April 26, 2005

Natural aesthetic appreciation

Are natural aesthetics both objective and intrinsic? According to "Aesthetic Judgements of the Natural Environment," the affirmative is the argued position.

In studying western cultures, I am learning that some of the "intrinsic" credited characteristics of human beings are really just proliferations of past experience or generational influence. We are, as Eliot implies, the product of past generations: "No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists" (From "Tradition and the Individual Talent").

However, I do see his point that intrinsic is present. Just as Hume assigns the "ideal critic" status to literary and art critics, the author recognizes that this selection should not be exclusive, extending the status to "include other appreciators with relevant sensibility and experience" (193). However, it is the qualifications of that experience and relevant sensibility that may exclude that trounces upon the author's own point that the intrinsic is present. At one point, the author mentions that if "the appreciator, or critic, if sensitive enough, is able to point out where aesthetic and non-aesthetic qualities lie and why the object has the aesthetic character that it does" (203). But who is to be the judge? A majority? What is aesthetically-pleasing is again "in the eye of the beholder". It seems to always turn around to that same point--the judges of those judging are the only factor changing. A displacement of the power.

I am sliding from one side of the issue to the other, but I can see how aesthetic value should not be assessed by an unpracticed mind, unknowledgeable of the rules that are followed or are broken by artists or writers.

Throughout the article, a differentiation is made between the various types of aesthetic appreciation, and I value these divisions (even though some divisions have an overlap, which may confuse). I can begin to assess in certain terms, the work I am doing on Titanic with some guideline to this appreciation. Although I am not a literary or art critic, I am practicing the basics, with both ideas--the practiced and amateur-wannabe--in mind.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at April 26, 2005 12:55 PM | TrackBack
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