AESTHETICS AND THE POWER OF STEAM
Keywords:philosophy of science, philosophy of art, aesthetics, sensate cognition, artistic activity
Introduction. In linguocognitive perspective the paper highlights the ways of integrating the methods of studying the linguistic phenomena from philosophy of science and the philosophy of arts points of view. The author tries to rethink the relation between aesthetics and the sciences, to explore the underlying nature of aesthetics arising from sensate cognition to discover whether or not it—and how, if it does—coincides, correlates, or complements the underlying nature of scientific theories and methodologies. Purpose. The paper focuses not on aesthetic experience only, in its modern, reductive sense of taste, beauty, and pleasure in the arts, but on the role of sensate cognition underlying all human cognitive processing including scientific investigation and most manifested in artistic activity. Methods. The paper presents the beginnings of a theory that reconstructs aesthetics as the foundational basis for all human experience, knowledge, and creative activity. It suggests a more productive approach to explore the underlying sensory-motor-emotive processes of sensate cognition in their relation to conceptual awareness. The paper gives a total reversal of what we have come to accept as undeniable divisions between the categories that make up the various "sciences" and those that constitute the various "humanistic" disciplines, as well as those that create divisions within those categories. Results. Cognitive activities include all the creations of human beings from artefacts to systems of thought, including mathematics and the sciences, to cultural and social institutions. Like the leaves of a tree that develop from the tree’s branches and trunk, these activities arise from our ability to conceptualize, to formulate conscious ideas and images. Beneath the surface of the cognitive tree lie the pre-conceptual, subliminal roots of sensory, motor, and emotive experiences that feed our conceptual awareness. Just as the living tree survives by drawing sustenance through its roots, so do all our cognitive activities depend on sensate cognition. And just as the roots of the tree are nourished by the quality of the material components of the earth in which they are embedded, so do the qualities of aesthetic imagination and judgment enable the flourishing of the physical and spiritual values that give rise to the harmonious balance of the self as part of the natural world. Perceptual imagining, as involved in the interpretation of scientific results, also plays an important role in the sciences. The perceptual content provided by the images constrains and shapes the imagination of the relevant objects. The objects are imagined on the basis of how they are perceptually experienced, and the resulting interpretations are formulated taking into account the perceptual imagination in question. Conclusion. The health of nature is therefore not metaphorical. Well-being imbues all of life, from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth that sustains the life of plants, the sun that gives light and heat, from the smallest insect to the larger expanses of the universe. In maintaining the ideals and values of cultural well-being, we participate in maintaining the harmony and balance of the whole world. Greek thought recognized the truth of that reciprocity without assuming the need to prove it. What one draws from the lessons of παιδεία is the essential development of expertise in all human cognitive activity.
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