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Relief and the Structure of Intentions in Late Palaeolithic Cave Art

Hughes, Fiona (2021) 'Relief and the Structure of Intentions in Late Palaeolithic Cave Art.' The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 79 (3). pp. 285-300. ISSN 0021-8529

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Artworks at Lascaux and other late Palaeolithic caves integrate geological features or “relief” of the cave wall in a way that suggests a symbiotic relation between nature and culture. I argue this qualifies as “receptivity to a situation,” which is neither fully active nor merely passive and emerges as a necessary element of the intentions made apparent by such cave art. I argue against prominent interpretations of cave art, including the shamanist account and propose a structural interpretation attentive to particular cases. Seen in this way, cave art displays intentions that are analyzable as having a tripartite structure: mentally directed, embedded in actions and receptive to a situation. Moreover, the latter is the medium through which the other two elements are conjoined. Drawing on a range of archaeological and philosophical resources from both analytical philosophy and phenomenology, I argue that what I call cave art’s “intentional story” is important for the philosophy of intentions more generally.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Philosophy and Art History, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2021 08:28
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2022 09:29

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