New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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"ART" AND "BEAUTY"                                  43
liar to the act of knowing, but a joy superabounding and overflowing from such an act because of the object known" (Maritain). (iv) 'This complete repose, where the objective impression becomes for us an ultimate end in itself, is the only possible content of the true experience of beauty" (Mun-sterberg) (my italics).
(D) Exaggerated Uses
The italicized words in the quotations of Tolstoy and Miinsterberg are excellent examples of a tendency to which I shall now very briefly call attention: a tendency toward verbal exaggerations. To illustrate these further, I select sentences from two writers, T. M. Greene and F. J. Mather, Jr., whose works I particularly admire. In what follows it will be seen that the exaggerations primarily affect genuine propositions or statements which are based upon ontological convictions and which, therefore, entail judgments of true and false. To argue at this point the truth value of the propositions would not be pertinent; yet one may observe (i) that the obvious contradictions between the two writers make it apparent that, according to an absolute theory of value, the esthetic approach o at least one of them must be false, and (ii) that while, according to the relativist position defended in the following essay, neither approach is wholly wrong, both are largely invalidated by verbal exaggerations.
Professor Greene says, "The ultimate fact in all aesthetic theory is the completed work of art in all its concreteness and organic unity";77 and again, 'The object is correctly designated as "beautiful" if its formal structure occasions genuine esthetic delight." 78 Now the words which I have italicized
77.  The Arts and the Art of Criticism, p. 126.
78.  Greene, "Beauty and the Cognitive Significance of Art," The Journal of Philosophy, July, 1938, p. 366.