Art & Identity – Københavns Universitet

Art & Identity

Challenging Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives

May 7-8, 2010

Two-day symposium organized by the Danish Society for Philosophy and Psychology in collaboration with the Departments of Philosophy and Psychology, University of Copenhagen.

This symposium focuses on art in relation to questions of identity and self-development, and includes art's implications for philosophical and psychological traditions. Philosophy has often searched for the functions of art in rational and general systems, while psychology, with its more empirical nature and much shorter history, holds out the possibility of creating an aesthetics based upon actual, lived experience. Although many philosophers reject the reduction of art to its subjective potential for experience, philosophical aesthetics contains several assumptions about the psyche, both in relation to psychic structures as well as to psychic functions. Within scientific psychology, partly delimited as more of an empirical endeavor than philosophy, aesthetic experience has been granted much lesser import and has comprised less of psychology's self-identity. Accordingly, the central questions of this symposium are: How is art linked to identity and self-development, seen from philosophical and psychological perspectives? What are the borders for these fields of inquiry when it comes to experiences with art? And how can philosophy and psychology inform each other in this mutual quest for understanding the functions of art in relation to questions of identity and self-development?

Go to program.


Ciarán Benson (University College Dublin), Andrew Bowie (University of London), Gerald Cupchik (University of Toronto), Judy Gammelgaard (University of Copenhagen), Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Stanford University), Mark Johnson (University of Oregon).

For further information about the speakers please read here.

For abstracts please click here.


University of Copenhagen, Lecture Hall CSS 34.0.01
Centre for Health and Society
Øster Farimagsgade 5A
1353 Copenhagen K

Organizing committee

Bjarne Sode Funch, Jonas Gerlings, Kasper Levin, Sofie Nielsen, and Tone Roald.


If you have any questions concerning the symposium, please contact Tone Roald.