NHS 2019 Presentation

Beauty and Embodiment in the Arts


NewHums Research Center – Neurocognitive and Humanities Studies

University of CataniaInternational NeuroHumanities Studies Network

6th NHS Dialogue 2019, 24th-25th May 2019

Catania, Benedictine Monastery, Machiavelli Theatre

On May 24th and 25th 2019, the interdepartmental research center NewHums – Neurocognitive and Humanities Studies – organises the sixth Neuro Humanities Dialogue with the title “Beauty and Embodiment in the Arts”. The aim of this year dialogue is to investigate the bound between works of art and our physical perception of them.

During recent years, the NewHums research center has promoted a prolific interdisciplinary discussion (in the form of yearly NHS Dialogues), engaging several international research groups on various topics, such as neuroaesthetics, metaphors, cognition and imagination. NewHums aimed at defining possible and new approaches to the study of the literary text and the work of art, process involving both humanities and science. The present Dialogue focuses on the analysis of multiple parameters in the aesthetic perception of a work of art, for instance, its subjective and objective qualities and the concept of beauty as primordial element in the relationship between mankind and artistic creation. In this frame, corporeity  can be seen as a bridge between internal world and external output, human being and art, questioning the dynamics between the percipient subject and the perceived object. The interconnected response is the starting point of embodied cognition, id est, the epistemological foundation of the deep interweaving between humanities and cognitive sciences.

Knowledge is thought to be an embodied reality, strictly bound to mind and body simultaneously and the embodiment is the existential condition of the subject, as implication. The physiological and biological nature of the human body is then the premise for every form of subjectivity, consciousness, thought, expression, social interaction, time and aesthetic experience. The artistic product is the point of confluence of the human mind and the external world, body and beauty represent the Cartesian axes by means of which, the aesthetic experience moves.