A Cognitive Approach to the Earliest Art

Abstract
This paper takes a cognitive perspective to assess the significance of some Late Palaeolithic artefacts (sculptures and engraved objects) for philosophicalconcepts of art. We examine cognitive capacities that are necessary to produceand recognize objects that are denoted as art. These include the ability toattribute and infer design (design stance), the ability to distinguish between themateriality of an object and its meaning (symbol-mindedness), and an aesthetic sensitivity to some perceptual stimuli. We investigate to what extent thesecognitive processes played a role in the production and appreciation of somerecently discovered Palaeolithic artefacts.
Keywords Prehistoric art  Design stance  Historical definitions of art  First art
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PhilPapers Archive Johan de Smedt, A Cognitive Approach to the Earliest Art
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