[APPROVED] Paper - Neuroesthetics and Philosophy of Art: Approximations and Challenges

ABSTRACT: Art is one of the most important techniques for exploring and expanding our cognitive abilities, especially when it comes to exercising our ability to imagine scenarios (possible or impossible) and to improve our capacities for learning, anticipating events and solving problems. A fictional work (literature, films, series, etc.) in general invites us to a constructive participation in which we must attribute meaning to the small fragments that are presented to us in homeopathic doses during the narrative (just look at the episodes of the acclaimed series "Black Mirror”, for example). If the viewer feels cognitively engaged in the narrative, he is likely to anticipate with some accuracy the next steps or possible outcomes. Allied to technology, art gained a new status from the second half of the 20th century onwards, as important scientific and technological elements were incorporated into artistic work: the discovery of dopamine (a neurotransmitter responsible for communication between different brain areas involved in the expectation of reward, in processing emotions, planning and reasoning) has caused the cinematographic art, for example, to undergo substantial transformations (either in terms of “holding the viewer’s attention” to the narrative, or in terms of “taking the viewer to watch to the movie”). The expectation of “deciphering the structure of the narrative” brings with it different results: for example, our ability to learn and memorize something through the brain’s natural tendency to acquire rewards for effort is linked to some unexpected experience. When the reward is greater than initially expected, it increases the flow of dopamine. If it is smaller, the flow of dopamine decreases. However, when the initial prediction of reward is confirmed in the fictional narrative, then there are no changes in dopaminergic signaling, and this is because there was no cognitive change in our conceptual system (it is clear, however, that different subjects have different dopaminergic responses). It follows that art is also a cognitive activity. The Philosophy of Art has been advancing in the attempt to understand how our “aesthetic experiences” work, but this supposed advance has only been possible due to the recent opening of the area to the inclusion of scientific data in its theoretical perspectives. In this sense, my purpose in this short essay is to show how art is essentially linked to technology and how the philosophy of art has been transformed in recent years (especially regarding the brevity and ephemerality of narratives and images).

Author: Dr. Juliano do Carmo

Juliano do Carmo is a Brazilian researcher and Professor of the Postgraduate Program in Philosophy at the Federal University of Pelotas (Master’s and Doctorate). His doctorate in Philosophy of Language was held at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (2009-2013). He has published several works on Philosophy of Language, Epistemology, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Neuroscience and other interdisciplinary topics. He works as a Collaborating Professor in the Doctoral Course in Philosophy at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique and is an effective member of the International Research Group on Human and Non-Human Normativity.

The text will be delivered on April 28.
It will be written in Portuguese.

Budget for author: USD 300 in near.
NEAR account for payment: jsc2022.near