• Arnold Berleant deposited The Sensuous and the Sensual in Aesthetics on Humanities Commons 2 years, 4 months ago

    The sensuousness of perception leads us to recognize the role of the senses in aesthetic experience. Aesthetics has traditionally admitted the sensuous through sight and hearing but has excluded the contact senses of taste, smell, and especially touch. These contact senses challenge the place in traditional aesthetics of distance and disinterestedness by overcoming their depersonalizing effect and introducing the sensual through direct physical involvement. These senses, however, do enter into the arts and thus are aesthetically important. The distinction that traditional theory maintains between the sensuous experience of the distant senses and the sensual appeal of the contact senses is untenable. With the aesthetic relevance of sensual experience comes an acknowledgment of tactility, the body, and the erotic as legitimate parts of aesthetic experience at its fullest and richest.