Social context of creativity
This thesis analyses the long-distance control of the environmentally-situated imagination, in both spatial and temporal dimensions. Central to the project is what I call the extended social brain hypothesis. Grounded in the Peircean conception of 'pragmaticism‘, this re-introduces technical intelligence to Dunbar‘s social brain—conceptually, through Clark‘s 'extended mind‘ philosophy, and materially, through Callon‘s 'actor–network theory‘. I claim that: There is no subjectivity without intersubjectivity. That is to say: as an evolutionary matter, it was necessary for the empathic capacities to evolve before the sense of self we identify as human could emerge. Intersubjectivity is critical to human communication, because of its role in interpreting intention. While the idea that human communication requires three levels of intentionality carries analytical weight, I argue that the inflationary trajectory is wrong as an evolutionary matter. The trend is instead towards increasing powers of individuation. The capacity for tool-use is emphasized less under the social brain hypothesis, but the importance of digital manipulation needs to be reasserted as part of a mature ontology. These claims are modulated to substantiate the work-maker, a socially situated (and embodied) creative agent who draws together Peircean notions of epistemology, phenomenology and oral performance.
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