Somaesthetics and Beauty


Somaesthetics and Beauty 

Beauty is a cornerstone in philosophical aesthetics, perhaps the fundamental one. However, if beauty performs a long-living philosophical role, ever since Plato connected it to truth, it encounters serious problems from Modernism onwards. Some of the most visionary intellectual sensibilities since the end of the 19th century notice the changes that turn beauty into an antiquated concept, e.g. Paul Valéry who in 1928 asks whether ‘the Moderns still make any use of it’, only to conclude that ‘the Beautiful is no longer in vogue.’ Increasingly submitted to entertainment, beauty never recovers to regain its former philosophical glory. On the other hand, the ambiguous decline of true beauty and the parallel rise of a pleasure or sensation-seeking beauty keeps on posing a concern of aesthetic thought. To be sure, the aestheticization of everyday life blends economy and aesthetics, industry and style, mode and art, consummation and creation, mass culture and elitist culture. But how does this aestheticization of the contemporary world affect the very experience of beauty?

In this issue of the Journal of Somaesthetics, we invite contributions from various fields exploring experiences of beauty vis-à-vis aestheticized phenomena in everyday life, design, art, urbanity and elsewhere. The lack of borders within the aesthetic field rebounds on a corresponding unlimitedness in our ability to perceive. Correspondingly, the question is whether the beautiful has become too broad and thus too superficial a concept or does the sentiment of beauty help us to differentiate our perceptions? Mapping the conceptual potentials of beauty points not only to a revaluation of modern and contemporary art and artistic ways of challenging traditional beauty, but it simultaneously emphasizes the need for focusing on the sensible, perceptive and bodily experience. The major question remains how, despite trivialization, beauty may still (or again) refer to an aesthetic experience that is manifesting itself in the sensing body, both as originating from the body, and as appearing in a meaningful, embodied experience.

We invite scholars and practitioners interested in the notion of beauty and beautiful experiences. We do not want to limit contributions to specific fields or methods of inquiry, but encourage scholars and practitioners from various relevant fields (aesthetics, arts, health studies, sports, natural sciences, theology) to submit an article, essay or a documentation of a practical inquiry related to beauty.

Guest editor: Prof. Anne Elisabeth Sejten, Roskilde University, DK

Editorial team: Anne Elisabeth Sejten, Max Ryynänen, Falk Heinrich

The Journal of Somaesthetics is a peer-reviewed, online, academic journal devoted to research that advances the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics, understood as the critical study and meliorative cultivation of the experience and performance of the living body (or soma) as a site of sensory appreciation (aesthesis), practice and realization.

For more information about the journal, see


Papers should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words and prepared for blind review. They should also be prepared according to the Journal’s style guidelines as indicated on the Journal’s website:

Proposed complete articles will be submitted through the link above. Authors should submit a separate cover page indicating author’s name, institutional affiliation, paper title and abstract, word count, keywords, and contact information. 


January 15, 2020


Sept 2019: Call for articles

January 15, 2020: Deadline for articles

March15, 2020: Peer-review back

April 30, 2020: Deadline for finished articles

June 2020: Publishing