Mohan Matthen

Mohan Matthen (Toronto) to deliver 41st Gramlich Lecture

Mohan Matthen, Canada Research Chair and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, will deliver this year's Gramlich Lecture, "Pleasure and Art". Professor Matthen has published widely in the philosophy of perception, philosophy of biology, and ancient philosophy, and, more recently, the philosophy of art.


Art has value. At least in part, this is because it gives pleasure. What is the nature of this pleasure, and how does it confer value? In this paper, I offer an account of aesthetic pleasure as a mental state. I describe a certain type of pleasure—facilitating pleasure, as I call it—and show how aesthetic pleasure is a special kind of this. My account helps show how the psychology of human evaluation of beauty parallels the normative structure of Kantian philosophical aesthetics.