Placing Art and Music in Nature: KNEW 2015


Kazimierz Dolny, Poland – November, 7th to 11th, 2015 August,  10th to 14th, 2015

Recent scientific research concerning art and music has thrown up a plethora of new aspects to be integrated into our understanding of these phenomena. Individual studies, such as attempts to explain aesthetic responses in terms of some aspect of human neurology, have at times been deemed reductionist. Quite apart from such ‘accusations’ often being wholehearted accepted by researchers, the overall picture of art that science is revealing is anything from simplistic. Instead, research coming out of a variety of disciplines is presenting philosophy with ever new challenges if it is to provide anything like an integrated understanding of art and music. Thus, among others, ecological approaches provide a novel perspective upon meaning in music, embodied approaches explore the role of the specific played by the body in experiencing music and evolutionary approaches examine the significance of human evolutionary history for art and music. Far from being simplified, the view that tended to focus upon cultural factors has been enriched by consideration of cognitive and evolutionary factors as well as novel tools and ways of thinking about the interplay between art and music and the broader cultures in which they exist. In effect, it is philosophy that is forced to extend its perspective in order to seek a synthesis that reflects the new research. In our workshop we will seek to further this process by engaging philosophers and scientists in a dialogue concerning the multifaceted place that art and music hold in nature.

Invited Key-speakers

Ian Cross (University of Cambridge)

Ellen Dissanayake (University of Washington) 

Piotr Przybysz (Adam Mickiewicz University)

Sample Questions

  • To what extent recent neuroscientific findings explain the nature of our interactions with art and music?
  • How can we relate empirical data from empirical musicology to evolutionary theories of music?
  • What is the role of computational modelling of music cognition in our understanding of music (in evolutionary context)?
  • To what degree can current neuroaesthetics explain the meaning of art and aesthetic pleasure?
  • In what ways current naturalistic philosophy of science can inform recent debates on art and music?

Call for Papers

300 word abstracts are invited no later than August, 30th (extended deadline). Accepted speakers will have 40 minutes for their presentations, including discussion time. Preference will be given to presentations directly connected to the work carried out by the key speakers. Abstracts are to be submitted via EasyChair.

Registration and accommodation

Applications will be accepted till September, 10th, with late applications being accepted till October, 15th. Early registration fee is 150 Euro (reduced rate – 75 Euro), while late registration fee is 200 Euro. Fees are payable upon acceptance of application. They cover the workshop sessions, conference materials, lunches, coffee breaks and the minibus to and from Warsaw. Accommodation is available at the hotel at which the workshop will take place (or a hotel nearby) and costs an additional 100 Euro in total for the whole workshop (including breakfasts) in twin en-suite rooms (limited single rooms available at higher price). Availability of accommodation cannot be guaranteed for late registrants.

KNEW’15 is being organised by Marcin Miłkowski (PAN, CPR), Konrad Talmont-Kaminski (UF&M, CPR) and Jakub Ryszard Matyja (PAN, CPR) with the financial assistance from the Centre for Philosophical Research.



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