New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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58                                 PROBLEMS IN MEANING
portance of "an intellectual content, consisting of empirical non-perceptual concepts." Elsewhere in The Meaning of Beauty, we learn that these concepts must be "true"; and in the description of these true intellectual concepts, the major point emerges that any number of apparently conflicting concepts may be equally true and that, therefore, all works of art are true which reflect any genuinely held attitude whatsoever toward life:
Both pessimism and optimism are justifiable and true conceptions of the world, although they are formally opposed. Life is glad; and life is also sad and miserable. Life is tragic, comic, gloomy, joyful, sordid, sublime, serious, ridiculous, pathetic. Since all these attitudes to life are genuine and true, any or all of them may form the content of beautiful art.106
Now if these varying attitudes toward life, which Stace elsewhere calls "intellectual reactions," have a common property by virtue of which they are all "genuine and true," I suggest that this property may be conveniently and usefully defined in terms of sincerity.
While Collingwood's notion of truth agrees perfectly with the foregoing one, he explains it in terms of the emotions. A faithful follower of Croce, he is at pains to dissociate intellectual truth from an intuitive kind which for him is of far greater importance. As with Stace, however, it is the genuineness of one's personal reactions, whether they are called intellectual or emotional, which forms the primary content of truth and of art:
A poet who is disgusted with life to-day, and says so, is not saying that he undertakes to be still disgusted to-morrow. But it is not any the less true that, to-day, life disgusts him. His disgust may
106. Stace, op. cit.j pp. 218-219.