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Cognitive Basis of Aesthetics : Cassirer, Crowther, and the Future (Hardcover) (Elena Fell & Ioanna
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This book seeks to fill a void in contemporary aesthetics scholarship by considering the cognitive features that make the aesthetic and artistic worthy of philosophical study. Aesthetic cognition here is defined as the concepts, relations, and phenomena that transform our perceptions and imaginings of art, our understanding of self, and our comprehension of other people and the world at large. While this idea was central to eighteenth-century thought, it has been largely abandoned by analytical philosophy, which instead tends to focus its attention on the ‘non-exhibited’ properties of artwork or issues concerning semantic and syntactic structure.The Cognitive Basis of Aesthetics innovatively seeks to correct the marginalization of aesthetics in analytical philosophy by reinterpreting aesthetic cognition through an integration of Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms with Paul Crowther’s theory of imagination and philosophy of art. This integration has three important outcomes: 1) it explains why the aesthetic and artistic constitute a unique form of knowledge; 2) it shows the role this plays in the formation of aesthetics as a discipline; and 3) it describes why aesthetic cognition is so deeply engaging. This book’s unique theoretical approach engages with important works of visual, conceptual, and digital art, as well as literature, music, and theatre.