New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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40                                     PROBLEMS IN MEANING
future by consistently employing separate terms for the two kinds of referents, the easier and more practical solution would probably be not to restrict "art" to the creative process, but rather to restrict it to the objective works and to characterize the subjective aspect, following Professor Boas, as "artistry."
One other example of a philosopher's use of the word "beauty" will interestingly show how readily one may slip from a volitional to a real definition. In The Meaning of Beauty, Mr. Stace begins, happily, by distinguishing between different senses of the term "beauty," and the first paragraph concludes with the statement that "it is in this sense," i.e., as "aesthetic experience generally," "that I shall use the words beauty and beautiful in this book." 7S In the ensuing paragraph, however, Stace changes his tune and begins the fatal searchthe search for the meaning of beauty. He affirms, with most philosophers from Plato on, that there must be "a common nature" to the great variety of esthetic objects, and he therefore asks: "What is this common nature?" 74 Now
73.  W. T. Stace, The Meaning of Beauty (London, 1929), p. 10.
74.  In the essay upon Value Judgments I shall argue against this procedure, but since Professor Wheelwright comments as follows upon the preceding sentence: "This seems to me self-evident; although the common nature may be evanescent and not explicitly discoverable," I shall once again answer him by a quotation from Dr. Richards: "Four stages of relative naivety or sophistication may be remarked in our handling of this word beauty. The least sophisticated view assumes that, of course, things are beautiful or not in themselves, just as they are blue or not blue, square or not square. A less naive view plunges to the other extreme and regards beauty as 'altogether subjective/ as perhaps merely equivalent to 'pleasing to the higher senses.' A still more sophisticated view reconstructs againas a counterblast to this 'subjective view'a doctrine of real inherent objective tertiary qualities, giving it a complex philosophical and logical scaffolding and perhaps venturing some provisional formula as a description of this property'unity in variety,' logical necessity in structure,' 'proportions easeful to the apprehension/ and so forth. Lastly a perhaps still more sophisticated view reduces this formula to something so vague and general that it ceases to be useful as an instrument for investigating differences between what is said to be beautiful and what is not. For example, if we define beautiful, as I suggest for this