I do apologize for the arrogant way I expressed the last sentence in the first paragraph below. I should have prefaced it by saying "In my opinion..." rather than leaving open the possible interpretation that I was asserting a "truth." I agree with Fred's earlier email about there being more than one kind of reductionism. Discussions about reductionism of any kind seems to be plagued by the "Idol of the Marketplace." With that, I have said enough on this subject for now. Thanks and cheers to those who put up with me.
Roger K, Thomas, Ph.D.
While I don't think anyone would deny that genetics, physiology etc. in some ways structure the ways we experience, but when you say everything "we can know, create, etc." Is a product of all these influences, you beg the question, or at least leave it ambiguous. The question is precisely whether what we experience, create or know is "uniquely" a product of these influences.
On 17/03/2012 11:42 AM, Roger K Thomas wrote:
As for Chris’s argument that a lot more goes into art appreciation than an emotional response, the reductionist has no problem including anything s/he knows about art technique, the artist’s personal history, etc. etc. in her/his appreciation or art. Selectively attending to different aspects or considerations that may pertain to a given work of art is part of the fun of appreciation…and please don’t try to argue that “selective attention” cannot be accommodated by a reductionist. The way I see it, reductionists have more fun. The short cuts that anti-reductionists take ignore much that might be appreciated "intellectually" and "emotionally."
Nicole Barenbaum wrote:As for the dubious suggestion that "the whole [equals sum of parts]," let me just point out that many respected psychologists have disagreed, and argued quite convincingly that the whole is not "the sum of parts". . .
Chris Green wrote:Another thought on this matter: Although I appreciate that for many people questions of art are primarily emotional (read neurochemical, if you wish) questions, I think that far too much is made of this by people who don't have any other way of understanding aesthetics. I think that anyone who has actually engaged in the study of art as a technical practice (not just as "appreciation") knows what I mean by this. There is stuff going on -- not just "interpretive/meaning" stuff but "structural/dynamical/perceptual" stuff -- that just isn't apparent to the casual observer (and this is why the forms of art -- often "abstract" -- that are most fascinating to artists have such limited resonance with the public). Put plainly, there are things I find interesting about works of art that have little to do with what emotional state they generate in me.
Roger K, Thomas, Ph.D.
Just to clarify, there were actually two typos in the quote. The last phrase should read "what we call works of art are nothing but a section of the Pharmacopoeia". . .
As for the dubious suggestion that "the whole [equals sum of parts]," let me just point out that many respected psychologists have disagreed, and argued quite convincingly that the whole is not "the sum of parts". . .
On 2012-03-16, at 2:33 PM, Christopher Green wrote:
> "If art is only art so far as it stimulates certain reactions, the artist as such is simply a purveyor of drugs, noxious or wholesome; what we call works of art is nothing *BUT* a section of the Pharmacopoeia."Nothing like killing a good quote with a typo. :-(
Nicole B. Barenbaum
Department of Psychology
ph: (931) 598-1302
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