Re: ART: What Art Is

Date: Sun May 28 2000 - 13:10:59 MDT

Ayn Rand wrote that the visual arts "teach man to see more precisely and to
find DEEPER MEANING in his field of vision" and that the art is "a SELECTIVE
RE-CREATION of REALITY according to an artist's metaphysical

(Since I did not read Rand's books Iım not sure but) I suggest,
inconsiderately, that Randıs aesthetics may have ³something² in common with
the s.c. constructivist aesthetics.

Silvio Ceccato (1964) developed Bridgman's idea of operational definitions
into a comprehensive system of mental operations. He emphasized the
³constitutive² capability of the mind and the role of a pulsating ATTENTION
that governs the generation of concepts (like artistic CREATION, artistic
RE-CREATION, beauty, but also semantics) by separating and relating the raw
material of sensory differences. On these premises he worked out a detailed
model of a thinking organism that was able to construct an experiential
world (even without ³representational² input from an external reality).
Ceccato developed also concepts (relevant in the artistic domain) like
communication & "enrichment", etc.

Modern (rectius: radical) constructivism is based on the following basic
principles: knowledge is not passively received either through the senses or
by way of communication, but is actively built up by the cognising subject;
the function of cognition is adaptive and serves the subject's organization
of the experiential world, not the discovery of an objective ontological

The importance of constructivism is best understood by comparing it with the
traditional approach in epistemology or cognitive science, which sees
knowledge as a passive reflection of the external, objective reality. The
traditional view is that our senses work like a camera that just projects an
image of how the world "really" is onto our brain, and use that image as a
kind of map, an encoding in a slightly different format of the objective
structure "out there". Such a view runs quickly into a host of conceptual
problems, mainly because it ignores the infinite complexity of the world.
Observation reveals that cognition does not work like that. It rather turns
out that the subject is actively generating plenty of potential models, and
that the role of the outside world is merely limited to reinforcing some of
these models while eliminating others (SELECTION). Of course: constructivism
has its roots in Kant's synthesis of rationalism and empiricism.

(I must buy that book, just to see if & how much my spaghetti-speculation is

scerir (Rome)

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