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The Artful MindCognitive Science and the Riddle of Human Creativity$
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Mark Turner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195306361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195306361.001.0001

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Slippages of Meaning and Form

Slippages of Meaning and Form

(p.189) 10 Slippages of Meaning and Form
The Artful Mind

Stephen Murray

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines two styles of perception: one is pragmatic and action-oriented, the other is aesthetic and affect-oriented. It outlines a cognitive-semiotic theory of conceptual organization and semantic integration in general and the phenomenology of form and meaning in art. Both the meaning structures found in art and the surplus meanings of things, their “connotations”, are based on non-integrated structures that tend to be integrated on higher levels of mental architecture. The emphatic splitting of experienced situational meaning into two mutually mapping mental spaces—a content space and an expression space—which is characteristic of the phenomenology of works of art and other aesthetically perceived objects, is due to this phenomenon of unintegrated surplus structures. This chapter discusses examples from art criticism and from paintings by Claude Monet and René Magritte. It proposes an epistemological view of the relationship between the cognitive approach to art and the art-historical approach and shows their complementary status. In fact, autonomous art must be historical—it must elaborate ever-changing styles—because pragmatic conceptualizations would otherwise absorb the authority it necessarily generates.

Keywords:   Claude Monet, René Magritte, art, perception, phenomenology, mental spaces, paintings, meaning, form, unintegrated surplus structures

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