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A Sunset is Enjoyed not Criticized

  1. Oct 22, 2008 #1
    A Sunset is Enjoyed not Criticized

    Criticism emphasizes deliberate judgment whereas enjoyment emphasizes the instinctive and immediate.

    Criticism implies judgment and aesthetes (having an affecting sensitivity to beauty) imply perception. To reach a common ground between the two we must consider perceptions that are more than passive but are critical. Also we must adjust our notion of criticism to include “those judgments of value which are instinctive and immediate, that is, to include pleasures and pain”.

    If we also narrow our concept of aesthetics (pleasing in appearance) so as to exclude all perceptions which are not appreciations, i.e. which do not find value in their objects, we can reach a “sphere of critical or appreciative perception”.

    Thus, aesthetics is “concerned with the perception of values”.

    Self consciousness is the precursor of the possibility of worth. For the existence of ‘good’ in any form emotional consciousness is required. “Observation will not do, appreciation is required.”

    From this we can assert an axiom that is important for all moral philosophy; and science of morality should it ever come to be. “There is no value apart from some appreciation of it.”

    Spinoza informs us that we desire nothing because it is good but that it is good because we desire it. We can find value in that which is not instinctively good only because it is derivative of the instinctively appreciated. “The verbal and mechanical proposition, that passes for judgment of worth, is the great cloak of ineptitude in these matters…Verbal judgments are often instruments of thought but it is not by them that worth can ultimately be determined.”

    Quotes from “The Sense of Beauty” by George Santayana
  2. jcsd
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