Joerg Fingerhut

I am a philosopher of mind and aesthetics working theoretically and experimentally (X-Phi, EEG, eye-tracking) at the interface between cognitive science and culture. My focus is on cultural artifacts such as pictures, film, and architecture and how we value them in every-day life and as works of art.

Currently, I am Deputy Professor for Philosophy of Mind at the LMU Munich (until 9/2022) collaborating with the "Cognition, Value, Behavior" interdisciplinary research group of Prof. Ophelia Deroy.


Our research group ART*IS_Berlin at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain is part of the EU Horizon 2020 Consortium Project ARTIS (Art and Research on Transformations on Individuals and Societies), in which I am also a scientific co-coordinator of the project. ART*IS_Berlin aims to develop an encompassing "4EA Theory of Art" to promote an embodied, embedded, extended, enactive, and affective understanding of art, film, and architecture (workpackage 6). It also captures data regarding the contemporary art world and "Art Experiences in Urban Spaces" (workpackage 3).


I consider empirically engaged philosophy of mind to be an integral part of the Cognitive Sciences. It reflects the current state of research in cognitive neuroscience and related disciplines, and (a) proposes and conducts experiments in interdisciplinary research collaborations and by (b) engages in a transdisciplinary manner with the society outside of academia by exploring citizen science approaches and contributing to civil society. 


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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 2015-2019 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. 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 make up novel forms of embodied knowledge. I base this line of research 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? In the research 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)


  • Enculturating the Brain? The Experiential Models of Film and Architecture. In: Worlding the Brain, F. Lysen et al. (Eds.) (in prep.)
  • Immigration and the Moral Self. (with J. Gomez-Lavin, J.J. Prinz)









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)