New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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"ART" AND "BEAUTY"                                      41
most answers to this question produce real definitions. Mr. Stace gives the following:
The theory which I propose may be summarized in the PROPOSITION that beauty is the fusion of an intellectual content, consisting of empirical non-perceptual concepts, with a perceptual field, in such manner that the intellectual content and the perceptual field are indistinguishable from one another; and in such manner as to constitute the revelation of an aspect of reality. We must, firstly, explain the meaning of this DEFINITION [my capitals].75
How ideally this passage from the chapter "The Essence of Beauty" exemplifies the criteria of a real definition is evident even from the two words used to characterize the italicized portion: Stace begins by calling his real definition a "proposition," but concludes by calling It a "definition"! Could the explanation of a real definition as a confused hybrid between a proposition and a volitional definition be more neatly illustrated?
One specific and characteristic snag confronts Stace when he considers the question of color in relation to his definition of beauty. Having decided, irrevocably, that a sine qua non of beauty is an "intellectual content, consisting of empirical non-perceptual concepts," yet being aware that color has little or no connection with "intellectual content," Stace is compelledclearly to his regretto conclude that "we have in colour-schemes only pleasant physical sensations, not
purpose we might, as 'having properties such that it arouses, under suitable conditions, tendencies to self-completion in the mind' (or something more elaborate of this kind), beauty ceases to be the name of any ascertainable property in things. It is still objective, it is still the property in virtue of which the beautiful thing does arouse these tendencies. But we cannot take these beautiful things and look to see what they have in common, for in fact they need have nothing in common (if the conditions are dissimilar) beyond this purely abstract property of 'being such as to arouse, etc'" (Practical Criticism [London, 1929], p. 359). 75. Stace, op. cit., p. 43.