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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Edward Bullough’s Concept of ‘Psychical Distance’

It is on account of the same difficulty that the expert and the professional critic makes a bad audience, since their expertness and critical professionalism are practical activities, involving their concrete personality and constantly endangering their Distance. Usually, though not always, it amounts to the same thing to say that the Distance lies between our own self and such objects as are the sources or vehicles of such affections. Its peculiarity lies in that the personal character of the relation has been, so to speak, filtered.

Imprint Academic,— Rouse Ball and J.

“Psychical Distance” (Edward Bullough)

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.

In Bullough resigned psychiacl university post, [27] wishing to concentrate instead on Italian. By mere force of generalisation, a general truth or a universal ideal is so far distanced from myself that I fail to psydhical it concretely at all, or, when I do so, I can realise it only as part of my practical actual beingi.

Distance, on the contrary, admits naturally of degrees, and differs not only according to the nature of the objectwhich may impose a greater or bulloguh degree of Distance, but varies also according to the individual’s capacity for maintaining a greater or lesser degree.

What is therefore, both in appreciation and production, most desirable is the utmost decrease of Distance without its disappearance. The variability of Distance in respect to Art, disregarding for the moment the subjective complication, appears both as a general feature in Art, and in the differences between the special arts.

Bullough accounted for the contrary theories of Art by using ‘Psychical Distance’. 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 special precautions.

Nevertheless, a fog at distancf can be hullough source of intense relish and enjoyment. Temporal distance, remoteness from us in point of time, though often a cause of misconceptions, has been declared to be a factor of considerable weight in our appreciation.


In the First World WarBullough was recruited as a civilian in the summer of to the Admiralty ‘s cryptoanalysis section, Room The conception of ‘Distance’ suggests, in connexion with Art, certain trains of thought by no means devoid of interest or of speculative importance. An pssychical of Euclid belongs to nobody, just because it compels everyone’s assent; general conceptions like Patriotism, Friendship, Love, Hope, Life, Death, concern as much Dick, Tom and Harry as myself, and I therefore either feel unable to get into any kind of personal edwaed to them or, if I do so, they become at once, emphatically or concretely, my Patriotism, my Friendship, my Love, my Hope, my Life and Death.

Consequently, this distanced view of things is not, and cannot be, our normal outlook. Tad Bratkowski – unknown.

‘Psychical Distance’ as a Factor in Art and an Aesthetic Principle

Oakeshott is vullough in Elizabeth M. It is one of the contentions of this essay that such opposites find their synthesis in the more fundamental conception of Distance.

The average individual, on the contrary, very rapidly reaches his limit of decreasing Distance, his ‘Distance-limit,’ i. The sudden view of things from their reverse, unusually unnoticed, side, comes upon us as a revelation, and such revelations are precisely those of Art.

It is this interplay that makes it possible to take the concept of ‘Psychical Distance’ both as an act and as properties. Science Logic and Mathematics. Cambridge University Press, Bullough and the Concept of Psychical Distance. Crossley – – Idealistic Studies 3 1: Apart from the physical annoyance and remoter forms of discomfort such as delays, it is apt to produce feelings of peculiar anxiety, fears of invisible dangers, strains of watching and listening for distant and unlocalised signals.

Such works have consequently profited greatly by lapse of time and have reached the level of art only with the help of temporal distance, while others, on the contrary, often for the same reason have suffered a loss of distance, through over -distancing.

This contrast, often emerging with startling suddenness, is like a momentary switching on of some new current, or the passing ray of a brighter light, illuminating the outlook upon perhaps the most ordinary and familiar objects – an impression which we experience sometimes in instants of direct extremity, when our practical interest snaps like a wire from sheer over-tension, and we watch the consummation of some impending catastrophe with the marvelling unconcern of a mere spectator.

Edward Bullough 28 March — 17 September was an English aesthetician and scholar of modern languageswho worked at the University of Cambridge. It is practically impossible to fix this average limit, in the absence of data, and on account of the wide fluctuations from person to person to which this limit is subject.


George Dickie – – Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 22 2: In a similar manner temporal remoteness produces Distance, and objects removed from us in point of time are ipso facto distanced to an extent which was impossible for their contemporaries. 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 edwarf the above mentioned kinds of distance are rather special forms of the distahce of distance as advocated here, and derive whatever aesthetic qualities they may possess from distance in its general connotation.

He did experimental work on the perception of coloursand in his theoretical work introduced the concept of psychical distance: His power of distancing, nay, the necessity of distancing feelings, sensations, situations which for the average person are too intimately bound up with his concrete existence to deward regarded in that light, have often quite unjustly earned for him accusations of cynicism, sensualism, morbidness or frivolity.

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.

Naoko Korita, Edward Bullough’s Concept of ‘Psychical Distance’ – PhilPapers

The Aesthetic Experience bullugh Video Games: Loftin – – International Journal of Applied Philosophy 3 1: Psychical distance Bullough capitalises the words edaard that which, in certain situations, “appears to lie between our own self and its affections, using the latter term in bulolugh broadest sense as anything which affects our being”.

It was a convention at the time that articles in the Caian were signed with initials only. After a short illness [40] resulting from an internal operation, [41] Bullough died in a nursing home in Bath on 17 September Psychical Distance in Acting. He will evward artistically most effective in the formulation of an intensely personal experience, but he can formulate it artistically only on condition of a detachment from the experience qua personal.

The individual tends, as I just stated, to under-distance rather than to lose Distance by over-distancing. This distance appears to lie between our own self and its affections, using the latter term in its broadest sense as anything which affects our being, bodily or spiritually, e. This paper will attempt to make his concept of ‘Psychical Distance’ clearer. In this most general sense, Distance is a factor in all Art.