Speaking of Art by Peter Kivy (auth.)

By Peter Kivy (auth.)

As the identify of this booklet used to be intended to signify, its topic is the best way we discuss (and write approximately) artworks: or, really, one of many methods, specifically, the way in which we describe artistic endeavors for serious reasons. Be­ reason i needed to limit my material during this manner, i've got made a pointy, and without doubt mostly synthetic contrast among describing and comparing. and that i needs to, on the outset, safeguard opposed to a misreading of this contrast to which i've got left myself open. In distinguishing among evaluative and descriptive aesthetic judgments, i'm really not asserting that after I assert "X is p," the place p is a "descriptive" time period like "unified," or "delicate," or "garish," i'll no longer even as be comparing X too; and i'm now not asserting that after I make the evidently "evaluative" statement "X is good," i'll no longer be describing X. sincerely, if I say "X is unified" i'm comparing X in that team spirit is a good-making function of artistic endeavors; and because it is true in English at the least to name an assessment an outline, i don't are looking to recommend that if an statement is evaluative, it can't be de­ scriptive (although there were many philosophers who've idea this certainly to be the case).

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ARE AESTHETIC TERMS UNGOVERNABLE? 4r in one way or another. Nor, of course, can we hope to examine every term individually and refute Sibley by enumeration. We must critically examine the arguments whereby Sibley and others have tried to establish the non-condition-governed behavior of aesthetic terms. If we can show that these arguments do not establish any such thing, we can conclude that whether or not these terms are non-condit ion-governed is at least an open question. To that task we must now turn.

Shakespeare was the greatest poet who ever lived. Edgar Guest was the greatest poet who ever lived. Well, there is no disputing about tastes. Bach is the greatest composer who ever lived. Beethoven is the greatest composer who ever lived. Well, there is no disputing about tastes. " But discussions about the goodness or badness of artichokes, and poets, and composers are all discussions where De gustibus ... or some variation of it might be appropriate; and there is nothing odd in saying someone has good taste in foods, literature, or music.

But when I ordinarily take the trouble to say that someone has mathematical ability, I mean to say that he has a talent above the average, out of the ordinary. It is the same, one would think, with the notion of aesthetic sensitivity. If I were to say "Mr. B has aesthetic sensitivity," I would mean that he possesses an unusual ability to make aesthetic distinctions, although all normal people have a modicum of aesthetic sensitivity - some ability to make aesthetic distinctions (like "dumpy" or "graceful").

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