• macrosoft
    381
    The response is only thought insofar as we're talking about things like "this is pleasurable"/"this is more than pleasurable" etc.

    I suppose you're otherwise referring to non-mental physiological responses they might have, or actions they make take--like if it's a painting and they walk to view it at a different angle, etc
    Terrapin Station

    Well for me a simple continuum of pleasure doesn't get it right. What I have in mind are different kinds of feelings that we experience as we also experience the work sensually -- along with thoughts. We can reasonably say that the work is there to provide pleasure, but IMO only if we allow for some complex pleasures that don't only vary quantitatively.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    Well for me a simple continuum of pleasure doesn't get it right.macrosoft

    I was just addressing what was brought up, though, and it was brought up by you. You had said, "Doesn't some some art stand out as not just clever, not just skillful, not just pleasant?"

    "Clever, skillful and pleasant" are all mental judgments we make. "This is not just clever" and so on would also be mental judgments we make, and they're nothing more than that.
  • macrosoft
    381
    "Clever, skillful and pleasant" are all mental judgments we make. "This is not just clever" and so on would also be mental judgments we make, and they're nothing more than that.Terrapin Station

    Well, sure. But then 'They're nothing more than that' is also nothing more than that, and merely one more mental judgement we make. The idea that only some kind of stuff 'out there' is 'really' real is, on its own terms, a mere 'illusion' or 'projection.'

    To be clear, I know very well where you are coming from. If I put my amateur physicist hat on, then sure that method treats some kind of mind-independent nature (that doesn't care about us or have preferences) as fundamental. This seems to be something like educated common sense, though admittedly plenty of people do indeed add God to the equation.

    But I'd say that most atheists and agnostics think of nature as a blind machine. They will grant that (from within one perspective among many possible and useful) we 'project' value on what is essentially or 'really' dead and meaningless necessity. I'm at peace with this view, but I don't think it's very important to argue over the details. The important thing is whether one grasps existence as situated within such a dead machine or within a world organized by some trans-human intelligence. I think and act as if we are alone down here, and from that perspective I am concerned with what can be made of existence. Where can art take me? To what degree is even traditional religious thought 'true' 'subjectively and intended 'subjectively' in the first place? It seems to me that sometimes individuals with a particular epistemology or ontological ax to grind project that kind of concern onto discussions where that's not really the central thread or intention. The hammer sees only nails. To what degree does method constrain what appears in the first place?
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    'They're nothing more than that' is also nothing more than that,macrosoft

    Actually, it is more than that, because it's a non-mental fact that "This is pleasant" is just a mental phenomenon.
  • macrosoft
    381
    Actually, it is more than that, because it's a non-mental fact that "This is pleasant" is just a mental phenomenon.Terrapin Station

    I understand where you are coming from, but I still think there are problems with that approach. It sounds something like a correspondence understanding of truth. But then we end up with problems: if it is the truth that truth is correspondence, then to what does the correspondence theory correspond? Surely not to some Platonic entity called truth which is out there among the atoms-and-void. IMO, I think our sense of objectivity and the shared world is less explicit than that and perhaps evades formalization.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k


    No, I said it's a non-mental fact. That's different than saying it's true. Facts and truths are not the same thing.

    Facts are states of affairs in the world. Ways that the world is, in other words.

    Truth is a property of propositions, namely, a semantic judgment about the relationship between a proposition and something else.
  • macrosoft
    381
    No, I said it's a non-mental fact. That's different than saying it's true. Facts and truths are not the same thing.Terrapin Station

    OK. Could you explain that? (Sketch the relevant difference.)
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k


    Just added an explanation above.
  • macrosoft
    381


    OK, thanks. But I still think there is some difficulty here. A fact exists for us, it seems, as a state of mind. Would you say that a fact exists for us as a truth? As a proposition that corresponds to the way of the world?
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    A fact exists for us, it seems, as a state of mind.macrosoft

    "Exists for us" you mean re how you know about it? If so, sure, but it's important not to conflate epistemology and ontology. Facts do not need us to exist in order to be facts.
  • macrosoft
    381
    "Exists for us" you mean re how you know about it? If so, sure, but it's important not to conflate epistemology and ontology. Facts do not need us to exist in order to be facts.Terrapin Station

    I roughly agree that facts don't need us in order to be facts. I believe that there is a world with particular ways that will continue after all of us talkers are gone. I have just tended to find that any attempt to formulate or make explicit objectivity tends to run into specific difficulties, usually because the theory itself gets entangled in its own assertions. That said, I think I agree with you on the larger vision. I'd just say that once god is dead that the rest is just details that are no longer terribly important. Of course that's preference. I'd just prefer moving on to more existential questions, having accepted something like a mind-independent nature that doesn't care about me 'in' which I have my meaningful 'illusions' or mental states. Since we live and die for these mental states, calling them 'only' mental states mostly has value as an antidote to dogmatism.
  • DiegoT
    65
    I think any human work has different purposes. All we do is Art, as all we do is done with skill and some measure of subjectivity (self-expression).
  • hks
    85
    That definition as given is flowery.

    I would define art as anything made to look attractive to its viewer and to command a lot of money in trade.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    I would define art as anything made to look attractive to its viewer and to command a lot of money in trade.hks

    What about art that's grotesque, disturbing, repulsive, harsh, etc.?

    Sometimes we use "attractive" in a broader sense, so that with art, we're talking about whether we're "aesthetically attracted" to it, rather than being finding it attractive a la thinking it's pretty, beautiful, etc. "Aesthetically attractive" is another way of simply saying that we feel it has aesthetic value, even though on the pretty/beautiful/etc. level we find it repulsive (or whatever) instead.

    If we try to parse art as being just about beauty, etc., we get into a pickle when we try to understand why people enjoy horror fiction, visual art grotesques, musical genres like noise, etc.
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