New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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"ART" AND "BEAUTY"                                   23
Emotion (Veron, Tolstoy, and Hirn), Pleasure (Marshall and Santayana), Intuition and Technique (Croce, Bergson, and Bosanquet), Intellect (Maritain and Fernandez), Form (Parker, Bell, Fry, and Carpenter), Empathy (Lipps and Lee), Psychological Detachment (Bullough and Ortega y Gasset), Isolation and Equilibrium (Miinsterberg, Puffer, Ogden, Richards, and Wood), Cultural Influence (Spengler and Mumford), and Instrumentality (Morris, Dewey, and Whitehead). Granted that there is no direct conflict between most of these doctrines, nevertheless this list, which reflects only recent opinions, gives a slightly dizzying picture of the variety and diversity of contemporary esthetics.
One will receive a similar impression, in this case from a highly restricted point of view, by contrasting typical concrete instances of attitudes which may be roughly labeled "objective" and "subjective."
(a) Beauty and art are frequently held to be some sort of quality or property of things. Prall, for example, says that beauty "is a quality of the object apprehended" and adds that "if it is properly only a tertiary quality so-called ... it is still an objective quality just as truly as any othershape or size or redness." 36 Objective too is Greene's contention that "any formal organization or pattern which is intrinsically satisfying may be said to possess beauty"; and, correspondingly, a "work of art," which is what Greene means by the word "art," is "an intrinsically satisfying and, at the same time, a meaningful organization of some appropriate medium." 37 Or again, Clive Bell tells us that the essence of works of art is pure or significant form.
(&) In contrast to such views are those which consider beauty and art to be primarily subjective. Thus for Mather,
36.  D. W. Frail, Aesthetic Judgment (New York, 1929), p. 22.
37.  T. M. Greene, The Arts and the Art of Criticism (Princeton, 1940), pp.
1, 11.