BULLOUGH’S ESSAY, “Psychical Distance as a. Factor in given some attention to psychical distance; N1nd Essays Edward Bullough (Stanford, California. , , et passim. 6 Edward Bullough, ‘Psychical Distance’ as a Factor in Art and an Aesthetic Principle,”. The British Journal of Psychology, V (June. The concept of “physical distance” developed by Edward Bullough in his well- known article1has come to be generally accepted as an aesthetic principle.

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On the contrary, it describes a personal relation, often highly emotionally coloured, but of a peculiar character. Distabce article is in the public domain, as the copyright has expired. The same misconception has arisen over many ‘problem plays’ and ‘problem novels’ in which the public have persisted in seeing nothing but a supposed ‘problem’ of the moment, whereas the author may have been – and often has demonstrably been – able to distance the subject-matter sufficiently to rise above its practical problematic import and ddistance regard it simply as a dramatically and humanly interesting situation.

Usually, though not always, it amounts to the same thing to say that the Distance lies between our own self and such objects as are the sources or vehicles of such affections. Sign in to use this feature. The aesthetic contemplation and the aesthetic outlook have often been described as ‘objective. Using the term ‘Psychical Distance’, he showed that the states of aesthetic appreciation and artistic production stood outside the context of our personal needs bullougg ends.

Edward Bullough’s Concept of ‘Psychical Distance’

Cambridge University Press, Psychical Distance in Acting. The jealous spectator of ‘Othello’ will indeed appreciate and enter into the play the more keenly, the greater the resemblance with his own experience – provided that he succeeds in keeping the Distance between the action of the play and his personal feelings: Imprint Academic,— Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University’s proxy server Configure custom proxy use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy.


His power of distancing, nay, the necessity of distancing feelings, sensations, situations which for the average person are too intimately bound up with his concrete existence to be regarded in that light, have often quite unjustly earned for him accusations of cynicism, sensualism, morbidness or frivolity.

Many an artist has seen his work condemned, and himself ostracized for the sake of so-called ‘immoralities’ which to him were bona fide aesthetic objects. Monthly downloads Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

In theory, therefore, not ppsychical the usual subjects of Art, but even the most personal affections, whether ideas, percepts or emotions, can be sufficiently bullougb to be aesthetically appreciable. But it does not mean that the relation between the self and the object is broken to the extent of becoming ‘impersonal. It is, of course, to be granted that the actual and admitted unreality of the dramatic action reinforces the effect of Distance.

The individual tends, as I just stated, to under-distance rather than to lose Distance by over-distancing.

The Aesthetic Experience of Video Games: For hullough English rugby player, see Edward Bullough rugby. Crossley – – Idealistic Studies 3 1: But, as a matter of fact, the ‘assumption’ upon which the imaginative emotional reaction is based is not necessarily the condition, but often the consequence, of distance; that is to say, the converse of the reason usually stated would then be true: Herein especially lies the advantage of Distance compared with such terms as ‘objectivity’ and ‘detachment.

Nor are they the only pair of opposites. Those studies assert that it’s a psychical act or a set of properties of objects projected from subjective impressions. Hence, on the other hand, the failure of the average man to convey to others at all adequately the impression of an overwhelming joy or sorrow. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Distance further provides the much needed criterion of the beautiful as distinct from the merely agreeable. The same qualification applies to the artist. Loftin – – International Journal of Applied Philosophy 3 1: Its interplay can also apply to the personal and the social factors in the history of Art.

Psychical distance Bullough capitalises the words is that which, in certain situations, “appears to lie between our own self and its affections, using the latter term in its broadest sense as anything which affects our being”. To do so usually results in paradoxes, which are nowhere more inevitable than in discussions upon Art.

Edward Bullough – Wikipedia

But it is safe to infer that, in art practice, explicit references to organic affections, to the material existence of the body, especially to sexual matters, lie normally below the Distance-limit, and can be touched upon by Art only with special precautions. Finally, it may claim to be considered as one of the essential characteristics of the ‘aesthetic consciousness,’ – if I may describe by this term that special mental attitude towards, and outlook upon, experience, which finds its most pregnant expression in the various forms of Art.

In languages, Bullough was a dedicated teacher who published little. Bullough was elected to the Chair of Italian at Cambridge in March It is a difference of outlook, due – if such a metaphor is permissible – to the insertion of distance.

In their interplay they afford one of the most extensive explanations for varieties of aesthetic experience, since loss of distance, whether due to the one or the other, means loss of aesthetic appreciation. Bradley on Censorship and Psychical Distance.