The Role of Art in Society with Particular Reference to the Problem of Violence

According to the Latin poet Virgil, art is capable of revealing to us what no science can ever reveal to a human mind. The main thesis of this paper is that art can play an extremely beneficial role in society as it can strongly foster humans' efforts to attain a deeper and broader comprehension of reality. In particular, it is assumed that the experience of art can provide a powerful contribution to the efforts to avoid resorting to violence and to address conflicts constructively. Indeed, violence or, more exactly, unjustified violence, basically rests on an irrational and short-sighted analysis and interpretation of reality. The psychological processes relating to the aesthetic experience and to its connections with violence are described. It is also pointed out that this theoretical perspective does not fully coincide with the theoretical theses underpinning art therapy. In fact, in this paper art is not considered as a mere therapeutic instrument, a perspective that might implicitly suggest the idea of art as an "objective and physical" entity from which, through specific techniques, human beings can almost automatically draw a greater capacity to understand reality. Instead, in this context, an attempt has been made to consider art and our relationship with art in their more complex, deeper, and partly still unexplored aspects, where neither art or the individual is "at the service" of the other. Some suggestions are presented aiming to explain why this theoretical approach might be particularly helpful in order to better understand and countervail violence.

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Pagani Camilla
Bentham Science Publishers, Hilversum , Paesi Bassi
The Open psychology journal 9 (2016): 160–167.
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Pagani Camilla/titolo:The Role of Art in Society with Particular Reference to the Problem of Violence/doi:/rivista:The Open psychology journal/anno:2016/pagina_da:160/pagina_a:167/intervallo_pagine:160–167/volume:9
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