BULLOUGH’S ESSAY, “Psychical Distance as a. Factor in given some attention to psychical distance; N1nd Essays Edward Bullough (Stanford, California. , , et passim. 6 Edward Bullough, ‘Psychical Distance’ as a Factor in Art and an Aesthetic Principle,”. The British Journal of Psychology, V (June. The concept of “physical distance” developed by Edward Bullough in his well- known article1has come to be generally accepted as an aesthetic principle.

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Theoreticall y there is no limit to the decrease of Distance.

Monthly downloads Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart. It is not, however, in any of these meanings that ‘Distance’ is put forward here, though it will be clear in the course of this essay that the above mentioned kinds of distance are rather special forms of the conception of distance as advocated here, and derive whatever aesthetic qualities they may possess from distance in its general connotation.

It has a negativeinhibitory aspect – the cutting-out of the practical sides of things psychidal of our practical attitude to them – and a positive side – the elaboration of the experience on the new basis created by the inhibitory action of Distance.

George Dickie – – British Journal of Aesthetics 13 1: Science Logic and Mathematics. It is a term constantly occurring in discussions and criticisms, though its sense, if pressed distancee all, becomes very questionable.

But it is safe to infer that, in art practice, explicit references to organic affections, to the material existence of the body, especially to sexual matters, lie normally below the Distance-limit, and can be touched upon by Art only with vullough precautions.

No reference has been located in the Cambridge University Reporter. Bowes and Bowes,xii.

Your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome: That distance, by changing our relation to the characters, renders them seemingly fictitious, not that the fictitiousness of the characters alters our feelings toward them. Indeed, without some degree of predisposition on our part, it must necessarily remain incomprehensible, and to that extent unappreciated.

Rouse Ball and J. In the source, the second quotation is mostly italicised. Views Read Edit View history. A short illustration will explain what is meant by ‘Psychical Distance.


Evennett, “Edward Bullough,” Dublin Reviewno. But it does not mean that the relation between the self and the object is broken to the extent of becoming ‘impersonal. It was not included in the original publication. Distabce Distance in Acting. The conception of ‘Distance’ suggests, in connexion with Art, certain trains of thought by no means devoid of interest or of speculative importance.

His personal implication in the event renders it impossible for him to formulate and present it in such a way as to make others, like himself, feel all the meaning and fullness which it possesses for him.

Find it on Scholar. Herein especially lies the advantage of Distance compared with such terms as ‘objectivity’ and ‘detachment. In the practice, therefore, of the average person, a limit does exist which marks the minimum at which his appreciation can maintain itself in the aesthetic field, and this average minimum lies considerably higher than the Distance-limit of the artist.

It has been cleared of the practical, concrete nature of its appeal, without, however, thereby losing its original constitution. The same misconception has arisen over many ‘problem plays’ and ‘problem novels’ in which the public have persisted in seeing nothing but a supposed ‘problem’ of the moment, whereas the author may have been – and often has demonstrably been – able to distance the subject-matter sufficiently to rise above its practical problematic import and to regard it simply as a dramatically and humanly interesting situation.

The absence of such a concordance between the characters of a work and of the spectator is, of course, the most general explanation for differences of ‘tastes. It is one of the contentions of this essay that such opposites find their synthesis in the more fundamental conception of Distance.

“Psychical Distance” (Edward Bullough)

Distance does not imply an impersonal, purely intellectually interested relation of such a kind. By mere force of generalisation, a general truth or a universal ideal is so far distanced from myself that I fail to realise it concretely at all, or, when I do so, I can realise it only as part of my practical actual beingi. In Bullough married Enrichetta Angelica Marchetti daughter of the actor Eleonora Dusewith whom he would have a son and a daughter.


In this most general sense, Distance is a factor in all Art. Distance, on the contrary, admits naturally of degrees, and differs not only according to the nature of the objectwhich may impose a greater or smaller degree of Distance, but varies also according to the individual’s capacity for maintaining a greater or lesser degree. This article is in the public domain, as the copyright has expired. The reversal of perspective is the consequence of the loss of Distance.

It was a convention at the time that articles in the Caian were signed with initials only.

Special mention must be made of a group of artistic conceptions which present excessive distance in their form of appeal rather than in their actual presentation bullougg a point illustrating the necessity of distinguishing between distancing an object and distancing the appeal of which it is the source. For certain forms of Art, such as lyrical poetry, are said to be ‘subjective’; Shelley, for example would usually be considered a ‘subjective’ writer.

One of the best known examples is to be found in our attitude towards the events and characters of the drama; they appeal wdward us like persons and incidents of normal experience, except that that side of their appeal, which would usually affect us in a directly personal manner, is held in edwadd.

Edward Bullough

Edward Bullough 28 March — 17 September was an English aesthetician and scholar of modern languageswho worked at the University of Cambridge. Bullough was elected to the Chair of Italian at Cambridge in March Psychical distance Bullough capitalises the words is that which, in certain situations, “appears to lie between our own self and its affections, using the latter term in its broadest sense as anything which affects our being”. No categories specified categorize this paper.

Gene Blocker – – British Journal of Aesthetics 17 3: