Philosophy 36 (136):49 - 61 (1961)

The idea that cybernetics can throw light on problems connected with thinking and learning is now a familiar one. Psychologists who are concerned with these problems often make use of cybernetic analogies, and some cyberneticians claim that their science provides an answer to philosophical problems about the nature of thought. On this last topic a great deal has been written recently; but it is comparatively seldom that it is suggested that cybernetics can be applied to problems of aesthetics. On the face of it, the mere idea of such an application might well seem absurd. Cybernetics, it will be said, is by definition the study of certain types of machines, and what light can possibly be thrown by such a study on questions which concern the nature of art? But even the strangest-sounding questions can prove enlightening, and in a recent broadcast talk Dr. F. H.George thought it worth while to ask whether a machine could create a work of art. This paper isdevoted to the development, and criticism, of some of the points which he made
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DOI 10.1017/S003181910005782X
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