Nelson Goodman and Project Zero: art, cognition, and education

Annamaria Contini

Studi di estetica

she reconnects the theoretical threads of the languages of art to project zero. nice recap of LA and insights into P0.

Languages of Art is a theory of symbols.

Only a non-insular conception of art can dissolve the dichotomy between the cognitive and the emotiv that makes it impossible to seize “the modes and means of reference and their varied and pervasive use in the operations of the understanding” (Goodman, 1968: XI)

Referential practices developed by Goodman:

Requirements of a notational system:

art builds a certain vision of the world: that makes ways of worldmaking quite relevant (with implications to poetics)

In the aesthetic experience, the emotion functions cognitively (goodman)

Symptoms of the aesthetic:

The question of programming languages is: are there symbol systems which perform better than others? Under what standards?

She mentions Goodman’s 1972 report on Project Zero:

realization, whether in physics or painting, in medicine or music, is normally an arduous process, straining skill and pertinacity (goodman)

Production and understanding in the arts involve human activities that, though they differ in specific ways among themselves and from other activities, are nevertheless generically related to perception, scientific inquiry, and other cognitive activity (goodman)

The emphasis placed on the symbolic, cognitive, planning aspects of the arts leads us to give value to the role played by problem-solving, seeing there a model in terms of which the moment-to-moment artist’s behavior at work can be described. “An analysis of behavior as a sequence of problem- solving and planning activities seems to be most promising […]” (goodman)

In terms of worldmaking:

The arts make world-versions using various means of reference: - statement - description - representation - exemplification - expression

and they are then jugded by the general notion of rightness of fit.

A bit elaborate is “seeing the world in terms of the artwork/specific arrangement of the symbol system we are presented with”. Peering into the machine’s world.