New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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68
PROBLEMS IN MEANING
this distinction is stated, the artistic insights under discussion, if characterized as "truth" at all, will be characterized as a kind of intuitive or imaginative truth. Thus according to Aristotle, poetic truth transcends facts, transmuting them into imaginative truths; for him, poetry is an expression of a reality higher than fact, is a "concrete embodiment of universal truths," and "represents things which are not, and never can be in actual experience." 12S Or again, works of art will offer revelations or intuitions of truth for those who, like Schelling, claim that the imagination is the organ of truth, or for those who, like Coleridge, claim that "all truth is a species of Revelation." A similar position is taken by Professor Greene, who holds that "individual intuitions, in any universe of discourse, may be final and complete within a limited frame of reference," 12Q and that artistic intuitions may be called "absolute" and "true." For Greene, in short, artistic truth may be revealed by right intuitions, and these can be tested in the last analysis only by direct observation and scrutiny.
The important question: is it desirable to consider intuitive truth and artistic insights in terms of "truth" or of another word? is too immense to be argued at length here, but one quite obvious objection to this usage of "truth" may be mentioned: namely, the desirability of distinguishing verbally between scientific and intuitive truth, between truth which is relatively stable, predictable, verifiable, and generally agreed upon, and truth which is unstable, unpredictable, unverifiable, and only personally binding.130
128.  Butcher, Aristotle's Theory of Poetry and Fine Art, p. 168.
129.  The Arts and the Art of Criticism, p. 456.
130.  Even Professor Greene explains as a "notable difference" between scientific and artistic truth the fact that artistic truth applies only to an "individual frame of reference" (ibid., p. 459). But what Greene ignores is the notorious fact that one's "genuine intuitions" may rapidly and completely change. Consider, as an example, the contrasting insights toward his beloved of a man "in love" one month and "out of love" the next. Equally