Knowledge, Perception, and the Prospects of Criticism

Principal Researchers

Elisabeth Schellekens, Principal Investigator

Professor Schellekens holds the chair of the Aesthetics section (founded in 1784) of the Department of Philosophy at Uppsala University in Sweden, now one of the most vibrant research environments (with its own PhD program) in aesthetics in Europe. In Aesthetics, there are currently six research-active staff members, five PhD students, approximately 20 Master students, and approximately 50 BA-level students each year. A significant strand in Professor Schellekens’ research has been the pursuit of fruitful collaboration with the empirical scientists. For example, The Aesthetic Mind: Philosophy and Psychology (ed. Schellekens & Goldie, Oxford, 2011) was among the first prominent anthologies bringing together philosophers, neuroscientists, evolutionary biologists, anthropologists and psychologists. The question of aesthetic cognitivism has been at the heart of most of her research activities since her PhD on the objectivity of aesthetic judgement.

John Gibson, Principal Investigator

Professor Gibson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Louisville. He recently served as Director of the Commonwealth Center for Humanities and Society, where he established the Digital Humanities Research Network (a collaborative research group composed of faculty and staff from across the university)and sponsored their inaugural digital projects. He has published widely on issues to do with how the arts influence us as moral and philosophical beings and enable us to ascribe varieties of meaning to our lives. First book, Fiction and the Weave of Life (Oxford 2007), is a defense of aesthetic cognitivism in respect to the novel, and he is currently completing a book on poetry and cognitivism (contract with Oxford). He has also coedited two interdisciplinary volumes on aesthetic cognitivism: A Sense of the World: Essays on Fiction, Narrative, and Knowledge (Routledge, 2009), and Narrative, Emotion & Insight (Penn State, 2011). He has served in various capacities for the American Society for Aesthetics, most notably as a trustee (2018-2021) and past co-organizer of their Eastern Division annual meetings.

Guy Dammann, Researcher

Guy Dammann is a researcher and lecture in the Department of Philosophy at Uppsala University, where he is also affiliated with the musicology department. Active as a classical music and opera critic for many years, from 2009 to 2019 he was chief opera critic of the Times Literary Supplement. As a journalist he has written widely on music, the arts and philosophy for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Economist, The Spectator, and others, and since 2017 has been a regular arts columnist for Svenska Dagbladet. His research interests include the philosophy of art criticism, the philosophy of music, music theory. He received his PhD from Kings College London in 2005 for a thesis on the moral philosophy and music theory of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Research Network

Robert Chodat

Professor of English, Boston University.


Anna Foka

Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities Uppsala University and Associate Professor at the Department of Archives, Libraries and Museums.

Berys Gaut

Professor of Philosophy, University of St. Andrews.


Jonathan Gilmore

Associate Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center and Baruch College.

John Haldane

Professor of Moral Philosophy Emeritus, University of St Andrews. UK

María José Alcaraz León

Professor of Philosophy, University of Murcia

Hannah Haejin Kim

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Macalester College.

Derek Matravers

Professor of Philosophy, Open University. Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.

Jonathan Neufeld

Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy, College of Charleston

Jeremy Page

PhD student in Aesthetics, Uppsala University.


Panos Paris

Lecturer in Philosophy, Cardiff University.


Jenefer Robinson

Professor Emerita of Philosophy, University of Cincinnati.


Tzachi Zamir

Professor of English, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.