Harri Mäcklin

Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of beauty and art. Contemporary research has also given significant attention to the aesthetic dimensions of the environment and everyday life.

My own research concentrates on phenomenological aesthetics, especially on the study of aesthetic experience. Phenomenology is a branch of philosophy that studies the basic structures of experiences from the first-person perspective. In my PhD thesis (2018, University of Helsinki), I presented a systematic phenomenology of aesthetic immersion. After my defence in early 2019, I have been mostly preoccupied with a peculiar experience I call “aesthetic self-forgetfulness”, which is often mentioned in literature but so far little understood. In intense aesthetic experiences, the subject can become so deeply engaged with an aesthetic phenomenon that she loses her awareness of herself as the subject of the experience. My project aims to clarify what happens in these experiences and what they tell us about the structure of self-consciousness.

I’m currently working at the Department of Philosophy, History and Art Studies, University of Helsinki. My work is funded by the Kone Foundation (2019–2013). I have also worked as an art critic in the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat since 2011.