The use of myths is related to the various pleasures targeted by thinking : the critical pleasure of rational seizure, the erotic pleasure of compassion for fellow-men, the anterotic pleasure of surrender to the loved one or the masochistic pleasure of denying one’s own identity.
Thinking uses art to incite the soul to move towards the states of mind that gives it these pleasures.
1. Rationalistic aesthetics
Rationalistic aesthetics places symbolization at the top level of mental operations. The thinking subject is looking for the critical (sadistic) pleasure of self assertion. This means that it moves from a state of sameness (the feeling of being like the other) to a state of identity (the feeling of being different). The myth of originality and the theme of heroism play a capital role in this type of aesthetics. The baroque style which combines technical mastery with the expression of originality embodies the rationalistic aesthetics.
e.g. : rationalistic idealism, Descartes, Bach in the fugue.
2. Romanesque aesthetics
Romanesque aesthetics is powered by instaurative iconicity. The thinking subject is aiming at the anterotic pleasure of self surrender to the ideal other. The myth of reciprocity and the theme oflovelead the artist to adopt the academical style combining technical mastery and convention. The sublime figures as its specific category.
e.g. : metaphysical idealism (Kant), Bach in the chorals, Mozart, Beethoven, Michelangelo, Veronese, Ingres,
3. Tragic aesthetics
Tragic aesthetics uses index as its main sign. The thinking subject aims at the masochistic pleasure of fear. The myth of indifferenciation and the theme of death play a central role. The use of panic style, combining convention (by denial) and casualness, ensures the anxiety of the thinking subject.
e.g. : morbid realism, Dada, Punk, informal art of Antonio Tàpies, the meat dress Spenka
4. Ironical aesthetics
Ironical aesthetics is powered by reductive iconicity. The thinking subject aims at the erotic pleasure of recognizing himself in the other. Heredity is the myth on which it feeds and humanity its major theme. The primitive style, combining creative spontaneity of the person and oversimplified technique, define this aesthetics. Tackyness figures as its specific category. It is the reign of irony.
e.g. : naive realism (Walt Disney), Picasso,
Semiotics of thinking allows us to establish links between the functionning of individual thinking (dianoia) and the functionning of collective thinking (ideology). Considering emotions as sets of indexes produced by holistic thinking, the semiotics of thinking must include them. Psychology, a major practice of sign interpretation in our societies, philosophy and anthropology merge to neurosemiotics.
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