Aesthetic and interpersonal experience: traditional and contemporary views on their relation

Joanna Ganczarek, Thomas Hünefeldt and Marta Olivetti Belardinelli
in NODES 11-12 →
Is there a relationship between aesthetic and interpersonal experience? This question is motivated not only by the fact that historically experiences of both kinds have often been accounted for in terms of “empathy”, the English translation of the German term “Einfühlung”, but also by the fact that several contemporary theories refer to mechanisms underlying both aesthetic and interpersonal experience. In this contribution, we summarize the traditional view of “empathy”, as it has been theoretically developed in 19th-century German aesthetics, and confront it with contemporary views on mechanisms underlying both aesthetic and interpersonal experience.