Joerg Fingerhut

I am a philosopher who works theoretically and empirically (X-Phi, EEG, eye-tracking) at the interface of philosophy of mind and cognitive science focusing specifically on our interaction with cultural artifacts such as pictures, film, and architecture. Since 2020 I am a Principal Investigator

of the Research Group: Visual Media, Architecture, and Art within the EU Horizon 2020 Consortium Project: ARTIS: (Art and Research on Transformations on Individuals and Societies), where we will explore the cognitive and social effects of Art. The Berlin based part of the project focuses how we explore cities based on an 4EA - embodied, embedded, extended, enactive and affective - cognition approach and how contemporary art engages and transforms us. Follow me on or contact me via mail

Current Collaborations


Joerg Fingerhut received his PhD in philosophy from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2013) as a researcher in the "Collegium Picture Act & Embodiment," a joint project of art historians and philosophers.  He was a member of the "Functions of Consciousness" research group at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of the Sciences and Humanities and "Art & Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellow” at Columbia University (2013), and assistant professor at the University of Stuttgart (2013-2015). He coordinated the research and activities of the Einstein group from 4/2015-12/2019 with a personal focus in research on "Aesthetic Psychology" and "Embodied and Embellished Perception." 

ART, artifacts, & Philosophy of Mind

I work at the interface of philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Generally, I am interested in embodied approaches to the mind and the role the active body plays in the unfolding of conscious mental events. Since my PhD I extended this focus to our interactions with the built environment, visual media and cultural artifacts. I investigate how those interactions influence our body schema, alter our perceptual judgments, and constitute novel forms of embodied knowledge. This line of research is based on the idea that our mental processes and the neural processes underlying them are more dynamic, more context-dependent, and more malleable than previous approaches to the mind have acknowledged. 


Aesthetic experiences with and evaluations of everyday objects, artifacts, and artworks are a second interest of mine. The question is here: why do we value certain objects over others? Why do we find some of them beautiful and why do we engage with such strange objects as artworks? With the Einstein group we conducted behavioral experiments in order to explore which elements we value in art and to assess our bodily engagement as well as the psychological and neurological processes that underlie such evaluations.

Publications (selection)









For more information, full list of publications, and copies of most papers see my academia page.


Overview of Activities

 Talks (selection)

  • Experimenting the Self (Berlin, June 3, 2018)
  • The Aesthetic Self (Berlin, June 4, 2018, Conference on Being Moved)
  • Embodied Seeing-In film (Bozeman, June 2018, SCSMI)
  • Complexity in Pictures (Rome, September 2018, Space Perception Conference)

 Research projects/collaborations within the Einstein Group (selection)

  • with Jesse Prinz: Wonder and aesthetic emotions (theoretical papers)
  • with Antonia Reindl, Aenne Brielmann, & Jesse Prinz: Complexity in Art - Cross-cultural (Japanese/German) differences in art perception (behavioral & eye-tracking studies)
  • with Aenne Brielmann: Beauty in Art (behavioral studies) 
  • with Katrin Heimann: Exploration of our interaction with camera movements and edited film (motor engagement, attention) and the question whether we have adapted to the filmic means used in cinema? (EEG experiments & theoretical paper)
  • with Javier Gomez-Lavin: The Aesthetic Self (theoretical paper and behavioral studies)

Teaching (selection)

  • Picture Perception and Evaluation (2017-18) 
  • Culture, Embodiment, Cognition (2017)
  • Current Issues in Embodied Cognition  (2016)
  • The Cognitive Science of Art and Aesthetics (2015-16)
  • Introduction into the Philosophy of Emotions (2015)