I am a philosopher of cognition who works theoretically and empirically (X-Phi, EEG, eye-tracking) at the interface of philosophy of mind and cognitive science, focusing specifically on our interactions with cultural artifacts such as pictures, film, and architecture.
Since 2020 I am a Principal Investigator within the EU Horizon 2020 Consortium Project ARTIS (Art and Research on Transformations on Individuals and Societies), in which I will explore the cognitive and social effects of art and lead the Research Group: Cognitive Science of Visual Media and Art here at the "Berlin School of Mind and Brain" at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
The Berlin based part of ARTIS focuses on urbanism and architecture, yet also on how contemporary visual media and art engage and transform us. One aim is to develop an encompassing 4EA (embodied, embedded, extended, enactive and affective) theory of visual media, architecture, and the arts. Starting this fall (2021-2022) I will be Deputy Professor for Philosophy of Mind at the LMU Munich (replacing Prof. Ophelia Deroy)
Empirically engaged philosophy of mind goes beyond reflecting the current state of art in cognitive neuroscience, and instead gets involved by (a) both proposing and conducting experiments in interdisciplinary research collaborations and by (b) engaging in a transdisciplinary manner with the society outside of academia by exploring citizen science approaches and contributing to civil society.
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."
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.
For more information, full list of publications, and copies of most papers see my academia page.