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Art and Externalism

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How have artists understood the relationship between the mind and the world? This paper presents statements by a number of artists that speak of how subjective experience is constituted by the unity of inner self and outer reality, or how objects in the world can acquire mental properties. I will discuss some reasons why artists hold these views and how they might contribute to the ongoing debate between internalist and externalist theories of mind. Drawing on the conception of mind-world relations attributed to artists, a way of understanding perceptual experience will be outlined that stresses the reciprocity between head-bound and world-bound processes. This approach allows the opposing, and seemingly incompatible, views of internalists and externalists to be embraced within a more inclusive schema.

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: January 1, 2012


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