This essay is an interdisciplinary study of what is cognitively going on when we interpret, represent, or evaluate cultural entities, works of art included. In addition, the role of interpretation in experience and in cultural objects is elucidated from a cognitive point of view. The book relies on theories of action, perception, possible worlds, possibility and necessity, intentionality, cognition, and brain research. It contains a number of examples confirming what is said in its theoretical parts. Joining theories and concrete examples yields new explanatory insights into some much-discussed aesthetic problems related to interpretation. One observation is that cognitive theories can be used to dissolve the disagreement about two philosophical traditions, analytic and continental.
Veikko Rantala is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Tampere (Finland). He has written and co-edited books and articles on logic, philosophy of science, and aesthetics.
Contents: Cognitive foundations of interpretation and related processes, especially in aesthetics - Cognitive and logical theories - The relation between aesthetic principles of analytic and continental philosophical traditions reappraised in the light of cognitive theories.