By Henry G. Hartman
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Additional resources for Aesthetics: A Critical Theory of Art
We are asked to identify instances of art before we define we cannot adequately define art until we and yet, have fixed it; We are thus, upon every approved instance of it. at the very outset of our inquiry, confronted by a dilemma. In this perplexity and uncertainty, it has been usual to pass from the first to the third or specu lative conception of art, instead of passing from the AESTHETICS 38 to the second or critical conception. Hence in the usual theory, we find a description of the traits of art in the abstract; that is, art is no longer the con crete thing hinted at in the first and re-affirmed in the first more approved and critical conception, but the for tuitous embodiment of some abstract trait.
This theory does not wholly preclude individual initiative. What it affirms is that the initiative must be relevant to a specific art with its own fundamental principles and Nor does the existence of one law in art capacities. preclude the discovery of new laws more far-reaching. There is nothing in the universe, however infinitesimal, that does not have its own mode of behaviour, and art, as it is actually however faulty their admirable or little no exception in this Few artists, conception of art, fail principles.
With methods is to be expected from general theory on the subject of art s own peculiar material In fact, the vicious quality of these methods or traits. is directly responsible for their abortive results in the so faulty, little light sphere of aesthetics. Why under the impetus of the third conception do we usually speak of the arts in the singular rather than Is art something over and above the in the plural? plural how arts, shall and how music, painting, poetry, etc? If so, we dispose of the plural (divergent) aspects, shall we conceive art in the singular?