Spring school on enactive perception

The research centres CRESA and PERSONA of the Faculty of Philosophy at San Raffaele University, Milan, organize the International Conference and Spring School:

Perception and Aesthetic Experience: Starting from Noe’s Strange Tools. Art and Human Nature

San Raffaele Spring School of Philosophy 2017 (SRSSP 2017)

Milan, May 22nd – 24th, 2017

What is art? Why does it matter to us? What does it tell us about ourselves?

In his book Strange Tools. Art and Human Nature (Hill and Wang, New York, 2015), the philosopher Alva Noë tries to answer these questions by proposing a philosophical theory that investigates the artistic practice and the aesthetic experience in relation to many other human activities. Noë’s main idea is that the artistic practice is a re-organizational practice by means of which we put on display and investigate several organizational activities of ours, such as dancing or making pictures. Investigating our practices, art investigates ourselves too.

“Works of art put our making practices and our tendency to rely on what we make, and so also our practices of thinking and talking and making pictures, on display. Art puts us on display. Art unveils us to ourselves” (Noë 2015, 101).

However, Strange Tools is not just a book on art and artistic practice. Indeed, dealing with these topics, the author addresses also some of the main topics of his previous production: the nature of perception and the enactive proposal, the nature of pictures and representations, the extended thesis about our minds and cognitive processes, the place of neurosciences in the study of the mind, and so on.

We invite submissions by graduate and PhD students, as well as Postdocs and Experienced Researchers, on any of the topics addressed by Alva Noë’s Strange Tools. Art and Human Nature, as well as on any related topics addressed by the author in his previous works. Submissions on aesthetics and perception from other perspectives (e.g. theories different from Noë’s one) are also very welcome.

Possible questions to investigate include (but are not limited to):

– What is perception? Can the enactive model be a good one to describe and explain how we perceive?

– Is the Extended Mind Thesis a tenable one? Should we think of a necessary limitation of such an extension?

– What is the nature of pictures and representations?

– What is art? How can we define the artistic practice and the works of art? Is Noë’s position on these topics embraceable?

– Can a neuro-aesthetic approach appropriately explain the aesthetic experience? In the negative case, should it be combined with other approaches or should it be completely rejected?

Keynote Speaker

Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley)

Confirmed Invited Speakers

Clotilde Calabi (University of Milan)

Vittorio Gallese (University of Parma)

Bence Nanay (University of Antwerp)

Marco Tettamanti (San Raffaele Scientific Institute)

Alberto Voltolini (University of Turin)

More details and the call for papers

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