New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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objectivism:                                 107
in relation to which everything should be judged. On the other hand, we find evidence in Greene's work against absolutism. He is too intelligent a critic not to realize the implications in his remark concerning the Dorian mode and the resulting impossibility of achieving "complete objectivity" in any type of critical appraisal. All that can be hoped for, we learn from one passage, is "relative objectivity," a concept which may roughly correspond to the relativism later to be discussed, but which, unfortunately, is nowhere exactly defined or explained. Thus Greene's position is essentially ambiguous in that it shifts between an absolute and a relative type of objectivity. One receives the general impression that his critical empiricism does not harmonize with his apparent inclination toward philosophic absolutism. Therefore in regard to value theory and value judgments Greene appears to straddle the only two possible alternatives: namely, either that value is inherent a priori as a real property of the object or it is not. He seems to change from one position to the other; but he cannot both have his cake and eat it.
This discussion of the first concrete objectivist argument has shown, first, that empirical evidence indicates an absence of that approximately universal agreement among good critical opinions claimed by objectivists in support of their theory; and second, that it is sometimes impossible to tell whether differences between objectivism and relativism are real or verbal, since some writers seem reluctant to give precise meanings to their key terms.
(J3) An Intrinsic Common Quale in Beauty and Esthetic
Linguistic dodges also pervade the argument that the use of words like "beauty" or "esthetic quality" to characterize diverse things implies the existence of an intrinsic common value. Sir Joshua puts it as follows: "But as the idea of beauty