Tag Archives: aesthetic experience

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 6

Man as microcosm

Man as microcosm

4,063 words

Part 6 of 7 (other parts here)

6. All and Nothing

In my account of ekstasis, I have drawn principally on two philosophers: Heidegger and Schopenhauer. And Hegel has been peeping out at certain points in my discussion (he will have a much bigger role to play very soon). But the truth is that the ideas I have been expounding in this essay have deep roots in the Western tradition, and are much older even than Hegel.

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 5

Gabillou 'sorceror,' Dordogne, France3,360 words

Part 5 of 7 (other parts here)

5. Can Biology Explain Ekstasis?

I have already mentioned that scientists speculate that cave art (and religion, language, etc.) comes about as a result of some kind of genetic mutation, perhaps a “sudden, serendipitous, genetically-based brain reorganization.” Read more …

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 4

chauvet_bison1,694 words

Part 4 of 7 (other parts here)

4. “To be human means to be a sayer”

The ability to perceive essences (“Ideas,” as Schopenhauer puts it) plays a role in other human activities besides art. Read more …

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The Stones Cry Out:
Cave Art & the Origin of the Human Spirit, Part 3

Chauvet_cave_paintings2,750 words

Part 3 of 7 (other parts here)

3. Art Begins in Wonder

My thesis, quite simply, is that art, religion, and language are all made possible by a mental or cognitive act which I have called elsewhere ekstasis.[1] To better understand what this consists in, I will ask the reader to consider a simple (or, perhaps, not so simple) question. Read more …

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