Arto Haapala
Humanist of the day

Arto Haapala

In addition art in its varied forms, Arto Haapala, professor of aesthetics, is interested in aesthetic problems related to everyday phenomena. He is the long-term chairman of the Finnish Society for Aesthetics and president of the Advisory Board of the International Institute of Applied Aesthetics. Moreover, he holds posts in many international organisations. Professor Haapala believes in the power of aesthetic values: they are key factors for well-being and important also in decisions affecting our environment.

Arto Haapala

Arto Kalervo Haapala
Born January 3, 1959, Helsinki

Bachelor of Arts 1982 (theoretical philosophy), Master of Arts 1984 (aesthetics), University of Helsinki
PhD 1988 (Philosophy), Birkbeck College, University of London
Docent in aesthetics 1989–, University of Helsinki

Visiting Professor in Philosophy 2015, University of Murcia, Spain
Professor of aesthetics 2000–, University of Helsinki
Acting Professor of aesthetics, 1995–2000, University of Helsinki
Affiliated Professor in Philosophy 2001, Temple University, USA
Visiting Professor in Philosophy 1999–2000, Lancaster University, UK
Senior researcher 1999–2000 and research fellow 1993–1995, Academy of Finland
Teaching assistant in aesthetics 1989–1993, University of Helsinki

Publications, research projects and other academic activity
Research themes: ontological questions concerning works of art, the interpretation of art, everyday aesthetics, aesthetic well-being

The 2004 Yrjö Hirn prize, awarded by the Finnish Society for Aesthetics

Photo: Heikki Tuuli
Written by Arto Haapala (Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta, ed.)
Translated by Matthew Billington

Everyday aesthetics is a growing branch of aesthetics where the reality of aesthetics outside the world of art is investigated with philosophical methods. Here, everyday can mean everyday artefacts and environments, but it can just as well mean the attitude and way of experiencing things that arises when we are in the familiarity and safety of our everyday lives. The latter perspective emphasises the fact that anything can be prosaic, including art.

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Professor Arto Haapala was a long-term member the governing body of the Alfred Kordelin Foundation. In addition, he has served a total of 12 years as the chairman of the Finnish Society for Aesthetics.

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