New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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PROBLEMS IN EVALUATION
the object? The moment, that is, that one accepts two different appraisals as correct, the objectivist position collapses; for either the value is a priori in the object, in which case either the Greek ear or ours is incapable of finding and appreciating it, or, according to our definition, it cannot be objective.
Greene's analysis of the implications of his comment upon the Dorian mode is instructive:
This does not condemn us, however, to a pure subjectivism or relativism, nor does it preclude the possibility of genuine communication in this medium. For musical conventions and associations, like those of a verbal language, are sufficiently stable and enjoy a sufficiently wide acceptance in any period and culture to permit of communicatory exploitation.32
Now since a relativist, like myself, would assert nothing else, and since Greene defines his position as objectivist, the question naturally arises: does Greene's objectivism differ in name only from the relativism I shall later defend?
The question is puzzling and important; the answer is sometimes "yes," sometimes "no." The ambiguity results, I believe, from Greene's failure to give an exact meaning to the word "objectivity" and hold to it. On occasion, he leans toward the absolute objectivity we have been discussing. For example: "Our evaluations are correct or incorrect according as we ascribe or fail to ascribe to such objects the values which they actually possess." 33 Further evidence that his position is completely objective is his belief in absolutes as "a point of reference" and a consequent conviction that human finitude is the cause preventing omniscience of judgment in critical matters. These notions of absolutes and omniscience, that is to say, imply the existence (in the mind of God?) of an Ideal
32.  Ibid.,p.$$$.
33.  Ibid., p. 463.