[lit-ideas] Re: Must we appreciate a work of art 'on its own terms'?

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 15:31:35 +0000 (GMT)

-- On Wed, 25/2/09, Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx <Jlsperanza@aol.
> 2. It's not 'on terms' it's _in_ terms.
> Cfr. 'contradictio _in_ terminis_,  
> never _supra_.

No, it's _on_, as in "on its own terms" - not as in "in its own terms". Trust 
(The grammar here reflects, perhaps, that we are accepting those terms from the 
outside, rather than inside, as it were; even if our acceptance means we now 
evaluate from some 'internal' POV, such acceptance is not determined by this 
'internal' POV [if it were, the question in the subject-title might be answered 
only by some definition]).

If we were translating a criticism from some 'external' POV into the terms of 
the position criticised, then we might use "in its own terms" (and variants). 
[E.g. 'The marxist criticism of this kind of capitalism, as leading to the 
greatest exploitation of the weakest, might be put in its own terms as an 
acceptance of the inherent moral inequities of free markets.'] (where "its own 
terms" means "capitalism's own terms).  

Fille Aeunnz

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