Are Artworks More Like People Than Artifacts? Individual Concepts and Their Extensions

Topics in Cognitive Science 6 (4):647-662 (2014)
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Abstract

This paper examines people's reasoning about identity continuity and its relation to previous research on how people value one-of-a-kind artifacts, such as artwork. We propose that judgments about the continuity of artworks are related to judgments about the continuity of individual persons because art objects are seen as physical extensions of their creators. We report a reanalysis of previous data and the results of two new empirical studies that test this hypothesis. The first study demonstrates that the mere categorization of an object as “art” versus “a tool” changes people's intuitions about the persistence of those objects over time. In a second study, we examine some conditions that may lead artworks to be thought of as different from other artifacts. These observations inform both current understanding of what makes some objects one-of-a-kind as well as broader questions regarding how people intuitively think about the persistence of human agents

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Principles of Psychology.William James - 1890 - London, England: Dover Publications.
The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1689 - London, England: Oxford University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.

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