Cognition and the Arts: The Cognitive Value of Art and Its Relation to Other Cognitive Systems
Cognition is the result of crucial changes in human evolution, which caused the subject's mental differentiation and his/her ability to reflect the environment and one’s own mind. Throughout history it has always been under a strong influence of social and cultural factors. These determine even contemporary scientific and artistic knowledge. Between both systems of cognition there are some fundamental differences. Science tends toward the formation of clear meanings, while art intentionally produces obscure and undifferentiated meanings and by this contributes to their multiplicity. This brings artistic meanings closer to the magic, mythic, and religious meanings, for the beginnings of artistic creation were fused with myth, ritual, and religion. At first they were not articulated, so unarticulated expression could be denoted as the oldest and the most primitive form of the subject’s creative intervention into the environment. Nowadays art represents an elaborated and complex knowledge system, full of symbolic meanings, which can be understood only by profound studying of some universal and some culturally specific determinants of human existence. To some extent they are also determined by the form of the works of art, but most often they surpass their formal limitations.
Keywords: Cognition, Art, Science, Myth, Culture, Meaning Analysis
Prof. Dr. Asja Nina Kovacev
Professor of Cultural Sociology and General Psichology, Health Faculty, University of Ljubljana