Mind, Reality and Art: Mental Basis and Psychological Function of Artistic Creativity

By Yılmaz Özakpınar.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A human being who can say “I” and “me” can consider his own thoughts and feelings as if he is examining an external object. This awareness of self elevates a human being to the status of the conscious producer of actions, as well as to the status of the constructor of a symbolic mental representation of the world. Consciousness of being conscious, together with introspective ability and language ability, is the source of culture. In this context, we may think of “culture” as an encompassing term for everything that humans conceive in mind and express and exteriorize by their performances over and above what nature offers them. Artistic and scientific creations as well as technological inventions, ways of living, traditions, values and attitudes are included in the broader concept of culture in the anthropological sense. A scientist tries to understand the mechanism of natural events which is independent of his own mind or his own existence. An artist deals with the impact of external events and objects on his mind. His aim is to know their influence on his feelings and understand the meaning of these subjective effects which are dependent on the artist’s life history, his experiences and his ideals. The artist analyses his relationship with the event. What he grasps is a function of the subjective meaning of the event as well as the physical properties and the appearance of it. From particular observations to abstract thinking processes and back to the world of particular objects with the aim of conveying a human truıth is the essence of an artist’s mental work. The universality of a genuine work of art proves its value by virtue of its being an object of interpersonal communication through addressing the minds of fellow human beings over the ages. In the course of this layered process, a work of art becomes a source of inspiration for self-insight and a medium of intellectual and emotional knowledge which has intersubjective validity.

Keywords: Symbolic Mental Representations, Science and Art, Reality and Truth, Consciousness of Being Conscious

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.35-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 514.874KB).

Dr. Yılmaz Özakpınar

Professor Dr., Chair, Psychology Department, Fatih University, İstanbul, Turkey

I am a graduate of Cambridge University. I got my Ph.D. from Istanbul University and worked there as Professor of Psychology between 1978-2001. I was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Scholarship and did research for two years at the University of Cologne, Forschungsinstitut für Soziologie and for three months at the University of Bern, Abteilung der pedagogischen Psychologie. I was a visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Oregon for six months. My interest in Psychology lies, primarily, in the area of Learning, Memory and Thinking, and secondarily, in the problems of Cultural Change. Presently, I work on the psychological processes of decision-making and choice, and the theory of voluntary behavior.


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