Domains of Research

My philosophical research interests lie mainly in aesthetics and in ethics and in the interface between these disciplines. I am particularly interested in the aesthetic and ethical impact of attention, empathy, and aesthetic experience. I consider these issues interrelated through our perspectivity, that is, our subjective being in the world, and our ability to change our perspectives. Aesthetic experiences – with art, fiction, nature, or everyday life objects and practices – are resources for the change of perspectives. Attention and empathy are, in my view, both specific capacities of the mind and aesthetic and ethical virtues with which we change our focus and comprehend another's perspective. I am especially interested in the transformative power of attention, empathy, and aesthetic experience, their potential to enable us to see the world differently. With regard to that, more applied topics of mine are film, contemporary TV-series, literature, art, and digital media, but also other and partly unconventional forms of (aesthetic) experiences such as spiritual or psychedelic experiences. Beyond these interests I have been working and teaching also on animal ethics, philosophy of humour, on respect, recognition, tolerance, and lying. Among the philosophers which have mostly influenced my philosophical thinking and writing are: Stanley Cavell, John Dewey, Immanuel Kant, Angelika Krebs, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Rorty, Edith Stein, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Dan Zahavi.

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You can find a list of my publications here and some of my open access paper here.

© 2019 by Susanne Schmetkamp