New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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"ARTISTIC TRUTH"                                    83
fine, I believe that in all works of art which express significance of content or of form, this artistic significance relegates the problem of truth as artistic insight to a position of negligible valueexcept, of course, for those who reject the foregoing distinction between truth and significance.
(5) Artistic Insight and Ontological Revelation
A final consideration not only challenges the reasonableness of defining artistic insights in terms of "truth"; it supports the above conclusion that these insights, when so defined, become unimportant provided truth as insight and significance are differentiated.
One may explain this consideration, to begin with, by distinguishing between two kinds of symbols: (i) those which connote and denote something that is quite separate from the symbols themselves (e.g., a word or a fire alarm), and (ii) those whose meanings or significations are a part of and are therefore much more intimately connected with the symbols themselves (e.g., a photograph). The distinction, in other words, is "between meanings which are of a generically different character from the symbols that anonymously mean them and meanings whose affinity with the symbols is so close that the symbols are an aspect of, or even tend to become identified with, the meanings." 150
In the light of this distinction, I suggest that the meanings of truth as ontological revelation and as artistic insight are radically different. If, that is to say, a correspondence view of truth is accepted (and we have seen on pages 66-67 t-'iat l^s view is an essential feature of the definition of "truth" as insight or revelation), and if truth is taken as a symbol, it will then refer to an actuality which bears toward the idea of truth
150. Wheelwright, "Notes on Meaning," The Symposium, July, 1930, p. 381. For the sake of simplification this distinction was not made in the first section of this essay. The only symbols considered in that section were wordS.