Source: "Othello's Lamentation" by William Salter, from Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0 We start this series of comments on aesthetic cognitivism with reflections by the psychologist Ellen Winner, author of the book How Art Works: A Psychological Exploration . Aesthetic cognitivism refers to the philosophical claim that aesthetic engagement advances knowledge and enhances understanding. Is this claim true? How would we know? By Ellen Winner In his book, Ways of Worldmaking , philosopher Nelson Goodman makes the bold claim that “the arts must be taken no less seriously than the sciences as modes of discovery, creation, and enlargement of knowledge in the broad sense of advancement of the understanding” (Goodman, 1978, p. 102). Painter György Kepes said that both the artist and the scientist “reach beneath surface phenomena to discover basic natural pattern and basic natural process" (Kepes, 1960, p. 6). These statements have a “feel right” quality to them, … [Read more...] about What Does Aesthetic Cognitivism Really Mean, Anyway?