Mental Suffering, the Experience of Beauty and Well-Being
- Start date: 1 September 2016
- End date: 1 June 2018
- Funder: John Templeton Foundation. Philosophy Department, St Louis University.
- Co-investigators: Mark Wynn, Tasia Scrutton
Investigators: Mark Wynn and Tasia Scrutton
Recent empirical studies have identified various correlations between quantitative measures of beauty experience and wellbeing. Our project sought to understand the significance of these correlations by relating them to richly textured descriptions of the experience of beauty. Our sources included depression recovery narratives, and material from the Alister Hardy Religious Experience Research Centre archive. Drawing on philosophical and theological sources, we also considered in theoretical terms the connections between emotional experience and the appearance of sensory objects, and asked how religious or spiritual thoughts and practices can make a difference to the colour and structure of a person’s experience of the everyday world.