The Logical and the Empirical Form of Feeling

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The Logical and the Empirical Form of Feeling


Susanne K. Langer's theory of art seems to have suffered some neglect in recent years. The plausibility, usefulness, and demonstrability of her principal idea, that works of art present the logical form of feeling, have been questioned. The purpose of this paper is to invite attention to the work of Manfred Clynes on experimentally obtained forms of feeling and the inner pulse of music, for it appears to be a direct demonstration of Langer's logical form of feeling. Clynes's research has revealed important features of the nature of feeling which not only confirm Langer's ideas but have opened a new field of study: the study of expression as a function of its spatial and dynamic form. If aesthetic education is to be rightfully regarded as the education of feeling, then we are presented here with a rich source of implications, because suddenly feeling is no longer an elusive quality but has a precise and demonstrable form whose properties can be measured. The first part of this paper reviews the key concepts of Langer's theory, the second presents Clynes's discovery, and the third carries out an alignment of their concepts.




Piechowski, M.M. (1981). The logical and the empirical form of feeling. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 15(1) 31-53.


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“The Logical and the Empirical Form of Feeling,” TPD Archive , accessed March 23, 2018,

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