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A short epistemological narrative of logos, telos and aesthetic reason

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This article discusses the potential of a contemporary understanding of what Heraclitus and the Stoics called ‘cosmological logos’, and its relation to human reason and cultural communication. I will relate the example of Descartes’ and his introspective method in Meditations on the First Philosophy (1647) to a contemporary understanding of the potential of introspection, related to theories of the embodied mind, virtual levels of nature and a possible connection between them. Where Descartes focused upon the rational properties of the logical mind, and its potential to relate to nature’s higher logic, I relate my vision of a modern logos philosopher to Charles Sanders Peirce’s concept of nature’s ‘habits’, triad semiosis and the overall phaneroscopic phenomenology, which I connect to the concept of ‘aesthetic reason’. Aesthetic reason, in this context, represents a complex kind of rationality that involves a broader variety of cognitive processes. It is based on Extended Sentience, which includes properties of quantum communication that simultaneously work within the confinements of the mind–body, while simultaneously transgressing it. This article takes an overall evolutionary perspective, and claims that the prerequisites for experience and rationality are changing over historical time, due to evolutionary changes at endosemiotic levels of the mind–body. The prerequisites for Descartes’ activity of cognitive mediation and such of a modern logos philosopher, would thus not be equal. I will elaborate on the differences in this article.
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Keywords: Descartes; Extended Sentience; aesthetics; cognition; logos; nature; ratio; semiotics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Plymouth

Publication date: May 17, 2012

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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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