[lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: [lit-ideas] Re: Æsthesis

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2015 14:11:42 +0000 (UTC)

My last post today!>
You said that yesterday. (And the day before.)
Gombrich, like  Grice, and Peirce before them, loved  'eiconic'.>
Call me a hopeless optimist - I mean despite several posts JLS just didn't come
clean about what was really Gombrich and what was JLS' addition to the
interview: but this raises a similar point - where does Gombrich say that he
loves "eiconic", or say anything from which this could rightly be inferred?
It strikes me as a very un-Gombrich thing for him to have said. But, otoh, a
very JLS thing to say.


On Friday, 10 April 2015, 13:29, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx>

I am not sure if this made through before - it seems to have gotten lost
somewhere in JL's Seas of Language.
"I think the Mona Lisa is  beautiful, but I don't like it."
Doesn't strike me as a paradox at all. It only shows that aesthetic
appreciation is different from (and not necessarily co-extensive with) purely
subjective liking, a point at least as old as Kant's Critique of Judgment. (And
perhaps as old as the Mona Lisa, if we grant that art can express ideas.) I
also might think that a real woman whom I met is beautiful while not liking her
much. On the other hand, I like squids while I don't think that they are
aesthetically beautiful.
On Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 2:46 AM, Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>

Philosophy has fascinated me since high school, through college and even
somewhat today.  It has fascinated me because it seemed to feed into my desire
(need) to know if there is any reason or goal or purpose to our existence or is
it all just a phantasmagorical dance of electromagnetic radiation?  I had hoped
that buried in the arcane propositions of philosophy there might me a rational
response to my need to know.  I long ago abandoned religion, that ancient
dispenser of meaning as nothing more than mythical deification of our
ignorance. Like all  human beings I stand around scratching my ass and
wondering why I'm here.  Perhaps I haven't been after philosophy so much as
wanting something to fill the hole left by lost religion.  I kept hoping that
some fundamental core truth would turn up -- something like the old cogito, an
indisputable starting point to build a new moi-secular, moi-humanist
moi-religion upon.  But then old cogito doesn't really get us anywhere at all,
does it?  So is there any such starting point then?  What can we look to that
might open us up to experiencing the essense of existence?  The rock to build
our Purpose on.  I notice that I used the word "experiencing" instead of
"knowing"  -- seeing that, I now think that "experiencing" might be most on
target with what now drives me. In respect to existence, maybe "meaning" is
nothing more than our emotional responses to our experiencing of existence. 
Maybe "knowing" is nothing more that experiencing our own emotional life.  Or
so I'm now wondering.  If language is the dress of thought, as Johnson once
said, then maybe emotion is the nakedness of meaningful existence. So saith I. 
Now I just need to build an ethics based on my aesthetics.  I send this as a
kind of apologia for my inability to engage in 90% of the discussions here. 
On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 1:08 PM, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I think that I can already see one of those causal theories coming, something
X appreciates p iff:
1. x likes p2. p is beautiful3. x's liking of p is caused by the beauty of p
Something in those lines.
On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 7:46 PM, Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>

JLS: "A science of aesthetics, Æsthetica, would be, for Baumgarten, a deduction
of the rules or principles of artistic or natural beauty from individual 
"Rules or principles of artistic or natural beauty"
"Rules or principles"?   Ach, nevermind.
On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 11:04 AM, Redacted sender Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx for DMARC
<dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

My last post today!

Perhaps we too easily think that Greek 'aisthesis' translates as Latin
'sensatio'. Just looking up 'sentio' in Short/Lewis's Latin dictionary (below
*) makes one realise that there is more to Greek aisthesis than meets the

sentĭo: I Physically. to discern by the senses; to feel, hear, see,  etc.;
to perceive, be sensible of. To perceive the effects (esp. the ill  effects)
of any thing; to feel, experience, suffer, undergo, endure. Of things,  to
be affected or influenced by. To feel, perceive, observe, notice. To feel,
experience. To think, deem, judge, opine, imagine, suppose. To give one's
opinion concerning any thing; to vote, declare, decide. Hence, sensa:
thoughts,  notions, ideas, conceptions.

-- and one wonders which of these usages of Latin 'sentio' do correspond to
 this famous Greek 'aesthetic' sense that fascinated Kant.

On the other hand, one can then understand Gombrich's evasiveness if that's
 what it is about being an 'aesthetician':

On being asked about "how does someone such as yourself, whose expertise
and whose life's work has been in the area of ... aesthetics, find Popper's
work of so much value?": "[A]esthetics is not really one of my main interests
—I  see myself much more as a historian than as a critic or aesthetician."

But then he wrote "The Story of Art", which brought him recently to
Lit-Ideas, rather than an "Aesthetics" like Baumgarten.

Baumgarten appropriated the word "Æsthesis", which had always meant
"sensation", to mean taste or "sense" of beauty.

In so doing, Baumgarten gave the word a different significance,  thereby
inventing a modern usage.

The word had been used differently since the time of the ancient Greeks and
 Romans to mean the ability to receive stimulation from one or more of the
five  bodily senses. In his Metaphysic, § 451, Baumgarten defined taste, in
its wider  meaning, as the ability to judge according to the senses, instead
of according  to the intellect.

Such a judgment of taste he saw as based on feelings of pleasure or

A science of aesthetics, Æsthetica, would be, for Baumgarten, a deduction
of the rules or principles of artistic or natural beauty from individual

Baumgarten may have been motivated to respond to Pierre Bonhours' opinion,
published in a pamphlet in the late 17th century, that Germans were
incapable of  appreciating art and beauty -- but the fact that Baumgarten
in German  (knowing Pierre Bonhours' German was rather poor -- implicating
perhaps  'incapable of appreciating innuendos and such') makes one rather want
to FALSIFY  that!

Sibley famously widened the term 'aesthetic' to include the conceptual
analysis of 'ugly'. His example is that of a toad, that, he says, some people
regard as 'ugly'. (While Sibley preferred, unlike Baumgarten, to restrict
'taste' to ONE of the five senses). But then, Sibley belonged to J. L.
Austin's  Play Group, based in Oxford (aka Oxford School of Ordinary Language
Philosophy)  and surely you need a training in linguistic botany to appreciate



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