The Artistic Turn

Dutch Internet Journal BLIND! 29 (Macht) (2012)
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We are living in an increasingly complex world. How are we able to cope with this complexity and the difficulties that arise from it? Can philosophy and art, classified as the two utmost useless and pointless disciplines, have any (positive) influence on the urgent and pressing problems at hand? And, related to this, if the two have more than just their uselessness in common, how, then, are philosophy and art related? In this article, I will argue that although ‘useless’ disciplines such as philosophy and art have no direct influence on our complex world, they are nonetheless the most important ones, because those working within them practice their insights in an indirect way. Indirect influence may take a little longer, but the impact is much stronger, affecting our thinking and our attitudes from within, as it were. This indirect approach has everything to do with the sort of questions philosophers and artists occupy themselves with. I will show how both address, albeit each in their own way, fundamental questions, and thereby make use of thought experiments. Intuition and imagination play a decisive part in the creative processes that are involved in thought experiments and thinking. It is argued that we all are able to learn a ‘delayed unconscious thinking’ that leads to an artistic attitude; one that will activate an artistic turn.



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Tine Wilde
University of Amsterdam

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