Alva Noe

In his new book “Strange Tools,” philosopher and cognitive scientist Alva Noe posits an original theory of art and its value in our lives. Noe joins us to discuss the ephemeral nature of how we perceive and understand art. He’ll also talk about limitations of the contemporary trend of studying art through the lens of science, or neuroaesthetics.

Alva Noe, professor of philosophy, University of California, Berkeley; author of "Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature"

  • Doug F

    I say: the mother who hurried past the Warhol was right, it’s just a photorealistic painting of a soup can, & the prof is making up & imagining many things about modern art that just aren’t there, to make himself & the field seem more important. The lucrative modern art empire has no clothes.

    • Robert Thomas

      They’re not photorealistic.

  • BDN

    Why is art Important? Easy-peasy, it’s mind-expanding, and when dissed and suppressed exposes natural-born Nazis.

    • BDN

      and crotch-grabbers too

  • Pete

    “Whatever is valuable in painting is precisely what one is incapable of talking about.” –Georges Braque

  • Richard S. ANDREWS

    What does Prof. Noe think of this quote by Andre Malraux: “Art exists for its role of permitting men to escape their human condition, not by fleeing it,
    but by possessing it. All art is a means of taking hold of human destiny.”

  • Robert Thomas

    It’s one thing to recognize that consciousness and apprehension of the world is facilitated on a substrate of a neural and sensory machine – that among humans is physically similar from individual to individual – and quite another thing to assert, as Eric Kandel and other very smart people have infringed upon claiming, that a particular bundle of interconnected neurons are not only responsible for but in fact constitute “happy” and another, “sublime” and another, “kitsch” and another “fraud” and another “art”.

  • Jay

    I want to know what your guest thinks about “Boggs bills”. These are currency-like paintings made by J. S. G. Boggs, which the painter calls “art” but insists on using as currency.

  • Iris Eisenlohr

    art vs craft – I feel that the difference is not in the object that is
    created but the process doing it. Art leaves room for innocence, meaning
    I leave room for the unknown to express itself. Craft is almost the
    opposite, I use what I know as well as I am capable of.

  • Will Ashford

    Because the soul is progressive, it never quite repeats itself, but in every act attempts the production of a new and fairer whole. This appears in works both of the useful and the fine arts, if we employ the popular distinction of works according to their aim either at use or beauty. Thus in our fine arts, not imitation but creation is the aim. In landscapes the painter should give the suggestion of a fairer creation than we know. The details, the prose of nature he should omit and give us only the spirit and splendor. He should know that the landscape has beauty for his eye because it expresses a thought in one man’s mind

    RW Emerson

  • CanDoJack

    Art is communication. The artist is often unseen. That reality is comparable, like it or not, to the idea that in looking at this page you don’t see the programmer who way down in there somewhere is responsible for this page’s existence.

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