Here we propose a comparison between more substantialist and more processist approaches to topics related to Cognitive Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Arts.
The conceptual tools used in our own processual-oriented approach is given on the right column.
|Substantialist trend||Processist trend||Our approach|
|Meaning||Concepts codified in information units.||A dynamic, self-organized, developmental process through which signs adapt to situational constraints.||Semiosis.|
|Cognition||Internal, abstract processing of (mainly symbolic) units of meaning (e.g., classical abstract problem solving).||Situated and distributed development and manipulation of artifacts.||Mind as semiosis; Semiotic theory of mind; Situated problem solving.|
|Agent||Individualized, decision-making substance or system (e.g. a subjectivity, a single mind, an autonomous cognitive system).||Emergent social persons whose decisions are causally-distributed.||Cognitive niche constructor.|
|Creativity||A rare or unusual property of some agents (e.g. a ‘gift’, a personality trait, a set of cognitive skills), which can cause unexpected transformations in– or reorganization of– units of meaning.||A natural organizational property of any process (emergence), which may include properties of agents but is not caused by such properties.||Exploration of opportunities for niche construction.|
|Locus of meaning||Well-defined (e.g., concepts in the agent’s brain; message encoded in an artifact).||Ill-defined, distributed, situated.||Cognitive niches.|
|Artwork||A well-defined locus for artistic meaning, due to unchangeable intrinsic particular properties, and whose genesis is related to some agent’s creativity in a substantialist sense.||A stable and regular pattern of semiotic multi-level systems.||A semiotic artifact that plays a central role in aesthetic niche construction.|
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Pedro Atã & João Queiroz