The anatomy of art

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Title:
The anatomy of art problems in the description and evaluation of works of art
Physical Description:
xiv, 316 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Kushner, Thomasine Kimbrough
Publication Date:

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Subjects / Keywords:
Art criticism   ( lcsh )
Art -- Philosophy   ( lcsh )
Aesthetics   ( lcsh )
Philosophy thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Philosophy -- UF
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bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1984.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 311-315.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Thomasine Kimbrough Kushner.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 000473835
oclc - 11698747
notis - ACN9044
System ID:
AA00002176:00001

Full Text

















ANATOMY
AND


OF ART: PROBLEMS IN
EVALUATION OF WORKS


THOMASINE


KIMBROUGH


DESCRIPTION


OF ART


KUSHNER


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO
THE UNIVERSITY
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF T
DEGREE OF DOCTOR


TH
OF
HE
OF


E GRADUATE S
FLORIDA
REQUIREMENTS
PHILOSOPHY


SCHOOL

FOR














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


I wish to


express


gratitude to all


those who generously


gave of their time and expertise to help in the realization

of this project:

From the Philosophy Department at the University of


Florida Dr.


Jay Zeman who first opened the doors for me,


Ellen Haring offered suggestions which much improved the


manuscript,


and Dr. Greg Ulmer who showed new avenues of


exploration.


every


especially want to thank Dr.


thesis writer needs


Robert D'Amico;


a wise advisor and therapeutic


friend and I


was fortunate to find both in him.


Joseph Rohm,


Professor of Music and composer,


Florida International University, Miami, Florida, gave


musical


instruction and helped in analyzing Beethoven's Opus


III.


Dr. John Knoblock,


of the Philosophy Department of the


University of Miami,


Florida,


helped me from the beginning,


first by


suggesting that I write this variation on a theme


we have discussed for


years


and then by allowing me many


hours of dialogue on problems of aesthetics.


Dr. George


Alexandrakis, Professor and Chairman of the Department of








Miami, guided me through recent developments in literary

criticism.














PREFACE



The subject of this inquiry can be posed in a simple


question,


"Can art be evaluated,


and if so,


how?"


address this question seriously requires a more general


approach


to aesthetics than is current.


Instead of


concerning themselves with the broader issues,


most


contemporary aestheticians have focused their attention on

more specific matters, such as how various aesthetic


vocabularies are used in the particular arts.


This


narrowing of objectives can probably be traced to a

persistent doubt current since the 1930s that any general


theory of art is possible.


general


It has been assumed that a


theory would depend on locating those necessary


characteristics which things must share to be called works


of art,


a will-o'-the-wisp search rooted in what is described


as "the fallacy of essentialism."


More recently,


Morris Weitz has suggested that the very


question,

say about


"What is art?" is meaningless,


"art" is that it


and the most we can


as Wittgenstein described


"games," a "family resemblance" notion;


according to Weitz,


that art


a term without boundaries which accounts








those


things


refer


"art" without


concluding


that


boundaries


will


cannot,


be remembered,


should


clearly


not,

took


be drawn.


Wittgenstein,


view that for special


purposes


we can


draw


boundaries


concepts,


is my


point


that aesthetics,


insofar


involved


criticism,


just


such


a special


purpose.


A primary


function

it for a


inquiry will


special


be defining art,


purpose--the purpose of


eva


but defining


luating works


art.


There are problems which still


trouble


the common


intellectual


community,


such


as how one might go


about


showing


Bach


so great


as Beethoven,


that


one


composition by Beethoven


better


than


another


composition


Beethoven.


Issues such


having aestheticians


these will


talking with


other


not be resolved by


aestheticians


working


fine


points


their


agreement,


rather


taking


into


account


practical


needs


which


critics


various disciplines


have


a reasonable way


describing works


art,


in analyzing


their


construction,


that


they may


then


evaluated.


While


interest


contemporary


aestheticians


been


in constructive


aesthetics,


that


offering


suggestions


to how


aes


thetics


can move ahead


to provide a


useful


account


art,


their


criticisms


the errors


past


provide


a considerable contribution


in sharpening








consideration not only what modern aestheticians say, but

also keeping in mind constantly the basic trends of


criticism in the various arts.


The goal will be to


construct a theory in such a way that there will be a common

language in terms of which specific art types can be


discussed so


to make their common features apparent,


leading,


therefore,


to common standards of evaluation.















TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.........a....................... .... ...... 11

PREFACE......... ........ ..... .... ....... ........... iv

LIST OF TABLES....................................... ix

LIST OF FIGURES...................................... x

ABSTRACT........... ...................... ........... .... x111iii


PART


I........ ...... ................................


CHAPTER I


CONCEPTUAL DIFFICULTIES..........


Approaches to Boundary Making....
Criteria for Evaluating Theories.
Metarules for Proceeding.........


CHAPTER II


DECODING: AESTHETIC RESPONSE,
AND ENCODING: ARTISTIC CREATION.


Decoding: Aesthetic Response....
Encoding: Artistic Creation.....


CHAPTER III


THE WORK OF ART: TOWARD A COMMON
DESCRIPTIVE VOCABULARY IN MUSIC,
POETRY, AND PAINTING.............


Towards a Common Des
Vocabulary........
Music...............
Poetry.............
Painting............


CHAPTER IV


;criptive


* ... .....c.
* ........ .*


DEVISING A COMMON VOCABULARY OF
AESTHETIC VALUE TERMS............ 201


Primary Levels of Appreciation... 203


Pa








Page

PART II.............................................. 241


CHAPTER V


ANALYZING AND EVALUATING


SPECIFIC WORKS OF ART............ 241


Music: Sonata


C Minor,


Opus 111 by Beethoven.......... 242
Poetry: Musee Des Beaux Arts
by W.B. Auden.................. 269


Painting:


Persimmons by


Mn Ch'


CHAPTER VI


CONCLUDING REMARKS............... 304


BIBLIOGRAPHY........................................ 311

B IOGRAPHICALI SKETCH...... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ............ 316














LIST OF TABLES


Table


Summary table of wave form characteristics
of light and sound........................


Value chart................ .............. 234


Page














LIST OF FIGURES


Figure


Page


Sound

Sound


wave:

wave:


Music: Figure of resemblances............. 115

Ofero ed Euridice.......................... 122

Music, poetry: Figure of resemblances..... 151

Light wave: Hue........................... 159


Light


wave:


Value......................... 159


Geometric


Geometric


axes


axes


of painting--Horizontal


of painting--Horizontal,


vertical, and diagonal..................... 167


Functional


axes


of painting................ 168


Merode Altarpiece..........................

Detail Merode Altarpiece: Joseph panel....


Van Eyck, Giovanni Arnolfini and His Bride. 180

El Greco, Cardinal Don Fernando Nino de
Guevara.................................... 185


Tomb at Qarragan, Iran..................... 192


Transparent


screens,


Fatehpur Sikri........ 193


Taj Mahal at Agra........................ .. 195

Friday Mosque at Herat, Afghanistan........ 196


Pitch,,


and








Figure


Page


Oviform


vase:


Sung Dynasty................


Porcelain bowl: Sung Dynasty..............


Porcelain


vase


with fluted body: Sung


Dynasty.......... .. ........... ............ 231

Oldenburg, Baseball Bat.................... 236

Figure of resemblances with value terms.... 239

Simple meter signature..................... 245

Compound meter signature................... 245

Subdivisions of the beat................... 245

Arietta theme.............................. 246

"Skip" motive.............................. 247


"Step" motive.


Completion of theme and beginning of
Variation I.........................


Tied notes in Variation I.................. 249

Fifth and seventh measures in Variation I
and the theme.......*..... .................. 251


Second section of Variation I..............

Rhythm comparison: Variations I and II....

Fifth and seventh measures in Variation II.


Second part of Variation II................ 254


Variation III..............................


Fifth and seventh measures in Variation III 256

"Step" motive in Variation III............. 256

Rhythmic complexity in Variation IV........ 258


1- -








Figure


Page

Arpeggiation............................... 261


Interlude between Variation IV and V.......


Variation


"Step" motive in Variation


V..... ..........


CEG pattern in Epilogue....................


BCD pattern in Epilogue.................... 266


Measure


Last three measures of Epilogue............ 267

Mu Ch'i: Six Persimmons................... 291


Mu Ch'i:


Persimmons...................


Mu Ch'i: Six Persimmons................... 294


Mu Ch'i:


Persimmons................... 296


V


172 1.~~












Abstract


ser


station


Presented


the Graduate School


the University
Requirements f


of Florida


the Degree


n Partial
of Doctor


Fulfillment


Philosophy


THE ANATOMY
AND


ART:


EVALUATION


Thomas ne


OBLEMS IN THE DESCRIPTION
OF WORKS OF ART


Kimbrough


Kushner


August,


Chairman:


1984


Robert D'Amico


Major


Department:


Department


of Philosophy


This dissertation addresses


the problem of


critical


evaluation


of works of


art,


not simply


in specific areas


such


as music,


poetry,


painting,


generally.


Evaluation


a particular


form


is currently done


in the


form of music


criticism,


art


criticism,


etc.,


each with


accompanying


vocabulary.


To devise standards applicable to


any work


art,


despite


medium,


requires


development of a common descriptive vocabulary clarifying


common


features


arts.


Once


these


common


features,


family resemblances,


are established,


boundaries may


drawn which


make


isolate works


possible standards


from other


judging


phenomena


the relative aesthetic


success


a work.


No claim


is made


that


a boundary


drawn


concept


"art"


purpose


aesthetic


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The examination of works of art suggests that response,


or appreciation,

intellectual.


seems to be of two kinds:


Since value terms are


physical and


linked to our responses,


we anticipate that there are distinctive value terms


appropriate to each of these levels.


It should be possible


to identify the elements in a work of art which correlate

with the physical and intellectual levels, with the

intention that aesthetic analysis of the work of art would


lay bare, or reveal,


these values.


On the basis of family


resemblances then,


a descriptive vocabulary can be


established that will permit discussion of the features of

art upon which common trans-media standards of evaluation

will be based.

































PART I














CHAPTER I
CONCEPTUAL DIFFICULTIES


Deciding what constitutes


a work of art does not


usually demand attention, until galleries,


with great


solemnity,


display objects such


as a fur-lined tea cup,


saucer, and spoon by Oppenheim;


Soup cans by Warhol;


Brillo cartons and Campbell


or concert audiences are offered John


Cage


s Silence--4 Minutes 33 Seconds,


where a pianist sits


before a closed piano in total silence for that amount of


time.1


One then begins


to wonder by what standards a work


of art can be judged or indeed if a given artifact is art at


all?


Any answer to this question


seems


to call for


definition,


pointing out,


perhaps,


what it is that all


works


of art share.


Initially,


however,


this approach appears


confusing,


when one considers the diversity of works of art.


For exampi


for the purposes of examination,


samples


from various areas of art such

painting by Michelangelo, and

what features) can be said to


as a Beethoven sonata, a


a poem by Rilke are chosen,


be common to them all?


1The limit would seem to have been reached with Robert


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Current


thinking


about


issue


suggests


tha t


there


simply


are


no common denominators


in art,


shown by


many


abortive


attempts


come


to some sati


factory


definition


term


"art"


itself.


suggestion


that


to suppose all works of art share a


common


essence


necessary


characteristics


s to commit


what


been


called


essentialistt


fallacy."


Essentialism can


traced


back to the Aristotelian view that what a thing i


and what


we can know of it lie in its essential nature, which it


shares


with


other


objects


same


kind.


Examples


essentialist


assumptions


aesthetics


are


hard


find.


example,


first


chapter


of h


book,


Art,


Clive


Bell


. if
peculiar
aesthetic


take


we can


emotion),


to be


cover


some quality


objects
we shall


central


that


have


problem of


common


provoke


(the


solved what


aesthetics


We shall
of a work


have


sco


art.


vered


. For


essen
either


tial


quality
works o


visual
speak o
is this


art


have


"works
quality


some
of a


possible--signifi'


common


rt"


quality,


we gibber.


Only one
cant form.3


or when


. What


answer


seems


Suzanne


Langer


begins


her work Feeling


and Form


convinced


that a


definition


terms


necessary


suffi


cient


conditions


can


be given:


2See
York:


critical


"The Function


Chapter


of W.


Philosophical
essential ism


Elton's
Library,


Aestheti


Inc.,


in aesthetics


of Philosophical


1954.


see


Aesthetics


and Language.
For articles


W.B.


" in


Gallie,


Mind,


Vol.


rtvr-r


IOAO


Wv ~nl


-it-I


.., a *a a u~' 1 "r aJ il. If ~


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I also believe that art is


essentially one,


the symbolic function is the same in


every


that
kind


of artistic expression,


great, and their


logic i


all kinds are equally


s all of


a piece,


logic of non-discursive form


(which governs


literary


as well


all other created form)


. there is a definite level at which no more
distinctions can be made; everything one can
say of any single art can be said of any other


as well.


There lies the unity.


the divi-


sons end at that depth, which is the philo-
sophical foundation of art theory.4


However,


skepti


cism regarding the possibility of a


general definition of "art" appeared


early


1785,


when


the Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid declared himself unable


to conceive of any common denominator


various things that are referred to


thrust of Reid


linking all


"beautiful."


s discussion was to deny the existence of a


common


essence


in either beautiful objects or in works of


art.5

Among contemporary thinkers, Morris Weitz extends the

attack against essentialism in aesthetics by suggesting that


the question


"What is art?" is meaningless.


The persistent


pursuit of a definition of art that has characterized the


history of aesthetics has been doomed from the start.


Weitz


uses


arguments that he


says


are based on Wittgenstein.


Although Wittgenstein makes only passing references to


art in his work,


his remarks about definitions and


specifically his remarks on "games" have had an influence on


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theory.


suggests


that


urge


to discover


essential


characteristics


is prompted by


an erroneous


notion about


language,


i.e.,


identify


correctly


things


as belonging


a group one must


identify


some


common


denominator.


Wittgenstein


asks


reader


Consider


example,


proceedings


that we


call


ball
common


"games.


games
n to


" I


mean


board


, Olympic games,
them all?6


games,


card


so on.


games
What i


conclusion


that


there


no character


which


common


to each


and every


thing


we call


"game";


therefore,


there


no characteristic


necessary


something


qualify


as a game.


Instead,


he says,


. we see


complicated network


of similarities overlapping and criss-


crossing."7


These


criss-crossings


terms


"family


resemblances,"8


by which


he means


those


similar


trends


conditions


that


correspond


between


thing


point


Wittgenstein' s


argument


that


as words


function


language


itself,


they


function


in everyday usage,


they


6Ludwig Wittgenstein,


Philosophical


Investigations.


Trans.


G.E.M.


Anscombe.


New York


Macmillan,


1953,


. 32e.


7Ibid.


8Dugald
overlapping


shall


denote


quality
quality


Steward


similarities


begin


a series


in common


anticipated Wittgenstein'


ly supposing
of objects;


with B;


in common with D;


"family
that th


that A


a quality
a quality


notion


resemblances."


letters


possesses


some


in common


says,


, C,
one


with C;


in common with E;


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are


case,


precise


Wittgenstein


their


says


boundaries.


should


Because


respect


this


"open-texture"


of language and real


ize


that a word has a variety of


meanings and


that new meanings


will


arise


in acc


with


uses.


appi


ying


Wittgenstein's


thes


theory


art,


Weitz


argues


that


"art"


like


"games"


term


without


boundary i


"open


concept")


which


accounts


evasiveness


says


"Art,
tions


" itself,


cases


open


concept


constantly


condi-


sen


will


undoubtedly


cons


new movements


tantly


will


arise;


new


emerge which


art


will


forms,
demand


deci


sons


usually


prof


the part
essional


those


critics,


interested,
s to whether


the concept
ticians may


never


should


down


necess


be extended


similarity
sufficient


not.


Aesthe-


conditions


ones


correct


application


concept.


With


"art,


conditions


appli


cation


can


never


ex-


haustively


enumerated


since


new


cases


can


always


be envisaged


nature which would


created


call


artists


, or


a decision


even


on some-


oneI


invent


part


a new


to extend


concept.


to clo
E.g.,


"It'


s not


sculpture,


it's


a mobile.


What


expans


am arguing,


ive


then,


, adventurous


that


character


ver


art,


ever-present


logi


defining
to close


cally


changes an
impossible


properties.
the concept.


novel


o ensure
can, of
t to do


creations,


course


this


make


oose


with


"art"
on thg
arts.


Because


. is
very co


this,


ludicrous
nditions o


Weitz


since


create


suggests,


forec


vity


study


oses
the


aesthetics


inherently


vague.


says


that while


various


theories


,e ,








art pretend


to be complete


statements


about


the defining


features of


all


works of


art,


each


ves


something


which


other


theories


treat


as central


(e.g.,


Bell


Fry


leave out representation,


while Croce


leaves out


physicalness,


etc.) .


Weitz


appropriately


raises questions about


advisability


feasibility


attempting


to ferret


necessary


suggest


logical


that "If we


properties


actually


of art,


and correctly


look and see what it


is that


we call


'art'


we will


find


no common properties--only


strands


simi larities."10


However,


accuracy


this


observation


does


not


provide


grounds


sharing


in Weitz's


conclusion


"'art


that boundary


. is


ludicrous."


drawing with


regard


this respect,


concept


Weitz


seems


have


misunderstood


Wittgenstein' s


position.


Wittgenstein,


in suggesting


that


definitions


are


no more


than


designating of


shared


family resemblances,


cautions


that


attempt


to deal


with


definitions


in a


stricter manner would


only be playing with words.


special


purposes


concept can be given limits, and when thi


is done it is


like bringing


a picture


into


a clearer


clearer


focus.


If it were desirable, rigid limits could be set to the word


"game"--that


one could


use


the word


1 limited


concept


(draw


boundary


frontier).


none


been drawn,


since


one


"can also


use


that




-8-


extension of the concept is not closed by a frontier" and he


adds,


"This is how we do


(in fact)


use the word 'game.


, I11


It is the suggestion here that insofar as aesthetics


concerned with criticism as evaluation,


the process of


creating an aesthetic theory is just the sort of "special


purpose" mentioned by Wittgenstein; that is,


it must involve


the process of delineating the use of the word "art" more

precisely and more narrowly than the word occurs in our


ordinary


language.


This is not to claim that either


philosophy or more specifically aesthetics need always be

concerned with drawing relatively clearer and clearer

conceptual boundaries but simply that for the purposes of


dealing with the relationship of aesthetics to criticism,


which is the interest of this paper,


it is an effective


procedure.

Wittgenstein would, of course, warn against our

equating the boundaries of a concept that we draw for some


special purpose


(like aesthetics) with the meaning of the


word itself.


Thus,


while boundaries may be drawn, an error


is committed if the supposition is made that the boundary

outlined for a specific purpose is the boundary for all uses


of that word in all language games. The fact that people

might be confused when going from ordinary language to a


more precise language


(like that of aesthetics)


is only to


be expected--just as a novice in the discipline of physics








makes


some mistakes


use


word


"mass"


word


11 tion,


other


terms


which


happen


occur


not only


the particular discipline


but also


ordinary


language.


Another


difficulty


with


Weitz's


position


that


there


s no


reason


assume,


as Weitz


does,


that


aes


thetics


inherently


vague


because


the undefinability


of art


concept.


The same charge could be


leveled against


discipline,


example,


chemi


story,


biology,


or physics.


only part of


the maturation p


process


intellectual


discipline


successful


that


its ambiguities gradually disappear


means of dealing with


subject matter


as more


are


developed.


short,


Weitz' s


definition


"concept"


itself


so broad


that


it apple


ies


every


concept which


ever


been


articulated,


and his objection


is no more


applicable


to aesthetic


than


it would be


intellectual


endeavor,


including


his own work.


Thus


vagueness


which


thinks


s art,


which makes


aes


thetics


impossible,


would make


physics,


chemistry,


biology


equally impossible,


along with other areas


that are usually


thought


to be


more


cogent


than


aesthetics.


The point to be made here is not that we would want to


take


exception


theory


that


best


approach


the concept of art is to


see


it as a family resemblance


notion.


contrary,


a neglected


chal lenge




-10-


works in relation to art.


A concern of this investigation


will be work out in some detail a boundary for a term like

"art," differing with Weitz about the inadvisability of


drawing frontiers and setting boundaries for art.


Even


though art might consist only of family resemblances,


particular part of the family will have to have sufficiently

distinct boundaries to exclude extraneous elements from the


work and from the experience of the work.


necessary


This


criterion for any kind of critical evaluation.


Thus, even with a family resemblance approach to art, it is


still necessary to draw boundaries;


if a concept is


blurred and we blur it more by not marking boundaries, then

theoretically we reach a dead end.


Keeping these things


in mind it seems that the solution


to the problem of defining "art" is this:


It is not


that


there is some


necessary


definition for "art" to be


uncovered,


but that we use the word "art" in many different


ways and that the definition one draws is going to be

determined by the context in which one employs the


definition.


Now in coming to draw boundaries for the way


"art" should be used in aesthetics it would be erroneous to


suggest either of two things:


that one can suggest that


the boundaries which one draws are the boundaries that

anyone who examines the subject will always and inevitably

draw and (b) that aesthetics will always be a vague area of




-11-


who intelligently examines


the field of


fine art will


inevitably come


to some previously formulated definition;


other


difficulty


all


hand,


also wrong


in devising


can be offered,


a definition


that


to judge


that


therefore all


from


no definition at


definitions are


equal


value.


Approaches


to Boundary


Making


Before


perimeters


embarking


task


boundary


sketching


within


aesthetic


context,


necessary


to examine


the ways


term


used


some


factors


that


into determining


one draws


a particular


boundary.


The


task


sorting


term


"art"


used


aesthetic purposes


s a


baffling


task when one considers


various


kinds


that


unfortunate


that


only


one word


"art"


exists in English, because the word has such a variety of


functions.


First,


there


are


uses


the word


that


have


do with


cooking,


weaving,


woodworking,


similar


highly


developed skills.


But aesthetics


the study of


skill


technique,


though most


those


things which


aesthetics


examines


result


from


use of


skills


techniques.


This


means


that although a skill


necessary


condition


proper


realm of


aesthetic,


suffi


cient


rnnr l i -i n- i n-


,,; 4-thni +


~hat


cG; lie


F~nnnS


nvic t


enma




-12-


notion of what are called


"fine


arts"


such


that


college


catalogues


make


a distinction


between


courses


"arts


crafts"


(such


things


as pottery


making


weaving)


those


that


deal


with


"fine


arts"


(painting,


sculpture,


etc.) .


method


by which


one differentiate


s "arts"


that


are


really


skills


or crafts


from fine arts,


which


the concern


of aesthetics,


will


be determined by the


fundamental


decision made


boundaries


about


one


what


draws


core


concerning


aes


thetic


the way


value


"art"


used


for

focu


purposes


this


criticism


dissertation


i.e.,


depends,


evaluation)


in part,


which


one


s choice


between


two evaluati


approaches


taken by


critics


question,


work


"Does


art,


aesthetic


from


value


a message


inhere


'contained


the

' in


structure

that


structure?"


disagreement


between


these


foci


criti


cism


is outlined by Walter Sutton


in Modern American


Criticism


Behind


lack


confusion


agreement


Psychological


about


critics


critical
the objec
ve tended


language i
t of critic


s a
cism.


to consider


the work
interpre
rebirth


a construct


terms


archetypes.


dualism,


imagination


inner


restricts


of dr


earn


of Oedipal


symbol


to be


relationships


The New Humanists'


check, an
literature


concern


the ethical


narrow


scheme


values.
tionship


moral,
Marxist


philosophical,


critics,
literary


intere


work


and
sted
its


religious


social


rela-
environ-


ment,
the c


have


;lass


viewed 1
struggle.


literaturee


a projection


The New Critics,


to whom


4 a raF a 1 C n a n 4-. 4 n 1.


nrr re ~ nm


ck,


1


n





-13-


upon


imitation,
terminology


of Aristotle's


Poetic


have


relied


ana genre
S.2


heavily


classifications


The


"message


approach


art"


emphasizes


what


that


the work


art


said


to communicate.


That


one


might


propose


that


every work


art contains


some


information,


theory,


idea


sense


paraphrasable


message),


there


tha t


the work's


value


a work


to be


art


found.


consists


According


only


"message"


structure,


approach,


which


akin to th


grammar or logical


syntax of a sentence,


but


also


includes


idea


which


s akin


"statement"


sentence,


perhaps a philosophical


religious


doctrinel3


"contained,"


were,


within


that


structure.


What i


important about a work of art from this perspective


message.


art,


Thus


when


understanding


a person


terms


"understands"


that


message.


a work


The


structure


the work


becomes


simply the medium


through which


ideas


artist


are,


in some


sense


other,


communicated


person


responds.


Some readers may be


puzzled


as to why


I am including,


purposes


examination,


a message


approach


since


most contemporary English speaking aesthetic


plans


longer


regard


this


as a major


issue


theory.


Again,


would


12Walter


Sutton,


Modern American Criti


*U 1~ ~ ~ r~r 1 r t~ ~%r LS-


-t a -


cism.
10"I


Englewood


nr rr


I


I


7hYn n.r~


Ilff~


U




-14-


like to emphasize that the focus of this investigation is

not just what has gone on in aesthetics in the last decade

or so, most notably English speaking aesthetics, but to be


concerned also with what criticism


like in the various


arts.


One need only turn to criticism


being written,


whether


it is currently


in books authored by critics,


in art journals,


in the mass media,


see


that an


interest in the message conveyed by a work of art is thought


to be,


by many,


an important aesthetic concern.


visual arts,


the current enthusiasm for Conceptual Art is


just this preoccupation with "art


idea."


Concern for the


message of a work is also evidenced by the fact that some


criti


attack abstract art on the grounds that it fails to


serve


a social function,


i.e.,


lacks a proper message;


while others view abstract art

powerful messages for good or e


as being able to transmit

vil. and the role of critic


as making clear those statements.


Another


example that a


message approach is not a relic of the past is the

contention that if one is to understand the new wave of


emerging feminist art one must be abl


to convey feminist


values and that these are suppressed by the "formal anti-


content tradition" characteristic of


formal aesthetics.14


Not only critics,


but frequently artists too speak


though


their work conveys some important statement to the viewer,

and this kind of communication is not restricted to those




-15-


who have aligned


usually


themselves with


associated with more


ideologies


real istic styles.


or who are


ose


artists working


in an abstract


style


sometimes


define


message


view


their


work.


literary


criticism a message


approach


explicates


"motives"


"characters"


equates


"excel lence"


author's


treatment


area,


sometimes called "development"


as equivalent


"excellence"


the work


art.


addition


numerous examples one


could provide


in current Western


criticism,


there


no doubt


that


Marxist


critics


regard


message


fundamental 1


significant


this


includes


Russia


and China


much


Latin


America.


While contemporary


aestheticians no


longer write


as did


Tolstoy


What


Is Art? where message


is clearly


of primary


importance,


critics and arti


sts are not


y people who


talk


this


manner.


one


talks with


people


about


poetry,


English professors


example,


even


if they


spec


ialize


in criticism,


is apparent


that


they


believe


that


literature,


novels


in particular,


are conveying


some


kind


message,


that


this message


it political,


religious,


or whatever


important aesthetically.


Also,


that


shows


and,


there


that


indeed,


could


the message


a public


that


the dividing


line


issue


like pornography


conveys


between


still


"hard


in arts


concern;


core"


pornography a


fine


art,


test


"redeeming


social




-16-


is relevant to whether it is art,15 and they believe that it

is relevant because of a message which is "obscene" and


"appeal ing to purient interests."
I;


Given this message view


of art, it follows that if what is important about the work


of art is the nature of

do not have profound me


its message,


issages


then works of art which


are not great works of art.


The "message" view of art


raises


questions,


for there


are some things regarded


as having aesthetic values which do


not appear to convey any message at all.


Two notable


examples are Chinese Sung


vases


and Persian rugs,


which from


a message point of view cannot be considered works of art,


being "only" structures.


As far


the rug is concerned,


the weaver who wove the rug did not intend any message, and


when a person contemplates it,

response because there is no


there is no cognitive


message to respond to.


Similarly,


the Sung


porce


lains have neither symbolism nor


message.


Though they are akin in shapes to


used for some purpose or other,


they themsel


vases

ves n


which were


ever had


any purpose--they


are


just pure shape.


From a "message"


approach, accounting for such objects within the realm of

art becomes a virtually insolvable problem.

Quite contrary to the message view, another aesthetic

approach is possible which emphasizes the structure of the


work of art.


It should be pointed out that "structure" is


not used here simply


in the


sense


of "shape."


Rather,








structure takes


into consideration


internal


organization,


the way


one


element of


the work


relates


another.


Briefly put,


this


view holds


that every work


art has a structure


inherent in a system of relations among


its elements,


the characteristics


this


structure which


cause


the work


to be


valuable.


Thus,


what makes something


a work


art,


insofar


as evaluation


concerned,


structure


only.


Structural


approaches can


be quite


varied;


they


can


range


from


the austerity


of Cli


Bell


and his


limitation of


structural


value


to what


terms


"significant


form,"16


they


also


include


those


theories which maintain


that


structures


in art


are


expressive


things


such


feelings,


as does


Langer.


It might


said


that my


inclusion


Langer


as a structuralist


unsound


since what


counts


is what


arranged


the way


is arranged.


defense


of my


choice,


refer


reader


Langer


discussion


Freudians


Philosophy


in a New Key.


The


Freudians explicate


the what


an artistic


expression;


example,


what Hamlet


expresses


the Oedipus myth and


tensions which are universal


value.


In the following passages


therein

, Langer


lies


its appeal


rejects


this


view


entirely:


each


work


visual


art,


lines


and color


combine


flya r 4- i fif


r


-- 1 t


Sr


n nf, n *r | a n I rTn % n 0f T- rr Tn m r


n


16


le


e


- v r




-18-


. These are strong recommendations for
the psychoanalytic theory of aesthetics.


despite them all, I do
(though probably valid)


not think this theory


throws any real


light


on those issues which confront artists and
constitute the philosophical problem of art.


For the Freudian interpretation,


no matter


how far


it be carried,


never offers even the


rudest criterion of artistic excellence. It
may explain why a poem was written, why it
is popular, what human features it hides under
its fanciful imagery; what secret ideas a
picture combines, and why Leonardo's women
smile mysteriously. But it makes no


distinction between good and bad art.


The


features to which it attributes


the importance


and significance of a great masterpiece may
all be found just as well in an obscure woj
of some quite incompetent painter or poet.

She continues this line of argumentation later on:


An analy


work


to which the artistic merit of a


is irrelevant can hardly be regarded


a promising technique of art-criticism,


for it


can look only to a hidden content of the work,


and not to what


every


artist knows


the real


problem--the perfection of form, which makes


this form "significant"


in the artistic sense.


We cannot evaluate this perfection by finding
more and more obscure objects represented or
suggested by the form.'8


Thus,


to interpret Langer's


position


one which emphasizes


the what rather than the how of artistic expression would

seem to align her with a view she explicitly argues against.


Theori


are structurally oriented when the value of a


work of art is not connected with the value of what i


expressed or what motivates the expression, but with the


exce


llence of the expression.


lDIk 1 nr e an't n r ttlara tt


r -^ Y


17




-19-


The method


which


one distinguishes


between


fine


arts


and crafts will


depend


on whether


one


pursues


a message


approach


a structural


approach


setting


boundaries


evaluating


art.


someone emphasizing message,


crucial


difference


that


crafts


have a message;


that


one d


oes


think


a carpenter


as communicating


anything when


building


table,


no matter


intricate


finished product.


Thus even


though skill


is employed,


does


involve


the expression


any message.


structural


approach,


other


hand,


finds


it more


problematic


to draw


the distinction


between


crafts and


fine


arts


(but


this


that


cannot


done),


forming


basis


such


a distinction


one


issues dealt


with


in Chapter


Iv).


From a


structural


point


view,


rugs,


vases,


tables are at


least potentially


art,


since


they


do have


structure;


the word


"art"


word


"structure"


are


synonymous,


structuralist must be prepared


state


principal


which


one would


call


some


structures


"art"


not


all.


Similarly,


the way


in which one handles a related


question,


"Can


something which


occurs


nature--


example,


a sunset--be a work


of art?" will


influenced by


whether


one


empha


sizes


message


structure.


is clear


that people do


talk about such


natural


things


though


they


were works


art,


here


that we


run


into




-20-


that a naturally occurring object cannot have a message.


The sunset,


for example,


is by everyone's standards


linguistically meaningless;

does it express anything, a

any other natural objects.


it does not convey anything,


nd the same thing


nor


true about


The animals that secreted


shells did not by those patterns express themsel


ves;


sea

hence,


the shell


obviously ha


no meaning in terms of the message


thesis.

On the other hand, it is clear that from a structural

point of view natural objects are unquestionably not art.


This is the


case


because sunsets,


sea


shells, and other


natural objects do not have an analyzed structure,


they do


not involve a principle of selection and ordering and their


pattern does not involve arranging,


unless someone wants to


deal theologically with the appearance of structure.


This


is not to deny that these phenomena resemble structures

which people do create, because people do make use of


naturally occurring elements in their structures.


Peopi


after all


live in the world and use its vocabulary,


but in


natural objects analyzed structure is lacking.

Undoubtedly, one who approaches aesthetics from a

message point of view is going to have a different

conception of art from one who takes a structural position.


The decision


as to what the core of aesthetic valu


whether related to structure or to what is contained within




-21-


different boundaries are drawn by


divergent


approaches


identical


problems


aesthetics


does not mean of


course


that


these


approaches,


theories


that


ensue,


are of


equal


value, and it is to methods by which one might choose


among


competing


positions


that we


shall


now


turn.


Criteria


Evaluating Theories


We have said


thus


that basically


there


are


evaluati


approaches


to works of


art.


One approach


emphasis


zes


the message a work may


convey,


while


other


emphasis


zes


structural


components;


and,


further


that


qualifications


that are placed


that


very


important


aesthetic


term


"art" must


viewed


light


those


respective


positions.


From


foregoing,


is clear


that


one who


adopts


a message


approach will


have a


very


different


conception


from


that


someone who


approaches


structure.


one


to decide


between


two?


Why


adopt one


way of viewing art over the other


What needs to


be done


to establish


some


criteria


identifying


successful


theories so


that


critical


views


based


these


approaches


might


be evaluated.


Philosophy


is a peculiar area of


intellectual endeavor


and its oddness may


lead to the assumption that the


characteristics of


a successful


theory


in philosophy will


Ckar*3 tt t,


. I-


A 4 ~ar nI C a d~a~n r~ t n- r a, r


FFnrnnC


C*nm


Ckn~h


r.t~~c


~ ___ __




-22-


Before a problem can be solved it must be understood, and


the fundamental


task of philosophy is to lay bare the


problems which bedevil people because of inconsistent


thinking and misapprehensions.


Consequently,


one cannot


legitimately expect conclusions of philosophy.


In this


respect,


philosophy does not have results since,


as soon


we are able to conceive a theory with adequate clarity it

can be turned into what amounts to a purely critical


endeavor.


But,


asking the right question is often the most


important part of intellectual insight,


because once the


question has been asked and it is answerable,


finding the


answer


is only a technical difficulty,


and is no


longer a


theoretical difficulty.


Now,


it may be true the practical


implementation of the theory is exceedingly difficult.


may,


in fact, be so difficult


structure impractical;


but,


to make the theoretical


that is a different kind of


judgment and one that is outside of philosophy.

This understanding of the goal of philosophy indicates


a difference between philosophical


thinking and scientific


inquiry in that instead of dealing primarily with empirical


facts,


philosophy focuses on conceptualizations and


argumentation.


The philosopher does have reference to facts


on occasion to show that what is stated in an argument is


contradicted by what was previously stated,

were initially accepted. In this respect h


or by facts that


e or she will





-23-


itself


are


does


object


have


truths


facts.


that


In philosophy


a person


then,


is expected


there


to master.


However,


this difference between science and


philosophy


does


not mean


that


characteristic


which make a successful


theory in one area will be different from those used in the


other


area.


contrary,


intellectual


processes


involved in attempting to reach


understanding are basically


similar


therefore


same


requirements


used


to measure


any theory of


intellectual


explanation should be applied


equally


an aesthetic


theory.


These


requirements


criteria


are essentially


first


three


absolute


in number.


requirement


theory


that


be consistent.


Being


consistent


means


that


difficulties


repeatedly


contradictions


encountered.


theory


If a theory


are


inconsistent


already


nonsensical


worth


pursuing.


However,


p055


ible


that consistent


theory


be of


value


whatever.


And,


a person


is willing


admit


that


what


said is nonsensical then it is not necessary to be


consistent;


philosophers


want


to be


taken


ser


iously


are


not willing


that.


The


next


test


that


theory must


adequate;


means that the theory can offer a


solution to the


problems which


do occur within


realm of


theory.


That


if a question


raised


concerning


problem with




-24-


actually work out


the answer will


depend


largely


on his or


ability


theor


to sol

Thus,


problems;


test


it will


not


a theory


be the fault of


ability


offer


solutions


the questions


that


arise


in connection


with


theory


provide


account


issue.


pattern of

theory is


inability


a measure


to solve problems connected with


inadequacy.


third


basi


test


that


comprehensive


veness


an external


test


theory,


and,


such,


s in


contrast


adequacy


consistency,


which


are


internal


tests.


Comprehensi


veness


means


that


in solving one problem


theory


rise


another problem which does


clearly


order


fall

that


within the

one arrive


theory,


but which must


an adequate


under


be sati


sfied


standing


issue.


Thus,


a comprehensive


theory


one


that


takes


p065


side


sues


links


up with other


theories which


will


solve


side


issues.


Now,


one must


choose


between


even more)


theories


which


are


consistent,


adequate,


comprehensive,


then


there


are


final


tests which are


essentially


aesthetic


character:


economy


elegance.


But,


since


consistent,


adequate,


comprehensive


theor


not


abound,


these


final


tests


rarely


need


app lied.


principle


eco


nomy,


"Ockham'


razor,"


named


after


philosopher William of Ockham who articulated




-25-


one chooses


the simpler


basis


that


simplicity


explanation


itself desirable.


Lastly,


test


elegance invol

implications f


ves t

rom a


:he ability


very


to work


few assumption


out a great many

ns. As an example of


final test,


if of two proof


one is able to sol


ve a


problem by


a series


very quick


deductions while the


other


necessitates


long


laborious steps,


first


proof


s said


to be elegant while


the second


lacks


formal


elegance.


A preliminary


uncover all


step


the possible


to evaluating a


implications


theory will


of that


be to


theory,


connections,


it differs


from other


positions.


Similarly,


in our


investigation and evaluation of message


approaches


opposed


structural


approaches,


necessary


understand


implications


each


position.


These


implications can best be dealt with


systematically and


comprehensively if


they


are


viewed


light


various


areas


that


comprise


aes


thetic


investigation,19


decision


be made


ased


on what


known


about


art,


and which


approach


the more demonstrably


useful


in working out


family


resemblances


between


various media.


Essentially aesthetics


involves three areas of problems


some of


basic


suppositions


and questions


that


arise


those


areas


should


be briefly


outlined:




-26-


The artist and the problem of creation:


What


the difference between creating (or producing)


and doing anything else?


a work of art


We have the impression that the


creative process


as applied to art


somehow different from


making a table or chair and that the artist in some respect


is a different sort of person from the usual person.


connection with this problem we need to determine how it is


that the artist makes a work of art.


In other words,


"What


exactly is entailed in the activity?"


example,


We want to know for


the process of selection and whether or not the


element of creation is involved.


Is the artist creative in


any sense, or is it even desirable that he or she be


so?


Western cultures it is commonly thought that artistic


activity and creation are largely synonymous;


but,


this is a


distinctive view of our own culture and it is certainly not

shared by other cultures where the last thing that would be

wanted or expected would be for the work of art to be


creative.


Instead,


one wants a work of art,


in most


cultures for most of the world's history,


that falls firmly


within the tradition of an art form.


For example,


the more


traditionally and more nearly perfectly a Chinese artist


reflects antiquity,


the better the painting is


in theory.


Thus the really fundamental question involved here is the

"how" with regard to artistic creation.


(2) The problem of the work of art itself:


Here we




-27-


message


structure?"


we might


start with


prior


question.


evident


that


a work


art must


necessity


have


structure


it would not be perceived.


work of


art cannot be dealt with aesthetically


only


artist's


mind,


seems


pointless


to speculate


something


about


which


we ha


information.


Perhaps


can,


purposes


unarticulated


criticism,


masterpieces.


discount


Thus,


there


notion


no doubt


that


a work


art


must


have


structure.20


However,


question


remains whether


a work


contains


message,


and,


it only


trivial


something


more?


We can


illustrate


the difficulty


in knowing where


place the value of a work of art in the fol lowing examples.


If we look at a work of art from another culture,


let us


say


statue


Buddha,


content


Buddha' s


theology


which


the statue represents


is not


normally understood by


Westerners who


nonetheless


think


they


appreciate


aesthetic


value.


Now,


is quite


clear


that


some


degree,


least,


we can appreciate


the aesthetic


value of


Buddha's


statue without


subscribing


theo logy


Buddhism which


statue


said


represent


Buddhists.


The


same


thing


true when we


look


Egyptian


paintings.


All


paintings deriving


from Egypt are religious,


but we


look


at them without regard


particular


theology which


gave


rise


them,


which


are


the opinion




-28-


Egyptian


artists who


created


them,


true meaning


message


thereof.


Again,


same


thing


true


of Christian


cathedral


Theoretically,


every


element of


the cathedral


exemplifi


one


another


tenet


of Christian


theology.


Everything


the cathedral


can


be explained


in religious


terms


those


persons


made


cathedrals were


certainly


aware of


the symbolism of


each and every


element


therein.


This


it happens


rapid.


problem of


that


symbolism is a


the deterioration


example,


is quite


very


rate


probable


difficult


symbol


that when


one since


very


one


views a painting that is more than two hundred years old,


symbol ism


understood.


This


raises


questions:


Even


we do


admit


that


there


is message can


understand


the painting


painting,


we do


can we appreciate


understand


value of


symbolism?


someone who


adopts


a message


approach


answer


important.


However,


apparent


that


people


respond


a work


art


even


without


such


knowledge.


Basically then what we want to know is "Where is the


value of


a work of art?"


With regard to structure we want


to determine


"What


kinds


of elements


in a work


can


part


structure?"


more


simply


put,


"What


counts


structure


what


does


not?"


apprehender


the problem


response:




-29-


was noticeably moved by


reading


this page,


it would


be considered


strange


attended a Beethoven


concert or


viewed a daVinci


painting


same


amount


time


experienced


cal led


nothing.


response


aes


What


theti


is being


object.


dealt with


nature of


this


response will


be discussed below along with


relationship


between


this


response


the work


art.


Specifically 1


, does


the work


cause


response,


the work of art merely an


occas


ion for a response


as the


concert hal


in which one hears the concert may be the


occasion


response.


short,


just


what


involved


aesthetic


response


can


be distinguished


from


a non-aesthetic


response?


Very often people want to know if what the artist


intended


there


nature


similar


a connection


this


to what


between


connection?


felt by


them,


apprehender.


what


And,


apprehender


feel what the artist intended, why not?


Was it the fault of


apprehender,


fault


artist


that


he was simply a bad artist?


These are the kinds of


questions


that give


rise


aesthetic


inquiry


first


place.


There


is a multiplicity


views which


one may


hold


with regard


to each of


these questions


relati


importance


of each


these


areas


is determined




-30-


approach will


simply not appear in another.


For instance,


the question of censorship which will be very significant

for someone emphasizing message will disappear completely


for someone who approaches art as structure.


Also,


if one


emphasizes structure it is evident that he or she will not

spend a lot of time being concerned with details about the

intentions of the artist, that just will not be a


significant question.


On the other hand,


if one wants to


say that the function of art is to communicate a message,

then it is certainly relevant to understand what the


intentions of the artist are.


This would be so because if


there are two people who disagree as to what the message of


the work of art is,


reference to the artist'


s intentions can


determine which one is correct and which one is


in error.


Metarules for Proceeding


At this point,


the theoretical basis for this inquiry


should be stated since everything done hereafter will be


framed in those terms.


From the beginning,


we shall adopt


certain operational metarules outside our system to guide


our


investigations, and these shall be referred to as


the rule of symmetry and


the rule of commonality.


The symmetry rule simply stated will be that in theory,

every statement that we make in aesthetics in any one of the


a\


Ckunn




-31-


understanding


a statement


involves working out what


those


other corollaries must be.


We will


use thi


rule to develop


connections


between


three


areas


aesthetics,


since


by using our


symmetry


rule we


can


ensure


consistency


test


adequacy


a statement


s implications,


consistency


successful


adequacy


theory


being


The employment


first


of thi


criteria


metarule makes


possible to check almost


instantly whether


line of


procedure


not,


profitable.


The rule of


common lity,


the other


hand,


will


organize the work


in developing


an aesthetic vocabulary


useful


all


the arts


since we shall


take


as a fundamental


rule that all


aesthetic


descriptions


judgments


must


common,


that


, applicable


various media.


Such


rule differentiates


aesthetics


from art


criticism and points


out the fact that th


goal of aesthetics is different from


goal


criticism.


point


needs


elaboration.


It is usually agreed that by the analysis of a work of


art one


can show,


if one can


e"er show, what the value of


the work


specific


fields


this


called


"criticism."


Thus,


there


a body


musical


criticism,


consensus


which


that Beethoven


is a


greater


composer


than Auber.


1Peopl


see


that


art


works


of different


types


bear


a kinship
displayed


terms


even


though


the
they


attitudes


are


or patterns


of choi


in different media.


ces
there


1* A"S n ln nr r -w 4- 1* ^ 4 a 1 a 4- r^ a ^ lu n A 4 C C rl an 4- ma A 4


nnlr 1 F1




-32-


Similarly,


there is a body of criticism in literature,


consensus of which is that Shakespeare is a greater

playwrite than Scribe; and there is a body of art criticism

which deals with comparable problems in painting and decrees


that Rembrandt i


a greater painter than Jan Steen.


Criticism differs from aesthetics


aspect.


in one very important


Criticism is concerned with the particular of a


certain area of art.


In contrast,


aesthetics concentrates


on those


things that are characteristic of all art,


potentially characteristic of all art, and avoid


those


things that are media specific.22


This means of course


that


something might appear to be quite valuable from the point

of view of the critic, yet could be from the point of view


of the aesthetician utterly useless, since what may be

acceptable rule of criticism is not necessarily viewed


aesthetic rule.


an


as an


For example, while it might be an important


point in literary criticism that a play does not satisfy the


description of a real


tragedy,


or in musical criticism that


a composition is not a real


sonata,


these are not aesthetic


issues.


Also,


the result of applying the commonality rule


will mean that if we want to say that only poetry has ideas


or messages and not music,


then we have left aesthetics


altogether because we are assuming that a rule cannot be


2 2F~h e,


i rqn ,k nrt 4c j 4nl Cn ma 1ho a riah4


-^fr"




-33-


considered


aesthetic


it does


not meet


basic


condition


of commonality


or generality.


This


indicates


that


the best aesthetic


cians would have


to know music,


painting,


poetry


as well


other


forms


extent


their


success


in doing


aesthetics


would depend


to some degree on


their


knowledge of


all


forms


art.


course,


such


a fund


knowledge


rarely


happens


this explains why


historical ly,


in aesthetics,


longest activity


been on the part of persons who are


concerned


with


a particular


form.


true


that


some


criti


(using


broad


sense


that term) have


attempted to be general and far r


teaching in


their


scope,


but upon


inspection,


they


clearly


fall


short


and wind up with


fragmentary


stem and


remain


critical


rather

whose


than aesth


notion


etic.


Clive Bell


of "significant


form"


is an exa

requires


ple of

a visual


one

art,


Suzanne


Langer


s theory


is really plausible only


one


using


a musical


frame of


reference,


does


not work


satisfactorily with


regard


to painting.23


However,


Langer's


pioneering provisional


efforts


in this


regard are helpful


indicating


the way


which


one


can


proceed.


The goal


fundamental ly


in aesthetics


been


to explain


one


own


personal experiences of art and once that has been done the


aesthetic


been more


less


satisfied.


This


think




-34-


is the limitation of virtually every work in aesthetics so


far;


that is,


the range of purpose is fairly narrow and they


do not systematically explore the connections that can be


drawn among the various media.24


Thus, while various


theories are fairly good for the domain that they use


their source material:

go beyond that domaiil

rule of commonality


they are not often valuable once you

and it is this shortcoming that the


is meant to resolve.


Thus we approach a critical point.


One often hears


that a poem cannot be compared to a musical composition, for


instance,


but if that is true,


then there are not any


general aesthetics.


People can recognize that the nature of


their responses to poems is not different from the nature of


their responses to music or painting,


understanding


"responses"


"sensations."


this


instance to mean "sense responses" or


(These sense responses


form the basis for


process which will be described in Chapter II as


"decoding.")


the uniformity of


the nature of


sense


response25 and the perceived common values which people




24My own theory will consider painting, music, and


poetry.


The reason for this,


given in Chapter III


in more


detail, i


that we need not cover any others since these


take care of the basic types of art in terms of involving
the major sensory modalities, sight and sound, exploited by
artists.


25While it i


true that the response is a private


asna a n 4-arvmc -Fnrv nrv^Tyt- eanoa^ f?^" av'nar'^r/^ ana y lra l A^ ^


bVndY




-35-


report


they


experience


in aesthetic


contexts


not


physical


properties which


are


pecu liar


to any


one art


type


which


the ultimate basis of


aesthetics


must


values with which


deal.


At present


what


hinders


such


cross


media


comparisons?


Descriptions and


eva


luations


remain media


bound simply


because


a satisfactory


vocabulary with


the precision and


clarity required to be useful for all area


of art is


lacking.


Theoretically,


an implication


the commonality


rule


that


one


could


determine whether


Beethoven


s Fifth


Symphony


better


than Shakespeare's


MacBeth


both


them are


inferior


to Rembrandt's


Night Watch.


s would


as feasible and reasonable a thing to do as do literary


critics who


normally maintain


that Goethe


s better


than


Keats.


unreasonable


anticipate


that


one


could


compare Beethoven


with Shakespeare


or Rembrandt.


perception


relations


structures


the same


whether with the


usually percei


eye


or the ear and this is why people


a similarity


between works of


different media.


Equivalent


reactions


to works


of different


media presumably


have


to do with a single intellect which


percei


ves


structures


to be


same


regardless


of whether


they


are


chemical


structures,


mathematical


structures,


musical


structures,


or poetic


structures.


this were


it would make no


sense


to talk of composite arts such




-36-


the music,


drama


where


performance


taken


to be


disconnected


text.


outset,


the question


can


raised,


"Even


one


were


to be successful


in devising


a general


language


describing


worthwhi le


evaluating works of


as an intellectual


art,


is all


enterprise?"


What practical


purposes


would,


fact,


served?


From


point


view


critic,


criti


purview is just that of


a single


solitary area of art,


then


answer


the worth


such


an enterprise


unequivocal 1


IINo.11


task


too difficult


to warrant


effort.


But,


critic


expects


that


anything


he or


significance


outside


that


narrow


framework,


then


answer


unequivocally


"Yes."


general


language would also make more feasible


cross


cultural


evaluations within


media


of a critic's


own


special


interest,


since


disagreement


as evaluation


to whether


Goethe


is concerned a


or Shakespeare


greater writer


can


only


settled


a general


aesthetics.


This


because


the criticism which


prevents


one


from


comparing


music


poetry


also prevents one


from comparing


German and


English.


That


one


knew


both


languages


comparison would be possible,


there will always be


languages one does not know in which there are poetic


traditions;


while


it may


happen


chance


that





-37-


English


language and


the structure of English poetry


are


related,


that


would


not however


true of


Arabic or Chinese


poetry.


From the point of view of a reader of criticism it


would seem to be a


substantial


contribution


because


haziness


confusion


with


the way


terms are


employed.27


Sutton makes


this


point


clearly


generally


existing


recognized


in critical


that


language


the confusion


is an obstacle


communication.


groups or
develop a

A certain


able.


criti


Language


each


specialized


amount
the D


barriers


of which


vocabulary.


specialization


eculiar


weakness


separate
tended t


is unavoid-
f critical


vocabularies


absence


a common


founda-


tion


meaning


are


lack


of ba


often


sic


agreement


terms.


certain


about


. Critics
the meaning


precise
themselves


terms


upon
has


which


been


their


arguments


frequently


depend--a


fact


that


demonstrated


discussion


critical


critics


period
papers


to conduct


following


presentation


possible


technical


two


discussion


neither


s an


understanding


other


s meaning,


except


in hi


own


terms.


26Chinese


Arabi


poetry


tend


s to be highly


classical. For
written, relates


centuries


entirely
in this


ago,


example, Chinese
to the way the
ot the way it is


poetry


is commonly


language was actually used


used


learned phenomenon and people


respect


cannot


today; so it
who are not


learned


appreciate


27This view that the terms of criticism


as they are


presently


employed are muddled


is not


incompatible with


fact


that when


people make


critical


judgments


they know what


they mean by those judgments, e.g.,


is quite different


- 1.- ~ *1-- *.- -


1,


from saying


- I~1- .


like
_ 1 I *


like it."
it because


I-


But


this


*T 'S l rf l Kf f n 7 fYiar Vr 3 ''lf




-38-


One of the pressing needs of current criticism
is for a broader, generally accepted vocabu-
lary drawn from all relevant areas of
experience. 28
experience. .


The difficulty


lies in the lack of carefully defined


terminology and in the fact that the same term is used


differently in various media.


For example,


if one reads the


works of painting critics he or she will discover that they


use words


like


"movement" and "rhythm" which seem


inappropriate to a type of art which is spatially organized.


Similarly,


literary critics regularly use visual words like


"balance" and "proportion."


By refining the


vocabulary now


being used by critics it would be possible to understand

what the relationships could be between using "rhythm" in

reference to a painting and its corollary with respect to


music.


It is evident that the overlapping vocabulary which


critics borrow from other areas of art,


employed,


it is now


lacks the exactness necessary to really be useful.


The task of refining the vocabulary of art will

essentially be a revisionist activity for which the


criticism of art language will


serve


the basis.


That is,


words that can be applied to various media will be culled

from the literature of criticism and an attempt made to


define them more exactly.


One might ask,


why use


existing


aesthetic terms at all, why not begin anew?


However,


this


tack would needlessly complicate matters;


so in the interest




-39-


of preserving already


existing avenues of


communication,


shall


take the tags


as they are now used and try to clarify


them


to make


them commonly


applicable.


A caveat which appli


to working out a system of


aesthetics


as follows:


It may we 11


that


we shall


complete our


investigation with


a reliable program of


aesthetics,


a way


describing


evaluating


art,


which


many people would not


find appealing,


or even palatable,


because it does not do what they would want


aes


thetics


to do


initially.


However,


in any


case


, we should by devising


metarules


made prog


ress


toward


constructing


something


which


least


remotely consistent;


this effort


itself


would


be a contribution.


focus of


attention will


now be upon developing


connections


between


various


areas


aes


thetics:


artist,


object,


apprehender.


Given


rule


symmetry,


which


posits


that


every


statement made


in any


one


of the


three ar


eas


will


have some corollary


the other


two,


examination


of aesthetic


value must deal


with


questions


problems


inherent


in each


these


areas.


While the emphasis of a theory may be on the structure


of a work of art,


it must also be able to present plausible


accounts


response


creation


as well.


The


point


that


inconceivable that


there could be a fully worked


theory


emphasizing


structure which


could








nature


creation.


course,


same will


equally


true


a theory which


emphasizes


message.















CHAPTER


DECODING:


AESTHETIC


RESPONSE,


ENCODING:


ARTISTIC CREATION


The discipline of


aesthetics


remained


one


most undeveloped and neglected


areas


of philosophical


inquiry


systematization


is concerned.


reason


this


simply


that people have


been


thinking


about


confusedly.


Aesthetics


is no different


from any


other


area


inquiry


tha t


the problems encountered are more


likely


to unclear


thinking


than


inherent


complexity


subject


matter


itself.


s point


can


best


illustrated by going


outside philosophy


an example


first major


treatise


on physi


was


written


by Aristotl


the first major


treatise on


psychology


was


also written by


Aristotle.


Since


Aristotle,


we have


2200


years


of human


thought


expended


those


two


areas.


There


litti


question


to which


those


areas


more


advanced, 1


reason


clarity


lack


clarity with


regard


east


since


Newton


there ha


been common


philosophy


assumptions about


the world


which


form


basis


of systematic
circumscribed.
investigation,


inquiry


certain


into
true,


the world which Newton


however,


of Newton's


that


prescripti(


the course
ons have t


urned





-42-


conceptualizations which they each study.


Psychology has


lagged behind physics because it has been plagued with

conceptual confusions such as a preoccupation with an entity

called the "mind" which has no physiological correlate.

Aesthetics has suffered from similar conceptual

confusions in that too frequently attention has been focused


on acts of creation and response


as having to do with


private thoughts or feelings and emotions belonging to the


artist and the apprehender.


In his example of the beetle


in the box, Wittgenstein points out the difficulties we

embroil ourselves in when we become involved with something


that amounts to a private language,


and this relates to the


problems of private emotions


as well.


In Wittgenstein's


parable we are to imagine that everyone has a box whose


contents is referred to as "beetle."


No one has


access


anyone else's box and knows of "beetleness" only by


at the contents of his or her own box.


looking


In such a situation,


it might well be the case that each box held different


contents or held nothing at all.


constantly changing.3


the contents might be


So, although each person might say


that what the box contained had the characteristics of a


beetle,


they might in fact have very different things.


this example, each person makes use of a universal common



2"Apprehender" will be used throughout this thesis


--





-43-


term,


since


referrent


can


known


only


themsel


ves,


their private


thoughts and


feel ings


are,


then


one can neve


r be certain that what one person calls a


"beetle"


akin


another'


experiences.


Thus,


there


is no way


of checking


conflicting


propositions


since


there


are


no common


points


reference,


so even


minimum conditions


kind


of discourse


take


place


have dissolved.


we want


to contend


that


understanding


area


aesthetics


is possible,


we shall


have


tricate oursel


ves


from


territory


that


is essentially unknowable;


this


reason,


theorists


should


disregard


their


accounts


private


thoughts


feelings which are


inexpressable.


That


it is quite possible to do


so can be shown b


y pointing out


that while no one can confirm that what one person


sees


when


using the word "yellow" is


what other people


see


when they


use


the word


"yellow," we


can


test


that


everyone


understands


what


the word


"ye illow" means.


suppose


that


same


group


of people


who,


Wittgenstein' s


story,


knew what


beetle was only


looking


into


contents


their


own


boxes


now decide


together


that


each will


retire and bring


back


a yellow book.


When


they reassemble


everyone


then


agrees


that


books brought are


indeed yellow,


then


although


it must be conceded


that


sensations


are


private


can never be known by another person and that yellow is





-44-


that


everyone did


understand


what


the word


"yellow"


meant.


This


example


points


the way


to what


we have


to do


art.


can


talk


course


"yellow"


"art"


with


things


that


are quite mystical


susceptible to


analysis,


this


case


nothing would


accomplished.


appeal


insisting on


private

talking


contents


a person's


about boxes which


are


thought


inaccessible


to other


, whether


area


art


other


kind


interaction.


basis


private


aesthetic


since


feel ings


there


or events


nothing


cannot


that


could


affirmed,


denied,


or evaluated.


While


inaccessability


of private event


makes


either


creation


response


unsound


foundations


on which


to construct


an aes


thetic


theor


, this


does


not


mean


that


nothing


can


said


about


them


that


they


are


without


aesthetic


interest


all.


to a discussion


these


two


areas,


creation


response,


that


now


turn.


Decoding:


Aesthetic


Response


Since


the area


response


something


everyone can


deal


with


introspectively,


that will


serve


as a proper


beginning


investigation of


aesthetics.


sha 1


explore


how does


nature


one


aesthetic


account


response;


development


in other


taste,


like


words,


aesthetic




-45-


Whenever


theories


deal


with


the problem of


response,


they


share


a certain


fundamental


assertion;


that


they


attempt


to distinguish


the mere


concommitance


apprehender's


reaction


the work


from


congruity


apprehender's


reaction


the work


art.


They


endeavor to separate


a reaction which


accompanies


exposure


to a work of art in an incidental


way from a reaction which


consistently


accompanies


exposure


the work.


This


order


differentiate


"random"


reaction


a person


might


have


from a reaction


that might properly be called


"aesthetic";


that


one


that


directly


connects


person


the work


art.


this


stipulation


is not made,


apprehender's


reaction


can


have


origin


elsewhere.


satisfactory


that


because


someone


reacts


presence


of a work


reaction


a response


work


art.


We want


that


response


someone


to a work


art,


insofar


aesthetic,


logical


product of the work of art and it is not merely a


concomitant


idea


aesthetic


response


that


there cannot


be simply


a conjunction


between


the work


response


necessarily,


something


to be considered


an aesthetic


response,


it must


have


been


consequence


work


(W > R).


therefore


follows as a corollary that any time that it can be shown


that


there


incongruity


between what


is called





-46-


art.


that


"reactive


accompanies


concomitant"


exposure


is meant


the work


that


not


reaction


response


the work at all, and while one could not know of this


incongruity


a priori


could


be made apparent


through


questioning


therefore


insist


that


aesthetic


response


must


be prompted by


the work


art,


then


it must


be possible


locate in the structure of the work of art something which


correlates


response.


Hence,


have


a check


between


nature


response


nature


the work


art.


nature


the work


imposes


certain


kinds


limitations


as to what can be a true response to the work of


rather


reaction


than merely


which


conjunction


is analogous


an emotional


response.


illustrate


this point


let us examine


three


kinds


responses


one


might


have


to a work


art,


three


basic


possibilities


to what


one


can mean when


the word


"appreciation"


used


connection


with


a work


art.


will


become apparent


that


two of


the possibilities


really


involve

genuine


reactive concomitants while only one qualifies


aesthetic


as a


response.


First,


one


can


mean


that


responds


the work


art,


Dewey


puts


the ordinary manner.4


world


of New


York


City


dominated


that


phenomenon.


read


about


"the world"


recognizing


certain


artists,





-47-


what such statements really mean is that the forty or


people


in New


York


who dominate


the art world


recognize


their work.


Therefore,


when


a person


sees


a painting


Coca Cola bottles it i


recognized


as "a fine expr


ess


ion of


modernity"


plastic


telephone booths displayed


in a


museum are


seen


"profound


expression


our


inability


to communicate."


All


this means


that


a person


conforming


conventional


wisdom of


the day


responding


accordingly.


reflection of


of appreciation


conventional


that people are


attitudes


is one kind


likely to have when


are


process


developing


tastes.


That


people


tend


to follow


recognized


authorities


guidance.


This


particularly


true


case


of some contemporary art where


what


said about a


painting


real ly


far more


important


than


anything


else.


fact,


apprehender


almost


have the


ideology behind


the painting


to have


idea


that


a painting,


example,


indeed


obvious


a work


that


at all.


Roy Lichtenstein's


stencil ing


comic strips on canvas would be


viewed


as high


art, while the ones that children read in th


newspaper are


just


amusement;


that Andy Warhol's Campbell


Soup cans


would be considered a major


statement about


ultimate


reality


something


akin


it),


whereas


soup cans


that


person


opens


a meal,


perhaps


in desperation,


are


things




-48-


acquired sensibility


that allows us


interpret


them


these


ways.


Almost


everyone


engaged


process


of coming


know an art


type


in a


systematic way will


find


themselves


being


influenced by


conventional


judgments.


conventional


wisdom that


says


that Michelangelo


is better


than


most


of his


contemporaries,


same


kind


conventional


wisdom


that


that Balantine Ale cans


bronze


are


profound


statements


about modern


life;


and,


typical


conventional


wisdom,


neither


them


obvious.


It may well be that the product of a detailed aesthetic


analysis and evaluation will


correspond


these


conventional


judgments;


point


to be made


that


there


no reason


assuming


that


popular


views


are


initially made on fundamentally


aesthetic grounds.


A person


may,


without


reflection or


analy


siS,


accept


the conventional


wisdom


that


Michelangelo was


the greatest painter


of his


time,


this


very


different


from


person who


through


understanding


comes


accept


tha t


conclusion.


sec


instance


the work


invol ved


the decision,


while in the first


case


the judgment is not made on


aesthetic


grounds


since


the work


outside


judgment


therefore


cannot


be counted


as aesthetic.


judgment made on aesthetic grounds will


involve


responding


the work


art


itself


this


respect,


there





-49-


with that conventional


wisdom


through


a recognition


work


itself.


The response


these


cases


always


involves


the question of conventional


attitudes,


unfortunately,


certain


people


the differences


between being perceptive


in an art type5 and being Philistine in the same art type is


whether


person' s


reactions


correspond


conventional


tastes of


wisdom of


a small


the day,


coterie of


i.e.,


people


correspond


involved with art and


who deal


in art.


It does


not


mean


any more


than


that.


The


second kind of response a person is likely to have


is one which


is affected by


other


sets


of circumstances


which


we shall


refer


to here


"mnemonic


devices," meaning


irrelevancies which derive


from


the circumstances


in which


person


perceives


the work


apprehends


the work.


This


is to


say


that one is likely to be


affected by the context


and by th


occasion of the art


affected by


art work


as much


as one i


itself.


likely to


the most


common


difficulty in the usual appreciation of a work of art in


that works of art attract


themselves a whole


complex of


5The


"form"
poetry,
"form"


structural


"type"


does


term
refer


painting,


"type"


used


various


here i
areas


etc.


an area


elements


not


of a wor


refer


instead


art


avoid


"form"
c of a


having


rt.


"type,"


such


confusion


do with


this


Thus,
"token"


usual
as music,


between


the
paper,


distinction


suggested


Peirce


and discussed at some


length by Wollheim


where Wollheim talks about an


instantiation of


a work


S S rr


- -S I~t......I .t~ 1 a S a aa *a .- -a a -aH f~rl l-a 1


1ILl.~rnll rtr: 1A


1A


An r


L,


I




-50-


associations


and memories which


arise


from


the occasions on


which


one


encountered


the work


art,


circumstances


attendant


those


occasions.


result,


this


causes


work


art


to be


viewed


"better,"


"more


profound,"


"more


moving,"


etc.


than


would


otherwise,


a more


objective


apprehender.


This


is one


reason


musical


more


works


popular


sense


term


in particular which have


so much


titles are


more widely appreciated


than works which


have


so much


in this


titi


Titles


inspire


some connections


outside


the work


and provide


apprehender


with


a hinge


for mnemonic


associations.


Thus,


this


second


type


response we


have


reaction which


a direct


product


apprehender's


biography


not


part


the work


itself.


These


responses tend to be, on the whole, what might be


called a


"mass i


reaction."


This


very


strong


emotional


response which


in general


non-critical,


which


tends


to disappear


critical


examination


applied.


the fact


that


critical


anal


ysis


tends


to detach


work


from


the work


art;


context


hence,


in which


analysis,


a person


case,


comes


quite


to know


likely


will


result


person


longer


appreciating


the work


of art on this level.


This explains why


so many people are


exceedingly


reluctant


engage


analysis


of works of


art.


This


oss


appreciation


of certain works


s because of





-51-


irrelevancies such


the context


in which


one


viewed


heard


the work


that


caused


the emotional


reaction.


"Pomp


and Circumstance"


a piece


that might


be used


example


since


besides


associations,


particularly


significant piece.


While


true


that


people may


feel


certain


emotions,


such


as pride


perhaps,


when


they


hear


the work,


it would


be a mistake


that


this


emotion


is what


that


the work


peopi


expressed


are


that while feeling


responding


this


something


work.


Rather,


that


this


piece


music


s used


certain ceremonial


occasions


that


emotions


experienced


listener


are


brought


about


understanding


the work


itself.


is worth mentioning


connection


with


this


point


that while


an emotional


reaction


same


as a


response


a work


art,


people can


have emotional


reactions which may


or may not be


consequence


the work


art.


prompted


work


art,


the emotional


reaction may


be called an


aesthetic


response;


prompted by


the work


then


it is an emotional reaction whi


ch does


not happen to be an


aesthetic


response.


6The same


point


can


be made


about


other


kinds of


reactions


one experiences


presence


of works of


which


are


emotional


views a painting and


in character.


is suddenly


reminded


example,


that


one


something


1. 1 ..l -t I.


- -a -1 a a a I




-52-


defining


these


two classes


response,


we have


already indi


cated that they would


not be


properly regarded


"aestheti


c" because


neither


them fundamentally


involve


the work


itself.


What they invol


either


the context,


what


"expert


s" regard


valuable,


rather


than


the work


art;


hence,


they


are


not


pure


sense


"aesthetic"


all.


How would


an aesthetic


response be defined?


necessary


condition


aes


thetic


response


an art work


will


invol


two things:


(1) an approach to the work in the


sense


that


it exists


as an object


attention


occas


apprehension;


appreciation


work


art


the degree


that


one


understands


this


latter


point


one


that


needs


some elaboration.


To understand a work means to be able to expose the

structure of that work and to apprehend in clear terms the


together;


this


regard,


the degree


one


aes


theti


understanding


a work


art


is directly


proportional


the perception of


intelligible structure


the work


art.


This


brings


idea


that


process


appreciation,


understanding,


both


being


same,


make


will


clear


involve analysis.


intel lectual


The purpose


structure of


of anal


the work


ysis


itself.


As such,


analysis will


entai 1


the process of decoding what


involved


the work'


s structure.


Anal


then,




-53-


the decoding


the work


part


apprehender


aesthetic


appreciation


the work


are one


same


thing.


This


process


of decoding


will


produce


an appreciation


certain


configurations and mental


attitudes


(which will


be dealt


with


under


sec


tion


devoted


arti


stic


creation)


these will


be what


experienced


emotional


response


the work


art.


Although


process described above is


intellectual,


an emotional


since other


concomitant.


intellectual


This


surprising


processes do have one or


another


kind


accompanying


emotional


feature.


example,


mathematicians will


frequently discover when they are able


to sol


a problem,


particularly


one on which


they


have been


working


long


time,


that


they


experience


an enormous


sense of exhilaration.


That


is obviously an emotional


response


to what


fundamentally an


intellectual


process.


Emotions and


intellectual activities are frequently


dissociated


as a consequence


seem peculiar


some


people


that


aesthetic


reaction,


which


intellectual


process,


does


in fact possess an emotional


facet.

While we want to say that a person appreciates a work


the degree


that


understood,


same


time


it should


be pointed


that


understanding


a work and being


able


to state


in a


careful


analysis,


aestheti


cian




-54-


would,


are


work


two different matters.


can


about


person


showing


can


was


understand


together,


to be able


development


to state


technical


the construction


language which


involves


is necessary


interest


of precision.8


example,


many


people


can


hear


music with


exceeding


ease.


That


they


can


hear


structure


mus


that


they


can


take


a piece


reproduce


ear."


S is


That


erred


to generally


can work


harmonies


as "playing


would


not be able to


state


the correct musical notation for the


structure.


Similarly,


many people can hear poetry well;


that


particularly


true


in oral


traditions.


They


can


hear


poem and


can


also


compose


a poem with


same


structure,


but the


y would not be able to state the type of metrical


foot


involved,


that


they


were


using


a sonnetic


form,


etc.


Therefore,


the amount of detailed analysis


s necessary


aesthetic


theory


need


not


be present


a general


appreciation


the work,


and,


fact,


sheer


amount


detail


involved in a scholarly analysis can be exceedingly


tedious.


apprehenders


However,


while


to become


is not


involved


normally necessary


in a


great detailed analysis


of the work,


should be abl


to do


it at


least


in a


fragmentary way


tha t


they will


be able


to confirm


that




-55-


their


judgment


the work


essentially


sound and correct,


and where


people disagree,


the disagreement


can


solved on some


level


of analyst


The point


being that


people are doing analysis


the purpose


formal


aesthetics,


then


precision


a desirable quality;


they


are doing


these 1


ves


their


companions,


then


they


need


anymore


precise


than


most


cantankerous


their


friends


insist


that


they


Still,


fact


that


detailed


aesthetic


analysis


is not necessary


appreciation does not


rule


that


appreciation


can be


increased


increased.


the degree


that


However,


understanding


likely


that


the work


as a consequence


aesthetic analysis people will


increase their


appreciation


second


mnemoni


they


senses


irrel


think


term


evancies),


appreciation


(conventional


but they will


first


attitudes


increase their


appreciation


they


take


third


sense,


that


ability


to perceive


intell igible


structure.


Most


people


seem to find it part of their


experience that if


spec


ific things about a work of art are explained they ar


able


see


more


the structure and


therefore better


able


appreciate


a common


phenomenon


that people discover


that


certain works


which


they


"appreciated"


rather


considerably when


they


first


encountered


them,


come


time,





-56-


relates to


initial


difficulty


of perceiving


structure


the work


tastes are quite


likely


art.


Subsequently,


to be changed,


a person's


changed


markedly,


aes


thetic


activity,


mainly because


focus of


person' s


attention when


comes


response will


be shifted


this


kind


enterprise.9


probability


that


what


one later comes to regard


as aesthetic i


uik


ly to be more


contemplati


than


heretofore.


It may be


that


this


involves


some sort of philosophic judgment


that a


contemplati


response


s better


than one characterized by


involvement,


since


that


would


be a non-aesthetic judgment,


we need


pursue


here.


By employing the rule of


symmetry, we are able to work


a theory


of how works


are


to be


interpreted


9It i


notions


since
The e
book


not denied that this view lead


art,


we can


efficacy o
Practical


hardly


this
fail


teaching
Criticism


term


need


notice
upheld


in which


s to "elitist"
a pejorative,


the efficacy


l.A.


teaching.


Richards


he maintains


that


instruction


can eliminate


the common


preconceptions which,


acco


riding


Richards,


preclude


aesthetic


awareness.


This


conclusion comes


as a result


an experiment


Richards


conducted
students


among Cambridge


were


asked


honors


to evaluate


English


"blindly"


students where


thirteen


poems.


one,


results
without
students


judgments


someone


called


were predictably disastrous


the crutch of


"more or
poetic


J.D.C.


less


established
reversed all1


value."


Pellow was


since almost


authority to
the accepted


example,
preferred


to a


lean


the work


to Shakespeare


Donne.


results


imply


that


traditional


critical


interpretations of


aesthetic


values


have any merit whatever


(and


Richards


points


plain


does
that


inability


not
"the


question
sheer i


to read or


even


traditional


diocy


their


to notice


criticism since


remarks
simplest


Sre' 4 \ 1 -1 nI X- C I n n 1 I X n u j n a 1 C a v. 4- n








analyzed,


the same


time certain kinds


conclusions


about


they


are


created


are


being


reached,


satisfactory


theory


interpretation will


same


time


expose


how


the work


was


created.


This


idea


should


surprising


since


theory


artistic


creation


theory


interpretation will


necessarily need


to be parallel


in a


certain


sense,


unless


course,


one would


want


come


the conclusion that what is understood about a work of art


has nothing whatever to do with what the


artist did when


creating


work.


course,


such


a theory


possible,


otherwi


theory


that


contends


that


there


is a


connection


between


what


artist


does


what


apprehender does when


analyzing


interpreting


the work


that


can


be understood will


have


insist


that


theories


interpretation and creation


be parallel


least.


That


there will


symmetry


between


the process of


encoding


process


decoding.


This


does


not mean,


however,


that


there


symmetry


between


content


experiences


of creation


appreciation.


Rather,


process


of both


that


symmetry.


From this it follows that for


every term in an


interpretati


theory


there


should be an analogous


term in a


creation


theory,


vice


versa.


This parallel


structure


makes


it possible to


test almost


immediately the consistency


and


adequacy


theory.


example,


if what


someone





-58-


interpretation.


If no satisfactory


useful


corollary


forthcoming,


there


inadequacy


flaw


creation


theory


that


s being


advanced.


can


see


what


implications


this would have


for message approaches


opposed


structural


corollaries


a message


approaches


approach


to art.


Specifically,


in the areas of


creation


and


res


ponse would lead one to say that the artist has


message which


he or


communicates


through


medium


apprehender.


apprehender


then must


understand


message


since it is th


value of the message and the clarity


apprehension


that makes


art.


From


this


perspective


intentions


artist become


important


(i.e.,


whether


they


were


evil


not).


structural


approach,


as we have outlined


simpler


less


problematic in the sense that we do not have to be concerned


with


things which


are


not


public,


such


intentions


arti


long


since dead,


example.


According


the way


in which


been worked


out,


for purp

artists

in which


oses


of evaluation


anything,


they


necessary


important


because,


a person


to kno

is go


to know why

w the manner

ing to be


able


interpret music


poetry


painting,


other


type,


he must


be able


to discern


the manner


which


together.


And we


hypothesize


that


the way


in which it is put together will


tell us how the artist goes





-59-


artist.


The


processes


are


parallel,


or we might


that


each


the mirror


image of


other.


Thus


theory


interpretation


theory of


artistic creation will


have certain points


in common


--both of


them involve only the


function


structure


the work


art.


We do


need


to know


apprehender


responds


the work


and we


do not


need


to know why


artist


created


first


place.


In other


words,


we do


need


interest


oursel


ves


in why


what


arti


happens


the work


are


the apprehender when


interested


exper


lenced.


Would


this


mean


that


aestheticians


who understand


process


the work'


construction


what


makes


valuable would


then be able to produce masterpieces


in the


medium of


their


choi


There


no more


reason


that


follow


than


that mathematicians who understand


the principle


of mathematics would then be able to go on and do original


expert mathematical


theses.


All


such mathematicians


have done is


to master what others ha


done, and that does


least


imply that


they will


be brilliant


mathematicians.


fact


that


they


know


a given proof


was


constructed


does not


imply


that


they will


then be able


furnish


fresh


proofs.


The


fact


that


people


understand


something


does not


imply that


they will


have further


insight


regard


that


subject,


presumably


a new work


product


insight.


therefore evident


that





-60-


another


one.


This


would


true


all


human


endeavors.


cannot


expect


that expert


theoretical


knowledge of


field


will


imply


that


one


can excel


in practice


that field.


example,


an expert musicologist could not be expected


play the piano, or for that matter an expert pianist could


expected


to compose music


because what


involved


entirely


different.


apart


same


expertise


that


needed


needed


taking


putting


things


things


together.


That


process


decoding


part


apprehender


process


of encoding


part


artist


are


separate


operations even


though


the principle


involved


turn


analogous.


Keeping


an examination


these


encoding


things

process


in mind,

3. the a


we now

t of


artistic


creation.


Encoding:


Artistic Creation


We have concluded thus far that every work of art has a


structure


further


tha t


suggests


this


that


structure


a genuine


intelligible.


aesthetic


This


response,


aesthetic


appreciation,


entails


understanding


the work.


"Understanding"


this


context


means


simply


"grasping


intelligible


structure."


The


issue


an apparent anomaly


be raised


here


that


as certainly


seems


to be


case,


most


persons


cannot


describe


structures


which


they


- -aa iSn aCa A .aa





-61-


people who say


they


like


appreciate music


cannot


in any


meaningful


resolved


works of


discuss


if we keep in mind


basically a


structure


that


technical


of music.


problem of


one not


issue


describing


involving


understanding.


describe


That


structure


the difficulty


of music may


not


hinge,


being


on a


able


lack


understanding,


rather


fact


that


person


lacks


vocabulary of


sufficient abstraction


to state precisely


what


apprehends.


This


fact


can


tested


quite


clearly


noting


that


a person can detect errors


structures.


In music,


instance,


is not


impossible


a listener to say with authority that a piece is played


too fast, or there is too much pedal applied to a certain


portion.


The


point


that


one


can


identify


nature


the problem


applies


structures


thus


demonstrating


understanding without


describing


techni


means.


undeniable


that


certain of


these talents are


physical


character.


That


musicians do


fact


hear


substantially


better


than most people do.


In particular,


many of them have a kind of accuracy of memory which is


called


"perfect


pitch,


" which


enables


them


to determine


whether


or not


notes


are correctly


tuned without


reference


to a tuning


fork.


Thus,


they


have


very


often


what


appears


to be


an uncanny


ability


to discriminate


sounds.




-62-


and which


kind


important


because


"talent" which


it provides


necessary


a background


to be


a musician.


Keeping in mind these points we move now from the


understanding


which


result


apprehender's


ability to decode


the structure of


the work,


activity


arti


creation,


which


entails


putting


structure


together


initially,


encoding.


Could we not simply inquire of artists how th


about doing what


they


reading


through


letters


Wagner

that i


example,


s useful


about


one

the


unlikely


relationship o:


find much

f artists


information


their


work.


This


should


not


be surprising


because


artists


do not


really


know how


they


create


any more


than


orators


know


about


grammar


language


they


speak.


Artists are unlikely


to be aesthetically


sophisticated and we should


not


expect


them


to be


more aesthetically


aware


than we would expect


an orator


to be a


fine philologist;


their


expert


ise


lies


elsewhere.


Expertise


in being


an aesthetician


consists


working out the values inherent in a work of art;


strength


artist


artistic creation


lies


itself,


ess


fundamental


entially


process


a process of


translating


structure


thinking


into some concrete


expression,


i.e.,


the work


art.


We shall


refer


this


process


"encoding"


reasons


which


will


be described


and an exploration of


the possible details


this


process





-63-


as we have maintained,


is an


intel lectual


structure,


then all


invol


ves


"thinking"


as opposed


what


we might


describe


as "spontaneous


emotional


reactions"


since


invol


ves


fundamentally the process of


selection and


analy


which are exactly what all


kinds of


thinking


entail.


And,


without


indulging


undue


speculations


about


psycho logy


artist,


certain


assumptions


can


made


about


creative


called


process


thinking


creative


consists


thinking


a series


"inspirations"


exampi


causes

) which


(sometimes


result


an effect


(the concrete


expression,


which


work


itself).


Normally


this


creative


process


is spoken of


it were


one


step;


however,


is evident


from discussions


about work


of art


that creativeness


involves a double step


process.


In other words,


there


is a difference


between


factors


which


inspire


and motivate


artist and


artist's


aesthetic


adapting motivations


activity.


inspirations


notebooks written


into


artists,


example,


is evident


that


the creative


process can cover


vast


spans


time.


example,


from Beethoven's


notebooks


one


learns


that melodic motives sometimes occurred


Beethoven as


long


twenty years


before


they were actually


employed;


then


during the ensuing time


together.


they were


appear


vastly modified


to contradict


case


of the Zen painter who


has a


perfectly


conceived


"mo t i v a t i on s "'




-64-


occur


sporadically,


then are assembled


into a mental


framework


which


enables


artist


to produce


the work of


art.


However,


artistic creation on


this


level


does not


differ


from


thinking


in general,


one can


find


exactly


same


process,


insofar


as we


have


documentary


evidence,


the work


Newton


Leibniz


or Eins


tein


that


ideas


occur


independently


then


in conjunction


result


in a


theory,


and,


sometimes


clear


that


occasion


conjunction


fairly


trivial.


This


not


to equate


artistic products with


scientific


products


simply


that


processes


thinking


which


lead


the summation


are


same.


This


raises


the question


whether,


one were


develop a general


philosophical


theory


project,


thinking,


perhaps


one would encounter


any problem which


is specifically


aesthetic.


art a


special


type of


thinking?


That


a sati


factory


thesis


of what


thinking entails were developed,


would


the explanation of


this


thes


reveal


certain


varieties of


thought which have


special


characteristics which would have


to be called


"aestheti


The statement


that art


involves


"thinking"


obviously


employs


the word


in a


broader


sense


that


either


true/false


judgments


judgments


the denial


of which would be





-65-


thought a mental


event can merely have a


coherent


structure;


that


not


random.


What


we want


reinforce here


is that rational


statements


are


simply


one


form


thinking


that


there


are


other


kinds


thinking


as well.


example,


some


thoughts


are


linguistic;


others


are


not.l0


Some


thoughts


involve


judgments of


self-


consistency,


others do


not.


Art


thinking


that does


require


criteria


truth


falsity


the criteria of


self-consi


stency,


it does not


follow that art


therefore


"irrational.


" It


simply


a class


thinking


which


involves a certain clarity of perception regarding


symmetries


structural


relationships.11


that


kind of mental


act in which the artist is involved has a


clarity


superior


more


ordinary mental


acts does


indicate


some


unique


characteristic


aesthetic


thinking,


since the same statement could be made of areas besides art


where some people are able


immediately to perceive things as


whole.


10Perhaps


best


example


of non-lingui


stic thinking


the way children grasp


the emotional


aspects


language
children


long


intuit


before


they


grasp


the emotional


its content.


appropriateness


As a result
of certain


words


long


before


they


have


notion


what


they mean.


example,


children know what one should say when


hitting


finge
what


r


inadvertently with a hammer,


have no


idea


damnation means.


110ne


perceives


imagines
structures


tha t


there


the same


is only


one


regardless


intellect which


of whether


they


are


m ~ te n ~ L: rrrrr


mr~nS


YllnCllvnn


nk nvn; nal


nLurrnLrlvnn


r




-66-


process


translating


a concrete structure


process


these coherent


which


thoughts


elsewhere


into


this


paper


called


"encoding," but which


is more popularly


described


expresses


"expressing."


something


idea


a fundamental


that


concept


artist


in aesthetics,


and while there i


no disagreement here in using the term


"expressing"


describe


relation


between


artist


product,


term


"encoding"


is preferred


reasons


that


will


be outlined


after


the content


the notion of


expression


explored.


Melvin Rader


is correct


in noting


in A


Modern Book


Esthetics


that although many


thinkers will


use words


like


"communication"


(Tolstoy),


symbolizationn"


Langer


Arnheim),


"embodiment"


(Reid


Bosenquet),


these


various


terms


can


subsumed under


the single


term


"expression."


Although


most


modern


aestheticians


agree


that


works


art


somehow


involve a process of


expression,


there


is a dispute


to what


expressed,


expressed,


what


causes


to be expressed.


while


disagreeing


on various points,


aestheticians nevertheless generally


agree


that


expression


fundamental


itself.


term


approaching


"expression" has


neutrality with


controversy.


example


happy


regard


, the word


advantage


the message-structure


"communication"


used


instead


of "expression,"


case


would


already








problem involved.


"communicate"


When people say


something


that


difficult


the artist wants


ascertain what


meant


that word.


In general


usage


the word


seems


carry


vague


implication


that works of


somehow


influence


viewers


the sense of


changing


their


attitudes


or the wa


y they are


as people and art is regarded


important


the extent


that


affects


these changes.


other


they


words,


are


idea


that


unaffected by


people


art.


What


respond


causes


then


people


think they are affected by art?


It is possibly because of a


reaction


to art which


normally


characterized


emotional


one,


sometimes


coupled


with


"pleasure."


all


these


terms are not


truly


informative


because


clear


that


art


people


like most


is not


necessarily


the art


they regard


as qualitatively


best.


Almost everyone,


matter


be given reflective examination,


makes


distinction


between


regarded


important


regarded


pleasant.


apparent


that


regarded


important


that


"communicates";


thus,


the work


a particular


artist


regarded


being more


important


than


the work


another


artist even


though


latter's work may


preferred.


But


what does


artist


communicate


important works


art?


Surely,


intention


that the artist wants to convey


some fact


since it is clear




-68-


incidental


information;


example,


historians


often make


use


poems


because


they


include


a chance


reference


to some


person


or event,


such


information


s trivial


theory.


Moreover,


it is


clear that the meaning i


not that the


artist


intends


tell


something


about


the world


that


one


may


would


That


react


react


what


we can


to circumstances


to warning


same


signs


communicated


fairly


sense


scientific


ideas,


certain.


were


that


information.


theories,


those


facts


things


the works would be true or false, and if


such categories


pertained


to art,


it would be sufficiently clear


that


people


observing


the same work would know exactly what


meant,


there would


no dispute over


ince


manifestly not the


case,


it is obvious that when the word


"communicate"


used


should


be meant


stri


sense


term.


avoid


problems


just


stated,


preferable


to find another


that


artist


term


artistic


expresses


rather


activity


than


communicates.


idea


that


we can


express


something


without


communicating


very


use


the word


expresss


sion"


gives


rise


common notion


that art


involves


self


expression on


part


artist.


Since


aestheticians


want


to make


inte


eligible,


it must be


pointed out that if a work of art


invol


ves


solely


self-expression of


the arti




-69-


this


irrelevant to aesthetic


consideration


a work


art.


Perhaps


the difference


between


expression and self-


expression can be


illustrated by


pointing


that


a perfect


example


self-expression


babbling


infant.


That i


s, the


babbi


is simply sounds connec


ted in a fashion


which


either


attractive,


or commends


itself


in some way


other,


infant


is doing


babbling.


Even


after


they


learn


speak children sometimes make up


languages and babble on


(and would anyone deny


that


adults


are


guilty


this


kind


thing?).


case,


this


is a clear cut


case


of self-expression,


and while


infant


may


intend


something


we cannot


determine


intention from the babbling.


Eventually,


one might


note


that


there


s some


regularity


sounds,


parents


live with children can sometimes


tell


that what


seems


like


babbling


to others


is actually mispronunciation of


standard


words.


problem


of expression


vs.


self-expression of


artist a similar


situation develops.


long as


the work


simply self-expression


the artist might as well


be babbling,


and babble is not the kind of thing one can deal with, since


there


no clue


substance


structure.


Only


when we determine


substance or


structure can we deal


with


in any


reasonable way.





-70-


artist.


one


says


that


all


art


self-expression,


is essentially subjective,


in a fundamental


sense,


it could


never


be known.


however,


art


invol


ves


some


kind


express


ion,


example


Langer


says,


artist


own


emotions,


what


known


about


emotions,


then


some dimension art


subjective,


rather


object


public.


Thus,


person


sees


the work


art,


or hears


the work


art,


sees


as much,


or potentially


as much,


artist


does.


view


as expression,


not self-expres


sion


the part of the artist, helps sol


ve some of the problems of


creation


that


often


artist


does


see


creation all


that


those who apprehend


the work


see.


fact,


sometimes


artists


are actually surprised


that


others


see


things


their work


that are


not


visible


them.


making


a distinction


phenomena


can


between


be explained:


expression and


first,


self-expression


someone else can


understand


a work


better


than


creator,


when


course

purely


this


impossible


self-expression;


one maintains


secondly,


that


the way


in which a


work of art can be viewed


as being public and object


rather


than


private


subjective.


artist,


then,


expresses


feel ing,


way a politician blows off steam or a baby


not


laughs and


the
cries.


He formulates


that elusive aspect of


reality


that


-nnimmnnn 1 I7


*mlron


* ho


3mnnrnhni, a


*uh1n rug-.


1-h m4


12


I


Ir


.- r1


I i iv




-71-


Although


I' pesin


an adequate


term


have


preferred


introduce


own


word


"encoding"


to describe


the activity


artist.


"Encoding" has


been


chosen


very


specific


reasons.


a neutral


word


which


does


imply that the artist is creati


in the sense of


originality.


impli


nothing


about


psychology.


Also,


term


"encoding"


very much more


positive


"encoded"


in describing


activity.


implication


that


That


can


something


"decoded."


Moreover,


term


suggests


that


the process


response


akin


process


expression,


whereas


there


is no


necessary


connection


between


the way


someone


understands


work of


art and what was


intentionally


expressed by


artist.


term was


chosen


to make


clearer


symmetry


between


activity


artist,


product,


activity


certain clarity


apprehender.


concerning


Other


these


than


issues,


striving


there


essential


difference between calling what


the artist does


"encoding"


"expression";


similarly,


product,


work


art,


can


be called


that


which


"expressed"


"encoded.


Two


kinds of


ability


are


fundamental


an artist.


First,


there


is a process


selection and


techniques


organization


which


are


mental;


these


combined


referred


artist'


techniques of


encoding.




-72-


applying


art.


techniques


We can call


this


of encoding

particular c


in a concrete work


relative ability


artist's


technique


the material.


These abilities


need


be examined


some


detail


and while they


cannot be entirely


divorced from each other,


for purposes


of elaboration


they


will


be discussed


separately.


Techniques of


Encoding


technique


encoding


artists create mental


patterns of


choosing,


which


they


translate


into


a particular


medium.


Once


these


are


translated


into


a medium


they


become


tinctive and


recognizable and are


referred


arti


st's


"style."


Through


style,


artist


become


like


a friend whose missing word one


can supply in a


conversation;


that


possible


one


grasp


artist's


pattern


choosing.


theory


there


nothing


inevitable about the medium in which the work of art is


produced


when


artists


encode


they


gather


together


their


choices


such


a way


that


thought


certain


identifiable characteristics


organize


action.


Patterns


are


chosen


a particular process of


encoding


because of


what


the work


"expresses"


our


terminology,


"encodes."


There


been


much


discussion


literature


aesthetics


to what


this


might


Tin Fnrl-,~~n,~ 4-al n *1 nA re- 4hr I


IlnFnvClln1ICnl


Pnl


1


llede




-73-


this


reason


some


philosophers


want


that aesthetics


not rational


because aesthetic utterances clearly


involve


emotional


poetry,


responses.


what


Thus,


painters do when


what


they


poets


use


do when


visible


write


objects,


what musicians do when they use tones is to manipulate the


emotional


resonances of


these


tools


to create what


often


cal led


"mood."


Thus,


what


emerges


from a musical


composition,


example,


is not an


idea


intellectual


sense,


but,


more


accurately,


I ttt ud


that


will


referred


to here


"conste


elation


of mental


attitudes.


The word


"attitude"


chosen


reasons.


much


broader


than


the word


"emotion" which


frequently


used


with


regard


to works


art,


and,


other


hand,


is more definite


than


mere


"feeling," which


vague


term


that


one does


not


have


clear


idea


of what


is meant.


Although an attitude cannot be defined with


pristine clarity


either,


feeling.


term does


Attitude,


apply


course,


something


does


more definite


refer


than


to what


done but the way something is done, and is alw


ays


elu


because


invol


ves


a pattern.


It may


exemplify


particular


attitude


life,


it may


simply


call


to one's


attention


attitude


the way


can


things must


be somewhat


be constructed.


precise


That


case


stylistic


art which has


a common attitude


(that


reason,


presumably,


one


can


identify


Renaissance


art),




-74-


one can even speak of the attitude of a tree or other nature


objects.


The point is significant because it means


that


attitudes are visibi


in structure.13


The word "constellation" is used to convey that what is


involved is


a series


assoc


nations of attitudes which may


or may not overlap and which form a kind of pattern in and


of themselves.


The word "constellation" does not pre-judge


the nature or character of the pattern,


but indicates at


least some kind of organization.


This i


not to deny that in many ways ordinary people


exhibit attitudes in their daily


that the patterns,


lives but only to point out


the constellations of mental attitudes,


which artists have are presumably more complex,


richer in their dimensions,


more subtle,


not that they are different in


kind.


If this were not the


case,


if artists did not have


attitudes which are more vivid,


richer, more complex,


etc.,


13This is not to


that when it comes to works of art


that one can easily specify the "attitude" of
descriptive language of attitudes and moods i


the work;


s too poverty


stricken for this.


But,


there are groupings of terms that


are more appropriate, or


less


so.


For example,


if one


compares Beethoven's Sonata 32 in C Minor to Mendelssohn's


Midsummer Night's Dream or


Wagner's


"Liebestodt"


from


Tristan und Isolde certain distinctions can be made


what attitude words would be appropriate.


The word


"stately" would not be appropriate for any of the three,
while "sprightly" might be appropriate for the Mendelssohn


but not the Beethoven or the Wagner.


Whatever attitude


words apply have nothing to do with the quality of a work of


art,


but only what we perceive to be the mood of the work.


While the attitudes that are expressed in a work of art ar


fl 4^ 4 rn n-^ a" n 4- *F 4- *^1^^-^ T 1 .y a F\ +1^ a r 1-. n aw t, n -n 1. r v ^ a ^ r


1




-75-


than


ordinary,


then


the works


they


produce would


different


from our


own


lives.


that


artist's


constellations of mental


tha t


attitudes are dis


tinctive


these constellations are distinctive


in their


rarity,


only


that


they


are di


stinctive


their


vividness,


richness,


and completeness.


Even though all


people have


intuitions and experiences


of constellations


attitudes,


artists


have


about


them an


intuitiveness which extend


beyond


ordinary


form of


awareness.


Because


symmetry


our


system,


we can


that


the aesthetic response also


involves


the extension of


awareness.


result


that


instead


of art being


valuable


because


it communicates


idea


apprehender,


value of art is that it extends the range of th


apprehender's


awareness.


that


work


too


difficult


that


threshold of understanding


demanded by the work i


higher than our threshold of


awareness.


Similarly,


what


is meant


when we


that


work


come


exposure


it we have


the work


itself.


to be understood


raised our


Thus


that


threshold


is possible


through


level


that


works


influence


people


because they


extend


range


of a person's


awareness.


A work


art,


then,


ves


expression


or definiteness


to areas of experience which almost


everyone


has,


does





-76-


enables them to express in a way that most people are not


readily


capable


doing.


This


brings


artist's


techniques



Techniques


the material.



the Material


A person can think beautiful thoughts but not be a


successful


artist unless


there


is something else


in addition


to tec


hniques


of encoding, and that is what can be called


"techniques


skill


the material.


translate


That


the structure of


artist must


thought


have


into


arti


stic medium.


To be a musician


one must do


more


than


think musically or


to have


thoughts


that could be given


musical


expression;


one must


an awareness


of how


deal with th


problem of what we will call the "grammar" of


music.


That


musical


sounds do


follow


each


other


randomly.


The choices


that


one makes


in musical


composition


must be made


in context


of certain


pre-established


regularities


made.


which


Historically,


1imit


kinds of


this


choices


styl


which are


era


in which


one happens to


ve.


style period in the his


tory of art


simply means


that there are


certain


assumed


limitations on


kinds


choices


which


artists


can make


they


expect


to be


touch with


their


era.


This


shows


things:


One


that


more distant


.8. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 1.. a -11-- --- -1-- eC nA I


,HA Al


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1


rUAW*


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-77-


likely


to understand music of certain epochs more easily


than


others.


example,


people


grasp


a work


in one


epoch,


then they are likely to grasp other works in that


epoch more


eas


ily


as a consequence of having grasped


general


technical


assumptions


in terms of


the material


which


limits


kinds


of choices


which


an artist


can make.


We now have a


clear


statement of


role


selection


in the


act of creation in that it invol


ves


both a mental and


material


phase.


The artist has a constellation of mental


attitudes


process of


process


selecting


artistic


from amongst


creation


the elements


particular


type


those which seem appropriate to gi


expression


this constellation of mental


attitudes.


The


phrase


here


give expression


to" means


to create


configuration,


or form,


that will


successful 1


encode


mental


attitude


into


the work


art.


hypothesis,


person given the same set of


assumptions about the way in


which


the art


language works14 will


then


be abl


interpret the


in such a way that h


or she will have as


product


appreciation


the work


art,


response which will be similar in structure if it is to be


considered


an aesthetic


response.


14The


suggest


that


reason


using


there are certain


i language metaphor
regularities in thi


various


types


that


a person must


learn


recognize.


The


n~ r"\ a a a V F a^ n n at nt /a? A 4-^ -a r4-- 4 I- 1, n ir af F\ 1 a /lr^^ n n n




-78-


This does


mean


that


there


are


correspondent


ideas concerning conclusions about


life,


nor


correspondent


conclusions

objective f


information


about


acts


nature


all.


involved


the world or


In other words,


in either


case.


there


Hence,


indeed any

e is no


idea


truth,


objective


truth


means


reality


a description


something


some


that


kind


involved


art.


In addition


fact


that


does


transmit


information,


evident


from what


already been said


that


case


that


only


artist's


psychological


profile


tha t


are getting


in the work.


What


happens


in artistic


creation


that


particular


configuration


attitudes


which


gave


rise


that artistic


expression


are


transmuted


into


an objective


form.


This


objective


form


what


prompts


process


of decoding.


decoding


necessary


concomitant


another


attitudinal


configuration.


The decoded


configuration


most


likely will


the same


its content as


original


configuration of


the artist,


actually


they may


very


little to do with each other,


the structures will


analogous.


The intellectual


structure involved


in the


response,


an aesthetic


response,


intellectual


structure


involved


in the artistic expression


will be similar in the geometric sen


of the term.


Though


content


response


may well


be different from the




-79-


This


means


that


insofar


aesthetic


significance


the work


is concerned


the work


a catharsis


artist,


venting


emotions,


just


aes


thetic


response


is not


an arousal


of emotions.


Expression


giving


form


attitudes


while


response


is coming


understand


those


attitudes.


Thus,


artist


need


be sad


understand


respond


human


to human


sadness;


sadness.


a person


need


tragic work


is quite


possible


without


affected


the person

the artist


hearing

creating


seeing

to be


it being

affected.


Works


represent


view,


an understanding,


intel lectual


appreciation of


some configurations


attitudes


attitudes


themselves.


In this section we have


said that the act of creation


is fundamentally t

appropriateness of


:wofold:


elements and


intuitive sense of


the organization


of elements


into


the mental


cons


tellations which gave rise to


expression,


the mastery


language


implicit


the way


artists


their


contemporaries


look


at and make


art.


This


last


fact


important


because


along with


artist's


there


own


is also


vocabulary which determines personal


language which characterizes


style,


style of


a period.


That is, the general population as


with just such a language in te


rms of which th


well grows up

lev look at and


are exposed to art, so that while the particulars of a




-80-


course


of growing


example,


the course of


learning


becoming

learning


to play


instrument


familiar with any

technique, a person


learning


type of

n picks


art,


to paint


as a process


up certain


kinds


vocabulary


about


the way


in which


type


functions.


This


vocabulary


is a kind of primitive criticism,


intent


of which is to give


clues


as to what the elements of an art


type


are,


clues


preferred


organizing


according to the


style period in which one happens to li


ve.


some


style


periods


these specifications are


very


exac


ting.


We happen


live


in a period


artistic


activity where


they


are


exceedingly


indirect because of


stylistic preference of non-verbalizations,


in earlier


periods


there


have been


virtual


rule book


written


to how


artist


should


about


creating.


For


example,


Polyclitus,


along with Phidias one of


the most celebrated


sculptors


antiquity,


credited


with describing


a canon


ideal


proportions


which


then


used


work.


Similarly,


the current mode of analysis of


traditional music


based


upon


textbook


written


Rameau who articulated


the basic rules of harmony.


Even


though


these


rules


are


antiquated


contemporary


standards


have been updated


by people


like Schoenberg


and Hindemith,


these rules


serve


kind of narrow purpose, and that is to give clues and


references t


the art


language and


give


historical




-81-


This


situation


not


restricted


types


since


the same thing occurs in criticism of all sorts.


Rules are


developed which


are


intended


to refer


not only to one style,


but to several


styles or


to a whole tradition--normally


tradition


European


painting.


1 imitation


this


situation


that


criti


cism becomes


entirely


culture


bound.


Thus


, the


criticism which


find


in painting


poetry


in music


is normally confined


those


activity


artists


lived


in Europe


since


about


year


1000.


although thi


criticism


is sometimes applied


to classical


artists


as a kind


afterthought,


antecedents


of Greek


before


year


1000


(Summerian


Egyptian


cultures)


are


excluded.


is evident,


however,


that


this


kind of


vocabulary,


while 1


it enables one


to deal


more or


less effective


ly with a


limited


style


period and art


type,


is not successful


encompassing


various


types of


of different


cultures


with


diverse


types


themsel ves.


Thus,


there


vocabulary of painting which will


apply uniformly to


Indian


painting,


Chinese


painting,


Persian


painting,


and Western


European paintingl6


or which would


permit


one


speak


painting,


music,


poetry


in a uniform way.


15They
referred to


are


often


considered art at all,


instead


"iconic.




-82-


Considering our fundamental rule of commonality,


that


all aesthetic judgment and description must be general and

applicable to all types of art, it is apparent that a major

difficulty that must be met in Chapter III, when the work of


art is considered,


will be the creation of an abstract


vocabulary for the analysis and description of art works

that will not be restricted to a particular style period or

by any single type of art.















CHAPTER


THE WORK


ART


TOWARD


A COMMON


DESCRIPTIVE VOCABULARY


IN MUSIC,


It seems clear


POETRY,


that whatever


PAINTING


conclusions one ultimately


comes


regarding


art,


only


area


which


can


be discussed


with


degree of


clarity


the work


itself.


example,


one


begins aesthetic


inquiry by dealing essentially with


the problem of


artists


their


communication,


then


very practical


issue of


information arises;


although artists


their


creati


endeavors


are


interesting,


there


are


hard


data


regarding


creative


process.


There


are


reasons


this.


from arti


First of


on how


all,


they


the amount of


about


information available


creation


very small.


Secondly,


there


is no reason


to believe


that


information we have


reliable.1


Careful


self-


observation


object


arti


sts'


endeavors,


their


attention


information


they


rarely


do provide,


directed


that


little


question.


kind


that


1Even if w


were


to grant the reliability of arti


sts'


accounts and choose


intentions


artist


line


approach


to aesthetic


value,


we face


the difficulty


not being able to deal with works of art that are


not


n a n 1- am in na r t' -i n 4-anr ~%'& W~d ~ a** -n


:~rln~L: nnn


r


~n: nn


~lmnn I


~All~


~uL;


J




-84-


would be helpful.


Artists are not trained scientists who


are detached from what they do sufficiently to provide an


adequate explanation for their operations.


In addition,


encoding is primarily an internal mental process;


therefore,


even if a person were sitting in the studio of an artist no


insight would be gained into the creative process becau


there i


no way of determining why the artist selects the


things in the way that she or he does and in the order in


which they are


selected.


the word "adequate" has any meaning in aesthetics at


all,


that is,


if we believe that there are interpretations


of works of art that are adequate,


then certainly one of the


minimum things an explanation should be able to establish is

that where two conflicting interpretations are encountered


one of them is inadequate or


less adequate than the other.


As explanation based on what the artists meant or why they

did what they did will be fundamentally unfruitful for we

have seen even asking their help will not solve the problem.


In contrast to taking artists and their intentions


the focus of aesthetic value and interest, their


is a


certain advantage in looking to the response of the


2A compilation of what artists


about their creative


activities is Artists on Art by Robert Goldwater and Marco


Treves,


Pantheon Books,


Inc.,


New York,


1945.


An example of


the sort of description that artists give of creation that
aestheticians find of little help is Picasso's account that




-85-


apprehender


this


regard


since


here


there


the advantage


an abundance


information.


This


approach,


however,


problem


free


that


oddities


result.


example,


do not want


that


Rembrandt,


who was


widely


appreciated


until


about


time


he was


fifty,


was


a great


artist,


then suddenly was no


longer


great


when


cea


to be


appreciated


toward


of his


life.


This


position


is especially untenable since


the works


that


Rembrandt


produced


after


he ceased


to be


appreciated


are


those


that


today


are


regarded


as more


valuable,


while


the earlier works


are


at present


regarded


less


significant.


A phenomenon which must


taken


into


account


when


considering


responses


tha t


our


responses


responses


ers


vary


one


from another.


One


thing


that


been


established


realm of


aesthetics


that what


different


people


a work


means


them,


terms


their


responses,


radically


divergent.


Responses


differ to the degr


that if we w


ere


working only with a


person's


response


to a work


would


not


be possible


to determine what work


elicited


response.


Works


that


are


supposed by conventional


wisdom to be extremely


sad,


strike


some


individuals


as ecstatic,


and works


that


some people view


as joyous are thought by others to be


profoundly


tragic.


Thus,


as when


emphasizing


artist'


intent,


we are


faced


with


the puzzle of establishing which