Art as a Mode of Knowing: Four Psychological Aspects, by Maria Popova

The universal aspects of what we find beautiful and moving

Bruner outlines four psychological aspects of the art experience —connectednesseffort, conversion of impulse, and generality.

by   Brain Pickings

Maria Popova. (Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times)
Maria Popova. (Photograph by Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times)

The question of what art is has been asked and answered at least since we dwelled in caves. Every era has produced a crop of memorable answers from its greatest minds. Oscar Wilde pointed to the “temperament of receptivity” as the secret of art, Leo Tolstoy championed its“emotional infectiousness,” Susan Sontag saw it as “a form of consciousness,” and Alain de Botton considers it therapy of the soul. But one of the most insightful and dimensional explorations of the function of art in human culture comes from legendary Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner (b. October 1, 1915), whose influential and enduring contributions to cognitive psychology and learning theory remain unparalleled…

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