I will be giving a talk titled “Bolzano’s Cognitivism” on a panel on Bolzano’s aesthetics alongside Dominic McIver Lopes, Sandra Shapsay, and Clinton Tolley.

Here is the abstract: This paper examines Bernard Bolzano’s aesthetic cognitivism. One main identifying marker of aesthetic cognitivism is the belief that aesthetic experience is actual cognition. However, aesthetic cognitivism comes in many flavors, each with its own additional commitments. Bolzano’s cognitivism has a German Rationalist flavor to it and is reminiscent of the accounts of earlier German rationalists like Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten and Christian Wolff, one of the fathers of rationalism. As a result, it may appear constrained, rigid, or even archaic. To begin, the features of his philosophy that contribute to this perception, as well as the points of disagreement between Bolzano and the rationalists, will be identified. It will then be argued that, while incorporating various rationalist elements into his theory of aesthetics, Bolzano developed a distinct brand of aesthetic cognitivism.