Challenge of the Ineffable: Concerning Mechner's "a Behavioral and Biological Analysis of Aesthetics"

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Date: Sept. 2018
From: The Psychological Record(Vol. 68, Issue 3)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Critical essay
Length: 1,218 words
Lexile Measure: 1460L

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Abstract :

Meticulously organized and comprehensive as it is, Mechner's account doesn't quite capture the quicksilverish nature of aesthetic events and reactions. He is not alone in this, for the grammatical constraints of language are often mismatched with behavioral/ psychological phenomena. A possible solution here would be to invoke adverbial forms when aesthetic reactions do not reach the threshold of overt expression: thus, one might listen serenely, watch excitedly, run fluently. Consistent with other traditions, Mechner invokes "expectation" in addressing the aesthetic interplay between pattern and variation. However, expectation suggests a role of awareness that in many cases is inapplicable. Thus, the term, "complex invariance," may provide a better way to address this issue. Like Mechner's article, complex invariance applies in a broad range of domains, including behavioral arrangements and the products of workmanship as well as explicitly artistic endeavors. Keywords Aesthetic response * Complex invariance * Synergetic brews * Emotion * Adverbial expression * Workmanship

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A561883334