Joerg Fingerhut

Joerg Fingerhut received his PhD in philosophy from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2012) 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 (2012), and assistant professor at the University of Stuttgart (2012-2015). Joerg works in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. He coordinates the research and activities of the Einstein group since 4/2015 with a personal focus in research on "Aesthetic Psychology" and "Embodied and Embellished Perception." Follow me on

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Joerg is a principal investigator in the Einstein Group from 2015-2019

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 and cultural artifacts: on how they influence our body schema, on how they alter our perceptual judgments, on how they change the mind over time. This line of research is based on the idea that our mental processes 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 I plan to conduct 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)

in preparation

  • The Aesthetic Self Effect.
  • Embodied and Enactive Seeing-in.
  • The Disunity of Beauty. The Argument from Multiple Sources (contribution to a volume on Jerry Levinson, edited by Lisa Schmalzried)


  • (under review) Katrin Heimann, Marta Calbi, Sebo Uithol, Alessandra Umiltà, Michele Guerra, Joerg Fingerhut, Vittorio Gallese: Embodying the Camera: An EEG study further exploring the modulation of motor-cortex activations by camera movements during film perception, PLOS1.





  • The Bodily Basis of the Mind (online publication of the PhD Thesis); [To appear in print as part of the Actus et Imago Series; de Gruyter, Berlin & New York, planned 2017].



  • Einleitung in die Philosophie der Verkörperung, (with R. Hufendiek & M. Wild), in: Philosophie der Verkörperung. Grundlagentexte zu einer aktuellen DebatteSuhrkamp, Berlin, 9-102.

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


Overview of Activities

 Upcoming 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)