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Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind$
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Greg Currie, Matthew Kieran, Aaron Meskin, and Jon Robson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669639.001.0001

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‘This is Your Brain on Art’

‘This is Your Brain on Art’

What Can Philosophy of Art Learn from Neuroscience?

Chapter:
(p.57) 3 ‘This is Your Brain on Art’
Source:
Aesthetics and the Sciences of Mind
Author(s):

David Davies

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669639.003.0004

Davies considers the potential for, and scope of, appeals to the results of empirical research in the philosophy of art. He then examines, in light of these considerations, some attempts to illuminate specific issues in the philosophy of art by appeal to recent work in cognitive neuroscience on the nature and cognitive functions of ‘mirror neurons’. Such work is used to support sometimes surprising claims about how receivers respond to the manifest features of instances of artworks. Davies argues that, while the philosophy of art is richer for being informed by experimental work of this sort, the significant philosophical issues, which are often normatively inflected, are only rarely significantly illuminated by appeal to such work. Normatively inflected philosophical questions about art are not, however, to be addressed by simple appeal to armchair intuitions but require that we bring our practices and the goals of those practices into a rational equilibrium.

Keywords:   intuitions, cognitive science, mirror neurons, Semir Zeki, proprioception

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