About the project

Perceptions of the other; aesthetics, ethics and prejudice.

 

In what way is aesthetic sensibility related to culture? How does art force us to engage with issues of identity, xenophobia and prejudice? How does culture formation and prejudice inform aesthetic perception? In what way does perception implicate an ethical dimension at a primary level, foregoing the conscious elaboration of moral values?

Perceptions of the other; aesthetics, ethics and prejudice is a project funded by The Baltic Sea Foundation. The project studies the impact of prejudice on our perceptive predisposition. Situated at the crossroads between the philosophy of translation in the German enlightenment, the ethics of phenomenology and the formation of Jewish identity in contemporary art, the project brings three individual projects together. The researchers share two questions that are set in the foreground: the first concerns the way in which cultural identity, prejudice and aesthetic experience are related. The second examines the way in which a Jewish philosophical-cultural heritage may help us understand these relations. The latter will help illuminate the heterogeneous and plural nature of the European aesthetic tradition.

Starting its line of enquiries in the German enlightenment, the project examines a philosophical and cultural heritage where issues of perception, embodiment and ethics are placed in focus rather than those of taste, autonomy and intellect. Rather than pursuing ideals of universality and standard conceptions of reason, the “other” tradition of the enlightenment engages with issues of particularity and embodiment. The philosophical and aesthetic climate of debate today has forced a revision of enlightenment thought, not least through postcolonial critique. Formations of particularity, embodiment and cultural identity appear highly pertinent in the cultural study of globalization. Perceptions of the other looks at some aspects of these formations within a European context. The project brings three parts of study together:

  1. Prejudice, tolerance and aesthetic translatability; the cultural boundaries of sensibility (German philosophy of the 18th century; by prof. Cecilia Sjöholm).
    Read more about this here.

  2. The protoethics of perceptual life. Perception and ethics in the field of phenomenology and psychoanalysis (German philosophy of the 20th century; postdoctoral project by Nicholas Smith).
    Read more about this here.

  3. Politics of representation; Jewish identity in recent art (contemporary artists of an Eastern European heritage; Ph. D. project by Rebecka Thor).
    Read more about this here.

The project is generously funded by Östersjöstiftelsen / The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies

Link:
http://ostersjostiftelsen.se/projekt/423-perceptions-of-the-other-aesthetics-ethics-and-prejudice

Click here to read a select bibliograpy.