ART & ORGANISM
Imaginative culture “consists of “the subjects traditionally studied in the humanities—…that part of culture that consists in shared and transmissible mental experiences that are aesthetically and emotionally modulated. Such experiences include religion, ideology, and the arts. Evolutionary cultural theory has heretofore concerned itself mostly with technology and social organization. Imaginative culture is the last major piece in the puzzle of human nature.” (Carroll et al 2020)[i]
Imaginative culture is where the fundamental cognitive function of envisioning possible futures (that can allow anticipation of potential errors) has come to fruition. Looking at the DEEP determinants and boundaries of imaginative culture can, in this way, reveal ordinarily resistant aspects of each other.
“the evolved cognitive dispositions that make cumulative culture possible” are discussed In a recent collection of articles in the on-line journal, Frontiers in Psychology brought together by Joseph Carroll et al (2022)[ii] Evolutionary perspectives on the arts, religion, and ideology[iii] are brought to the foreground.
- Default Mode Network. One essay in Joseph Carroll et al (2022) gives serious attention to the Default Mode Network (DMN) (Newberg et al., “Orgasmic Meditation”). Over the past two decades, a rapidly expanding body of research has revealed that the DMN makes it possible to abstract away from the immediate present, to think about past and future, to enter into other minds, and to construct fictional worlds (Buckner and DiNicola, 2019; Carroll, 2020; van Mulukom, 2020).”
- Overlapping fields of activity in the brain: A Surprising Connection Between Memory and Imagination. see “The Future of Memory: Remembering, Imagining, and the Brain,” by Daniel L. Schacter et al. (2012) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2012.11.001
The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling, Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven; And, as imagination bodies forth The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name. (Midsummer Night`s Dream V.i.7)
[i]. Plato is probably borrowing from Democritus, who said that ‘all that a poet writes when possessed and divinely inspired is truly excellent.’) (see Hacklworth’s commentaries on Plato’s Phaedrus 1952:56‑62)
[ii]. Seneca: De Tranquillitate Animi XVII.x; (but Seneca says he is quoting Aristotle and the idea is also in Plato=s Phaedrus.
[i]Carroll, J., Clasen, M., Jonsson, E. (2020). Introduction. In: Carroll, J., Clasen, M., Jonsson, E. (eds) Evolutionary Perspectives on Imaginative Culture. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-46190-4_1
[ii] Carroll J, Johnson JA, Jonsson E, Jung RE and van Mulukom V (2022) Editorial: Imaginative culture and human nature: Evolutionary perspectives on the arts, religion, and ideology. Front. Psychol. 13:999057. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.999057
[iii] C:\Users\Greenberg\Dropbox\A&O\A&O – IMAGINATION (Carroll etc).docx