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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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.

Edward Bullough is best known for this article, which has been reprinted extensively and discussed widely in twentieth-century aesthetics. It was edawrd convention at the time that articles in the Caian were signed with initials only. In languages, Bullough was a dedicated teacher who published little. Hence the statement of so many artists that artistic formulation was to them a kind of catharsis, a means of ridding themselves of feelings and ideas the acuteness of which they felt almost as a kind of obsession.

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

Psychical Distance in Acting. At this time Bullough became interested in aestheticsand “prepared himself to deal with [its] problems … by a study of physiology and general psychology “.

Bullough accounted for the contrary theories of Art by using ‘Psychical Distance’. Nevertheless, a fog at sea can be a source of intense relish and enjoyment. It has a negativeinhibitory aspect – the cutting-out of the practical sides of things and 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 Bulllough.

If this be edwarrd as a typical case, it follows that the qualification required is that the coincidence should be as complete as is compatible with maintaining Distance.

Generalisations and abstractions suffer under this disadvantage that they have too much general applicability to invite bullouyh personal interest in them, and too little individual concreteness to prevent them applying to us in all their force.

Again, it marks one of the most important steps in the process of artistic creation and serves as a distinguishing feature of what is common so loosely described as the ‘artistic temperament.


Edward Bullough’s Concept of ‘Psychical Distance’

The reversal of perspective is the consequence of the loss of Distance. In theory, therefore, not only the usual subjects of Art, but even the most personal affections, whether ideas, percepts or emotions, can be sufficiently distanced to be aesthetically appreciable.

One of the best known examples is to be found in our attitude towards the events and characters of the drama; they appeal to 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 abeyance. He will prove 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.

But surely the proverbial unsophisticated yokel whose chivalrous interference in the play on behalf of the hapless heroine can only be prevented by impressing upon him that ‘they are only pretending,’ is not the ideal type of theatrical audience.

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. This difference in the Distance-limit between artists and the public has been the source of much misunderstanding and injustice. No keywords specified fix it. Oakeshott is identified in Elizabeth M.

Edward Bullough – Wikipedia

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. Bullough was elected to the Chair of Italian at Cambridge in March It is, of course, to be paychical that the actual bullouhg admitted unreality of the dramatic action reinforces the effect of Distance. In the source, the second quotation is mostly italicised.

The Aesthetic Experience of Video Games: Especially artists are gifted in this direction to a remarkable extent. The average billough, on the contrary, very rapidly reaches his limit of decreasing Distance, his ‘Distance-limit,’ i. Views Read Edit View history.

Many pictures, plays and poems had, as a matter of fact, rather an expository or illustrating significance – as for instance much ecclesiastical Art – or the force of a direct practical appeal – as the invectives of many satires or comedies – which seem to us nowadays irreconcilable with their aesthetic claims.


In Bullough married Enrichetta Angelica Marchetti daughter of the actor Eleonora Dusewith whom he would have a son and a daughter. He was buried at Woodchester Priory in Stroud.

“Psychical Distance” (Edward Bullough)

Its peculiarity lies in that the personal character of the relation has been, so to speak, filtered. The Truth About Psychical Distance.

That distance, by changing our relation to the characters, renders them seemingly fictitious, not that the fictitiousness of the characters alters our feelings toward distanxe. 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”.

Edward Bullough

Herein especially lies the advantage of Distance compared with such terms as ‘objectivity’ and ‘detachment. The consequence of a loss of Distance through one or other cause is familiar: Imprint Academic,— Sascha Talmor – – Philosophical Studies This entry has no external links. 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.

The first was noticed already by Aristotle in his Poetics ; the second has played a great part in the history of painting in the form of perspective; the distinction between these two kinds of distance assumes special importance theoretically in the differentiation between sculpture in the round, and relief-sculpture. 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.

Bradley on Censorship and Psychical Distance.