Contemporary Perspectives on Susanne K. Langer's Concept of Mind

Agáta Košičanová


The continual possibility of aesthetic experience throughout history has prompted philosophical reflections about its nature and meaning in human life. This article outlines some neuroscientific ways of understanding its functioning, focusing specifically on Susanne Langer’s contribution. Commonly subsumed under the heading ‘philosophy of mind’ – especially due to the trilogy Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling – Langer’s interests in the human mind developed already in the 1950s, as witnessed by the paper The Deepening Mind. A Half-Century of American Philosophy. Following these lines, the article discusses Langer’s philosophical approach from the perspective of a (neuro)aesthetic inquiry, emphasizing particularly the importance of the non-discursive realm of the mind. It also shows how Langer’s account might be seen as going beyond that of John Dewey, which is often referred to as an advancement in the historical development of neuroaesthetics.


Susanne K. Langer; Philosophy; Neuroaesthetics; Mind; Non-discursiveness

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ESPES. The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics (ISSN 1339-1119) is published biannually by Faculty of Arts, University of Presov, Slovakia and the Society for Aesthetics in Slovakia

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