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Psychological aesthetics, also called the psychology of art, is one of the academic disciplines that has been actively involved in the investiation of art and its influence on human existence. In this book a number of studies within the psycho-physical, cognitive, psychoanalytic and existential-phenomenological schools of thought have been selected in order to demonstrate how their view on art appreciation varies. Their conception of an art experience ranges from a spontaneous preference for a work of art to a blissful experience of transcendence. Five different types of art appreciation are identified and described. These different experiences with art do not only vary in their phenomenological manifestations but also in the degree that they involve a personal psychological dimension of the individual having the experience. The aesthetic experience as a transcendent phenomenon is identified as one of the most personal encounters with a work of art. On the basis of a detailed description of its phenomenology it is suggested that an aesthetic experience provides an emotion with a distinct form. In other words, an aesthetic experience is an instance in which an emotional quality is constituted in its existential actuality.
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