When we See more than we See

Over the next couple of weeks in Philosophy of Art, we are doing an intense philosophical exploration of perception with philosopher Alva Noë as our guide.  Using his recent book Varieties of Presence, we are considering how perception is an acquired skill wed to understanding and interpretation, and not an immediate unthoughtful brute reception of sensory data.

The kind of insights Noë has into perception in general has great implications for understanding why art works – whether it be music, paintings, photographs, or sculpture.  Art is precisely a means by which a skilled artist and skilled audience play in the transactions of perception.  Its not something as simple as creating optical illusions, so much as creatively participating in the embodied hermeneutics that are always and already at the very center of our everyday perceptual access to the world.

For a brief window into the world that we as a class are enter, you may check out the brief videos and blogs Alva Noë has on the BigThink website found here.  (BTW for those in the Zombie Apocolypse course:  He also has an interesting take on Zombies here.)

See below for one of these videos:

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