What happens when we experience a work of art? What does it mean to have an aesthetic
reaction? Can we derive general properties of such experiences or is there no accounting for
taste? Philosophers, psychologists, and recently neuroscientists have sought answers to
these questions. This course examines the ways we experience the visual arts. In
particular, we will discuss how aspects of psychology—such as perceiving, knowing, and
feeling—help us understand works of art and their aesthetic appeal.No background
experience in psychology, biology, or art is required. This seminar may be used to
satisfy the Arts and Literature breadth requirement in Letters and Science.