The Aesthetics of Human Cognition

16 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2018

See all articles by Margaret H. Freeman

Margaret H. Freeman

Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts - MICA

Date Written: September 22, 2018


Aesthetics is generally understood as considerations of taste, beauty, and pleasure in the arts. However, the aesthetic faculty depends on eight interrelated elements that constitute all human cognitive activity. Memory, imagination, knowledge, experience, discrimination, expertise, judgment, and creative activity constrain and are constrained by how much we apply them — or don’t apply them — to all the different aspects of our lives, empathetically and ethically. Together, they give rise to all our apprehensions and understandings of the worlds of which we are a part. The aesthetic faculty is therefore as much a part of scientific creativity as it is of the arts.

Keywords: aesthetics, poetics, cognition, science

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Margaret H., The Aesthetics of Human Cognition (September 22, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Margaret H. Freeman (Contact Author)

Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts - MICA ( email )

23 Avery Brook Road
Heath, MA 01346-0132
United States
413 337 4854 (Phone)

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