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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the complementary roles that philosophers and psychologists play in the study of art. Psychology provides a natural lens through which to interpret the history of art. Artworks are communicative events. They are cognitive, perceptual, and affective stimuli intentionally designed to express a point or purpose, articulate an idea, or convey some socially embedded meaning. Methodological progress in art is progress in a collective capacity to shape psychological responses in consumers germane to recovering this content. Understanding art in all of its variance is simply a process of tracking how artworks have been used as communicative devices within different social contexts. Philosophers and psychologists study complementary aspects of these communicative exchanges. Despite entrenched philosophical skepticism, the rich, longstanding, albeit often tacit, rapprochement between these two fields should therefore come as no surprise.

Keywords: Art, aesthetics, attention, communicative act, empirical aesthetics, intentionality, neuroaesthetics, philosophy, psychology

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