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Poiesis, ecology and embodied cognition

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Since RenĂ© Descartes famously separated the concepts of body and mind in the seventeenth century, western philosophy and theory have struggled to conceptualize the interconnectedness of minds, bodies, environments and cultures. While environmental psychology and the cognitive sciences have shown that spatial perception is ‘embodied’ and depends on the aforementioned concepts’ interconnectedness, architectural design practice, for example, has rarely incorporated these insights. The article presents research on the epistemological foundations that frame the communication between design theory and practice and juxtaposes it with scientific research on embodied experience. It further suggests that Asian aesthetics, with its long history in conceiving relations and art as interactive, could create a bridge between recent scientific insights and design practice. The article links Asian aesthetics to a discourse on ecologies in the post-Anthropocene, in dialogue with contemporary conceptions of time. It outlines an approach to the interconnectedness of minds, bodies, environments, the sciences and cultures, in favour of a future that is governed by creative wisdom rather than ‘smart’ efficiency.
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Keywords: China; ecology; embodied cognition; poetics; poiesis; second-order cybernetics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000417654000Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Publication date: March 1, 2020

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  • Technoetic Arts focuses upon the juncture between art, technology and the mind. Divisions between academic areas of study, once rigidly fixed, are gradually dissolving due to developments in science and cultural practice. This fusion has had a dramatic effect upon the scope of various disciplines. In particular, the profile of art has radically evolved in our present technological culture
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