Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


2018 Vol 11 Issue 59

Khoroshilov D.A. Art and social psychology: from experimental aesthetics to the aesthetic paradigm

Full text in Russian: Хорошилов Д.А. Искусство и социальная психология: от экспериментальной эстетики к эстетической парадигме 

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

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The article reveals the significance of art and aesthetics in the history of social psychology. The problem of artistic perception was the field of interest to G.T.Fechner, W.Wundt, T.Lipps, who were the founders of psychological aesthetics. From the numbers of interpretations of art formulated in modern aesthetics, we have chosen the anthropological definition of C.Geertz, according to which art is a symbolic expression of cultural experience, which meaning should be understand in the context of everyday life and social imagination. This definition allows us to consider art in the specific way of the psychology of social cognition and the psychology of everyday life. It is shown that all paradigms and theories of social cognition of the twentieth century (psychoanalysis, neobihaviorism, social neuroscience, interactionism and constructionism) somehow appealed to aesthetics. In the modern epistemological situation of pluralism and polyparadigmality, it becomes possible to talk about the convergence of scientific and artistic cognition, that has been predicted earlier in the aesthetic and psychological concepts of L.S.Vygotsky and G.Shpet before the era of postmodernism. The formula of G.Shpet, according to which art is «not only a correlate and addition to objective knowledge serving to broaden our cultural outlook», but also a way of restoring the unity of cultural existence [Shpet, 2006, p. 34], becomes central to the aesthetic paradigm. The scientists, who work in the aesthetic paradigm make a turn to the languages of art as ways of representing the transformations of social cognition in a transitive society. The aesthetic paradigm is a belated response to the A.Warburg’s proposal to create a history of the psychology of human expression that will unite the efforts of various sciences and art in the way of a holistic understanding of man. The openness of an artistic work (as well as a scientific concept) to some different interpretations, proclaimed by the aesthetic paradigm following U.Eco, corresponds to the uncertainty of the actual historical situation.

Keywords: art, languages of art, social cognition, polyparadigmality, aesthetic paradigm


The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research, project 17-06-00980 «Historical and political factors of transformation of collective memory and identity in Russian society».


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Received 11 April 2018. Date of publication: 28 June 2018.

About author

Khoroshilov Dmitry A. Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, ul. Mokhovaya, 11–9, 125009 Moscow, Russia.
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Khoroshilov D.A. Art and social psychology: from experimental aesthetics to the aesthetic paradigm. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2018, Vol. 11, No. 59, p. 4. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

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