On the basis of archaeological data and cognitive research, this article proposes an evolutionary story about aesthetic experience, arguing three intertwined theses. Aesthetic experience is adaptive; that is, it represents a specific implementation of the epistemic goal of knowing. It refunctionalizes antecedents and precursors: play and dreaming, technology and the ability to manipulate, and proto-aesthetic elements and aesthetic preferences. Mind and aesthetic experience co-evolve; that is, aesthetic experience requires mind reading and metacognition, and it helps them to reach their advanced (...) metarepresentational architecture. (shrink)
I propose that artworks represent a specific and homogeneous ontological kind, grounded in a common ontological core. I call this common core ‘non-universalizable embodied meaning’, and I argue that this common core explains how artworks unfold their ontological identity at the physical, intentional, and social levels on the basis of an original and irreducible mode of material embodiment and cultural emergence; this common core functions as the constitutive rule of art and institutes an axiological normativity, that is, normativity based on (...) aesthetic value; it has a central role both in the theoretical definition of art and in the identification, recognition, and fruition of the individual artworks; it enables artistic creativity, historical transformations of art, and the current, multifaceted state of art. (shrink)
On the basis of a theoretical framework derived from grounded cognition and with reference to the available archaeological data concerning early art, this talk/article proposes an evolutionary conception of the aesthetic emotions, considered as an indispensable means that favored the emergence of the ordinary emotions in their modern version.
Riassunto: Negli ultimi anni alcuni studi cruciali condotti nell’ambito della psicologia cognitiva, della psicologia sociale e della psicologia dei media, e più in generale nelle scienze neurocognitive, hanno dimostrato che la finzione è in grado di favorire processi di apprendimento relativi alla cognizione sociale, in particolare rendendo possibile l’acquisizione di credenze, lo sviluppo di competenze sociali, il cambiamento degli atteggiamenti. Questo articolo esamina criticamente i risultati sperimentali più rilevanti relativi all’apprendimento dalla finzione e integra in un quadro teorico unitario i (...) diversi meccanismi cognitivi coinvolti. Parole chiave: Simulazione; Finzione; Credenze; Vigilanza epistemica; Riflessione Fiction and Social Cognition: In recent years several crucial studies in cognitive psychology, social psychology, media psychology, and more generally in the neurocognitive sciences, have shown that fiction can facilitate learning processes related to social cognition. In particular these studies indicate that fiction enables the acquisition of beliefs, the development of social skills, and attitude change. This article discusses the most important experimental results for learning through fiction, and integrates the cognitive mechanisms engaged by fiction in a consistent theoretical framework. Keywords: Simulation; Fiction; Beliefs; Epistemic Vigilance; Reflection. (shrink)
The evolutionary and comparative perspective represents a persuasive view to naturalize aesthetics - however, only if we avoid one of the most common prejudice. Precisely, the preliminary reduction of the aesthetic experience to the mere sensory perception. The paper falsifies this reductive framework reconstructing the zone of proximal evolution concerning the aesthetic and artistic dimension. In particular, we take as reference point the mind of the chimpanzee, at the same time unable to make art and limited to inescapable sensory and (...) perceptual constrains. (shrink)