How to put art and brain together
Books on the psychology of art tend to identify known principles of cognitive or brain science, and then show instances of art exemplifying the principles. This approach suffers from two deep problems, the first is that most of the supposed principles of psychology are suspect, and the second that art is so rich and varied that one can find examples of it to fit any principle. Here I suggest a new way forward for putting art and brain together, one within the general theoretical framework that I call “Nature Harnessing.” It is that the arts have been culturally selected over time to be a “good fit” for our brain, and our brain has been naturally selected over time to be a good fit to nature… so, perhaps the arts have come to be shaped like nature, exactly the shape our brain came to be highly efficient at processing. I provide examples from my research on the structure of writing, speech and music.