixedness need not count against artistic value (‘I laughed, I cried!’), but when it is a matter of mixed evaluative feeling for a work (roughly, feeling in some way positive and negative about a work’s achievements), we might say this is obviously an artistic failure. I partially press back against this latter thought, to defend the importance of the interesting failure. In the context of art, mixed feelings are an opportunity for deeper understanding. ON SITE & ZOOM: Meeting ID: 692 2264 8460 Passcode: 266666


13 February
12 h 15 min - 13 h 15 min
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