Turner A. (2007) Hermeneutic resonance in animats and art. In: Almeida e Costa F., Rocha L. M., Costa E., Harvey I. & Coutinho A. (eds.) Advances in Artificial Life. 9th European Conference, ECAL 2007. Springer, Berlin: 495–504. https://cepa.info/2679
One major criticism of direct or active perception (and other forms of embodied action) from the perspective of cognitive psycology is that, according to common sense, there are some actions that require strictly symbolic information – for example, to stop a car in response to a red traffic light – which fall outside the realm of a perception-action cycle. Although such cognitive responses are not necessarily a goal of artificial life, they must necessarily be included within the embodied paradigm if it is to encompass the cognisant individual, the self-aware individual, or, potentially, the conscious individual. This paper will address the question, ‘can an animat appreciate art?’ Although this may seem very different to the example of a prosaic response to a traffic light, it will be argued that a common framework for establishing the meaning of an object is needed. It will also be argued that clarification to previous philosophical models of artistic engagement is required: in particular that the process of understanding is not a dialogue between an autopoietic artwork and animat, but that there is either a unity of object (artworkanimat) which becomes self-maintaining, or a more classical Gibsonian interpretation as a fixed set of affordances offered by an object to the subject, both of which lead to the conclusion that the process of understanding becomes a resonance in the unity or animat.