• Possibility
    1.8k
    I like the idea of a call: the work draws us in, it speaks to us through the criteria of its form, and our critique beckons the Other for their assent. Are these all not "space" enough? A discussion of the form of art does not require or allow for "differing systems and structures of rationality", as in, different rationality than: criteria of a form. But we also don't create the criteria nor change them (arbitrarily; say, without the art form changing). Where is the need for an "end-place"? Modern art expands and re-examines its own rational criteria in the making of the art--it's become its own critic. The criteria are not "incomplete", or unfinished, or, as of yet, only of a lower order (only an approximation?). A discussion of them need not end or be resolved or bettered for the rational conversation of art to begin--the one is the means to the other. We will have no other, better ("objective"?) means, to, say, have a particular, better ("objective"?) end. The frailty of the possibility of agreement in a discussion of art is its triumph, not its lack.Antony Nickles

    Would creative genius be content with inspiring critical assent?

    You say that “modern art expands and re-examines its own rational criteria in the making of art” - how do you think it does this, without pointing to an aspect that exists in a relational ‘space’ beyond the criteria of the form? This is how the work draws us in - through transcendence. A discussion which acknowledges this transcendence also acknowledges the nature of its approximation within the criteria of the form. It is in our aesthetic relation to the work beyond this capacity for a ‘rational conversation of art’ that a critical interaction on the form of art in relation to the aesthetic idea begins with the artist themselves.

    Most modern art falls short of this, and is content to engage the critic without challenging their perspective. Their passive call to those well-versed in the art form, its criteria and history is to discuss the commercial/cultural value or potential of the work and the artist. For the rest of us, art actively draws us in (through transcendence) to a ‘space’ that challenges our capacity to rationally discuss what we perceive. Those who do not allow for broader systems and structures of rationality (such as aesthetics) limit their ability to engage with the work, in the same way that “a discussion of the form of art does not require or allow for... different rationality than: criteria of a form.”

    The frailty of the possibility of agreement in a discussion of art is its triumph, not its lack.Antony Nickles

    Agreed - but why rest on those laurels while modern art continues to shift the sands beneath you?
  • Antony Nickles
    152


    I am notifying the following participants (and others that may have an interest), in the hope of rounding out @darthbarracuda 's PO with any other concerns: I would bring up again that my contention (in a nutshell but stated more accurately and clarified over this whole thread) is that all the qualities of "objectivity", including right and wrong, are possible in aesthetics apart from an "object", except agreement on a claim of judgement. @Moliere @Hanover @Thorongil @Tom1352 @Banno @Number2018

    Here and above, @Possibility and I are having a discussion I would characterize as: the play between art (and our relation to it) and the judgement (rationality) of aesthetics; the possibility and totality of rationality without something other than (say, an idea), or beyond (say, a place), Kant's "forms" of aesthetics.

    You say that 'modern art expands and re-examines its own rational criteria in the making of art' - how do you think it does this, without pointing to an aspect that exists in a relational "space" beyond the criteria of the form?Possibility

    The evolution of art is an appropriate topic and this is well taken; in pushing too hard on the fact of rational judgement at all, I only peripherally addressed the way art changes, and thus changes its rationale. Wittgenstein would, roughly, refer to this as projecting a concept into a wider or new context (perhaps akin to your "space", without an aspect), and with the process of "continuing a series", there, with a student (see PI Index "Series - of numbers).

    I would first point out that extenuation or expansion presupposes the actuality of the workings of art (reflected in the criteria of its form). The criteria of the form express (Witt's term) the means of art, are the launching point or touchstone; there is no "beyond" or "aspect" that they are pointing "to"; the form moves itself ahead drawing out, and on, the means of the work, without an end. "Purposefulness" is not to a purpose, but only to say that art has rational but open-ended ways of being meaningful. This is not capturing, or transcending to, an "aesthetic idea"; it is, as it were, on a path (cubism comes from portraiture) but without destination. Emerson says (roughly) we must live fuzzy in front (Wittgenstein talks of concepts with "blurred edges" #71). The context here is the painter, say, with their canvas blank and the means at their disposal; but are we denying history (even in revolutionizing)? And of course this is acknowledging that, if anywhere, art may break or defy or abandon any of its methods of meaning; ahead of its time, waiting to be explicated--yet to find its words, or voice, or audience.

    This is how the work draws us in - through transcendence. A discussion which acknowledges this transcendence also acknowledges the nature of its approximation within the criteria of the form.... Those who do not allow for broader systems and structures of rationality (such as aesthetics) limit their ability to engage with the work, in the same way that “a discussion of the form of art does not require or allow for... different rationality than: criteria of a form.”Possibility

    I would, again, argue there is no "other" rationality in the judgement of aesthetics, no "broader systems and structures of rationality"; again, the discussion is not an "approximation", not (as that is defined by Webster's) "nearly" correct, as if the Sublime (or transcendent) were an eventual or separate correct destination to which we have a different rational relation.

    For the rest of us, art actively draws us in (through transcendence) to a ‘space’ that challenges our capacity to rationally discuss what we perceive.Possibility

    And here I absolutely agree. I believe this is Kant's experience of the Sublime (though I believe in the value of trying to, and the ability to, meet that "challenge"). Though I am left with the impression you feel the need to defend that there is something more, greater, that you feel I am taking away, or denying. Maybe it helps to say, the rationality of the judgement of art does not take away from the transcendent experience or creation of art. This fear of denial reminds me of Wittgenstein's consolation to the metaphysical skeptic (my italics):

    PI #305. But you surely cannot deny that, for example, in remembering, an inner process takes place." -- What gives the impression that we want to deny anything?... The impression that we wanted to deny something arises from our setting our faces against the picture of the 'inner process'. What we deny is that the picture of the inner process gives us the correct idea of....

    And here I want to end this quote instead with: the extension of the form (instead of "the use of the word remembering"). Witt talks of this picture (there, an inner process; here, an "aesthetic idea") getting in the way of seeing the use of the word "remembering" as it is (here, the rationality and progression of art's forms with the workings of the art, and their change). All this is to say, the desire to have a special access to aesthetics (say, to some idea of it) gets in the way of beginning a conversation. The fear that it might constrain, say, a desire to have some connection with art that is special, ineffable, is not to say discussion is not possible (however threatening, subject to philistines). Another way to look at it, again, is the fact we might end without agreement is not proof that we have no way to try (that art is unintelligible), or that there is some better way, or that the attempt is structurally flawed.

    Would creative genius be content with inspiring critical assent?Possibility

    The work of criticism is separate but rooted in ("dependent" on), and in the service of, art (not parasitic to it, or indistinguishable thus irrational, as Derrida suggests); the artist, with hope, works for the art, and its creation--in and for its possibilities. Is art only that which criticism says it is? Of course not. But are we not discussing the rational judgment of aesthetics? The agreement (assent) is not between the artist and critic, but the critic and anyone who wishes to see more in art than their own feelings and their valuation/opinion, though the critic can be as degenerate as the viewer. Nevertheless, without the critic (or them within us), we (the viewers) are ignorant in a sense, blind, or at least without depth perception; unable to access the richness and fullness of the awe and wonder of art. Here I would suggest Stanley Cavell's essay Aesthetic Problems in Modern Philosophy. In truth most of this is in that work, including the Kant. He starts by justifying the ability to paraphrase poetry, so you'll have something to chew on.

    I thank you for your diligence and consideration.
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    The evolution of art is an appropriate topic and this is well taken; in pushing too hard on the fact of rational judgement at all, I only peripherally addressed the way art changes, and thus changes its rationale. Wittgenstein would, roughly, refer to this as projecting a concept into a wider or new context (perhaps akin to your "space", without an aspect), and with the process of "continuing a series", there, with a student (see PI Index "Series - of numbers).Antony Nickles

    Wittgenstein’s example of ‘continuing a series’ refers to the difference between perceiving the properties of a variation occurring in a particular event (consisting of consolidated ‘objects’), and consolidating the ‘concept’ by which that variation has the potential to occur in other events. But consider an alternative perspective (one that departs markedly from analytical views such as Wittgenstein): perceiving the relational structure in which an ‘event’ (itself consisting of relational structure) is open to variability.

    I would first point out that extenuation or expansion presupposes the actuality of the workings of art (reflected in the criteria of its form). The criteria of the form express (Witt's term) the means of art, are the launching point or touchstone; there is no "beyond" or "aspect" they are "pointing" to; the form moves itself ahead without an end. "Purposefulness" is not to a purpose, but only to say that art has (open-ended) ways of being meaningful. This is not capturing, or transcending to, an "aesthetic idea"; it is, as it were, on a path (cubism comes from portraiture) but without destination. Emerson says (roughly) we must live forward fuzzy in front. The context here is the painter, say, with their canvas blank and the means at their disposal; but are we denying history (even in revolutionizing it)? And of course this is acknowledging that, if anywhere, art may break or defy or ignore any of its methods of meaning--ahead of its time; waiting to be explicated--yet to find its words, or voice, or audience.Antony Nickles

    I’m not alluding to a particular end or destination, only to relational structures of possibility. I have explained before that I’m referring not just to the rational judgement of art but to the faculty of judgement, including the state of ‘free play’ with imagination and understanding - the fourth moment of Kant’s aesthetics. To be seen to ‘move itself ahead’ purposefully, a process has a relative momentum and direction, hence the ‘beyond’ and ‘pointing’, but this consolidated ‘touchstone’ is arbitrary - it is the viewer/critic who determines the ‘launching point’, not the art or artist.

    My understanding of Kant’s ‘aesthetic idea’ is not a ‘concept’, but unconsolidated (formless) representation of the imagination, from which the artist gives form to possible ways of being meaningful.

    I like the idea that ‘we must live forward fuzzy in front’, but I think limiting this to a temporal sense of ‘forward’ might be missing the point. For the artist, this fuzziness is everywhere we look, including history. So cubism does not leave portraiture behind, or deny its history by ‘revolutionising’ it - that would assume a consolidated perspective of history. The painter who consolidates history or even the criteria of form in the face of a blank canvas is limiting their participation in the creative process before they even begin. This is not to say that an artist should ignore either history or the criteria of form, but rather recognise their potential to increase awareness, connection and collaboration with the relational structure in which a perspective of history, or even this criteria of form, is open to variability.

    I would, again, argue there is no "other" rationality in the judgement of aesthetics, no "broader systems and structures of rationality"; again, the discussion is not an "approximation", not (as defined by Webster's) "nearly" correct, as if the Sublime (or transcendent) were an eventual or separate correct destination to which we have a different rational relation.Antony Nickles

    Not in the judgement of aesthetics, no. But a discussion is likely to involve two people with slightly or even drastically different understandings of this rationality in the judgement of aesthetics, despite the belief that ‘criteria of form’ is objective and you’re having a ‘logical’ discussion. In most discussions, this doesn’t appear as a ‘different’ rationality so much as misunderstanding, misinterpretation or talking across purposes at the level of meaning. Occasions of disagreement at this level can be interpreted as suggesting a broader relational structure in which increasing awareness, connection and collaboration with the variability in this rational relation might bring possibility of agreement. In that sense, these differing perspectives can be understood as ‘nearly correct’ in relation to this possibility of agreement.

    Though I am left with the impression you feel the need to defend that there is something more, greater, that you feel I am taking away, or denying. Maybe it helps to say, the rationality of the judgement of art does not take away from the transcendent experience or creation of art. This fear of denial reminds me of Wittgenstein's consolation to the metaphysical skeptic (my italics):

    PI #305. But you surely cannot deny that, for example, in remembering, an inner process takes place." -- What gives the impression that we want to deny anything?... The impression that we wanted to deny something arises from our setting our faces against the picture of the 'inner process'. What we deny is that the picture of the inner process gives us the correct idea of....

    and here I want to end this instead with: the extension of the form (instead of "the use of the word remembering"). Witt talks of this picture (there, an inner process; here, an "aesthetic idea") getting in the way of seeing the use of the word remembering as it is (here, the rationality and progression of art's forms with the workings of the art, and their change). All this is to say, the desire to have a special access to aesthetics (or its idea) gets in the way of beginning a conversation. The fear that it might constrain, say, a desire to have some connection with art that is special, ineffable, is not to say discussion is not possible (however threatening). Another way to look at it, again, is the fact we might end without agreement is not proof that we have no way to try (that art is unintelligible), or that there is some better way, or that the attempt is structurally flawed.
    Antony Nickles

    Again, I agree with all of this, except your impression of what I am trying to achieve. You’ve clarified in this post, a couple of times, that you’re referring specifically to the judgement of art, whereas I have also tried to previously clarify that the OP interest here is with aesthetics - which, in my view (and I think Kant’s) is inclusive of a non-judgemental relation to art, as an aspect of the faculty of judgement (a more accurate translation of his title). You refer to this as the ‘transcendent experience or creation of art’, suggesting that it is somehow separate from this faculty of judgement, which I think is an error of exclusion (albeit a commonly accepted one).

    I don’t believe that art is unintelligible, but I do believe an aspect of that intelligibility is possible only in an irreducible relation between perspectives - that, to me, is worth the effort.
  • Joshs
    933
    Occasions of disagreement at this level can be interpreted as suggesting a broader relational structure in which increasing awareness, connection and collaboration with the variability in this rational relation might bring possibility of agreement. IPossibility

    Do you have in mind a kind of hermeneutic process of fusing of horizons?
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    Do you have in mind a kind of hermeneutic process of fusing of horizons?Joshs

    Sort of. We can think of it similar to a system’s capacity to render a three-dimensional image from photographs - the possibility of three-dimensional relational structure must be an aspect of the system first. So it’s not just a fusing of horizons, but awareness, in the qualitative variability of perspective, of an additional aspect to the structure.
  • Joshs
    933
    I can read this in two ways. According to the first, humans perceive events by filling in based on prior expectations. Thus, another person’s viewpoint becomes an additional aspect to our structure of perception.
    The second way I can read this is that the structure you’re referring to is interpersonal. The other and my self are poles of a normative social structure of understanding,
  • Manuel
    69
    It seems to me that although it is very hard to argue about what type of aesthetic activity constitutes something as being more "objective" relative to another aesthetic activity, some very general things can be said here, although they are quite broad.

    Given that we are constituted the way we are, there must be aesthetic activities, in principle, that could exist that we could not appreciate, in the same way a Bonobo won't stare at Picasso or Kandinsky. We even have interesting cases in our ordinary lives: we may like certain genre's of music. But then we hear something on the radio, and it sounds like total noise and maybe even gibberish. I don't think it's the case that in all musical styles we don't appreciate, it's only because of a lack of exposure that we don't understand it. This is sometimes the case, but far from always.

    But from saying this, to arguing that, for example, Mozart is better than The Beatles or that Pollock is inferior to Van Gogh, is practically impossible, however strong we may feel about a specific case.
  • Jack Cummins
    990

    I started reading this today and it seems to follow on in some ways to the thread on is art creative and I was in agreement with you on the qualitative aspect. However, I read @Manuel s post above because I ran into difficulty when the discussion ran into music when The Beatles and Mozart were compared. My first thought was that of course Mozart is not better because I do not like classical music.

    Of course, your categories of originality, popularity, comprehensibility and truth/ accuracy are probably important here, and of course, The Beatles are popular but at the same time I think that some of their music, especially that of John Lennon does go deep. I also believe that some of the obscure music I listen to does go into other dimensions. For example, I think of higher states of consciousness when listening to the music artist Avicii, especially the track 'levels', but this is possibly my subjective experience, so how do we know if the aesthetic meaning we see is objective or based on the projections of our subjectivity.
  • Manuel
    69

    This touches on the question of expertise. Someone who knows music well, will be able to appreciate Mozart in a way that most people born after WWII-ish would not. I think there's an argument to be made the Mozart is more sophisticated, complex and arouses more subtle emotion than The Beatles or Led Zeppelin. As for me, aside from a few pieces of classical music, I don't share the same level of appreciation.

    When you go to the level of electronic dance music, one could argue that one is dealing with surface level aspects of music, which by no means makes it bad, I for one enjoy them a lot too. And sometimes the surface of a lake is gorgeous, but if you start going down below, it isn't as pretty. But I also cannot deny that with other electronic music, I felt very deep emotions, which would be laughable from the perspective of some music experts. But as to what's objective, that's so hard. On the other hand, you can listen to more contemporary music which apparently has no redeeming qualities, a beat that I could create with a program, and lyrics that could be written after several drinks, or as a joke.

    But even in this last instance, some people find value in any music, so it's not trivial to say this is garbage, even if we may want to. I guess there are cases where one could say this, but its a tad obscure.
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    I can read this in two ways. According to the first, humans perceive events by filling in based on prior expectations. Thus, another person’s viewpoint becomes an additional aspect to our structure of perception.
    The second way I can read this is that the structure you’re referring to is interpersonal. The other and my self are poles of a normative social structure of understanding,
    Joshs

    Yes - in the first reading, we recognise that we perceive another person’s viewpoint from within our own, and so its perceived structure is based on difference. In the second, we recognise that neither my position nor the other’s is central to a normative understanding.
  • Joshs
    933
    In the second, we recognise that neither my position nor the other’s is central to a normative understanding.Possibility

    I'm assuming you want to keep both readings. So let me ask you this: Do you really think that neither my position nor the other's is central to a normative understanding. To be more specific, don't each of us interpret the norm relative to our own pre-understanding? Wouldn't that then mean that , whether i like it or not, my position will be central to my experience of norm, just as the other's is for them?
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    I don't think it's the case that in all musical styles we don't appreciate, it's only because of a lack of exposure that we don't understand it. This is sometimes the case, but far from always.

    But from saying this, to arguing that, for example, Mozart is better than The Beatles or that Pollock is inferior to Van Gogh, is practically impossible, however strong we may feel about a specific case.
    Manuel

    Appreciation for music can be viewed similar to ignorance regarding members of a particular ethnic appearance, that they ‘all look alike’ - we haven’t learned to appreciate the subtleties of the genre in relation to different structures of qualitative variability, and we aren’t willing - in the moment - to commit attention and effort to do so. It’s not just about exposure, but a willingness to suspend judgement (based on prior expectations) with regard to what differentiates one sound or visual quality from another, and direct more attention and effort to acquiring broader sensory information and exploring alternative methods of refinement.

    There is so much sensory information available in every experience that we develop and refine complex reductionist methodologies for making sense of the ‘noise’, which are tailored to particular experiential conditions.
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    I'm assuming you want to keep both readings. So let me ask you this: Do you really think that neither my position nor the other's is central to a normative understanding. To be more specific, don't each of us interpret the norm relative to our own pre-understanding? Wouldn't that then mean that , whether i like it or not, my position will be central to a normative understanding?Joshs

    No - what it means is that I inaccurately perceive my position as central to a normative understanding. How do you think Copernicus was able to structure the solar system without leaving Earth’s atmosphere?
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    how do we know if the aesthetic meaning we see is objective or based on the projections of our subjectivity.Jack Cummins

    I don’t think we DO know for certain, because it will always be a mixture of both. Our subjectivity is the position from which we perceive meaning. We can construct an intersubjective position based on socio-cultural aspects of our conceptual reality - logic is one such position - but even logic is not central to a normative understanding that is inclusive of non-human interaction. That the majority of existence cannot differentiate between meaning, value, event, object, gradient, direction or energy does not necessitate exclusion of their perspective of meaning from a normative understanding - that’s where our real challenge lies.
  • Antony Nickles
    152

    ...consider an alternative perspective... perceiving the relational structure in which an ‘event’ (itself consisting of relational structure) is open to variability.Possibility

    I am doing my best here to understand what you are saying (perhaps not well) but also, I'm not sure how you think this needs to negate my contention about the actual OP about "objectivity"--our how aesthetics holds any sense of "rationality" for Kant at all. In the end, I believe it appears we are talking about two different things, and then I would not deny that the Sublime has a separate relation to aesthetics (nature, awe, bigness, respect, etc.) and that it, along with the Beautiful, has a relation without an object—I would even grant it is a “faculty” though I don’t know what the implications of that are other than an ability to have that experience. However, "categorically" Kant says (Gramatically Witt would say) that relation is not a rational relation—it is without a concept/form (there is no “structure” in that sense) as similarly, with Taste and the Pleasant. And, as much as Witt's term "Concept" is similar to the idea of Kant's "Form", those two are both, "open to variability" (though I'm not sure of this as a term), even rationally (if only eventually). I brought up the continuation of the series to focus on the conceptual jump that can be made between teacher and student--outside of numbers--they are not "consolidating the concept"--it can be moved to a new context, broadened.

    I feel I have connected the Beautiful to the Sublime in its role to creativity and inspiration but this is not a rational connection. The judgment of the Beautiful and the Form of art work together extend it into further possibilities (from itself) and, I believe, covers all the ground you need to have everything you want of the Sublime. Though I may not have pegged your claims correctly, I feel as if you are not allowing my claim all the consequences of its open-ended relation to art. So I feel an impasse that I believe is unnecessary—what is the fear that I am denying anything? Why must there be a separate rational relationship to aesthetics? Why and how is “variability” different/necessary? (I believe this would be a different post but I wonder if we aren’t floating into Derrida’s creation of “Metaphysical Presence” instead of addressing Logocentrism head on and in denying a concept's actual flexibility—“variability” being an excuse to open a separate door, or a justification to politically attack the whole idea of tradition, concepts, form, and language itself.)

    [“Possibility;486311"]...this consolidated ‘touchstone’ is arbitrary - it is the viewer/critic who determines the ‘launching point’, not the art or artist.[/quote]

    The clarification in your second paragraph is also well taken, thank you. I only point out that Forms (concepts) are not arbitrary, although, as you say, this is no constraint on the art or artist (when is painting not painting is also an open question for art—though still intelligible in contrast to the structure of the Form). To say that the possibility of misunderstanding is cause to assume individual “perspective” is to misunderstand that the forms of art are public. No one is reasoning from outside (completely apart) of the forms and context (without debasing the discussion to taste or personal experience). It feels like a desire for individuality; art can be a private language, however, until we find a way to discuss it in relation to how art works, it is simply the expression of the pleasant or sublime experience, or is valuable or not. Thus why art is close to madness sometimes.

    I agree with the brief third, and the fourth, paragraphs. I think just after that when you discuss "misunderstanding"... "at the level of meaning", here I would say is an example of trying to step out of the rationality by imagining something individual. If you misunderstand what I meant, then you ask, "Did you mean the trope, or its analogous nature?" In other words, there are rational ways of clarifiying disagreement: collecting more evidence, clearing up terms, and sure I guess "increasing awareness, connection, and collaboration", but in none of this is a "broader relational structure" necessary (if even possible)--sometimes we are just going to disagree: perhaps I feel you are wrong in your reading of the disowning of love in the opening scene of King Lear. You feel you have tried all you'd like to point to the text, tie it to other occurances in the play that echo it, etc. This is not a "variability in... rational relation"--this a conversation coming to a dead-end. These aren't different "perspectives", they are different rational claims about the art; the "possibility of agreement" is not in "perspectives"; that is not rational, as is a reading connected to the Form, which can be "wrong", say, being simply conjecture, personal opinon (taste), lacking evidence, not accounting for history at all, etc. These things don't have anything to do with one's "perspective". And I would agree that we can have a non-judgemental relation to art; but would we call it rational (would Kant?). You can have your opinion and hold your words to yourself as a perspective, say, an observation, but no one can disagree with you in the way possible through the Form (concept). There is no "language" to use together, and we are left "talking at cross purposes", because your "purpose"--your perspective--is more important than being answerable to me and responsive (responsible) to the text (art).
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    I am doing my best here to understand what you are saying (perhaps not well) but also, I'm not sure how you think this needs to negate my contention about the actual OP about "objectivity"--our how aesthetics holds any sense of "rationality" for Kant at all.Antony Nickles

    I appreciate the efforts you are making here - my approach to this is far from conventional, so I’d never expect to be easily understood. Unfortunately my time at the moment is limited, so I will touch on only a couple of points - the first being that I don’t mean to negate your contention regarding objectivity, but to challenge the limitations of your perspective, and work towards a synthesis. It seems natural in moments of disagreement to consolidate perspectives, but I’ve never been very good at debates.

    If you misunderstand what I meant, then you ask, "Did you mean the trope, or its analogous nature?" In other words, there are rational ways of clarifiying disagreement: collecting more evidence, clearing up terms, and sure I guess "increasing awareness, connection, and collaboration", but in none of this is a "broader relational structure" necessary (if even possible)--sometimes we are just going to disagree: perhaps I feel you are wrong in your reading of the disowning of love in the opening scene of King Lear. You feel you have tried all you'd like to point to the text, tie it to other occurances in the play that echo it, etc. This is not a "variability in... rational relation"--this a conversation coming to a dead-end. These aren't different "perspectives", they are different rational claims about the art; the "possibility of agreement" is not in "perspectives"; that is not rational, as is a reading connected to the Form, which can be "wrong", say, being simply conjecture, personal opinon (taste), lacking evidence, not accounting for history at all, etc. These things don't have anything to do with one's "perspective".Antony Nickles

    This disagreement you’ve offered as an example is not a rational relation: it is a perception of difference from a centralised position, and a challenge to that position from a dissenting perspective. Each participant believes themselves wholly rational, and yet both judge this as a dead-end based on feeling. They are faced with the limitations of their own rationality, an event horizon beyond which all is deemed irrational, illogical, emotional.

    Now, let’s say that one of them recognises this limitation, and humbly entertains the possibility that they might be disconnected from, or even ignorant of, certain qualitative aspects of the text which may be apparent to the other, perhaps owing to their personal experiences of love. Now we’re exploring an aspect of existence beyond what either would consider ‘rational’ from their limited perspective. There’s no rational criteria with which to navigate this relational ‘space’, and yet the difference is undeniable.

    As in my discussion with @Joshs, this can lead us to a rational idea that we inaccurately perceive our own viewpoint as central to a normative understanding. There’s certainly precedent in the history of human perception and knowledge (what I think Kant refers to as a ‘Copernican Turn’). In order to return to a rational relation, we need to account for this qualitative relativity. Carlo Rovelli’s ‘The Order of Time’ is an example of how we might approach a decentralising of irreconcilable perspectives. The result for physics is a description of reality as a series of ‘interrelated events’ in a potential ‘block universe’, rather than objects in spacetime. I’m proposing that a similar paradigm shift might be achieved here.
  • Joshs
    933
    How do you think Copernicus was able to structure the solar system without leaving Earth’s atmosphere?Possibility

    According to Piaget, he decentered his thinking, by the same process that a child eventually learns that the moon doesn’t actually follow him when he walks. But the developing process of differentiation and decentration in one’s thinking doesn’t necessarily lead one to a normative perspective shared by others. For instance, new scientific paradigms, philosophical positions, artistic movements often begin with one or a handful of individuals. They break away from normative conventions of thought in order to arrive at their newly decentered theoretical or aesthetic perspective.
    So while periods of work of relatively shared values within normative communities , such as the normal
    science that Kuhn talks about, is an important contributor to innovation, equally important is the deviation from those norms.
  • Jack Cummins
    990

    I also believe that we cannot know for certain what lies within the meanings we see within the works of the arts, whether it is really there or in our own imagination. That is the problem with aesthetic judgments and when people make claims that certain works being superior.

    I can remember once getting into an almost argument with someone who was trying to say that the music of Hawkwind was more advanced than almost any other band. My friend was saying that the music led people into certain dimensions which were real, and I was trying to query whether everyone who listened to the music would have the same experience. I know personally that my own experience of listening to a piece of music or viewing a piece of art varies according to the emotional mindset at that time.

    I think that the emotional state of the person partaking in perceiving any form of art is critical and makes it difficult to come to a position of objective aesthetics. This is because aesthetics, more than knowledge by reason, is dependent on emotions, which involve sensory experiences and life experiences.
  • Jack Cummins
    990

    I have no training in music but I gravitated towards record shops at about 8 years old and would have loved to work in one.

    I do believe that music is such a subjective taste and I leap backwards and forwards in genres. You say that you are interested in electronic and dance music and think that some of only touches the surfaces. I can see what you mean in some ways but I think there are some which go fairly deep. Artists I find inspirational are Daft Punk, Four Tet and Caribou, but of course that is my subjective taste. I did like Avicci and I was very sad when I found out that he had committed suicide. Apart from his music, I did not know much about him or what personal struggles he had.

    Generally, I think that some of the rock music which is made on digital devices does not capture the depths of music made in recording studios and that is why people often prefer albums made decades ago. It also depends on what speakers one has and that is why people think that CDs don't sound as good as records. They just need good speakers for their players as it is about capturing the frequencies. I have tried music on different systems and it sounds so different. Of course, it does depend on artistry put into work, but sometimes some might bring forth wonderful work without too much effort.
  • Antony Nickles
    152

    the first being that I don’t mean to negate your contention regarding objectivity, but to challenge the limitations of your perspective, and work towards a synthesis. It seems natural in moments of disagreement to consolidate perspectives, but I’ve never been very good at debates.Possibility

    Well, I am not making a claim to "objectivity"--only rationality--as Kant's term is an out-dated concept (as is "subjectivity"--instead of the personal); and, again, I believe there is everything here that is desired in the idea of "objectivity" except the "object" and that there is no "approximation" of our personal opinions to the unknowable yet certain "thing-in-itself". And I will admit to "limitations", namely, that this is not to encapsulate the Sublime experience (immediately), or is not subject to degradation into mere opinion (taste) and personal experience (the Pleasant), and most importantly, that it is open and vulnerable to the discussion coming to an end. Though this is not a "synthesis" of, say, (beginning) perspectives--points-of-"view" (viewpoints); it is the rational distinction of one claim from another; that a claim is incorrect or wrong, subject to evidence and rational resolution or disagreement. Again, we are not "consolidating perspectives" because we are discussing something public based on the overt and explicit ways (criteria of the form) in which art makes its point, what methods are inherent in it, etc. You attribute this as well to our philosophical discussion, but, apart from getting clear about terms, realizing we simply have difference interests, or are talking about different (not-overlapping) points, etc. one of us can be wrong--that is rationality in the sense I am discussing; one of us must learn something correct from the other--we are not just swapping opinions. This, again, is not to say the conversation can not be cut short, frustrated, relinquished, not conceded, etc. As Cavell says, we are separate, but nothing separates us, so we are answerable for everything that comes between us.

    sometimes we are just going to disagree: perhaps I feel you are wrong in your reading of the disowning of love in the opening scene of King Lear. You feel you have tried all you'd like to point to the text, tie it to other occurances in the play that echo it, etc.Antony Nickles

    This disagreement you’ve offered as an example is not a rational relation: it is a perception of difference from a centralised position, and a challenge to that position from a dissenting perspective. Each participant believes themselves wholly rational, and yet both judge this as a dead-end based on feeling. They are faced with the limitations of their own rationality, an event horizon beyond which all is deemed irrational, illogical, emotional.Possibility

    The use of the word "feeling" is misleading here. You skip over the rational claims that they have asserted; there I am only making the point that, at some point, I "feel" I have done all I can; though this endpoint/giving up is always my call, the reasons I have claimed are not my call (subject to my "feelings"). Witt's teacher hits bedrock with the student, but most people miss that the teacher is only "inclined" to shut the door on more discussion--this does not change our obligation to be answerable to the Other and ourselves, nor does it change the nature of the discussion. The two people in a sense meet on the same ground of the concept of the form of art; they don't "believe themselves wholly rational"; the Form is the rationality--we can, as I have said, make arguments not on that field (option, taste). The "event horizon" is a construction of Kant's to try to separate what is certain, universal, etc. from that which he believes can not be. Positivists (think Witt's first book) and others took this to the extreme to throw out everything else, including the aesthetic, and call it "irrational", "emotional". There are human reasons for this that I go over in my post on Wittgenstein's lion-quote.

    Now, let’s say that one of them recognises this limitation, and humbly entertains the possibility that they might be disconnected from, or even ignorant of, certain qualitative aspects of the text which may be apparent to the other, perhaps owing to their personal experiences of love. Now we’re exploring an aspect of existence beyond what either would consider ‘rational’ from their limited perspective. There’s no rational criteria with which to navigate this relational ‘space’, and yet the difference is undeniable.Possibility

    The "distance" is manufactured by one's desire to have an "internal" experience that could also be "explored". Now, if someone wants to have a feeling or experience of love, of course that is fine; this is the experience of the Pleasant (or Sublime) in terms of the aesthetic. Why do we keep confusing the other categories and imagining that they somehow affect the rational discussion of the form of the Beautiful? Maybe it helps to point out that the expression of an inner experience is different than the desire for "knowledge" of it, and that the "space" between us is fundamentally (unless manufactured) between our separate bodies, so the difference is a moral moment defining one to the other--bridgeable in our reaction to the Other (again, I take this up in that other post).

    As in my discussion with Joshs, this can lead us to a rational idea that we inaccurately perceive our own viewpoint as central to a normative understanding.Possibility

    Well, here, I will leave it to you and @Joshs; I take this mostly as a separate discussion. In relation to my point, we do not create the rational (our "ideas" are not--"perceived" to be: rational or just feelings); what is rational is the external criteria of the Form (from the method of the art). Also, the idea of "normative" is muddled and based on this misunderstanding of our own place and power (lack thereof) in and over language. The misconception of "reality" (say, Plato's forms, the "objective") leads to a sense of "qualitative relativity" when, if we remove ourselves from rationality and "meaning" (as if we create that, or that "words" are tied to "meanings"), how things relate to each other is much less swirled together (as if there was one problem of relativity, instead of each concept having its on world of criteria, which in each context, involves an ordinary rational discussion). Again, this is to confuse a discussion of coming to terms in each form of art, with imagining some abstract overarching rift and thus believing that everybody has their own starting point (them)--which I simply take as one wanting to keep their own opinion (making it unassailable, or unique), when that is simply a refusal to participate in the forms of rationality. As I have said, you MAY do this, but that refusal is your call, not a comment on the possibility of the rational discussion of our claims about the aesthetic.
  • Manuel
    69

    Yes, I said that about electronic music, but I cannot substantiate because it remains an intuition. But I wouldn't say that because of this, it can't evoke powerful emotions, it clearly can, and some of the more obscure DJ's have created very good songs. I know Daft Punk as well, they have some good songs. Generally speaking, we'll tend to like the music we grew up with more or less from age 12-20 or so, at least, that is how it has looked like to me. I doubt as of now, I would go through the effort of listening to some music I didn't previously like, because I have so many that I do like.

    Sure, having good sound equipment helps, though my impression has been that if I like a song, I don't mind where the music is coming from. From a classical music perspective, it must look like we are talking about toy cars, instead of actual vehicles. But again, a good portion of that genre is just very boring to me, but I won't deny it is likely much more sophisticated than much of 20th century music.
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    According to Piaget, he decentered his thinking, by the same process that a child eventually learns that the moon doesn’t actually follow him when he walks. But the developing process of differentiation and decentration in one’s thinking doesn’t necessarily lead one to a normative perspective shared by others. For instance, new scientific paradigms, philosophical positions, artistic movements often begin with one or a handful of individuals. They break away from normative conventions of thought in order to arrive at their newly decentered theoretical or aesthetic perspective.
    So while periods of work of relatively shared values within normative communities , such as the normal
    science that Kuhn talks about, is an important contributor to innovation, equally important is the deviation from those norms.
    Joshs

    Hang on - I’m not talking about a normative perspective, but the possibility of a normative understanding (a developing rationality) that seeks to orient differentiated perspectives in a rational, overarching (and irreducible) structure. It’s a proposed dimensional shift in awareness, a synthesis that would be inaccurate (and remain a theoretical perspective or position) as long as it lacks awareness, connection or collaboration with more limited perspectives within its structure.

    We can understand, for example, that the earth appears flat AND that it is spherical, or that the sun appears to move across the sky AND that the earth instead rotates on its axis. We can argue rationally that these limited perspectives are in error, but only from this position of normative understanding that de-centres and integrates our own limited perspective within a rational structure, which we now take for granted. But if you’ve ever tried to argue against a ‘flat earth-er’, you’ll realise that they don’t acknowledge this broader rational structure you’re arguing within. They’re arguing instead from a perspective that assumes a centralised position, and so your rationality is, to them, just a difference in perspective. To have any hope of convincing them, you need to allow for the dimensional shift between this normative understanding and your own limited perspective, as well as the difference between your limited perspective and their perception of your limited perspective. In other words, you need to acknowledge that your position - at the dimensional level they perceive it - is just as ‘wrong’ as theirs. But instead we tend to argue from a perspective assumed as the centralised position or ‘correct’ rationality.

    For Kant’s shift to take effect, we must imagine a reality in which appearances are a limited perspective AND in which the perceiving subject is also a participant - not just de-centred but also moveable, like the Earth. But Kant was missing a step: Darwin’s paradigm shift - de-centring our perspective of temporal reality by rejecting the assumption that the existence of humans (and their rationality) was the plan or purpose of eternity - had yet to occur.
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    I also believe that we cannot know for certain what lies within the meanings we see within the works of the arts, whether it is really there or in our own imagination. That is the problem with aesthetic judgments and when people make claims that certain works being superior.

    I can remember once getting into an almost argument with someone who was trying to say that the music of Hawkwind was more advanced than almost any other band. My friend was saying that the music led people into certain dimensions which were real, and I was trying to query whether everyone who listened to the music would have the same experience. I know personally that my own experience of listening to a piece of music or viewing a piece of art varies according to the emotional mindset at that time.

    I think that the emotional state of the person partaking in perceiving any form of art is critical and makes it difficult to come to a position of objective aesthetics. This is because aesthetics, more than knowledge by reason, is dependent on emotions, which involve sensory experiences and life experiences.
    Jack Cummins

    Most judgements of art are not pure aesthetic judgements, but judgements of the agreeable or the good. That’s not to say the meaningfulness your friend is referring to is only in his imagination. He’s just hasn’t distinguished a disinterested character of feeling from what he likes or finds pleasing - he’s subsuming the work under a subjective account of experience, instead of describing any universal quality in the music.

    Claims regarding the superiority of certain works can only be evaluated in relation to a particular quality. Saying that the music inspired a particular dimensional awareness in ‘people’ is not to claim that other music is inferior because it doesn’t inspire the same awareness in the same ‘people’. There’s a lot of subjectivity in that claim, which I think he’d need to acknowledge as a personal or collective position in order to distinguish any universal validity (an aesthetic judgement) from what anyone likes or finds pleasing about their personal experience of the music.

    I would argue that aesthetics by reason (which Kant demonstrates is achievable to an extent) is neither more nor less dependent on the ‘emotion’ or affect of sensory and life experiences than knowledge by reason. It is (human) reason itself that serves as the limitation. And it is our capacity to recognise and own this subjectivity that enables us to develop and refine rational structures of relation to more closely approximate reality.

    This is not, as I think @Antony Nickles suggests, wanting to keep one’s own opinion (a passionate plea for individuality), but rather recognising that we only arbitrarily isolate both the artwork and aesthetic judgement from our subjective relation to it. In my view, it is awareness of the variability in our qualitative relation to knowledge such as criteria of the Form that orients it in the possibility of a rational ontological structure which could make claims to objectivity, and from which we can restructure and refine a more accurate epistemology.
  • Mww
    2k
    For Kant’s shift to take effect......

    Presupposes it didn’t, because:

    ......Kant was missing a step.....

    And that missing step takes the propositional form:

    .....de-centring our perspective of temporal reality by rejecting the assumption that the existence of humans (and their rationality) was the plan or purpose of eternity
    Possibility

    First, if it is we seeking an investigative domain, I don’t see how it could be otherwise than it is we who are central to it. De-centralizing our perspective, whether of temporal reality or anything else, would seem to immediately negate the validity of our investigations, the correctness of them being as it may.


    Second, is “Kant’s shift” the same as your so-called “Copernican turn” of a day or so ago, and if so, wherein, as laid out in CPR Bxvii, and from subsequent speculative justifications in relation to it, is the implication that the “plan or purpose of eternity” is precisely that humans should exist because of it? I submit there is no such implication, which then suggests “Kant’s shift”, the one that hasn’t taken effect, lays in some other conceptual scheme, in which may be found the assumption “the existence of humans was the purpose of eternity”, that should have been rejected, such that that shift would take effect. So...if that was Darwin’s position, how could it have been used by Kant? What Kantian “shift” possibly would have occurred had Kant only theorized as Darwin did?

    Does academia nowadays consider Darwin an Enlightenment transcendental philosopher? If not, why would anyone think his empirical anthropology theories would find standing in Kantian speculative epistemology?

    I’m following the ongoing dialectic with respect to the Critique of Judgement, which I appreciate, insofar as hardly anyone does that. Guess I got confused as to how the CPR, having to do with the possibility of a priori knowledge, could have any relation to the CJ, which has to do merely with “feeling” in a certain sense only, and from which no knowledge is at all possible.

    Anyway.....just wondering.
  • Jack Cummins
    990

    I have read your reply a few times. I have done some more reading of Kant on knowledge and morals, but I have not read his writings on aesthetics at all.

    I understand that you are saying that there are objective aesthetic truths. What I am wondering is, as we all have our own subjective tastes, whether it matters if there are objective ones. I can see that it is worth exploring objective knowledge of knowledge and morality because it alters the way we behave, but with aesthetics is it worth trying to find the objective ones at all.

    I am wondering what benefits it would have for appreciation of arts and for making it. Even if someone showed me the objective beauty of Beethoven over metal and dance music I would probably still not favour Beethoven. The worst scenario would be that the objective aesthetics would be used by some to justify a certain superiority of taste. I knew someone who studied English literature at Cambridge and he frowned upon the fiction I read, seeing fantasy writing in the category of drug inspired writing.

    So, for me, I am not saying that there are no objective aesthetics if we look for them but is it worthwhile seeking this?. Do the objective standards have any value for us as subjective beings?
  • Antony Nickles
    152

    It is (human) reason itself that serves as the limitation. And it is our capacity to recognise and own this subjectivity that enables us to develop and refine rational y structures of relation to more closely approximate reality. * * * This is not, as I think Antony Nickles suggests, wanting to keep one’s own opinion (a passionate plea for individuality), but rather recognising that we only arbitrarily isolate both the artwork and aesthetic judgement from our subjective relation to it. In my view, it is awareness of the variability in our qualitative relation to knowledge such as criteria of the Form that orients it in the possibility of a rational ontological structure which could make claims to objectivity, and from which we can restructure and refine a more accurate epistemology.Possibility

    As this is not directed at me, it feels odd to cast in, but I believe focusing on my (Witt's) conjecture/speculation as to the motivation to hang on to any rational "subjective relation" to art and our aesthetic judgement, detracts from my greater point. Basically, I think maybe the disagreement comes down to a confusion in terms. I suggest that "human reason itself" is different than the rationality inherent in the forms of art. Cavell would call the Forms the structure of support of aesthetic claims--their rationality is not "arbitrarily isolate[d]" by us; they are categorically independent from us, wrapped up in the means of art; free, if not from our opinion, from our control (our "meaning"), from our arbitrariness, and our falling into taste or mere experience. Whatever the reason you want/need to maintain a "subjective relation" (not captured in the Pleasant and the Sublime) we do not have a "variable" "relation" to knowledge of the forms of art. When I speak of possibilities of the forms, it is not a possibility to be rational, it is the open-ended possibilities of their rationality. The possibility is for you to see for yourself the rationality I shine a light on, or not. And, again, this is not an "ontological" structure; there is no "object" in relation to the Beautiful (Witt's analogous "concepts" are not of a metaphysical or "objective" world). We do not make claims to "objectivity", we can make claims about art because of the rationality in their forms, claims that would speak for all of us, not just my reasons/relation--you seeing it on your own. A main point of mine is that there is rationality without the idea of "objectivity". In concert, our epistemology does not have to be more "accurate" (of/to something) so much as realize that knowledge in aesthetics does not ensure agreement, certainty, universality, etc. (what we philosophically have wanted from knowledge). This does not eat away at its sense of rationality as much as leave those things in our hands, up to our skills to evoke that rationality for all to see. Again, maybe this comes down to a misunderstanding that the rationality of the forms of art should not be confused with the critic giving us "reasons"--evidence, perspective, connections, etc.--to see the rationality inherent in the forms of art in the example of a work. We do not vary the structure, we vary in our capability or desire to discuss art in relation to its rational, formal structure.

    p.s. @Jack Cummins obviously does not understand/value the desire for the aesthetic discussion, which is fine--everyone has their interests (philosophy is also powerless to prove its relevance); only to say, Cavell picks a point with Hume that if you presume taste you should have the discipline to account for it. I would, in trying to tempt anyone--controversially!--point out that the Forms of art are similar to Wittgenstein's Concepts, with their categorical identity and possibilities, the rationality of their criteria--their Grammar. And these concepts include ones that affect our moral moments; thus the "irrational", "emotional", "subjective" presumed about aesthetics is related to our dismissal of the rationality of our moral relation to each Other and our actions, etc. Also, the methodology of making a claim about the rationality of a form of art is structurely similar to the kind of claim used in Ordinary Langauge Philosophy in investigating what is said when..., or what we ordinarily say and do, as philosophical data.
  • Possibility
    1.8k
    First, if it is we seeking an investigative domain, I don’t see how it could be otherwise than it is we who are central to it. De-centralizing our perspective, whether of temporal reality or anything else, would seem to immediately negate the validity of our investigations, the correctness of them being as it may.Mww

    I don’t think it negates the validity of our investigations, it only renders those investigations a distortion of reality. They’re still valid, but we have to account for the distortion in order to integrate them into a rational structure of reality.

    Second, is “Kant’s shift” the same as your so-called “Copernican turn” of a day or so ago, and if so, wherein, as laid out in CPR Bxvii, and from subsequent speculative justifications in relation to it, is the implication that the “plan or purpose of eternity” is precisely that humans should exist because of it? I submit there is no such implication, which then suggests “Kant’s shift”, the one that hasn’t taken effect, lays in some other conceptual scheme, in which may be found the assumption “the existence of humans was the purpose of eternity”, that should have been rejected, such that that shift would take effect. So...if that was Darwin’s position, how could it have been used by Kant? What Kantian “shift” possibly would have occurred had Kant only theorized as Darwin did?Mww

    I haven’t explained myself very well here, sorry. Let me try to clarify. Kant’s perspective on knowledge is decidedly anthropocentric, which is where much of the confusion regarding his reference to Copernicus comes from. Copernicus’ revolution, for Kant, was more about the moveability of the spectator than its de-centralisation - even though arguably the most significant effect of that revolution was to de-centralise the limited human perception (empiricism) in relation to knowledge of reality. So when Kant proposes “to do just what Copernicus did”, I’m not sure that he recognised the full effect of the paradigm shift that initially occurred because, by that time, the human perspective all but assumed some kind of relation between sense and reason, although its structure was still contested, and ‘human knowledge’ was being perceived as a rationalisation of the senses. So Kant synthesised human knowledge from empiricism and rationalism, defined its limitations (of sense and reason) and even rendered it moveable (by phenomena) in relation to possible knowledge of reality (noumena) - but had no means to de-centralise this perspective. His transcendental or synthetic a priori knowledge (imagination in relation to understanding and judgement) was an anthropocentric perspective of the conditions for knowledge of reality. In my view, his revolution was not quite complete, and my interpretations of CofJ above are an attempt to highlight this.

    Darwin’s Evolution of the Species provided the ‘stationary stars’ to de-centralise the limitations of human experience in relation to possible knowledge of reality: nature’s experience of evolutionary process. But essentialism assumes that the conditions for knowledge of reality are exclusive to human experience, and relativism assumes that no objective knowledge of reality could be achieved. Both of these assumptions hark back to interpretations of Kant’s metaphysics, and yet I would argue that there is enough room, in light of Darwin, to dispute them both and begin to reconcile his conditions for knowledge with the scientific method. But I’m obviously an amateur, forming speculative ideas. The discussion is helping, and your questions in particular have challenged the way I previously understood Kant’s relation to Copernicus.

    I’m following the ongoing dialectic with respect to the Critique of Judgement, which I appreciate, insofar as hardly anyone does that. Guess I got confused as to how the CPR, having to do with the possibility of a priori knowledge, could have any relation to the CJ, which has to do merely with “feeling” in a certain sense only, and from which no knowledge is at all possible.Mww

    I find that’s a common perception of CofJ, and does much to explain the lack of dialectic. My main interest is in the relational structure of Kant’s metaphysics, so I find that CofJ sheds more light on the conditions for synthesising a priori knowledge than CPR. It might be just my perspective, having explored CofJ before looking into the two previous Critiques, but I get the sense that by the third he’d realised that the structure of metaphysics was more dependent upon ‘feeling’ than he had anticipated. It’s more that no knowledge is at all possible without ‘feeling’.
  • Jack Cummins
    990

    I just noticed that you have just claimed that I do not 'understand/ value the desire for the aesthetic discussion' in your recent post and I was rather struck by it wondering if it is true. I began reading the thread a couple of days ago and probably started responding to it because in some ways it followed on from some ideas about art and creativity.

    I admit that while I read a lot on philosophy I have not read that much on aesthetics. I am not sure if that is because I don't find the discussion important enough or because at this point I have not discovered a book on it which has appealed to me strongly. Yet, I think about the arts on a daily basis and one of main interests is art and creative writing. I care about quality of those and do read books about the techniques of those crafts for improving quality and a certain appreciation of aesthetics but slightly different I would imagine from the 'official' philosophy discussion of aesthetics.

    Perhaps I should begin to read more on the philosophy of aesthetics. However, I am not sure whether aesthetics is best as a philosophical quest or whether it is best explored an artistic pursuit, as expressed in many creative writing books, 'show don't tell'. I am not wishing to dismiss the philosophy of aesthetics but I would want to approach it with a view to an enhanced appreciation of perception,and rather than abstract arguments, and one which can enhance artistic creation.
  • Antony Nickles
    152

    Well, I could only make the case for the broader analytical implications because that's what I'm trained in. And, though Stanley Cavell is both a philosopher and an art critic, notably film and Shakespeare, he is not an artist. I don't know if reading art critiques at that level "enhance artistic creation"' however.
  • Mww
    2k
    Copernicus’ revolution, for Kant, was more about the moveability of the spectator than its de-centralisation - even though arguably the most significant effect of that revolution was to de-centralise the limited human perception (empiricism) in relation to knowledge of reality.Possibility

    What Copernicus proposed was indeed about the movability....the motion....of observers relative to a stationary Universe, in opposition to the standing general consensus. And now I see what you meant by de-centralizing the limited human perception, insofar as the seed being sown that we ourselves are not The Big Picture, so to speak.
    —————

    Even so, with that moveability, which I understand, I am left with this seemingly unrelated moveability, which I do not......

    So Kant synthesised human knowledge (...) and even rendered it moveable (by phenomena) in relation to possible knowledge of reality (noumena)Possibility

    ......insofar as, according to Kant, there is no knowledge of noumenal reality possible for intelligences imbued with merely discursive understanding, such as is claimed for humans. Would I be correct in supposing you mean, that because of the speculative predication of phenomena, human knowledge is restricted to a sensory-determinant empirical domain, in effect removing it from any noumenal reality? That actually does make sense to me, in spite of the inconsistency explicit in the concept of “moveability”.
    ————-

    His transcendental or synthetic a priori knowledge (imagination in relation to understanding and judgement) was an anthropocentric perspective of the conditions for knowledge of reality.Possibility

    Interesting take on a fairly well-hidden gem in Kantian metaphysics. Other than appreciating your familiarity, I might say your proposition only works when the proper imagination is tacitly implied. I say that because, while productive imagination is the relation between intuition and understanding/judgement, and can be thought as an anthropocentric perspective of the conditions of empirical knowledge, it is not itself a priori knowledge, which requires an object consciously known as such. This is relevant because if it is true Kant realized......

    the structure of metaphysics was more dependent upon ‘feeling’ than he had anticipated.Possibility

    .....and it had already been proven feelings are not to be considered the same way as are cognitions, and because it had already been proven judgements are absolutely necessary constituents of the entire human rational system, there must be another kind of imagination, iff some form of synthesis is required in order to facilitate judgement based on feelings alone, and iff imagination is still necessarily responsible making these kinds of judgements both possible and authoritative.

    I don’t think Kant realized that metaphysics depended more on feelings than he anticipated, which implies the CofJ was a stop-gap treatise, when in fact he already had in mind a tripartite doctrine to cover all aspects of the human cognitive system, from the very beginning. To say otherwise says Kant denied human feelings, which of course he couldn’t do and still call himself a proper philosopher.

    Long story short, the affect on the pure subjective condition by objects of sense, which is what we call feelings, or, how we are internally affected by something of perception, which is different than how we think about the object as it is, implies a judgement. But the faculty of judgement, the connection/conjunction between understanding and reason with respect to cognition of objects leading to possible knowledge of them, is consequentially very far from the methodological chronology of merely being subjectively affected by them. Therefore, there must be a kind of judgement intrinsic to the system which serves to connect such pure affect on us as subjects with feelings from the empirical affect on us as subjects with cognitions, with respect to one and the same object. From there, its off to Never-Never Land!!!
    ————-

    It’s more that no knowledge is at all possible without ‘feeling’.Possibility

    I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said so far, as much as I disagree with that.

    At any rate, thanks for helping me out with that de-centralizing, moveability thing.
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