Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

History and Intentions in the Experience of Artworks

Abstract : The role of personal background knowledge--in particular knowledge about the context of production of an artwork--has been only marginally taken into account in cognitive approaches to art. Addressing this issue is crucial to enhancing these approaches' explanatory power and framing their collaboration with the humanities (Bullot and Reber, in press). This paper sketches a model of the experience of artworks based on the mechanisms of intention attribution, and shows how this model makes it possible to address the issue of personal background knowledge empirically. I claim that the role of intention attribution in art experience has been incorrectly accounted in the literature because of an overly narrow definition of "intention." I suggest that the observer can recover not only the artist's abstract projects, but any kind of mental states that have played a causal role during the production of the work. In addition, I suggest that this recovery occurs in large part unconsciously and/or implicitly. I provide support for these claims by distinguishing three families of psychological mechanisms of intention attribution that are activated by artworks: one involved in the cognition of artifacts, one devoted to communication, and one involved in action perception.
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Alessandro Pignocchi <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 12, 2012 - 5:37:01 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 3:47:05 AM




Alessandro Pignocchi. History and Intentions in the Experience of Artworks. Topoi, Springer Verlag, 2012, pp.1-10. ⟨10.1007/s11245-012-9145-8⟩. ⟨ijn_00750952⟩



Record views


Files downloads