Friday, November 10, 2006

Ivar Hagendoorn

I was just reminding myself how brilliant this philospher is. I have for a while thought that we enjoy aesthetically things which are familiar but not too familiar - a really foreign dance performance is imprenetrable, but it is oftne hard for professional ballet dancers to simply enjoy going to the ballet. This may be instantiated in the brain as a partial perceptual resonance. As Hagendoorn has it
"It is precisely because the brain cannot form an adequate representation of the images that fall on the retina or because the object appears out of context, that it summons a chain of associations."
This is perhaps the power of art, and perhaps also a version of what the Russian formalists thought of as defamiliarization. Rereading after a gap of a few months, I am struck anew at how smart his Journal of Consciousness Studies piece is.

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