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International Phenomenological Society

On the Formal Structure of Esthetic Theory


Author(s): Jerome Stolnitz
Source: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 12, No. 3 (Mar., 1952), pp. 346-364
Published by: International Phenomenological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2103989
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ON THE FORMAL STRUCTURE OF ESTHETIC THEORY


to consider
anyparticular
problem
within
Thispaperdoesnotundertake
from
Noris itwritten
thestandpoint
thesubjectmatterofesthetics
proper.
to definethoseseparate
rather,
ofanysingleesthetictheory.It attempts,
whichmustenterintoany estheticwhichlays claimto compretheories
to traceout therelations
whichobtain
hensiveness,
and,moreespecially,
thatthisinvestigation
shalldemonstrate
that
amongthem.It is intended
ofadequacywhicharebindcriteria
therearecertainlogicaland empirical
Thesecriteria
are notexhaustive,
but they
inguponall esthetictheories.
For,as willbe argued,thesecriteria
are putforthas beingindispensable.
in orderto determine
the degreeof consistency
and
mustbe employed,
and
scopewithwhichan estheticsystemtreatsofthatbodyoflinguistic
empiricaldata whichany estheticwhateverseeksto accountfor,and
So far,this
and to which,ultimately,
any estheticis responsible.
clarify,
or,ifyouwill,meta-esthetics.
paperis an essayin thetheoryofesthetics,
of esthetictheory,"as used throughout
this
"The formalstructure
betweenthe threedistincttheories
paper,denotestheinter-relationships
whichcompriseany esthetic,in divorcefromthe particulardoctrines
advancedin theseareasofinquirybyanysinglesystem.
Morespecifically,
to thelogicalframework
madeup ofthetheoryofart,thetheory
it refers
of the theoriesof estheticattitudeand
of estheticexperience,
consisting
and the
and thetheoryofestheticvalueand criticism,
estheticresponse,
betweenthem.It is notbecauseof any quasi-Kantian
inter-relationships
is heldto be madeup of
witharchitectonic
thatesthetics
preoccupation
restson thewidelyrecogRatherthisclassification
thesevarioustheories.
and esthetic
at once,creative,
experience
embraces,
nizedfactthatartistic
activities.
and axiological-judgmental
contemplative,
This paperis devotedto an analysisofthe twomostcrucialrelationof esthetictheory.These are: (1) the
shipswithinthe formalstructure
relationbetweenthetheoryofart and thetheoryofestheticexperience;
thetheoryofesthetic
attitudeand thetheories
of
(2) therelationbetween
between
estheticresponseand value.It is hereurgedthatthedistinction
thesetheories
has beenblurredin muchoftraditional
and that
esthetics,
thefailureto delineatethe relationships
betweenthemhas givenriseto
thefollowing
serioustheoretical
Throughout
discussion,
refinadequacies.
erencewill be made to severalof the leadingesthetictheoriesto substantiatethiscontention.
346

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OF ESTHETICTHEORY
ON FORMALSTRUCTURE

347

I
experience
ofartandesthetic
(1) Attheoutset,thenatureofthetheories
Thenan attemptwillbe madeto ascertainhow,
willbe discussedbriefly.
are relatedto each other.
ifat all, thesetheories
"fine
of the expression
The theoryof art,by analysisand definition
art,"seeksto delimita certainclassofobjects.All oftheseobjectsareto
producedobjects,as well
fromnaturaland fortuitously
be differentiated
of "fineto lack thedifferentia
as thoseobjectsofartwhichare thought
in esmajorityofwriters
ness." It is safeto say thatthe overwhelming
theticshave soughtto define"workof fineart"-intermsof the unique
thisprocess
theyareunitedin regarding
Further,
modeofitsproduction.
of,or
manipulation
ofart or technW,
as a processofskilledand deliberate
in orderto achievesomespecified
upon,somematerialmedium,
operation
is
end.' The precisenatureof thisend,as realizedwithinthe art-object,
of "fineart." There is, patently,extraordinary
takento be definitive
of "theartisamongthevariousconceptions
and disparity
heterogeneity
Thus theremay be cited,at random,those
tic," in estheticliterature.
ofan Idea or
of"theartistic"whichtakeit to be "embodiment
theorieswishof 'emotion'or 'value,'" or "imaginative
essence,"or "expression
ofcommon
or "faithful
phenomena."
perceptual
reproduction
fulfillment,"
oftheprocessofartas a
to all theseviewsis theconception
But common
activity;this may be implicitin the
skilled,plastic,and constructive
as in Deweyand Samuel
theory,or it maybe explicitand conspicuous,
Alexander.
to analyzetheuniqueconattempts
The theoryofestheticexperience
and the objectswhichenterinto
and appreciative
experience,
templative
in contemporary
andespecially
writings,
Mostfrequently,
suchexperience.
a peculiar
has beenconsidered
ofsuchexperience
thatwhichis definitive
towardany objectof
or interest,
directed,
potentially,
modeofattention
awarenesswhatever."The esthetic"has also been used to denotethe
ofonlysomekindsofobjects,whicharetakento be exclusively
experience
to boththeseschools,howCommon
in suchexperience.
to figure
qualified
as defined
ofestheticexperience
by a uniquemode
ever,is theconception
as
oftheterm"esthetic,"
or"looking."In thisinterpretation
ofawareness
theetymological
or theperceptible,
meaningofthe
connoting
perception
termhas been retained,at least partially.On eitherview, "the esthetic"

which,as "commonan area of experience


is intendedto circumscribe
fromthatproperto moralor "practical"
differs
sense"mutelyrecognizes,
activity.
I Croceis,perhaps,
themostnotableexception.

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348

PHILOSOPHY AND PHENOMENOLOGICALRESEARCH

Now what,precisely,is the logical nature of the relationwhichobtains


betweenthe theoryof art and the theoryof estheticexperience?Since
(and, perhaps,in large measure,because of) Plato's preoccupationwith
or artistic"making,"in the broadestsense, the theoryof art has
technW,
been consideredto be centralin the formalstructureof esthetic
frequently
theory.That is to say, the theoryof art in much of the literatureof esthetics,has been establishedas logicallyprimordialand presuppositional
to the theoryof estheticexperience,so that the formertheorybeinggiven,
it has been thoughtthat, in the absence of any furtherpremises,certain
can be drawnforthe latter.In these writings,once the nature
inferences
of art has been decided upon, inferenceis made directlyto the theoryof
This takes the formof arguingthat those properties
estheticexperience.2
which constitutecertain objects "works of art" are also presentin the
experience,and, moreover,qualify
objects of the perceptual-appreciative
Esthetic perceptionis, in this
such experience,uniquelyand definitively.
way, taken to consistin the apprehensionof those propertieswhichhave
been assertedas definitiveof fineart. This inferencefrom"the artistic"
to "the esthetic" is, frequently,not explicit; rather,the theorist'sconclusions to the theory-of esthetic experienceare, generally,made uncritically. In either case, a theory of the perceptual-contemplative
experienceis arrived at, without an independentexaminationof such
experiencein its own right,and of such conditionsof its occurrenceas
cannot be disclosedmerelyby inferencefromthe theoryof art.
In oppositionto this methodof developingan esthetic,whichhas been
recurrentin traditionalthought,the followingwill now be argued: From
the theoryof art, no inferencecan legitimatelybe drawn concerningthe
theoryof estheticexperience.Otherwisestated, the theoryof "the artistic"-a unique mode of "making"-implies nothingnecessarilyfor the
theory of "the esthetic"-a unique mode of "looking." It is entirely
possible that thereshould be some coincidencebetweenthe ends sought
and realized by the artist,and the genericcharacteristicsof the objects
of estheticperception.But whetherthis is true cannot be determined
merelyby inferencefromthe theoryof art. Because the theoriesof art
and estheticexperienceare, in this way, logically independentof each
other,each of these theoriesmust be developed separately.Failure to
recognizethis,it will be urged,has given rise to profounderrorsin much
estheticspeculation,and has been a chief source of misunderstanding
and distortionof the natureof the estheticexperience.
It should firstbe pointed out that inferencefrom "the artistic" to
"the esthetic" implies that the activities denoted by these terms are
2

Certainnotableexamplesin traditionalestheticswill be consideredshortly.

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ON FORMAL STRUCTUREOF ESTHETIC THEORY

349

concernedwith the same kind of objects. I.e., if the ends of the artistic
process,in termsof which "work of art" is defined,are taken to be definitiveof the objects of estheticperception,as well, then the activities
of creationand contemplationmust be, so far,related.Yet, thereis, on
the veryface of it, what appears to be a profounddifference
betweenthe
activities of art and esthetic experience.And this differencehas been
pointed up in the foregoingdiscussion.The activity of artisticcreation
is a "practical" one, in the sense that problemsof mediumand technique
must be overcome,beforethe ends of creationcan be achieved. By contrast,one who is engaged in estheticexperienceis concernedpreciselyto
apprehendthe object of awareness,withoutengagingin such constructive
activities,or any otherkind of "practical" activity."The esthetic,"then,
denotesa kind of "looking"whichdiffers,
primafacie,fromartistic"making." Now, mightit not be the case that so far frombearinga necessary
relationshipto each other, these activities are, totogenere,dissimilar?
For so much is at least suggestedby the uncriticaldistinctionbetween
"making" and "looking." It is then a viable and significantpossibility
that the objects with which artistic "making" and esthetic "looking"
are concerned,differ,correlatively
with the difference
in these activities.
It is a corollaryof the foregoingthat,in the absence of an examinationof
estheticperception,in divorcefromthe theoryof artisticcreation,it is
unjustifiablesimply to assume that these activities are concernedwith
the same kind of objects.
The precedingcommentssuggest,but do not, however,demonstrate
the independenceof "the artistic" and "the esthetic." The argument
now to be advanced against taking the theoryof art to be foundational
in the formalstructureof esthetictheory,is intendedto be utterlyconclusive. What has here been called the inferencefrom"the artistic" to
"the esthetic"is equivalent to the assertionthat those propertieswhich
taken
the artistseeks to realize in the art-object,and whichare therefore
to be definitive
ofthe class of "worksofart," are also necessarilydefinitive
of the class of "estheticobjects." But now it must be pointed out, and
underscored,that the latter class is greaterthan the former,and that
insofaras thereare objects whichare membersof both classes,they comprise a sub-classof estheticobjects. This is as much as to say that there
are a greatmany objects of estheticperceptionwhichare not also works
of fineart. And the justificationof this statementis to be foundin the
testimonyof that large area of universaland uncriticalhuman experience
which,if onlywe can get clear about it, is, ultimately,the crucialtouchstone of estheticanalysis and reflection.So much, at least, is manifest
within this corpus of evidence: experiencesof the sort universallyacknowledgedto be "esthetic"in character,by thosewho are not concerned
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350

PHILOSOPHY AND PHENOMENOLOGICALRESEARCH

to propoundany theory,are frequentlyhad in the face of natural and

uponany
incumbent
It is, accordingly,
phenomena.
produced
fortuitously
adequacy-that
and
scope
esthetictheorywhichlays claimto empirical
is to say,any esthetictheorywhatever-tomakeroomforthe esthetic
the artlessgraceof a child,the
of cumuluscloud-formations,
perception
true,and of
at once,obviously
is,
this
Now
by a river'sbrim."
"primrose

the firstimportancefor the analysis of the formalstructureof esthetics.


For we are now in a positionto see that any directinferencefrom"the
artistic"to "the esthetic"mustnecessarilybe logicallyinvalid.
Such inferencetakes the specifiedend of artisticcreation,e.g., "formal
unity," "emotionalexpressiveness,""pleasing sensorysurface,"or whatever, to be genericallycharacteristicof all objects of estheticperception,
in the absence ofan independentinvestigationofthe latter.Those esthetic

fromthosewhicharenot,
objectswhichareworksofartaredifferentiated
activity.Both
are productsofskilledand deliberate
so faras theformer
to that
by reference
aretakento be "esthetic"
classesofobjects,however,
whichis the end of such activity,althoughonlythe artistic
property
of skilled,deliberatecreas a consequence
objectspossessthisproperty
whichis takento be centralto, and definitive
ativity.It is thisproperty
forit failsto
But thisis clearlyillegitimate,
of,all estheticperception.
this
defining
propertyof
that
recognizethe genuinelogicalpossibility
whichare
esthetic
objects
in those
fineartmaynotbe presentgenerically
"the
esthetic"
it
that
Thus is overlooked
notproductsofskilledcreation.
those
than
other
singled
maybe locatedin somegroupof characteristics
in
theory
out as essentialto "the artistic."In thismanner,the esthetic
of
esthetic
its
whichvitiates theory
questionis guiltyofan invalidinference
whichtakesthetheoryofartto be
e.g.,an esthetic
Consider,
experience.
let us say, to the
"art" by reference,
and defineslogicallyfoundational,
it
is theninferred
the
artist;
"formalunity"of somekind,attainedby
of
esthetic
of
possess
perception
ofthelargerclass objects
thatall members
imbe
seen
will
an
unity.The fallacyin such inference
thissortofformal
inference
thatinno caseis any
be seensimultaneously
It should'
mediately.
to that
fromthe theorywhichdefinesthe class of art-objects
warranted
theclassofestheticobjects.
whichdefines
of
that the defining
properties
This does not precludethe possibility
"emosame-"formal
the
unity,"
"the artistic"and "the esthetic"are'
-as has been urgedPaore
or whatever.However,
tionalexpressiveness,"
of
assured
this,exceptby developingthe
than once,we can neverbe
of each
in
theoriesof art and estheticexperience logical'independence
artistic
of
ends
that
the
true
of
other.Still,if it were,as a matter fact,
the
were
esthetic
all
of
same,
objects
andtheessentialproperties
creation
to the latter
fromthe former
any theorywhichproceededby inference
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ON FORMALSTRUCTUREOF ESTHETICTHEORY

351

It would,then,merelyby extension
wouldenjoya speciousplausibility.
although,
thenatureof"theesthetic,"
ofart,haveascertained
ofthetheory
On the
is logically
unwarranted.
as has justbeenshown,suchan inference
of
otherhand,it maywellbe thecase thatworksofartare also members
to
whichis unrelated
objects,by virtueofa property
theclassofesthetic
Thismightproveto be, e.g.,
theuniquemodeoftheircoming-into-being.
interest
theobjectsofa uniquemodeofperceptual
thattheyaresometimes
objectsindiswhichmay be directedupon them,or upon non-artistic
all objects"esthetic";and, further,
and whichconstitutes
criminately,
objectshave
andnon-artistic
this,it mightwellbe thatartistic
apartfrom
at all in-common.If thisshouldproveto be the case,thenthe
nothing
thetheoryofesthetic
uponformulating
attendant
inadequacies
theoretical
lessthan
fromthetheoryofartwouldbe nothing
by inference
experience

fatal to the systemin question.For thenwhat purportsto be a theoryof

thenatureofsuchexperience,
misconstrue
wouldwholly
experience
esthetic
as willbe
falseto thefactsofsuchexperience,
and wouldbe thoroughly
to be considered
presently.
theories
seenin thehistorical
theories,all of whichendeavorto
esthetic'
A numberof well-known
a relationof someintimacybetween"the artistic"and "the
-establish
noneofthemis guilty
However,
considered.
mustnowbe briefly
esthetic"
fromthat of art. Thus,it
the theoryof estheticexperience
of deriving
shouldbe of somevalue to see how the theoriesof "the artistic"and
whichdoesnotcommit
system
"theesthetic"
maybe relatedinan esthetic
thelogicalerrorjust delineated.
"the esthetic"within
incorporates
The firsttheoryto be mentioned
that,as one exponentof this
of "art" by affirming
the verydefinition
positionputsit, "Fine art is the creationof objectsforaestheticexperience."3A secondtheoryofart holdsthat the artistmustengagein esthetic

deterofhis workto guidehis creativeactivity,and thereby


perception
"The notion
his effort
is successful.
So Ducasse concludes,
minewhether
(is) thus involvedin the conceptionof art
of aestheticcontemplation
theoryof estheticexFinally,the so-called"re-creative"
formulated."4
of
"The production
in Kate Gordon'sstatement:
perienceis represented
of
'fromemotionto form.'. . . The appreciation
a workofartis a progress
emotionthroughthe mediumof the
art is a processof appropriating
artisticimageor form."INow, whetherany or all of thesetheoriesare
3D. W. Gotshalk,Artand theSocial Order(Universityof Chicago Press, 1947),
p. xii. Cf., similarly,pp. 29-31.
4 C. J. Ducasse, The Philosophyof Art (Dial Press, New York, 1929),p. 134. Cf.,
similarly,Henry R. Marshall, AestheticPrinciples (Macmillan,New York, 1895),
p. 73.
5 Esthetics(HenryHolt, New York, 1909),p. 6.

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352

PHILOSOPHY AND PHENOMENOLOGICALRESEARCH

sound, is not germaneto the presentessay. What is here in question is


solelythe contentionthat the soundnessof these views can onlybe established by virtue of an independentinvestigationof the peculiaritiesof
estheticperception.Whether,as in the firsttwo theoriescited,the theory
of estheticexperienceis presupposedin the theoryof art, or, as in the
betweenthesetheories,
third,thereexistssome"matteroffact"relationship
in no case is therean illegitimateinferenceto the theoryof estheticexperiencefromthat of art.
The foregoingargumentrests upon the unexceptionableassertionthat
some estheticobjects are not artisticobjects. Attentionis now directed
to the farless obvious,but at least logicallyplausible assertionthat some
artisticobjects are not estheticobjects. This 'propositiondoes not bear
upon the kind of theorycurrentlybeing criticized,inasmuchas the assumptionthat all artistic objects are esthetic objects is implicitin all
such theories.If, however,the foregoinganalysis of such theoriesis welltaken, then no furthercriticismis demanded. The possibilityof nonestheticartisticobjects is raised at this time,rather,chieflyforheuristic
purposes,in orderto emphasizethe logical independenceof the theories
of art and estheticexperience.It restsupon the considerationthat some
objects frequentlydenominated"works of art" in uncritical,everyday
discourse,either because of the artist's intention,or for other reasons,
prove themselvesincapable of servingas estheticobjects. Whethersuch
usage is to be sanctionedin esthetictheorywill, of course, depend upon
the categorial analysis carried out by the esthetician,and the precise
meaningswhichhe assigns to "art" and "esthetic." It is stronglyurged,
however,that such usage implyingthe possibilityof non-estheticartistic
objects should not simply be overlooked,in the course of developing
esthetic theory. The theorist'srecognitionof, and sensitivityto, such
or confusion,of "the
usage will help to obviate the facile identification,
artistic"and "the esthetic,"whichbecomesmost pronounced,and effects
the most grievous logical and empiricalinadequacies, in those esthetic
systemswhichinferdirectlyto the theoryof estheticexperiencefromthe
theoryof art.
(2) Two well-knownesthetictheories,each of which incorporatesthe
formalstructurecriticizedin the precedingsection,will now be analyzed.
An investigationof this sort seems imperativeif the previousdiscussion
is not to appear vacuous. For it may legitimatelybe questionedwhether
any esthetictheoryhas, as a matterof fact,ever been developedby direct
inferencefromthe theoryof art to the theoryof estheticexperience.It
will now be demonstratedthat such theorieshave been advanced, and
that, because of their logically untenable formal structure,they have

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ON FORMAL STRUCTURE OF ESTHETIC THEORY

353

Neitherofthetheories
ofesthetic
experience.
theory
embraced
an unsound
formost
This is no coincidence,
now to be discussedis contemporary.
modernesthetics
have treated"the esthetic"in its ownright.But consideration
of "the esthetic"in its own rightappearsfairlylate in the

historyof estheticreflection.Hence, the argumentsadvanced previously


must be turned chiefly,though not exclusively,on the philosophyof
antiquity.

orcomprehensive
esthetic.
doesPlatodevelopa systematic
(a) Nowhere
emas currently
The conceptsof "fineart" and "estheticexperience,"
ployed,are unknownto him,as to the Greeksgenerally.Hence,any
some
ofPlato,withinthisarea, can onlyproceedby collating
discussion
to thecreationand appreciareferences
ofhisfrequent,
thoughscattered,
such as it is, is detionof art. Moreover,Plato's estheticphilosophy,
veloped"von Oben herab,"fromthe ontologyof the theoryof Ideas.
in his well-known
theoryof art as
This maybe seenmostimmediately
imitationsThe Demiurguswho employsthe immutableIdeas as his
theworld("Timaeus"28-29C) servesas theexemplar
modelin creating
arts,
forother,less loftyartists.So, in the case of the "thing-making"
thecarpenter
whomakesa shuttledoesnot"lookto" thematerialshuttle,
but to theform,whichmay "be justlycalledthe trueor ideal shuttle"
("Cratylus" 389A).8
whatwouldnowbe calledthe "finearts" as
Plato classifies
Similarly,
"imitative."The modelfor such imitationis eitherthe non-sensuous
thisformmaybe
sensoryobjectin which,however,
eidos,or a particular
is set
This distinction
materialcircumstances.
by contingent
obfuscated
whatthey
forthby Platowhenhe speaksof"somewhoimitate,knowing
imitate,and somewhodo notknow"("Sophist"267). That Plato recogofthe
thattheartistmighthave genuineknowledge
nizesthepossibility
"reality"ofhis modelis indicatedat a numberof points;e.g., at "Republic"X, 598E, Platoinsiststhatthegoodartist"musthaveknowledge
Thoseartistswhorise
ofwhathe creates,ifhe is to createbeautifully.'9
above doxa in theirimitations,
providea visionof the variousforms,
In his mostprolonged
the ascentinto the real world.10
whichfurthers
I Referenceto these theorieshere,as throughout
this paper,mustnecessarilybe
that in all instancesthe expositionand critcursory.It is to be hoped,nevertheless,
icismofthesetheoriesdoes justice to the respectivesystems.
7The followingdiscussionwill be concernedwith this central issue in Plato's
as thecriticism
treatmentofart,to theexclusionofsuchotherphasesofhistreatment
ofthe emotionaland hedoniceffectsof art,the moralfunctionofart and its place in
the ideal state,and the axiologicalcriterionof "simplicity."
8 This, and all otherquotationsfrom
Plato, are in theJowetttranslation.
9 Cf., also, "Republic" III, 401B-C; V, 472-3.
loCf., "Republic" V, 479D-E; "Symposium"210-212;"Phaedo" 99 C-100E.

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354

PHILOSOPHYANDPHENOMENOLOGICAL
RESEARCH

of the creationof "fineart," however,Plato charges"the


discussions

imitativetribe"withignoranceofthe eidos,and indiscriminate


duplication

oftheeidolon.
Thus,Platolikenstheartistto onewhopurports
to "make"
all things-"notonlyvesselsofeverykind,butplantsand animals,himselfand all otherthings"-byrevolvinga mirror("Republic"X, 596
B-E). But all suchimitations
are ofthings"as theyappear,"notas they
are "in reality"("Republic"X, 598).1"It is fromthismimesis-theory
of art thatPlato infersdirectly
to the
theoryofestheticexperience.
Giventhe conception
ofthecreationofart
as a skilledactivitywhoseendis a copyorembodiment
ofsomemodel,it
is concluded
thattheapprehension
ofartis a cognitive,
ormoreprecisely,
a recognitive
process.I.e., themimetic
character
oftheobject,whichis a
of fineart,is takento be centralto the experience
of
defining
property
is described
estheticperception.
Thustheesthetic
percipient
as seekingto
is most
relatetheart-object
to themodelofwhichit is a copy.Thistheory
in thosepassagesin whichPlatoharangues
"theignorant
clearlyindicated
in "theimage"thattheytakeit
whobecomeso farengrossed
multitude"
fortheveryobjectofwhichit is a copy(e.g.,"Republic"X, 602).12By
of art mustbe informed,
contrast,Plato demandsthat the perception
ofthemodel:"maywe notsaythatin everything
governed
byknowledge
whether
in drawing,
imitated,
music,or any otherart,he whois to be a
competent
judge... mustknow,in thefirstplace, of whattheimitation
in thejudgment
ofart,
is?" ("Laws" II, 669A).'3Applying
thiscriterion
ofstatesmanPlato indictsHomeron thegroundsofthepoet'signorance
ship,.militaryscience, and education ("Republic" X, 599 C-E; "Ion"

537-539).
It fallsoutsidetheprovinceofthisessayto criticize
Plato's theoryof
thenatureofart,although
thistheoryis itselfsubjectto themostsevere
ofhistheoryoftheappreciation
ofartis demanded,
strictures.
Criticism
however,in orderto make clear the empiricalinadequaciesattendant
fromthetheory
a theoryof "theesthetic"by inference
upondeveloping
oftheconception
is undertaken
fromthestandpoint
ofart.Suchcriticism
and contemplaattention
of"theesthetic,"
as an attitudeof"disinterested

tion," to be elaboratedand defendedlater in thispaper. Accordingto this

widely-held
theory,it is a necessaryconditionof all estheticexperience
that the object of awarenessis of immediateinterest,"for its own sake

to relateit to anyalone."Hence,it is notthe concernofthepercipient

11Cf., similarly,"Republic" X, 601-602;"Sophist" 233 E-234. Otherstatements


of art are foundat "Laws" II, 655 E; "Statesman" 288 C,
of the mimesis-theory
306 C.
12 Cf., similarly,
"Sophist" 234B-E; "Republic" X, 598 B-C.
13 Cf., also, 668; "Critias" 107D.

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ON FORMAL STRUCTURE OF ESTHETICTHEORY

355

thing beyond itself,or to contemplateit for any purpose transcending


the very experienceof contemplationitself.But now, if this be indeed an

thenthe glaring
of the factsof estheticperception,
accuraterendering
are revealedat once.
inadequaciesofthePlatonicdoctrine
the object
is takento be recognitive,
For whereestheticperception
ex
right.
If
the perin
its
own
is
not
of
interest
hypothesis
of perception
of
which
it is a
to
the
model
to relatethe object
cipientis constrained
the
focus
attention
copy,whatever natureofthemodel,thenhe cannot
upon the objectforits ownsake alone.Thus,on Plato's view,the artis of mediate,ratherthanintrinsic
interest,
object,whencontemplated,
it
But,
it must
ofitsparadigm.
cognition
because mustserveto stimulate
is
to
presentation
be insisted,estheticexperience subvertedwhenthe
is
to
end
realize
some
a mnemonic
cue, in order
awareness considered
the contemplative
If the perceptualobject is
experience.
transcending
in
not of concern its ownright,thenit simplyis not an estheticobject.
are accentuated
ofPlato'stheoryofestheticexperience
The shortcomings
whichcan hardlybe said to imitate
whenwe considerthoseart-forms
art.14Yet Plato's theoryis
e.g., muchof post-Impressionist
anything,
of all otherartinadequateas well whenappliedto the contemplation
of
on
The
failure
Plato's
thinking
and indeed,non-artistic
objects.
forms,
is
the
his
of
esthetic
issue
the
of
to
theory
attempt
derive
thiscrucial
result
fromhistheoryofart.
experience
is thatofEugeneV6ron.Writing
(b) The secondsystemto be criticized
theconcepts
he employs
initial
modern
of
esthetics,
afterthe
development
manner
in
the
whichhe
But
"fine
and
"esthetic
perception."
of
art"
to
his
is
that
which
has
esthetic
diametrically
opposed
system
develops
makesthe theoryof art logically
beenurgedin thispaper:he explicitly
in the formalstructure
of esthetictheory.V6ronsays,at
foundational
of
of his Aesthetics,
thathe seeksto drawup a definition
the beginning
be
no
more
than
"of
the
Aesthetics
shall
which
whole
of
subject
''art,"
the development.""
"art" in termsof the "genius"or "clearly
V6ronbeginsby defining
it expresses.Thus he assertsthat "the
which
indicatedindividuality"
of the
of art, is the personality
and essentialconstituent
determinant
his
of
man's
He
"The
upon
artist."'6 says.again:
influence
personality
14 In this connection,
it is interesting
to note Schuhl's,conjecturethat Plato was
provokedby the developmentof an Impressionistmovementin his day. Cf.,PierreMaximeSchuhl,Platonet t'artde son temps(Paris, Alcan,1933),p. 10.
15Aesthetics,
(Chapmanand Hall, London,1879),p. 2.
tr. Armstrong
16 op. cit., p. xxiv. Cf., also, p. 139. This definition
can readilybe shownto be
of "art" (cf.,pp. 89,
formallyinadequate,and V6ronlater offersanotherdefinition
380). His theoryof "the esthetic,"however,is based upon the formerdefinition.

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356

PHILOSOPHYAND PHENOMENOLOGICAL
RESEARCH

work... this is the unique and solid basis of all aesthetics."'7From this
theoryof art, V6ron infersdirectlyto the theoryof estheticexperience.
He construesestheticresponseas determinedby the directionof attention to this definingpropertyof fineart, so that "personality,"whichis
definitiveof art, is also taken to be definitiveof the estheticobject. In
his terminology,"the esthetic" is definedby referenceto "admirative
pleasure," viz., "(the) sentimentof sympatheticadmirationof the artist
us so
whose talent or genius has produced a work capable of affording
lively a satisfaction."' V6ron makes it clear that, on his view, it is the
"individuality"of the artist,ratherthan the art-objectitself,which engages and sustains estheticattention:"That which strikesus in a work
of art and stirs our emotions;that which we admire in the artistic expressionof moral and physicallife: is not really that life itself,but the
the impression
power and originalityshownby the artistin interpreting
made by it upon him."'9
V6ron'stheoryofestheticexperienceis, once again,patentlyinadequate,
fromthe standpointof the conceptionof "the esthetic"as "disinterested
attentionto and contemplationof any object of awarenesswhatever,for
its own sake alone." "Admirativepleasure" can be experiencedif and
only if attentionis not directedto the object of awareness"for its own
sake alone." On VWron'sview, the art-objectis only of mediate interest,
forit is approachedfor clues to the unique talents and capacities of its
creator.The attentionof the percipientmust therebybe divertedaway
fromthe immediatelyapprehendedobject, in orderto trace out its relations to the processwherebyit came into being. But such preoccupation
with that which transcendsthe immediateperceptual situation simply
destroysthe genuinelyestheticattitude. Such interestin the artist may
well be fosteredin the course of analyzingand evaluating the work of
art. But this ex postfactocriticalprocessmust be distinguishedfromthe
act of contemplationitself.Similarly,the work of art may be employed
as the sourceof investigationinto the evolutionof the artist'smedium,or
the Zeitgeistofhis culture.However,as will now be urgedin greaterdetail,
such extra- and anti-estheticinterestsmust be carefullydistinguished
fromthe distinctivelyestheticexperience,if we are to do justice to the
peculiarnatureand value of this experience.
Ibid., p. 104,n. 1.
Ibid., p. 65. VWron
advances anothertheoryof "estheticpleasure" whichinterpretsit as agreeablesensorygratification
(cf.,pp. 33-36,128). He says, however,of
"sympatheticadmiration"that it is "moreproperlyspeaking,aestheticpleasure"
(p. 52), and it is to thistheoryof "the esthetic"that he chieflydevoteshimself.
19Ibid., p. 156.Cf., also, pp. 107,337.
17
18

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ON FORMAL STRUCTURE OF ESTHETIC

THEORY

357

II
(1) The thesis just argued-that the theoryof estheticexperienceis
logically independentof the theoryof art-has been very largely accepted in modern esthetics.The lion's share of modern thinkers,particularlysince Kant's third "Critique," have analyzed the meaning of
"esthetic"in divorcefromthe theoryof art.20With surprisingagreement,
they have settled upon some such definitionof "the estheticattitude"
as that given earlierin this essay-"disinterested attentionto and contemplationof any object of awarenesswhatever,forits own sake alone."
By contrast,therehas been markeddivergenceamongthe variousformulations of thosefurthertheorieswhichare demandedforany comprehensive
esthetic,viz., the theoriesof estheticresponse,value, and criticism.The
theoryof estheticattitude and that of estheticresponsetogethercomprisethe theoryof estheticexperience.The theoryof responseinvestigates
the diversepsychologicalstates aroused upon adoption and prolongation
of the estheticattitude,to determinewhichof these,if any, occur necessarily and definitively.The theoriesof value and criticismseek to set
forththose axiological and judgmentalprincipleswhich are requiredfor
analysis and evaluation of the estheticexperienceand its objects.
The discussionwhich now followsundertakesfirstto defendthe conceptionof the estheticattitudeadvanced earlier.Then, the nature of the
betweenthe theoryof estheticattitude,and the
logical interrelationships
theoriesof estheticresponse,value, and criticismis investigated.From
these discussionsthere emerge certain empiricaland logical criteriaof
adequacy whichhold forall estheticsystems.As before,some well-known
estheticsystemsare singledout, to illustratethe theoreticalinadequacies
attendantupon failureto satisfythese criteria.
Though the definitionof "the esthetic"as an attitudeof "disinterested
contemplation"employedearlier,sums up much of post-Kantianthought,
ad verecundiam.
it cannot,assuredly,be justifiedby a simpleargumentum
Neithercan it be defendedas being "merelystipulative."Rather,like all
in the empiricaldisciplines,its use can onlybe justifiedon the
definitions
groundsof its empiricalscope and explanatorypower. It is now urged
that this conceptionof "the esthetic" best enables us to organize and
interpretthe large areas of uncritical experienceand discourse which
20 It is interesting
to contrast,in this connection,the organizationof Veron's
in which,as has been pointedout,the theoryof "the esthetic"is a corolAesthetics,
work,such as, H. N.
contemporary
lary of the theoryof art,witha representative
Lee, Perceptionand AestheticValue (Prentice-Hall,New York, 1938). Lee begins
witha discussionofthe "aestheticattitude" (Chap. II) and does not treatof "art"
untilbetterthan halfwaythroughthe book (Chap. IX).

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358

PHILOSOPHY

AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH

have generallybeen considered,in somesense,the properobject ofesthetic


analysis. For the above definitionseems to answer to the tacit understandingof "the esthetic"in those who are not concernedwith reflective
theory.Insofaras thelatterconception,uncriticaland generallyunvoiced,
can be analyzed, it appears to involve two beliefs,both of which are incorporated in the above definition.Primarily,the kind of experience
usually considered"esthetic" is thoughtto differin kind fromotherexperiencessuch as the "practical," moral, and scientific,which are concerned with the object of perceptiononly so far as it bears upon that
whichis ulteriorto itself.But the estheticexperience,uniquely,is one in
which,as the poet says, one "stands and stares." The foregoingdefinition
and appreattemptsto hit this offby referenceto "disinterestedness,"
hension of the estheticobject "for its own sake alone." Further,it is
widely thoughtthat the "experience of Beauty" takes objects of the
most diverseand heterogeneouskinds. Phenomenaas unlike as the odor
Bach's "Italian Concerto"
of freshleather, cumulus cloud-formations,
neverthelesshave in commonthat theyare all estheticobjects. The above
definitionseeks to take account of the pervasivenessof "the esthetic"
by its referenceto "any object of awarenesswhatever."
It 'is the empiricalcatholicityand explanatoryfecundityof this conceptionof "the esthetic"that warrantsassertingthe criterionof adequacy
of this termmust be shownto possess empiricalscope
that any definition
that
than
of the foregoingdefinition.This criterionis of vital
not less
the
meaning assigned to "esthetic" serves to delimit
importance,since
be
studied
to
by the theoriesof estheticresponse,value, and
the area
if
the
made on behalf of the above definitionare
claims
criticism.But
definition
would entail a gratuitousrestriction
narrower
then
any
sound,
of
and
which ought properlyto be
area
discourse
the
experience
upon
investigatedby these theories.What is here intendedby a "narrower"
definitionof the termis illustratedby those estheticsin which the area
of-estheticexperienceis constrictedin eitherof two ways, broadlyspeaking. Either the esthetic percipientis thought to exercise a particular
facultyor capacityuniquely,e.g., sensation,intellect,or onlya particular
group of objects of awareness is thoughtto be qualifiedas "esthetic."
Neither approach, it is here urged, does justice to the facts of esthetic
experience.On the one hand, any or all psychologicalcapacities e.g.,
sensory, conceptual, emotional, etc., may be called into play during
esthetic experience,as in witnessinga great tragedy,whereas the exsensory,as in apprehendingan odor or
periencemay be preponderantly
What
rendersall such experiencesveritably
intellectual.
or
chiefly
texture,
is
the
it
is
unique
psychologicaldispositionof "disinsisted,
esthetic,
interestedcontemplation"whichgovernsthem. On the otherhand, there
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ON FORMAL STRUCTURE OF ESTHETIC

THEORY

359

appear to be no objects whichare whollyrecalcitrantto estheticperception. To be sure, objects differamong themselvesin the degreeto which
they solicitand retainestheticinterest,but here again the gamutextends
fromthe prosaic yellowchairimmortalizedby van Gogh to the medieval
celebratedby Dante.
Weltanschauung
It has been argued that the universe of discourse of "the esthetic"
must be circumscribedby referenceto the attitude of "disinterested
attention and contemplation."Whenever the term "esthetic" is used,
it must be understoodto connotethis attitude. It followsthat such expressionsas "estheticresponse"and "estheticjudgment"must be understood to have, in all instances,an implicitreferenceto this attitude.For,
these and similarexpressionsare simplymeanapart fromsuch reference,
ingless.So, the phenomenadenoted by "estheticresponse"and "esthetic
value" are contingentupon the adoption of the estheticattitude,in the
absence of which they could not exist. Now, the implicationsof these
considerationsfor the formalstructureof esthetictheoryshould be apparent. The theoryof estheticattitude must be, of necessity,logically
to the theoriesof estheticresponse,value, and criticism.
presuppositional
The nature of the estheticattitude must be elucidated prior to the developmentof these theories,since it is upon this analysis that the very
meaningof "estheticresponse"and "estheticvalue" depend.
The nature of this relation between the theory of esthetic attitude
and the theoriesof responseand value dictates a criterionof adequacy
whichis not less importantbecause it appears to have been so frequently
estheticians.It is this: sinceestheticresponse
overlookedby contemporary
and value are had or occur if and only if the estheticattitude is maintained, that which is asserted as definitiveof responseand value must
be presentin all instancesof the experiencewhich ensues upon adopting
and sustainingthe estheticattitude. It has been argued that the term
"esthetic"may be predicatedof any state of response,and any featureof
the object of awareness,which enters into the experiencegovernedby
this attitude.It is now urgedthat those elementsof the total experience
which are taken to be definitiveof estheticresponseand value, must be
shownto occur universally,when the "set" of "disinterestedcontemplation" is takentowardan object.This criterionofadequacy may be summed
up by saying that the denotative referenceof the definingproperties
of estheticresponseand value must be as great as that of "the esthetic
attitude."
a comprehensive
emotionalistesthetic,C. J. Ducasse
(2a) In formulating
attemptsto demonstratethat emotionalstates,or "feelings,"'are present
this termis used by Ducasse, the psychologicalstates whichit denotesare
algedonicas well as emotional.Op. cit.,pp. 192-193,195-196,199.
21 As

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360

PHILOSOPHYANDPHENOMENOLOGICAL
RESEARCH

genericallyin all estheticresponse.So far,he seeks to satisfythe criterion


of adequacy asserted just above, viz., he seeks to prove that "feeling,"
which he considersdefinitiveof estheticresponse,22
is experienced,in all
instances,wheneverthe estheticattitudeis adopted. It is hereurgedthat
Ducasse's argumentrests upon an excessivelyrestricted,and therefore
untenableconceptionof the nature of the eAtheticattitude.
Ducasse purportsto offer"a directempiricalexaminationof the state
of aestheticcontemplation."23
He findsthat it involves "(throwing)oneself open... to the advent of feeling."24
It is, more precisely,"(endotelic)
'listening'or 'looking'withour capacityforfeeling."25
It must be carefully
noted that, on Ducasse's view, the percipientdoes not attend to the
"feeling."Rather,the object of awarenessis "the contentof attention,"
but "our interest,"Ducasse says, "is in its feeling-import
to us"; thus
or emotionalstates" are made "the centerof one's interest...as
"feelings,
states to be simply 'tasted' to the full."26 The percipienthaving made
himself"receptiveto" the advent offeeling,"the occurrenceof it (feeling)
constitutesthe completion,the success of the contemplation."27
Now, beforechargingDucasse with distortionof the nature of esthetic
it is importantto point out those respectsin whichhe is
contemplation,.
not subject to such criticism.Primarily,he distinguishesestheticperception fromperceptionwhichis concernedwithits object onlyto the extent
that it bears upon some ulteriorgoal.28Moreover, Ducasse holds that
"there is no entitywhatevertowardswhich it is a prioriimpossibleto
take the aestheticallycontemplativeattitude."29On both issues, his view
accords with that advanced earlier. Further,Ducasse does not restrict
"the esthetic" to any particular group of "feelings": "... there is no
feelingwhichmay not on occasion acquire the aestheticstatus."30
The criticismnow to be presentedis not intendedto deny that the
attitudeof estheticcontemplationis orientedtowardthe advent of "feeling." Rather,it is hereurgedthat it is not to this particularpsychological
state, exclusively,that the estheticpercipientmakes himselfreceptive.
For thoughhe "throwshimselfopen" to the arousal of emotion,it must
be insistedthat, by the same token, he is predisposedto experiencing
22
23

Ibid., pp. 123-124.


Ibid., pp. 139-140.

Ibid., p. 140,italics in original.


Loc. cit.,italicsin original.Cf., also, p. 136.
26 Op. cit.,pp. 140-142,
italicsin original.
27 ibid., p. 142.
28 Ibid., pp.
110-111,144.
29 Ibid., p. 156.Cf., similarly,
pp. 223-224.
24

25

30Ibid., p. 190.

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ON FORMAL STRUCTURE OF ESTHETIC

THEORY

361

any or all of the psychologicalstateswhichmay be evoked,by contemplation ofthe estheticobject.Apartfromthe hedonicand emotionalelements
of response,sensory,imaginative,conceptual,and memorialstates are
frequentlyaroused." It is, assuredly,the case that one's "interest"in any
or all of these may well be, and frequentlyis, at least as great as one's
for
"interest"in "feeling."Since this is true,therecan be no justification
singlingout the latter,exclusively,as the "center" of esthetic"interest."
To be sure,in any singlecase, the percipient'sinterestin one dimension
of responsemay be dominant,dependingupon the nature of the object.
Yet thereappearto be no good groundsforthe contentionthatthiselement
It mightbe claimed,
ofresponseis, in all instances,the algedonic-emotional.
with as much justice-but no more-that this unique status is to be accorded to the sensory,or the imaginative,elementof estheticresponse.
Each oftheseparticularistic
theories,however,does violenceto the nature
of the estheticattitude,so far as it assertsthat the estheticpercipientis,
initiallyand in all instances,"interestedin" any single elementof the
qualia whichis the estheticresponse.
complexof intimatelyinter-related
When these psychologicalstates are experiencedby the percipient,all
are veritably"esthetic,"all are of "interest"to him, and just so long as
none of them impedes or subvertsthe prolongationof the estheticattitude, all of them contributetoward,and enterinto, the "success" of the
estheticcontemplation.
It should be seen that the foregoingargumentdoes not precludethe
possibilityof a genuinelyvalid emotionalisttheoryof estheticresponse.
It remainsan open possibilitythat emotionuniquely (or, forthe matter
of that, any otherelementof response)may be shown,on othergrounds,
to occur universallyin esthetic experience.The foregoingargumentis
intendedto invalidate Ducasse's attempt to establish "feeling" as definitiveof estheticresponse,by consideringthe "set" of the percipientto
be orientedtoward it uniquely.2 It followsthat rejectionof the latter
theory of esthetic attitude, for the reasons just presented,leaves the
theoryof responsewithoutany justification.It may be concluded,generally,that no theoryof estheticresponsewhatevercan be accepted,if it
rests upon a theoryof esthetic attitude which prejudices and distorts
31This is clearlyrecognizedby Ducasse; cf.,e.g., p. 177.

It is worthmentioning
that Ducasse, in his later writings,appears to have expanded his conceptionof the rangeof esthetic"interest,"since he no longerholds
exclusively.Cf.,C. J.Ducasse, "Aesthethat the "listening"is for"feeling-import"
tics and the AestheticActivities" (in: The Journalof Aestheticsand ArtCriticism,
criticismis directed
Vol. V., No. 3 [March,1947],pp. 165-176),p. 166.The foregoing
solelyagainstthe earlier"Philosophyof Art."
32

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362

PHILOSOPHY AND PHENOMENOLOGICALRESEARCH

the conception
of the estheticattitudeupheldearlier,on the groundsof
its fidelity
to thepeculiarities
and rangeofestheticexperience.3
ofthefinalesthetictheoryto be considered
willillustrate
(b) Criticism
ofadequacyadvancedabove,viz.,
the applicationofthesecondcriterion
thoseproperties
oftheesthetic
takento be definitive
ofesthetic
experience
responseand valuemustbe shownto occuruniversally
uponadoptionof
the estheticattitude.Santayanaadoptssubstantially
the conception
of
thisattitudeoutlinedearlier,as whenhe saysthat"in theperception
of
is necessarily
and based on the character
beauty,ourjudgment
intrinsic
of the immediateexperience,
on the idea of an
and neverconsciously
eventualutilityin the object."34
"The aesthetic"fallswithinthearea of
"perceptions
of value... whentheyare positiveand immediate."36
On
in all
Santayana'shedonisticaxiology,pleasureis presentuniversally
estheticresponse,and constitutes
the value of the estheticexperience.
"All pleasuresare not perceptions
of beauty"; however,"pleasureis
indeedtheessenceofthatperception."36
The differentia
ofpleasurewhich
is alone "esthetic"is its "objectification":
"Beautyis an emotionalele-

ment, a pleasure of ours, which neverthelesswe regard as a quality of


things.""7By contrast,it is true of non-esthetichedonic experiencethat

thepleasureis "recognized
as an effect
andnotas a qualityoftheobject."38
in estheticexperience,
as
Now, whetherpleasureoccursuniversally
is a genuinequestionin its ownright,but one which
Santayanaholds,39
cannotbe treatedwithinthe confines
ofthepresentpaper.40
At present,
33 It will be seen thatthe contemporary
"formalists"-Bell,Fry,F. E. Hallidayare subjectto similarcriticism.Theircontention
thatsui generisemotionis definitive
of estheticresponserestsupon a severelyrestrictedconceptionofthe estheticattitude as being orientedsolely towardthe non-representational
aspects of the artobject-a theorywhichexcludesfromconsiderationthoselargeareas of artisticand
esthetic experiencewhich have been characterizedby sympatheticattentionto
"subject matter."
3 GeorgeSantayana, The Sense ofBeauty(Scribners,
New York, 1936),p. 20. Cf.,
similarly,p. 39. It remainstruethat thereis genuineagreementbetweenSantayana's conceptionof the estheticattitude,and that urgedin this paper, despiteSantayana's repudiationof what he calls "disinterestedness"as a characteristicof estheticexperience.He takes it to referto "unselfishness"of enjoyment.He then
arguesboth that estheticenjoyment"is, or oughtto be, closelyrelatedand preliminaryto" the desireto possessthe estheticobject, and that even the so-called"unselfish"interestsmustbe the interestsofsomeself. (Op. cit.,pp. 30-32).
35Ibid., p. 28.
36 Ibid., p. 29.
7 Ibid., p. 37. Cf., also, pp. 38-41.
38 Ibid., p. 38. Cf.,also, p. 40.
39Ibid., pp. 21,39, 167-170.
40 The interested
readerwill findan extendeddiscussionof this issue in a paper
by the presentauthorentitled"On Uglinessin Art," publishedin Philosophyand
Phenomenological
Research,Vol. XI, No. 1 (September,1950),pp. 1-24.

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THEORY
ON FORMALSTRUCTUREOF ESTHETIC

363

is directedsolelyto the theorythat,in all cases,the esthetic


attention
reaction,
thepleasureoftheperception,
experience
"retainstheemotional
As to this,it is hereurged
as an integralpartofthe conceivedthing."'4'
ofesthetic
be considered
definitive
that"objectification"
cannotjustifiably
entailedby thetheoryof"disinterested
response,
forneither
is it logically
noris it, as a matteroffact,truethatit
and contemplation,"
attention
the hedonicand emotionalstatesexperienced
upon
alwayscharacterizes
adoptionoftheestheticattitude.Thereare,to be sure,instancesofthe
in whichthisphenomenon
doestake place,in which,
estheticexperience
in theobject.But theesthetic
as we say,we "loseourselves"
objectis not
and we are notalways"caughtup in" theobject
alwaysso "absorbing,"
an object
in thisfashion.Morefrequently,
perhaps,whenwe apprehend
and "forits ownsake alone,"thehedonicand emotional
non-relationally
are recognized
withinus,
as beingtheeffects,
stateswhichwe experience
oftheestheticobject.
is not simply"speculative,"forthereis, happily,a
This argument
evidenceto be foundin the
substantial
empirical
bodyof corroborative
of "perceptive
types,"carriedon by Edward
experimental
investigations
to classifythe typesof response,
Bulloughand others.In undertaking
in the face of singlecolors,to whichan estheticattitudeis
experienced
taken,Bulloughfoundthathis subjectsfellintofourgroups,of which
only two are pertinent
here.42
The so-called"character"-type
subjects
to theobject.
statesofresponse
whichwerefeltas intrinsic
didexperience
did not take place,in the case of the
However,such "objectification"
were'framedin
"physiological"
or "subjective"type,whosejudgments
termsofthe bodilyresponseofthe subject.This type,whichwas found
the largestnumberof responses,proporby Bulloughto characterize
absorptionin the object,altionately,did not achievethoroughgoing
was had. This distinction
between
estheticexperience
thougha veritably
has been
types,in termsofthepresenceor absenceof "exteriorization,"
in manylaterexperimental
minordifferences,
upheld,despiterelatively
4
and Feasey.
Valentine,45
Myers,4"
investigations,
e.g.,thoseofBullough,41
cit.,p. 38.
'PerceptiveProblem'in theAestheticAppreciationofSingleColours" (in:
Vol. II, pt. 4 [October,1908],pp. 406-463).
The BritishJournalofPsychology,
ofSimpleCol43Edward Bullough,"The 'PerceptiveProblem'in theAppreciation
Vol. III, pt. 4 (December,
The BritishJournalof Psychology,
our-Combinations,"
1910),pp. 406-447.
44CharlesS. Myers,"Individual Differences
in Listeningto Music," The British
Vol. XIII, pt. 1 (July,1922),pp. 52-71.
JournalofPsychology,
ofBeauty(Jack,
Psychology
totheExperimental
45C. W. Valentine,An Introduction
London, 1913),pp. 33-34,Chap. VII.
46 L. Feasey, "Some Experiments
on Aesthetics,"TheBritishJournalofPsychology,Vol. XII, pt. 3 (December,1921),pp. 253-272.
41 Op.

42 "The

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364

PHILOSOPHY AND PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH

It may be concluded that no theoryof esthetic response is adequate,


whichtakes "objectification"to be a definitivecharacteristic,
forit does
not accompanyuniversallythe attitude of "disinterestedattentionand
contemplation."
JEROME STOLNITZ.
COLGATE UNIVERSITY.

EXTRACTO
Lo "artistico"y lo "est6tico"son conceptoslogicamenteindependientes.
Una-inferenciaque vaya de la teoria del arte a la teoria de la experiencia
est6tica resultaria invalida, porque las obras de arte comprendensolamenteuna clase subordinadade objetos est6ticos.Por no haberloreconocido asi, Platon y Veronllegarona conclusionesempiricamente
infundadas,
a saber, que la experienciaest6tica sea esencialmenterecognoscitivay
"admirativa," respectivamente.La definici6nde la "actitud est6tica"
no debe restringirse
sino que debe poseer suficienteampligratuitamente,
tud empirica,como por ejemplo: "atenci6n desinteresadahacia un objeto cualquieradel que nos demoscuenta,y por si mismoexclusivamente."
Se criticaa Ducasse porque consider que la actitudest6ticaesta orientada
unicamentehacia la promocionde un "sentimiento,"y no hacia todos los
estados de reacci6f o respuesta.Aquellos rasgos de la experienciatotal
constitutivosde la experiencia
que se lleguena considerardefinitivamente
y el valor estiticos tienenque producirsesiempreque dicha actitud estetica se adopte. Se muestraque la teoriade la "objetivacion" de Santayana
no cumple con este criteriote6rico.

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