Aesthetic Value Of Art Essay Research Paper

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Aesthetic Value Of Art Essay, Research Paper THE AESTHETIC VALUE OF ART AS A CONSCIOUS AS OPPOSEDTO AN UNCONSCIOUS PRODUCT There is in our nature a radical an widespread tendency to observe beauty and value it. No account of the principles of the mind can be at all adequate or accurate enough, that passes over such a conspicuous faculty as aesthetics. The aesthetic value of art is one that encompasses many planes of philosophical thought at various levels. Whether it is a conscious as opposed to an unconscious product depends upon one s outlook on art and life in general. All we find written about beauty may be divided into two groups: that group of writings in which philosophers have interpreted aesthetic facts in the light of their metaphysical principles, and made of their

theory of taste, a corollary of footnotes to their systems, and that group in which artists and critics have ventured into philosophical groups by generalizing somewhat the maxims of the craft or the comments of the sensitive observer.1 P hilosophers writing on the aesthetic values of art in the development of our theme within this paper are Classical, Romantic, and Modern alike; Aristotle, Plato, Dewey, Hegel, Nietzsde, and Santayana. In our discussion of art as conscious as opposed to unconscious product, we must first make several distinctions__________1George Santayana. The Sense of Beauty. (New York; Modern Library. 1955) p. 6. between artist-creator and observer-participant, and art as idea as opposed to form. These distinctions may be paralleled to Dewey s philosophical

distinctions made within ART as EXPERIENCE of artistic versus aesthetic. Dewey first notes that there is no word in the English language that unambiguously includes what is signified by the two words artistic and aesthetic, artistic referring primarily to the act of production and aesthetic to that of perception and enjoyment, the absence of a term designating the two processes taken together being unfortuante.2 He then makes the distinction to the relation that exists in having an experience between doing and undergoing, indicating that the distinction between artistic and aesthetic cannot be pressed so far as to become a separation. Aristotle properly designates this in relation to what s distinctive of both artistic and aesthetic as the mean proportional. Similar distinctions

of art and aesthetics are continually being made by philosophers on the subject. Hegel s idea of beautiful is the constituting of the IDEAL in art. This idea of beautiful as absolute idea contains certain essential moments which must manifest themselves outwardly and become realized.3 If there is no manifestation of these essential moments then the _________ 2Joseph Ratner, John Dewey s Philosophy. (New York: Modern Library, 1972), p. 971.3Carl J. Friedrich. The Philosophy of Hegel. (New York: Random House, 1954) p. 333. absolute idea becomes condemned as hopeless triviality, an expression merely of human nature and not of moral and aesthetic judgments as expressions of objective truth. Meaning is a conception of the mind while expression is a sensuous phenomena, an image of the

senses. It is at this point, mind s conception versus expression s reality, where the chief difference of aesthetic value as either conscious or unconscious product, may be found. Dewey describes the treatment of art as expression, the process of artistic creation becoming what it is incipiently, its expressive movement of matter to a formed fulfillment, rich, rounded, and enjoyable.4 Art is a process for both the creation and the observer, the movements of each not necessarily different as long as they are fulfilling, it must arouse the imagination of a living creature, becoming an aesthetic experience with an active response and energetic involvement to an ordered relationship. Awareness of these perceived relationships is deepened by their felt context, becoming expressive by