Enacting Higher Order Thoughts: Velazquez and Las Meninas

Journal of Consciousness Studies 16 (2-3):165-89 (2009)
Abstract
This paper bridges art history and consciousness studies and investigates the network of gazes and frames in Las Meninas and how this engages with a system of higher-order thoughts and reflexive operations.
Keywords consciousness  higher order thought  art  aesthetics  philosophy of mind
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2010-05-27
We have many framing devices in the arts, and one thing that is consistent in their use is a metacognitive process which they seem to stimulate. We see the contents of a picture, and while we are occupied with processing these details we might come across another picture inside it, or we might see an artist painting a picture (as we do in Velazquez's Las Meninas); or there might be a mirror in the depicted space, all of these framing devices allow us to step out of our current thought process, and become aware of it, or self aware of our viewing. How fair is it to say that visual experience can be ordered in the form of HOTs as framing devices in the visual field, or that HOTs can be visualised in this way? 
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