Published October 23, 2014
The University at Buffalo Department of Philosophy is very pleased to announce that Carolyn Korsmeyer's article on "Touch and the Experience of the Genuine", as it appeared in the British Journal of Aesthetics 52: 365-377, was picked as one of the five best papers published on the philosophy of art for the year, 2012.
The near total absence in Philosophers' Annual of articles dealing with issues in Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics. Recently, a panel of nine judges were tasked with nominating what they thought to be particularly outstanding papers published in 2012 and 2013 (judges could not nominate their own work). From those nominations, five authors were selected in 2012.
Abstract: Genuineness is an important property of objects that are rare, old, or preserved as memorials. Being genuine enhances economic value for objects such as works of art, and it is obviously critical for historical purposes, such as assessing the artefacts from a past culture. Here I argue that genuineness is also an aesthetic property that delivers an experience of its own. I contend that the sense of touch covertly operates in such experiences, as this sense conveys the impression of being in contact with the ‘real thing’. Touch seems to operate with a kind of transitivity that conducts the past into the present. However, the foundation for that impression may appear dubious, as it compares closely with what has been dubbed ‘magical thinking’. Under these circumstances, is the aesthetic value accorded genuineness sensible or irrational? An apprehension of something real or a pleasant delusion? I defend the transitivity of touch by comparing it to similar phenomena already recognized in studies of perception and emotion