The Logic of Disorder: A Dynamic View of Cognitive Aesthetics

82 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2010

Date Written: April 8, 2010


In observing various patterns of organization I have come to a similar conclusion as that of seminal theorist and psychologist Rudolf Arnheim; that there is a negentropic drive towards order as exemplified by the presence of phenomena such as societies, governments and grammars. In contrast to this, due to the fact that we are embodied beings, there is also an entropic drive (germinating from human phenomenology) towards chaos. We see this demonstrated by the existence of emotion, free will, weather patterns and so on. These conflicting drives follow along an order/disorder axis. As these drives follow along this continuum in opposite directions, a tension, or force dynamic relationship, is created between the entropic and the negentropic. I assert that it is this tension that results in aesthetic appeal or dynamism and that this effect, which is not specific to any one modality, is a discrete character of the cognitive underpinnings of the aesthetic experience.

Keywords: Semiotics, Diegesis, Semiotic Square, Actant Model, Aesthetics, Temporality

Suggested Citation

Schartman, Samantha, The Logic of Disorder: A Dynamic View of Cognitive Aesthetics (April 8, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Samantha Schartman (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University ( email )

10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7068
United States
(216)990-4267 (Phone)

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