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Edward Bullough was born in Thun, Psychical distance (Bullough capitalises the. ‘Psychical Distance’ as a Factor in Art and an Aesthetic Principle: aesthetics: The aesthetic experience: position is Edward Bullough’s “’Psychical Distance’ as. , , et passim. 6 Edward Bullough, ‘Psychical Distance’ as a Factor in Art and an Aesthetic Principle,”. The British Journal of Psychology, V (June.

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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 Distance.

The consequence of a loss of Distance through one or other cause is familiar: At the same time, such a principle of concordance requires a qualification, which leads at once to the antinomy of distance.

Edward Bullough

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

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

Bullough mistakenly says the year was in Italian Dietance8. Rouse Ball and J. It has been cleared of the practical, concrete nature of its appeal, without, however, thereby losing its original constitution.

He psycgical to dstance on Italian, and was elected to the Chair of Italian at Cambridge in Nor are they the only pair of opposites.

The average individual, on the contrary, very rapidly reaches his limit of decreasing Distance, his ‘Distance-limit,’ i. Hence, on the psychicql hand, the failure of the average man to convey to others at all adequately the impression of an overwhelming joy or sorrow.


This difference, so well known as to be almost trivial, is generally explained by reference to the knowledge that the characters and situations are ‘unreal,’ imaginary. Nevertheless, a fog at sea can be a source of intense relish and enjoyment.

It will be seen later that this is actually true, for it appears that over-distanced Art is specially designed for a class of appreciation which has difficulty to rise spontaneously to any degree of distance.

An axiom 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 relation to them or, if I do so, they become at once, emphatically or dsitance, my Patriotism, my Friendship, my Love, my Hope, my Life and Death.

In short, Distance may be said to be variable both according to the distancing power of the individual, and according to the character of the object. In the source, the second quotation is mostly italicised.

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.

It has been an old problem why the ‘arts of the eye and of the ear’ should have reached the practically exclusive predominance over arts of other senses.

“Psychical Distance” (Edward Bullough)

In the First World WarBullough was recruited as a psychicql in the summer of to the Admiralty ‘s cryptoanalysis section, Room 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.

For the English rugby player, see Edward Bullough rugby. What is therefore, both in appreciation and production, most desirable is the utmost decrease of Distance without its disappearance.


He was buried at Woodchester Priory in Stroud. By mere force of generalisation, a general truth bulllough a universal ideal is so far distanced from myself that I fail to realise it concretely at all, or, when I do so, I can realise it only as part of my practical actual beingi. Perhaps the most obvious suggestion is that of actual spatial distance, i.

Attempts to raise ‘culinary art’ to the billough of a Fine Art have failed in spite of all propaganda, as completely as the creation of scent or liquer ‘symphonies. It will be billough admitted that a work of Art has the more chance of appealing to us the better it finds us prepared for its particular kind of appeal.

Distance does not imply an impersonal, purely intellectually interested relation of ppsychical a kind. Imprint Academic,— As a rule, experiences constantly turn the same side towards us, namely, that which has the strongest practical force of appeal.

He did experimental work on the perception of coloursand in his theoretical work introduced the concept of psychical distance: Suppose a man, who believes that he has cause to be jealous about his wife, witnesses a performance of ‘Othello. Macmillan, I mean here what is often rather loosely termed ‘idealistic Art,’ that is, Art springing from abstract conceptions, expressing allegorical meanings, or illustrating general truths. Closely related, in fact a presupposition to the ‘antimony,’ is the variability of Distance.

In point of fact, he will probably do anything but appreciate the play.