Prof. Dr. Alva Noë
Philosophy (UC Berkeley)
Einstein Visiting Fellow Professor
The research project Reorganizing Ourselves investigates art and philosophy as practiceswhose aim is human reorganization. Superficially, art and philosophy are very different, the one practical, dedicated to making, the other theoretical. A leading idea of the project is thatart and philosophy, understood correctly, are each species of a common genus, specifically, they are reorganizational practices, that is, practices oriented to the dual task of unveiling us to ourselves and doing so in ways that make change possible, or even mandatory.
The project explores the hypothesis that the mechanism by which they do this is entanglement. Entanglement, in turn, is best understood in terms of the idea of looping as a movement between organized (first order) activities and reorganizing (second order) activities and practices. By yielding representations of ourselves, artisticpractice, like philosophy, provides resources for the reorganization of the very activities they represent. As a result of this looping, the (first order) domain of ordinary practices becomesentangled with the (second order) domain of reflection. In different thematic foci, questions about the reorganizational nature of philosophy and art will be addressed: What are themechanisms of entanglement? How do so-called reorganizational practices work? What is distinctive about aesthetic and philosophical modes of understanding?