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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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The Aesthetic Faculty

The Aesthetic Faculty

(p.21) 2 The Aesthetic Faculty
The Artful Mind

Terrence Deacon

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an overview of the cognitive principles of art, the origins of art, and the cognitive function of art. Art is an activity that arises in the context of human cultural and cognitive evolution. Its sources include not only the most abstract integrative regions of the brain but also the communities of mind within which artists and audiences live. Certain assumptions are made. First, art should be regarded as a specific kind of cognitive engineering. Second, art is always created in the context of distributed cognition. Third, art is constructivist in nature, aimed at the deliberate refinement and elaboration of mental models and worldviews. Fourth, most art is metacognitive in nature. Metacognition is, by definition, self-reflection. Fifth, art is a technology-driven aspect of cognition. Sixth, the role of the artist, viewed as a component in a distributed cognitive system, is not necessarily fixed. Seventh, art is always aimed at a cognitive outcome.

Keywords:   art, cognition, cognitive principles, cognitive function, metacognition, cognitive evolution, mind, brain, artists, cognitive engineering

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