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A critical study of a theory of aesthetic development and its implications for education Bisong, Joseph Obi 1979

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A CRITICAL STUDY-OF A THEORY OF AESTHETIC DEVELOPMENT AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION by JOSEPH OBIjJ3ISONG B.A., The Univers i ty of London, 1964 M.A., The Univers i ty of London, 1967 Academic Diploma in Education, The Univers i ty of London, 1966 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Faculty of Education) We accept th i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1979 Q j o s e p h Obi Bisong, 1979 In presenting th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Univers ity of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shal l make i t f ree ly avai lable for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for scholar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publ icat ion of th i s thesis for f inanc ia l gain shal l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The Univers ity of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 DE-6 BP 75-51 1 E ABSTRACT Parsons' cognitive-developmental theory of the aesthetic experience of children envisages aesthetic development toward a part icu lar "end s tate. " This thesis c r i t i c a l l y examines the end state to which the development purportedly leads. The thesis also considers pedagogical questions involved in a programme of aesthetic education designed to bring about appropriate aesthetic responses. It i s argued that Parsons' theory is based on an ob ject i v i s t aesthetic theory which, though widely accepted, does not do ju s t i ce to some aspects of our experience of art . In par t i cu la r , i t i s argued that because the theory misconstrues the logic of expression i t f a i l s to see how works of art can express emotions and thus does not take into account the f u l l measure of our imaginative and emotional experience of art . It i s further argued that certain aspects of an Expression Theory of art give a more sat is factory account of how works of art can function to express emotions and of our emotional experience of art . In advancing this point the arguments of S i r ce l l o and E l l i o t t are put forward and an attempt is made to show how Leavis 's c r i t i c a l practice i m p l i c i t l y recognizes the points S i r ce l l o and E l l i o t t make. The dissertat ion also compares Parsons' theory with the theories of Piaget and Kohl berg and makes use of c r i t i c i sms directed at the theories of the l a t te r two to c r i t i c i z e Parsons' work. An expressionist c r i t ique of Parsons' theory is then made. i i . I l l . F i n a l l y , the express ionist pos i t ion argued for i s used as a basis for exploring the kinds of educational considerations that seem relevant for a programme of aesthet ic education. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i INTRODUCTION 1 Chapter 1 EDUCATIONAL PROBLEMS AND THE STUDY OF AESTHETIC DEVELOPMENT . 7 1.1 Introduction 7 1.2 Educational Problems 7 1.3 The Progressive and New Curriculum Movements in Aesthetic Education 12 1.4 Developmental Studies leading to Parsons' Theory 22 2 PARSONS' THEORY AND TKE OBJECTIVIST AESTHETIC THEORY ON WHICH IT RELIES 29 2.1 Introduction: Parsons' Theory 29 2.2 Stage One 29 2.3 Stage Two 33 2.4 Stage Three 36 2.5 Stage Four 38 2.6 The Object iv i s t Aesthetic Theory 43 3 ASPECTS OF AN EXPRESSION THEORY OF ART 63 3.1 Introduction 6 3 3.2 Expression Theory 65 3.3 S i r c e l l o ' s Argument 66 3.4 E l l i o t t ' s Argument 7 6 3.5 The Object iv i s t Posit ion 38 3.6 Leavis 's Cr i t i c i sm 95 4 CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF PARSONS' COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY OF AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE 108 4.1 Introduction • 1 0 8 4.2 Piaget 's Theory 109 4.3 Kohl berg's Theory 1 1 1 4.4 P a r a l l e l s among the Three Theories 114 4.5 Cr it ic isms of Kohl berg 4.6 Application to Parsons 121 4.7 Expressionist Crit ique of Parsons 126 « V Chapter 5 THE-DEVELOPMENT OF AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO A WORK OF ART .... 143 5.1 Introduction 143 5.2 Considerations for Aesthetic Education 143 5.3 The Emotions of the Aesthetic Experiencer 150 6 CONCLUSION: TOWARD A PEDAGOGY FOR AESTHETIC EDUCATION 154 6.1 Introduction .. 154 6.2 Parsons and Objectivism 154 6.3 Expression Theory 157 6.4 Review of Educational Considerations 160 6.5 Conclusion 164 BIBLIOGRAPHY 166 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am grateful to the following for a l l the help given me in the preparation of this thesis: my teachers in the Department of Educational Foundations, Michael Parsons, and the members of the Supervisory Committee, especia l ly , Roi Daniels. I am also grateful to my wife, Vernie, for her patience, understanding and support. INTRODUCTION This thesis i s a c r i t i c a l examination of Parsons' cognit ive-developmental theory of the aesthetic experience of children and i t s implications for education. The topic therefore raises both theoretical and pedagogical considerations. The theoretical considerations concern the norm on which Parsons bases his sequence of development and the "end state" he envisages; the pedagogical considerations have to do with questions involved in a programme of aesthetic education designed to bring about appropriate aesthetic responses. The nature and frequency of problems in aesthetic education encourage the be l ie f that fresh i n -sights into, and perhaps a better understanding of, the d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered in these areas might be gained by studies guided by a cog-nitive-developmental view. But before such studies can prof i tably take place, the theory needs to be c r i t i c a l l y assessed. This assessment i n -volves making clear the assumptions on which the theory r e l i e s , and whether these assumptions are defensible. The study also includes a consideration of the kinds of implications which this developmental scheme might have for educators concerned with the arts. A br ief sketch of the theory shows why i t i s important to determine what issues are raised, whether these issues have been properly dealt with, and what im-pl icat ions they have for aesthetic education. Much research in the area of aesthetic development has con-centrated, on ch i ldren ' s developing a b i l i t i e s in the ar t s , that i s , on children as they create or attempt to create works of art rather than 1. 2. as they respond to them. Parsons is the f i r s t to sketch a developmental theory of aesthetic experience or awareness concentrating on the ch i ld as he responds to works of art rather than as he creates them. His theory envisages a four-stage developmental sequence beginning with the ch i l d ' s undifferentiated egocentric, quasi-aesthetic response to works of art (stage one) and ending when the ch i ld becomes completely decentered and locates qua l i t ie s in the object i t s e l f (stage four). What develops and changes, the theory maintains, i s the c h i l d ' s sense of aesthetic relevance. At the f i r s t stage, the ch i ld i s unable to d i s -tinguish between what is relevant or i r re levant in his aesthetic ex-perience and so his response i s , in Parsons' phrase, "confusedly aesthet ic. " This s i tuat ion changes over time as the ch i ld develops an increasing sense of relevance. This sense of relevance structures the ch i l d ' s experience into qua l i ta t i ve l y d i f ferent stages and determines both what the ch i ld responds to in the work of art at each stage and the feel ing with which he responds. There i s thus both a cognitive and an affect ive component to the development. The cognitive aspect concerns the developing sense of aesthetic relevance while the af fect ive side deals with the c h i l d ' s emotional re-sponse to the work of art . Because the emotional response to the work is dependent on what the ch i ld judges to be relevant in the aesthetic s i tuat ion, both aspects undergo a qua l i tat ive change at each stage of the development. Thus at each stage the ch i l d ' s judgement of aesthetic relevance determines the kind of experience he has of the work. The stages are therefore stages of aesthetic judgement as well as of aesthetic experience. 3. Parsons' theory does not, however, simply describe the various stages of the development of aesthetic awareness, although he claims to have done no more than propose a "series of advances in a sequence that seems central to the development of aesthetic experience" (Parsons, 1976, p. 314). The theory makes certain normative assumptions concerning the end state to which the development leads. By so doing i t sets the standard for the end state and by implication what should count as development from each stage to the next. This normative aspect of the theory is obviously c r u c i a l , for the judgement of what i s relevant or i rrelevant in an aesthetic experience depends on what the theory takes to be const i tut ive of such experience. One cannot, therefore, decide when, whether, or how far the c h i l d ' s aesthetic experience has developed unless one knows something about the mature aesthetic experience, the end point of the development. Parsons himself recognizes t h i s , but, as we shall presently note, does not provide an adequate description of the end state. In the introduction to "Developmental Stages in Children 's Aesthetic Responses" (Parsons et a l . , 1978), an empirical study by Parsons of ch i ldren ' s responses to painting, we f ind an indication of his conception of th is end state: "In our case, we must be able to give an account of the kinds of features of aesthetic objects found to be relevant in the aesthetic experience of sophisticated adults" (Parsons, 1978). This account is not provided, however, and the reason given i s that th is i s "pr imar i ly a matter for the philosophy of a r t , or at least of art c r i t i c i s m . " I disagree. A developmental account of aesthetic 4. experience ought, to make clear what i t takes that experience to be and so leave no doubt as to what is assumed to be the highest point of develop-ment. In Parsons' case this i s pa r t i cu la r l y important because part of the p l a u s i b i l i t y of the theory, I shal l argue, l i e s in the appeal of the part icu lar view of art and aesthetic experience that is assumed. It w i l l be recal led that both Piaget and Kohlberg, on whose theories Parsons' are modelled, have very def in i te and clear notions about the end state of the i r developmental sequences, and they describe and explain these at considerable length. Parsons chooses rather to "point" to the t rad i t i on represented by the work of Beardsley and his followers. "That t r a d i t i o n " , he wr i tes, "says that what i s f i n a l l y found to be important about a paint-ing (considered as an aesthetic object) i s i t s appearance - whatever is phenomenally avai lable to the perception of any qua l i f ied observer" (Parsons, 1978, p. 85). This view can be generalised to cover the other arts and when so generalised i t means that the aesthetic object i s seen as an object possessing phenomenally objective (publ ic ly observable) qua l i t i e s , and aesthetic experience consists in sensing or apprehending these qua l i t i e s . I have, following E l l i o t t (1973), label led th i s point of view and the theory that l i e s behind i t , " o b j e c t i v i s t " , because i t appears to interpret aesthetic experience rather s t r i c t l y on the model of inspecting and coming to know an object. I shall argue that although this aesthetic theory seems to be the dominant one at present we do not have to accept i t because i t i s not beyond question. I shall go further and try to show that in some important respects the ob ject i v i s t aesthetic theory does not do ju s t i ce to some aspects of our experience of art . These 5. aspects include our imaginative and emotional experience of art . I shall also argue that th is defect i s present mainly because the theory miscons-trues the logic of expression and thus f a i l s to see how works of art can express emotions. In any case, the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory i s only one among a number of competing theories and although i t has been extremely in f luent ia l in determining the methods and the attitudes of art educators and the i r pupils in the last few years, not to mention the parents of those pupi ls , I shall contend that th i s influence has not been a l l good. So the f i r s t general c r i t i c i sm I shall make of Parsons' theory is that i t r e l i e s on an ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic and that th is de-termines both what he sees as developing and the end state of that development. This w i l l be the subject matter of chapter two. In chapter three I discuss aspects of Expression Theory that seem to me to deal with certain elements in the nature of art and our response to art in a more sat isfactory manner than the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory on which Parsons r e l i e s . In discussing these aspects I examine the arguments of S i r ce l l o (1971) and E l l i o t t (1967) and go on to show how Leavis 's c r i t i c a l practice i m p l i c i t l y recognises the points S i r ce l l o and E l l i o t t make. Chapter four compares Parsons' theory with the theories of Piaget and Kohl berg and applies to Parsons some of the c r i t i c i sms that have been made of Piaget 's and Kohlberg's theories. The chapter ends with an expressionist c r i t ique of Parsons' theory. In chapter f ive I deal with the development of an emotional response to a work of art and in chapter six I summarize the main issues that have been dealt with in the thesis and review the educational considerations. 6. It i s clear from what has been said so far that, although I refer to empirical findings in developmental studies of ch i ldren ' s aesthetic a b i l i t i e s and experiences, th is thesis i s not an empirical study. Rather I am concerned to provide a c r i t i c a l assessment of Parsons' theory, to c l a r i f y i t s assumptions, and to evaluate the use i t makes of empirical f indings. I agree with Hamlyn (1971) when he states that "the most important part of try ing to assess any theory is. deter-mining which questions are being asked." Mine i s thus a c r i t i c a l evaluation of the questions Parsons' developmental thesis deals with and the implications they have for aesthetic education. This, I bel ieve, i s the d i s t i n c t i ve contribution which a philosophical c r i t i que should make, and my c r i t i c i sms of the theory are made in three areas: the theory 's aesthetic assumptions, i t s developmental aspects and i t s educational implications. CHAPTER ONE EDUCATIONAL PROBLEMS AND THE STUDY OF AESTHETIC DEVELOPMENT 1.1 Introduction This chapter begins with a discussion of some of the problems that beset those concerned with art education and the development of a l i t e r a r y s en s i b i l i t y . Then i t delineates the two main positions that have been taken concerning aesthetic education. There follows a review of the previous work in aesthetic development and a demonstration of how this work corresponds to the pattern already set by the two views already considered. The chapter concludes with a discussion of why I think Parsons' theory might provide a fresh approach to the educational problems mentioned at the outset. 1.2 Educational Problems The main motivation for undertaking this study l i e s in two d i s t i n c t but related d issat i s fact ions - with the present state of art education generally and with the teaching of l i t e r a tu re . Anyone who has observed the teaching of art in schools and who has read some of the l i t e ra tu re on art education cannot f a i l to be impressed by the general lack of d i rect ion that characterizes the whole enterprise. There are various conf l i c t ing aims and no one i s quite certain about what the goal should be. What seems c lear , judging from the various provisions that are made in schools for children to practice a r t , is that society i s concerned that art should become a better understood and more t ru l y f e l t part of our l i v e s . "Yet at the same time," writes 7. 8. F ie l d , "the procedures of the art teachers, whose task i s to put th is concern into pract ice, are characterized by confusion and lack of d i rect ion " (1970, p. 2). There are various reasons for t h i s , and some of them are pointed out by F i e ld . There is a chronic weakness in communication, so that art teachers in the f i e l d seem to be working in i s o l a t i on . This, he points out, i s the combined result of the mystique surrounding the art teacher's job, genuine differences of opinion and a preoccupation with means that excludes any discussion of ends. These problems are further complicated by the absence of any central focus for the dissemination of ideas, and the lack of research. F ie ld concludes th$t for these reasons, and because the problems of art education are in constant f l ux , th is i s an area where developments are urgently necessary. A s imi la r need for development and change was f e l t by Steiner who ten years ago presented a bleak picture of the study and teaching of l i t e ra tu re at university in an essay which appeared in Language and  Si lence: A man would have to be an outright optimist or g i f ted with self-deception to argue that a l l i s well in the study and teaching of English L i terature. There is a d i s t i nc t malaise in the f i e l d , a sense of things going wrong or by default. . .Motives are unclear or f a i n t l y hypocr i t i ca l . (Steiner, 1967, p. 67) The general feel ing of d i s sat i s fact ion with the enterprise which Steiner presents can be traced to certain spec i f i c fa i lu res in the teaching of l i t e ra tu re . The l i t e r a r y work often e l i c i t s only a stereotyped response cloaked in empty verbal symbols that r e f l e c t the absence of any real convictions. There is frequently complete 9. i n sens i t i v i t y to l i t e r a r y passages of merit, despite attempts to point out what there i s to be seen. F i na l l y , one gets the impression that, despite strenuous e f fo r t s , no real love for the l i t e r a r y work develops. These are problems, the solution of which might demand a complete re-thinking of aims and strategies, or perhaps a new sh i f t in focus. Steiner ' s worry about the spec i f i c case of English l i t e ra tu re and F i e l d ' s concern about the teaching of art are only two instances of a general concern about the f a i l u re of aesthetic education. What these concerns i l l u s t r a t e is that the aesthetic form of understanding which the teaching was supposed to increase has not been enhanced. There i s also a strong feel ing that i n i t i a t i o n into the arts has f a i l ed to bring about the expected transformation in how a person views the world and conducts himself in i t . The humanities, as Steiner puts i t , have f a i l ed to humanize. But the be l ie f remains strong that the arts with the i r unique combination of the cognitive and the af fect ive are especial ly suited to bring about a transformation of the whole person, his reason and his emotions. In view of the fact that the various new teaching methods t r i ed so far have not brought about the desired change that would enable individuals to engage more f u l l y in the ar t s , i t i s doubtful whether further t r i a l s w i l l make a difference. Change is indeed cal led fo r , but what kind of change? Developmental studies in other areas have generated new insights and approaches and stimulated research into various aspects of the ch i l d ' s learning a b i l i t i e s . These are highly valued by educators for reasons which have been variously stated. 10. Broudy writes: . . . i f we understand the natural or even the regular sequences of changes in the c h i l d , we would try to cap i ta l i ze on them in pacing instruct ion. We would use to advantage those times when the pupil learns most eas i ly and ref ra in from pressing upon him a c t i v i t i e s for which he is not ready. (Eisner, 1976, p. 87) While th is provides one of the reasons why we value the developmental findings of Piaget for example, i t i s necessary to add that developmental studies of ch i ldren ' s a r t , a topic we shal l be examining short ly, have provided a useful i f one-sided picture of the development of ch i ldren ' s a r t i s t i c a b i l i t i e s . The sequence of a r t i s t i c development that has been charted, from scribbles through abstract shapes or figures to heads and bodies, seems to hold good for most children but i t provides a description of children as pract it ioners of art only and this seems to me to be an incomplete picture. I f we are rea l l y interested in bringing about changes in aesthetic perception and appreciation then we should be concerned about the c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to respond toworksof art as well as his a b i l i t y to create. Indeed, a proper understanding of c rea t i v i t y in this context, as F ie ld has argued, should include an awareness of the procedure of the a r t i s t and an understanding of the end product: In th i s sense creative a c t i v i t y cannot be confined to the process of experiencing art by pract is ing i t , for the process of 'discovering about' art can also be creative. Thus the practice of art and the discovery of art should go hand in hand as one broad and unif ied a c t i v i t y leading to understanding in the twin senses of grasp and use. (F ie ld , 1970, p. 21) 11. What F ie ld refers to as "discovery of a r t " could perhaps be more accurately described as the understanding and appreciation of a r t , an aspect of aesthetic education which needs to be emphasized because i t i s th is which enables the ch i ld to have an aesthetic response and determines the kind of response that he has. Thus a theory of aesthetic development which concentrates on the ch i ld as he responds to works of art rather than as he creates them might provide the new focus that would enable educators to make a fresh s ta r t . Such a theory might perhaps show that ch i ldren ' s powers of perception and appreciation often outstr ip the i r a b i l i t i t e s to make works of a r t . Whatever the resu l t , i t seems l i k e l y that the kind of research findings such a theory might generate would certa in ly make a difference to our approach to teaching. F i na l l y , such a theory could, as did Kohlberg's theory for moral development, generate a new interest i n , and an awareness of, the way children develop aesthetic concepts. The theory I have in mind was put forward by Parsons (1976). He has since carr ied out an empirical study of ch i ldren ' s responses to painting (Parsons et a l . , 1978). This study ident i f i e s s ix topics, in connection with painting which reveal developmental stages. The stages are arrived at by an analysis of the ch i ldren ' s responses; the results seem to support the p l a u s i b i l i t y of the theory. But before going on to discuss Parsons' theory i t i s necessary to set the theory in i t s context. This I shal l do by discussing the two main positions that have been taken concerning aesthetic education, and I fol low this with a review of ea r l i e r work in aesthetic development. 12. 1.3 The Progressive and New Curriculum Movements in Aesthetic Education Writers who have expressed views on aesthetic education can be grouped roughly into two camps - those who r e f l e c t the views and arguments used by the progressive movement in education and those who stress the importance of teaching s k i l l s and content in a r t . The two may be ident i f ied respectively, as the progressives and those who espouse the new curriculum movement. Representative figures of the progressive movement are Read, Lowenfeld and B r i t t a i n while those of the new curriculum movement are Broudy, Smith and Reimer. The progressives stress ch i ldren ' s innate a b i l i t i e s to do art . These a b i l i t i e s , they argue, should be allowed to develop with l i t t l e or no interference from adults. Lowenfeld speaks of the unfolding of the potential creative a b i l i t i e s of the ch i ld (Lowenfeld & B r i t t a i n , 1964) and he sees most adult e f fo r t to d i rect the ch i ld as inter fer ing with his creative urge. The progressives, as one would expect, strongly emphasize doing and chi ldren ' s drawings are seen not as inadequate or poor imitations of adult drawings but as f u l l expressions of the world as i t impinges on the ch i l d ' s consciousness. Read sees the c h i l d ' s ef forts as the "d i rec t and unsophisticated expression of i t s own world of fee l ing " (Read, 1958). This emphasis on the ch i l d ' s expression i s ref lected in the way the progressives view the nature of a r t . Art for th is group i s expression. No sophisticated view of expression i s intended here. The ch i l d i s said to express himself in what he creates, and the product or work of art i s the expression. Read sees art as merely one method of human expression or communication and so within the reach of a l l chi ldren. 13. What then would be the aim of aesthetic education for the progressives? There are two aims r ea l l y , an immediate one and an overal l one. The immediate aim i s to enable the ch i l d to develop a new medium of expression and to create works of a r t . The overal l aim is to achieve the moral and i n te l l ec tua l wholeness of mankind. For the progressives then the aim of aesthetic education i s ult imately extra-aesthetic. This overal l aim i s part of what Read had in mind when he advanced the thesis that "a r t should be the basis of education" (Read, 1958). In contrast to th is group the new curr icu la people maintain that children have l imited a b i l i t i e s to do art but have greater powers of perception and appreciation. What is important, they argue, is not emphasis on doing so much as guidance towards a f u l l e r aesthetic appreciation. There is no assumption here that ch i ldren ' s creative a b i l i t i e s develop natural ly but a clear be l i e f in the idea that ch i ldren ' s powers of aesthetic perception outstr ip the i r a b i l i t y to produce art . This seems to me to be a useful corrective to the progressives' excessive adulation of the c h i l d ' s creative e f f o r t , an adulation influenced by a romantic view of the ch i ld - inherited perhaps from Rousseau. Where the progressives see art as something which the ch i ld natural ly produces, the new curriculum movement stresses that there i s a cognitive core to art which must be emphasized in teaching. Reimer (1970) argues that the art of music possesses a structure which has to be carefu l ly taught. Broudy (1972) sees works of art as setting 14. standards of excellence and argues for the inculcation of these standards i f the pupil i s to make any worthwhile progress in a r t . In Smith's "Aesthetic C r i t i c i sm: The Method of Aesthetic Education" (1968), there is a s imi lar emphasis on "the content or subject matter of formal ins t ruct ion " in aesthetic education. There i s , behind a l l t h i s , a clear conviction that art i s an achievement and that not everything the ch i ld produces i s ar t . For the new curriculum movement, then, aesthetic education aims at achieving an enlightened beholding - Broudy ca l l s i t "enlightened cherishing" - in the aesthetic domain of human experience. The goal i s reached when aesthetic response or judgement is j u s t i f i e d by appeal to relevent c r i t e r i a in terms of which objects are deemed worthy or unworthy of acclaim. The overal l aim is thus purely aesthetic. It must be added, however, that Broudy sees aesthetic education as leading towards a general education in "values" and this sets him apart from the others in the new cur r i cu la group. There i s behind the new curriculum movement's emphasis on the primacy of content in aesthetic education the conviction that schools are ins t i tut ions that are primari ly places where formal instruct ion takes place, that most people can and do p ro f i t from this formal instruct ion in the arts , but that only a few people can and do become a r t i s t s in any community. The l a t t e r in any case works best when not hampered by the demands of i n s t i tu t i ons . They are people with individual needs which in s t i tu t ions cannot sa t i s f y , whether these ins t i tut ions be schools or places of higher learning, such as un iver s i t ie s . 15. In support of th is view G r i f f i t h s (1965) argues,concerning un iver s i t ie s : The university environment, with i t s a i r of public c r i t i c i s m , i s often inimical to the a r t i s t . A r t i s t s do not always f i t well into i n s t i t u t i on s , especial ly ones not pr imari ly dedicated to the i r purposes. Above a l l , we do not want to turn poets into l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s , painters into art h i s tor ians, or great musical innovators into teachers of elementary harmony: and th i s i s not for the sake of univers i t ies but for the sake of poetry, l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , paint ing, art history and Schoenberg. (Archambault, 1965, p. 119) I f th is i s so, we can conclude that the new curriculum movement i s r ight to i n s i s t that enlightened response and judgement be the focus of attention in aesthetic education. Smith (1968) argues that learners be taught "how to decide what is aesthet ica l ly relevent, valuable and unique" and he advocates aesthetic education be by the route of aesthetic c r i t i c i sm - descr ipt ion, analys is, interpretat ion and evaluation. These two opposing views of aesthetic education recur frequently in the l i t e ra tu re discussed in this thesis. It w i l l be seen that t rad i t iona l approaches to the study of ch i ldren ' s a b i l i t i e s in the arts re f l ec t the bias of the progressives and concentrate on the ch i l d as he creates or attempts to create works of art rather than as he responds to them. There have, however, been a few recent studies that deal with the ch i ld as a responder to art and,in sett ing up c r i t e r i a for the evaluation of ch i ldren ' s responses, these studies r e f l e c t the views of the new curriculum movement. The view of the ch i l d as potential a r t i s t , and the consequent concentration of attention on his developing creative a b i l i t i e s is one 16. which i s shared even by psychologists who have not concerned themselves d i rec t l y with the study of the a r t i s t i c development of the ch i l d . Freud, for example (see Gardner, 1973, p. 18), was fascinated by the fact that -the ch i ld at play behaved l i k e a creative wr i te r , creating a world of his own and taking i t very seriously but at the same time separating i t from r e a l i t y , and Piaget was puzzled by the fact that the ch i l d ' s early manifestations of creative a c t i v i t y did not show the same continuous progression that his i n te l l ec tua l development showed. But recognition that the early creative promise of the ch i ld is rarely f u l f i l l e d by the adult has not diminished the f a i t h in the c h i l d ' s creative potent ia l . Arnheim, for example, goes so far as to assert: "I can think of no essential factor in art or a r t i s t i c creation of which the seed is not recognisable in the work of chi ldren" (Arnheim, 1954, p. 164). Kellog (1970) and Di Leo (1971) in the i r separate studies of ch i ldren ' s art go along with Arnheim although they emphasize the importance and i n t r i n s i c interest of ch i ldren ' s creative e f fo r t s . Kel log ' s conclusions from her patient study of ch i ldren ' s art from various cultures represent the current opinion about the stages of ch i ldren ' s a r t i s t i c development and are worth recapitu lat ing. She demonstrates that the ch i l d f i r s t goes through the scr ibb l ing stage, making straight or curly l ines back and forth across the page. This i s followed by the placement stage in which l ines are placed in certain basic ways on the page. No attempt is yet made to draw spec i f i c objects. This i s the achievement of the next stage where the mastery of certain shapes allows patterns to be bu i l t in the form of crosses, c i r c l e s and mandalas. This may be ca l led the 17. pre-schematic stage. At about the age of four the ch i ld starts to represent aspects of the world - persons, bui ldings, trees, e t c . , and begins to explo it some visual schemes, e.g., trees as people without arms. This i s the schematic stage or the stage of representation, and i t goes on un t i l the ch i l d i s f i ve or s i x , when he starts making pictures that suggest stories and passes from the representational stage to that of realism. The general movement from scr ibbl ing to representation i s also documented by Di Leo whose careful work on the drawings of normal and abnormal chi ldren from thirteen months to s ix years i s a fascinating document. In discussing developmental sequences he observes: There i s general agreement that two d i s t i n c t stages can be ident i f i ed in the spontaneous graphic a c t i v i t y of young chi ldren: an ea r l i e r kinesthetic or scr ibb l ing stage and a l a te r representational stage. (Di Leo, 1971, p. 17) The accounts of Kellog and Di Leo have, as Gardner (1973) notes, "been supported by more systematic experimentation." He highlights certain points of general agreement: Of part icu lar note i s the universal conviction that general schemes ( c i r c l e s , squares) precede the presentation of objects. The human f igure is generally the f i r s t and most popular representation. The ch i ld i n i t i a l l y draws what he knows about objects and only gradually comes to rea l i se that he may attempt to draw d i rec t l y after nature; attempts to draw in perspective do not generally emerge unt i l 9 or 10 years of age, though some preschoolers already attempt the pract ice. There i s a period of preadolescent regression, in which the ch i ld either ceases to draw altogether or draws in a more pr imit ive manner. And in our culture there is a general s h i f t to verbal means of expression and to ornamentation in wr i t ing after the years of middle childhood. (p. 217) 18. We may note here how certain aspects of the developmental sequence sketched have para l le l s in the development of aesthetic awareness outlined by Parsons. After the scr ibbl ing stage the ch i l d starts on his graphic exploration by drawing what he knows. As we w i l l see, th i s i s paral le led in Parsons' scheme by the fact that the ch i ld f i r s t i dent i f i e s with the subject of the painting and relates the work to himself. From drawing what he knows the ch i l d goes on to copy nature, i . e . he conforms to some external rules of a r t . The para l le l with Parsons here is that in the second stage of aesthetic response the ch i ld locates the source of aesthetic pleasure more object ively in the work i t s e l f , i . e . in the sat i s fact ion of standards external to himself. This shows a measure of decentering as the ch i ld passes from the f i r s t egocentric stage to one in which factors outside himself influence his aesthetic response. In the th i rd stage of his creative evolution the ch i ld begins to try to draw in perspective and we f ind that in Parsons' developmental sequence th i s i s when the ch i ld begins to rea l i se that "there may be many alternat ive sets of rules by which works can be judged" (Parsons, 1976, p. 313). That regression sets in during the preadolescent years of c rea t i v i t y i s pa ra l l e l l ed in Parsons' work by the loss of certain d i s t inct ions previously achieved during preadolescence often followed by a reversal to an ea r l i e r egocentric stage. These para l le l s lend a certain p l a u s i b i l i t y to Parsons' stage theory, but I shal l argue la te r that the theory also derives some of i t s p l a u s i b i l i t y from i t s normative aspects. Although Parsons does not give a detai led account of the normative assumptions of his theory I shal l show that 19. they are important to the theory and are derived from a part icu lar aesthetic theory which, though widely accepted, does not do ju s t i ce to some important aspects of our experience of a r t . The studies mentioned so far have concentrated on the ch i ld as he creates or attempts to create works of art and the authors have been at pains to defend the freshness, s incer i ty and v a l i d i t y of the c h i l d ' s v is ion of r e a l i t y . I do not want to deny any of these claims, but i t should be remembered that a r t i s t i c development i s toward an end state, the production of mature works of a r t , and i t i s against th is end state that the ch i l d ' s work is measured. Gardner provides a good reason for conceiving an end state when he wr ites: There i s a sense in which i t i s necessary to speak of a developed a r t i s t or c r i t i c , just as one would speak of a developed sc ient i s t or businessman, not to denigrate other individuals (including ch i ldren) , but to describe an ideal type or end state toward which development proceeds. (Gardner, 1973, p. 24) Judged by the standards of the end state, then, most ch i ldren ' s drawing must be seen as " lacking a sense of proportion, 'proper' or ientation in space, and aesthetic s en s i t i v i t y " (Di Leo, 1971, p. 134). The ch i l d s t i l l has to acquire a great deal of experience and technical expert ise; he s t i l l has a l o t of l i v i n g to do. These things take time. With luck, hard work and patience he may make i t . We must not pause too long to stare at, and lavish too much praise on, work that i s rea l l y only the f i r s t step toward mature creation. Gardner's remarks about the absurdity of regarding the young ch i l d of seven or eight as a mature a r t i s t are relevant here. "He requires " , Gardner wr i tes, discussing 20. the ch i ld a r t i s t , "at the very leas t , additional knowledge about the medium, more understanding of the culture in which he l i v e s , increased f l e x i b i l i t y in the way he regards a r t i s t i c objects, and greater psychological insight about human nature, as well as superior technical s k i l l permitting him to rea l i se desired effects in part icu lar media" (Eisner, 1976, p. 104). The objective adult standards by which Di Leo says we must not judge ch i ldren ' s work are ult imately the only standards we have, and we do the children less than ju s t i ce to pretend otherwise. It i s interest ing to note that, for a l l the i r readiness to lavish praise, those who have examined a great deal of ch i ldren ' s a r t i s t i c output admit that the work i s of varying degrees of excellence. Some drawings and paintings are c lear ly better than others however careful ly they have been selected. Some show more o r i g i n a l i t y , some a more accomplished sense of s ty le and some a clearer v i s ion. The fact that such differences in qual i ty of produced work are noticed makes i t obvious that an external standard is being applied. Di Leo writes: " A l l chi ldren draw, but only a few w i l l eventually impart to the i r drawings those t a c t i l e values and movement, that elusive l i f e -communicating something that Berenson ca l l s Art " (1971, p. 134). The standards of excellence with which a l l art i s measured come from great a r t , and this i s an adult achievement. The concentration of attention on the ch i l d ' s creative ef fort s by Lowenfeld, Kel log, Di Leo and others might lead one to believe that the c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to respond to art l i e s dormant while his creative potential develops. This i s c lear ly not the case. "By the time he is 21. four and a ha l f " , Di Leo observes, "the ch i ld is able to make an aesthetic judgement when presented with three pairs of faces. He w i l l surprise his mother by selecting the p ret t ie r of each pair of g i r l s , re f lect ing the aesthetic standards of his culture" 0971, p. 134). In fact studies by Machotka (1962; 1966) and by Gardner, Winner and Kircher (1975), both of whom I shal l presently review, suggest that children are able to make aesthetic judgements as early as three years of age or even ea r l i e r . The conclusion Parsons draws from his own findings is that certain aesthetic discriminations are made quite ear ly, perhaps as early as when the ch i l d begins to scr ibble. W. Wolff asks: "Is not the aesthetic sense revealed in the ch i l d ' s a b i l i t y to suggest r ea l i t y with the greatest economy of means?" (c ited in Di Leo, 1971, p. 134). The answer to th is question must surely be pos i t ive. No one can produce work to which descriptions l i k e graceful, elegant, precise, suggestive, e t c . , apply who has not himself acquired, however embryonically, the aesthetic qua l i t ie s which these adjectives suggest. Yet throughout the i r analyses of ch i ldren ' s a r t , both Kellog and Di Leo show no interest in try ing to e l i c i t the aesthetic awareness of the i r subjects or the i r capacity to respond aesthet ica l ly by getting them to talk about the i r art or other people's. What is required, as Ecker (1973, p. 62) suggests,is "a systematic analysis of ch i ldren ' s ta lk about art to match Kel log ' s analysis of ch i ldren ' s a r t . " No such analysis has yet been done. There have been a handful of less ambitious e f fo r t s . One of the more interest ing of these is Machotka's study - to which I now turn. 22. 1.4 Developmental Studies leading to Parsons' Theory Machotka (.1966) did a careful study of the reasons chi ldren give for the i r choices of paintings. He found that younger chi ldren tended to base the i r preferences on subject matter and colour while children between the ages of seven and eleven referred increasingly to realism as the reason for the i r choice. These children also gave harmony and c l a r i t y as reasons for the i r choice. At adolescence, chi ldren began to base the i r choices on " s t y l e , composition, af fect ive tone and luminosity" (p. 877). Machotka argued that the three d i f ferent reasons picked out at the three stages ref lected Piagetian developmental stages. Thus the younger children who gave subject matter and colour as reasons showed that they were at Piaget ' s preoperational stage; those who picked realism showed that they were at the stage of concrete operational thought while adolescents who showed interest in s t y l e , composition, e tc . , were giving reasons that ref lected the stage of formal operations " i n which the operations charaterizing the previous stage became f u l l y mental, independent of concrete i l l u s t r a t i o n , and consequently hypothetico-deductive" (1966, p. 878). Machotka also noted that the c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to represent objects mirrored Piagetian trends and pointed out that "by age 11, the c h i l d ' s knowledge of representation has outdistanced his a b i l i t y to represent; this should mark his highest appreciation of r e a l i s t i c representation - of an a b i l i t y which he prizes but cannot a t t a i n " (1966, PP- 878-879). This l a s t point is further confirmation of remarks I made e a r l i e r about ch i ldren ' s appreciative talents being greater than the i r a b i l i t y to create works of a r t . 23. Machotka does not attempt to generalize his thesis to cover the other arts - which might lead one to conclude that the developmental stages he describes apply only to paint ing, but a more generalised Piagetian trend is confirmed by other invest igators, notably Gardner, Winner and Kircher (1975), who have explored areas other than painting. These authors tested children between the ages of four and sixteen and on the whole confirmed Machotka's findings although they add two interest ing facts about the responses of chi ldren in the i r mature age group (14 - 16 years). These thought that art required native a b i l i t y , talent or genius as opposed simply to hard work or s k i l l . They also exhibited a kind of re lat iv i sm in the i r judgements and this the authors thought was a return to the re lat iv i sm of the early years (4 - 7). Gardner, Winner and Kircher conclude that the i r study "reveals the existence of a number of qua l i t a t i ve l y d i f ferent views about the arts over the course of childhood" (p. 74). They point out that there i s "no evidence that these steps of thought are taught or imitated: rather they appear to be spontaneous constructions at a certain developmental stage" (p. 74). F ina l l y they stress that the way children think about the arts re f lect s the way in which they think about the world generally. Other researchers have come up with findings about ch i ldren ' s responses to the arts which have added some interest ing deta i l s to the main conclusions arrived at by Machotka and Gardner, Winner and Kircher. Gardner (1973) summarizes these findings in his chapter on experimental research and concludes that more research and tests are needed to probe 24. the pattern of aesthetic development that the present findings suggest. There is c lear ly a need for further research but such research has to be preceded by a guiding theory that takes note of the present findings and relates them to a tota l picture of the development of aesthetic awareness. Parsons does provide such a theory and I shal l now give a very br ief summary of i t before discussing some of the ways in which i t might provide new approaches to the educational problems mentioned above. Parsons calls his theory a "cognitive-developmental theory of the aesthetic experience of ch i ldren" and he intends i t to explain the facts , discovered by Machotka and others, about ch i ldren ' s aesthetic experiences. The theory focusses on the ch i ld as he responds to works of a r t , rather than as he creates them, and discusses the cognitive structure that l i e s behind the ch i l d ' s experience of art . In a four-stage developmental sequence the theory envisages a gradual process of decentering as children pass from an i n i t i a l stage of egocentrism where there is complete i dent i f i ca t i on with, for example, characters in a story, to a mature stage of making objective aesthetic judgements about the work of art . What develops is the sense of aesthetic relevance and this affects both the kind of response that the ch i ld makes and the feel ing with which he responds. Parsons gives the following guiding summary of his four stages: Children at the f i r s t stage speak as i f these (aesthetic) qua l i t ie s l i e in an egocentrical ly close re lat ion between se l f and object. At the second stage, children conceive them as residing in the sat i s fact ion of a spec i f i c set of rules. At the th i rd stage, account is taken of a variety of possibly con f l i c t i ng sets of rules, and authority for 25. judgements l i e s either in the a r t i s t ' s intentions or with individual and character i s t ic response. F i na l l y , at the mature stage, aesthetic qua l i t ie s are thought of as qua l i t ies of the object i t s e l f , being in pr inc ip le publ ic ly accessible and based on the perceptual or intentional aspects of the object. With respect to judgements, one might summarize the stages by reference to the notion of rules: the f i r s t stage has in ef fect no ru les; the second has a c lear set of rules; the th i rd has many and conf l i c t ing sets of rules and f a l l s back either on the a r t i s t ' s intention or on some form of re lat i v i sm; the fourth has pr inciples of relevance, to w i t , that aesthetic qua l i t ie s are public and are based on the perceptual or intentional aspects of the object. With respect to experience, the central thread to these stages is the passage from a highly egocentric response to a response that is highly sensit ive to aesthetic qua l i t ies as such, i . e . to a power or highly relevant and subtle fee l ing . (Parsons, 1976, p. 309) He argues that the theory sketched applies potent ia l ly to a l l of the a r t s , but that i t requires a serious engagement with each art form for i t s rea l i sa t ion . Thus he is concerned with what i s d i s t i nc t i ve about aesthetic experience across the arts . Parsons goes on in the a r t i c l e to describe each of the f i r s t three stages in deta i l showing how the young ch i ld passes from an undifferentiated egocentric response to works of art (stage one) to a state in which he begins to locate aesthetic qua l i t ie s in the object i t s e l f (stage four). The fourth and l a s t stage which Parsons takes to be the end point of development i s not described in any deta i l but he assumes that philosophers of c r i t i c i sm have been engaged in discussing the nature of this stage. This is the stage of the adult response where objective reasons are given to support an aesthetic response or judgement. 26. It i s c lear from this br ief summary that Parsons envisages the ch i l d going through qua l i ta t i ve ly d i f ferent stages in the development of aesthetic awareness. The theory i s thus s imi lar to Kohl berg's theory of moral development. It i s , however, much less detai led than Kohl berg's but Parsons believes he has sketched enough of the theory to allow "a more thorough investigation of the facts to take place" (Parsons, 1976, p. 314). In considering the ways in which the theory might generate new insights into some of the educational problems mentioned at the beginning of the chapter, we might begin by discussing the " fac t s " on which the theory i s bu i l t and which demand investigation and corroboration, and the ef fect these facts , i f confirmed, might have on the teaching of the arts. But, f i r s t , a general observation. Parsons' theory, by concentrating on the ch i ld as he responds to works of art draws attention to the ch i l d ' s role as "audience member" and " c r i t i c " (Gardner's terms) and so invites the educator to gear his teaching toward developing the ch i l d ' s understanding and appreciation. This certa in ly provides a welcome sh i f t from the previous exclusive concern over the ch i l d ' s creative potent ia l , a concern which often l imited the art teacher's role to one of merely providing a suitable environment for the ch i l d to "make a r t . " What are the facts on which Parsons' theory i s bu i l t ? There i s , f i r s t of a l l , the developmental sequence. Parsons claims that the ch i ld moves from an egocentrical ly close re lat ion to the aesthetic object to one in which he distances himself from the object and locates 27. the aesthetic qua l i t ies in the object i t s e l f . The development thus involves both a decentering process and an acquis it ion of a sense of aesthetic relevance which determines both the kind of thing the ch i ld responds to in the work and the qual i ty of that response. This sense of aesthetic relevance changes over time so that some things that are judged to be i rrelevant at an ea r l i e r stage la ter become important while others that are considered important at an ea r l i e r stage may la te r be found i r re levant. I f these suggestions are confirmed, art teachers might have to modify both the i r methods of teaching and the content of what they teach. There would be no point in trying to get a ch i l d to respond object ively to a work of art or an aesthetic object at a time when he is not yet able to distance himself from the work and has not developed an adequate sense of aesthetic relevance. Nor would there be much point in try ing to get a response to a work whose demands are well beyond the c h i l d ' s developmental stage. Secondly, there i s the matter of the stages themselves. In the follow up study of chi ldren ' s responses to painting already noted (Parsons, et a l . , 1978), Parsons and his colleagues report that the idea of representation in painting dominated responses at stage one. This would seem to suggest an ea r l i e r stage when paintings were not seen as being about anything, as studies of very young ch i ldren ' s paintings indicate. The idea of a painting representing something or someone would then be a l a te r achievement. This is one of the findings that c lear ly need corroboration, for i f there is a stage before stage one, might there not be other stages between two and three and between 28. three and four? Whatever the findings turn out to be, they w i l l certa in ly make a difference to our choice of material for teaching and our expectations of pupils. While on the topic of stages we might consider Parsons' description of stage two as the stage in which the notions of rules and standards in art become important to the ch i ld so that he begins to judge works of art according to external standards. Conventions about subject matter also become important at th is stage and the young ch i l d comes to prefer certain kinds of subjects for a r t . These usually exclude the painful and the trag ic - perhaps because the ch i ld i s not yet psychologically able to deal with such subjects. These suggestions, i f correct, would certa in ly af fect when and how the teacher introduces works of art that deal with certain kinds of subjects. Problems encountered in the teaching of l i t e ra tu re such as inadequate response to, and lack of love fo r , the l i t e r a r y work, might partly be solved by a sensible choice of works based on the appeal of certain subjects at d i f ferent developmental stages. These educational implications provide a certain j u s t i f i c a t i o n for studying Parsons' developmental theory. In the chapters that follow I shal l consider the educational implications of other aspects of the theory. CHAPTER TWO PARSONS' THEORY AND THE OBJECTIVIST AESTHETIC THEORY ON WHICH IT RELIES 2.1 Introduction This chapter begins with a detailed exposition of Parsons' cognitive-developmental theory of aesthetic experience. This is followed by a discussion of the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory on which i t r e l i e s . It concludes with an examination of the implications of this theory for aesthetic education. Parsons suggests four stages in the development of aesthetic experience and judgement beginning with the undifferentiated egocentric response to the work of art observed in the f i ve or s ix year old ch i l d . Then follows a gradual process of decentering and the rea l i sat ion in preadolescent years that there are standards in a r t . The recognition of the existence of d i f ferent and possibly con f l i c t i ng sets of standards comes in adolescence and the decentering process ends at the f i na l stage when aesthetic response i s based on qua l i t ie s of the work that are in pr inc ip le publ ic ly accessible "and not in some more egocentric re la t ion " (Parsons, 1976, p. 314). 2.2 Stage One The ch i l d at stage one does not, according to Parsons' theory, dist inguish c lear ly between art objects and natural objects, i s often heavily influenced by subject matter in paintings, and does not dist inguish between the pleasure he derives from the appearance of the painting and the pleasure he derives from associations suggested by the 29. 30. painting. Parsons gives the example of a f i ve and a half year old boy who l i ked Currier and Ives 1 painting Preparing for Market, a scene of farm l i f e . The boy gave as his reason for l i k i n g i t the fact that i t reminded him of his cowboy hat. The picture does not, of course, have any cowboys or cowboy hats in i t but i t does have a horse and i t i s a l l too l i k e l y that i t was the horse that triggered off the pleasant associations with the cowboy hat. In addition,the ch i ld thought that saying that he l iked the painting was the same as judging i t to be good. A second example is given of a somewhat older g i r l who said she l i ked the painting because the farm depicted in the painting was the sort of place in which she would l i k e to l i v e . Parsons comments that the g i r l had responded more f u l l y and relevantly than the boy because she had attended more closely to the deta i l s of the paint ing, but, l i k e the boy, she had f a i l ed to "dist inguish the pleasure of imagining herself l i v i n g on the farm from that due to the appearance of the painting" (Parsons, 1976). These two examples serve to i l l u s t r a t e the character i st ics of the stage one response mentioned above - the confusion of what i s perceptually present in the work with what is not, the i n a b i l i t y to dist inguish between l i k i n g and judging, the attention to the subject matter of the painting rather than to the representation i t s e l f . Parsons sees these character ist ics as peculiar to the ch i l d ' s response to art and as what distinguishes the ch i l d ' s response from the adu l t ' s . An adul t ' s experience of art would be free from these elementary confusions. 31. Parsons argues further that these three fa i lures - the fa i lures to dist inguish between l i k i n g and judging, between what i s perceptually present in the work and what i s not and between the subject matter of the painting and the representation i t s e l f - are connected with Piaget 's notion of egocentricism and the ch i l d ' s i n a b i l i t y to role-take, i . e . to take the point of view of another. Because the ch i l d ' s attention i s centered on himself and he i s unable to take another person's point of view, he considers what he l ikes to be what every other person would l i k e . Or rather, i t does not occur to him that what he l ikes might not be what other people would l i k e . Thus the d i s t inc t ion between personal preference and objective judgement is not made. The ch i l d of the f i r s t example "speaks as i f , though we cannot say he thinks i t , others would be reminded of the i r cowboy hat jus t as they would also see a horse" (Parsons, 1976). Thus he f a i l s to dist inguish between what i s perceptually present in the work and what i s not. F i na l l y , the reason given by the g i r l of the second example for l i k i n g Preparing for Market - that the farm depicted in i t was the sort of place she would l i k e to l i v e in - can be seen as further i l l u s t r a t i o n of egocentrism. Her response showed that "she had. . .projected herself into the farm, and did not dist inguish the pleasure of imagining herself l i v i n g on the farm from that due to the appearance of the painting" (Parsons, 1976, p. 310). The two examples show then that the ch i l d ' s response to art f a l l s far short of what one might c a l l an "appropriate" aesthetic response.^ S t i l l the response, Parsons argues, does f a l l within the 32. domain of the aesthetic, since i t i s a response, however unsatisfactory, to the appearance of the painting. We may note here that Parsons, following Beardsley and others, assumes that the aesthetic object i»s a perceptual object, one that appeals to the senses, and that a response to how the object appears f a l l s within the range of the aesthetic. Beardsley (1958) in fact describes paintings as "visual aesthetic objects" (p. 34). In order to characterize further the features of the stage one response, Parsons introduces the notion of " favour i tes. " Children at this stage, he argues, often say they l i k e a painting because i t contains the i r favourite colour. This shows that the i r response is influenced by the i r personal attachments to part icu lar colours. Where an adult, for example, would point out a part icu lar colour and the ef fect i t has on the work as a whole in an ef for t to j u s t i f y his response to i t , the ch i ld simply says, "Red i s my favourite colour", and that for him is a su f f i c i en t j u s t i f i c a t i o n for l i k i n g the painting. The idea that being a favourite colour is not an objective feature of the work and that others may not respond s im i la r l y does not occur to him. If he i s pa r t i cu la r l y attached to the colour red he would f ind a l l reds at t ract ive in the same way and no further discrimination would be possible. This emphasizes once again the egocentric nature of the stage one response. These various inadequacies in the ch i l d ' s experience of art lead Parsons to conclude that the response at th is stage is "confusedly aesthet ic. " Even so, stage one is the basis for future development. 33. What develops i s the ch i l d ' s sense of aesthetic relevance. His present i n a b i l i t y to dist inguish between what is relevant or i r re levant in his aesthetic experience ceases as he begins to develop certain discriminatory powers. 2.3 Stage Two While the stage one response i s more or less egocentric, the stage two response achieves a certain measure of decentering. The ch i ld at this stage, Parsons (1976) argues, abandons the notion of favourites "because i t begins to con f l i c t with the facts of perception and of social l i f e " (p. 311). The source of aesthetic pleasure or sat i s fact ion i s now located more object ively in the work i t s e l f , and the arbitrar iness of the ch i l d ' s i n i t i a l response to part icu lar colours starts becoming obvious to him. This,Parsons argues, is a result of his development with respect to ro le-taking. Other people's feelings and points of view begin to matter and the ch i ld becomes less certain that his own response is the r ight one. "This i s a l imited but real step forward in decentering" (p. 311). The ch i ld now begins to f ind a work at t ract ive "because i t sa t i s f i e s a certain kind of ru le " (p. 311). Parsons i s using " ru le " here to mean standard or accepted convention for he gives as examples of rules that are followed in a r t , " rea l i sm" , "form" and "subject matter." An a r t i s t may employ certain devices in order to achieve a r e a l i s t i c painting. These devices, however, are more l i k e conventions than rules. The ones that are employed d i f f e r according to the a r t i s t and the nature of the work. Thus the ch i l d is said at th is stage to begin to respond favourably to works of art 34. that are " r e a l i s t i c " in the sense that some paintings, for example, employ standard modes of representation in depicting a subject and in doing so represent persons or things as they actual ly appear. Parsons recognises that i t i s not altogether clear how realism would apply to music and that there are problems about i t s appl icat ion to l i t e r a tu re . But the general idea is that the ch i ld at this stage finds sat i s fy ing works of art (especial ly painting) that are in some way or other seen as r e a l i s t i c , i . e . they approximate to what the ch i ld takes to be a "correct" portrayal of r e a l i t y . This i s a considerable advance on the f i r s t stage as the ch i l d ' s response i s now influenced by, and his judgement based on, publ ic ly observable c r i t e r i a . The ch i l d ' s response to form in a r t , Parsons argues, also begins to show the same ob jec t i v i t y . Parsons c i tes studies that have shown that children of elementary school age tend to comment on formal matters such as balance, harmony, contrast, repet i t i on , e t c . , and argues that these comments show a movement away from id iosyncrat ic responses towards response and judgement that are based on "the observable sat i s fact ion of certain conditions" (p. 312). A point now arrives when the ch i ld can judge a work good even when he does not l i k e i t . Though th i s could lead to an over-reliance on standards, Parsons sees i t as "a posit ive and necessary step forward" (p. 312). An awareness of realism and form in a r t , Parsons argues, hel the ch i ld at th is stage to dist inguish between the subject matter of a painting and i t s execution. "At this age children can talk of the difference between a good horse poorly painted and a poor horse 35. well-painted" (p. 312). Although this d i s t inc t ion can be maintained, Parsons argues that "the appeal of subject-matter per se continues i t s tyranny for a long time" (p. 312). Only certain subjects are considered f i t for a r t . For painting these would include "the pretty, the picturesque, the nostalg ic, the magnificent" (p. 312). These subjects would evoke, in Parsons' view, an unhesitating response from the c h i l d . The pa in fu l , the ugly and the tragic would be excluded. Yet outside of painting we f ind children responding "unhesitatingly" to subjects that one would normally c a l l painful or t rag ic . Witness, for example, the violence that i s depicted in popular ch i ldren ' s books. Why does this l i t e ra tu re have such an appeal for children? "This is because children respond very much in terms of heroes and v i l l a i n s , and these works are shaped to encourage th i s " (Parsons, 1976, p. 312). The experience of these books, Parsons argues, is not found to be painful or tragic because children ident i fy with the heroes and the violence happens to the v i l l a i n s or to persons with whom the children do not ident i fy . "Hence there i s no repugnance to be overcome in the i r response" (p. 312). At stage two,then,the ch i ld becomes aware of the existence of external standards by which works of art could be judged and th i s fact influences his response to art . The response becomes less id iosyncrat ic. At the same time the ch i ld develops the a b i l i t y to take the point of view of another, and th i s s along with his acceptance of standards,takes him out of his egocentric stage. Not completely, however, because he retains strong preferences for certain subjects 36. and exhibits a certain r i g i d i t y in aesthetic response. S t i l l enough i s achieved to make th i s stage a c lear advance on the preceding one and to lead to further development. 2.4. Stage Three Parsons explains that stage three begins when the ch i l d i s about twelve and comes to rea l i se that there may be "many a lternat ive sets of rules by which works can be judged" (p. 313). Once again for " ru les " read "standards." The ch i ld also notes that the existence of a lternat ive sets of standards might c on f l i c t with his own and th i s rea l i sat ion brings about a certain hesitancy in response and judgement. Parsons quotes the following comment from a ch i ld who was confronted with Klee's Head of a Man: This one here, I'm not too sure. I'm not too sure what i t means. You know, what he was trying to say, what feel ing he was trying to put down. I'm confused. . .1 do not know what I'm supposed to be looking for. I t ' s not that I rea l l y don't l i k e i t , i t ' s O.K. but I don't know what he's trying to say. The ch i l d ' s words here i l l u s t r a t e some of the features which Parsons maintains are character i s t ic of the stage three response. There is the hesitancy and confusion result ing from the fact that the ch i ld is lacking a foothold on the a r t i s t ' s intent ion, an awareness of which becomes important at this stage. There is also the feel ing that there might be other sorts of standards by which the work could be judged. On this Parsons comments: There i s here an unwillingness to condemn a work because i t does not conform to the obvious ru les; and instead an awareness that there might be another set of rules which would make a l l the 37. difference. (."What I'm supposed to be looking for " } . This set of rules seems to depend on what the a r t i s t intended to do with his work. The e f fo r t therefore i s to ident i fy with the a r t i s t rather than simply with a main character in the work. This seems to represent a further and more d i f f i c u l t step in the decentering process, one which would require multiple role-takings where there i s more than one main character in the work. (p. 313). The ident i f i ca t i on with the a r t i s t also leads the ch i ld to see the work of art as the expression of emotion, as something personal, and Parsons maintains that the concentration on the expressive qua l i t ie s of art which happens at th i s stage contrasts with "the rather formal approach of the previous stage" (p. 313). Parsons explains further that there is an interest in genres and d i f ferent kinds of art at th is stage and he attr ibutes th i s development to the ch i l d ' s increasing awareness of the variety of possible intentions of the a r t i s t . The recognition of d i f ferent kinds of art often leads to re lat iv i sm in judgement, Parsons argues, as the ch i ld entertains the idea that any work may be good of i t s kind, and the f a i l u re to appreciate a part icu lar work may be his fau l t rather than the result of any deficiency in the work. The work may, in other words, conform to other people's standard of a good work of art. Parsons notes the para l le l here with the r e l a t i v i s t view that appears in Kohl berg's moral development scheme "with the rea l i sa t ion that one's soc iety ' s code of morality is only one of many possible and competing codes" (p. 314). This does not mean that the notion of relevant reasons for judgement has been abandoned. Rather the reasons for judgement are now located either in the a r t i s t ' s intention or the 38. viewer's i n c l i na t i on , and this fact makes the response at th i s stage much less egocentric than the ea r l i e r stages. However, the reasons for judgement are not yet located in the aesthetic object i t s e l f and t h i s , in Parsons' view, indicates that there i s a further developmental stage. 2.5 Stage Four This further stage, the fourth and f i na l one, is the end state toward which, according to Parsons, aesthetic development moves. Parsons does not go on to give a f u l l description of this f i n a l stage. His excuse i s that "philosophers of c r i t i c i s m . . .have been engaged in the discussion of the exact nature of that stage for a long t ime", and he sees no point in " t ry ing to add to that discussion here" (p. 314). He does, however, point out that at this f i n a l stage aesthetic judgement i s non- re lat i v i s t and is based on qua l i t ie s of the work of art that are in p r inc ip le perceptual or intentional and are publ ic ly accessible. This fourth stage, Parsons further argues, " i s the end point of development because i t marks the end of the decentering process, by locating aesthetic qua l i t ie s f i rmly in the aesthetic object i t s e l f and not in some more egocentric re l a t i on " (Parsons, 1976, p. 314). There is here an emphasis on the object iv i ty of the aesthetic judgement, and a judgement, according to th is account, i s objective i f i t i s based on features of the aesthetic object that are, at least i n p r inc ip le , publ ic ly accessible. The features of the aesthetic object that are picked out must also, of course, be relevant to the kind of judgement being made, which is why Parsons ea r l i e r described his account of 39. aesthetic development as a development of "the a b i l i t y to respond relevantly to a work of art as an aesthetic object" (p. 306). Response and judgement, he points out, go hand in hand. The features of a work that affect one determine the kind of response that is made and the judgement that fol lows. At the same time, the kind of judgement one i s disposed to make determines the features one responds to in the work, The stage four response then should be the kind of response that we would expect from a sophisticated adult. It should be free from any traces of the egocentricism that characterizes the ea r l i e r stages while remaining sensit ive to the various subtlet ies and complexities of the work of art . Parsons' developmental thesis c lear ly implies that aesthetic experience and judgement at th i s stage are better than what they are at the ea r l i e r stages. But he does not make his normative conception e x p l i c i t by discussing the nature of the stage four response, the end stage to which the development leads. We must now make e x p l i c i t his normative conception of the end state of the developmental sequence and then go on to discuss the aesthetic theory on which i t r e l i e s . We have seen ea r l i e r that the response at stage one is completely egocentric as the ch i ld is quite unable to discern phenomenally objective qua l i t ie s of the work of art and has not yet developed the a b i l i t y to " ro le take." He does have preferences, however, for the appearances of things but Parsons stresses that he "does not dist inguish the pleasure due to the appearances of things from the pleasure due to other features of his experience, and this 40. influences the way he attends to the aesthtic object" (D. 309}. This fact makes the response "confusedly aesthet ic " , that i s , there are elements in the response that f a l l within the domain of the aesthetic but there are others that are completely i r re levant to an aesthetic experience of the work. There is a c lear implication here that the stage four response to which the development points would have the character i st ics which are lacking at stage one, for Parsons does want to stress the differences and hence the gap between the responses at the two stages. The stage four response would be one in which the viewer is able to discern phenomenally objective qua l i t ie s of the work, and these would include not just the obvious ones such as shape and colour but the more subtle features picked out by, for example, such adjectives as graceful, de l i cate, elegant and garish. Beardsley has argued that "the cheerfulness of the painting, the rhythmic order of i t s shape, the sharp contrast of i t s hues" are as much part of the phenomenal painting as i t s colour" (Beardsley, 1958, p. 38). The person responding at stage four would also be able to take the point of view of another and so recognize standards in the work of art which have nothing to do with his own part icu lar preferences. He would certa in ly not confuse, as the stage one viewer does, aesthetic pleasure or sat i s fact ion with pleasure derived from other sources in his experience. If he praised Currier and Ives 1  Preparing for Market th is would be because of features he could point to in the work, and not because of some irrelevant association or lack of i t . The aesthetic response, in other words, would be shaped by 41. features that are relevant to an appreciation of the work. C lear ly, then, from the point of view of doing ju s t i ce to a work of art as an aesthetic object, i . e . , appreciating i t f u l l y , the stage four response i s better than the response at stage one. It i s also better, according to this theory, than the responses at stages two and three. For while at stage two the ch i ld accepts the idea that there are standards by which works of art could be judged, his aesthetic experience and judgement i s s t i l l largely influenced by strong id iosyncrat ic preferences for part icu lar subjects and by an i n a b i l i t y to cope with the ugly, the painful and the tragic in art. Stage three represents an advance from this with i t s broadening of the notion of what are appropriate subjects for art and the acceptance of the idea of d i f ferent kinds of a r t , but i t f a l l s short of locating the reasons for judgement in the aesthetic object i t s e l f . The inadequacies of these two stages are overcome in the stage four response. Here the decentering process is complete and in an aesthetic experience attention i s directed outward to the aesthetic object i t s e l f . Beardsley has described the character ist ics of an aesthetic experience in answer to the question,"What i s an aesthetic experience?" (Smith, 1970, p. 9). Since Parsons makes i t clear that Beardsley 1s argument is part of the " t r ad i t i on " he re l i e s on in his conception of the stage four response, I shal l give a summary of Beardsley's points below as an account of a stage four response which is at least acceptable to Parsons. According to Parsons' theory, i t i s only at stage four that a person can properly be said to be having 42. an aesthetic experience. This experience has in Beardsley's account (Beardsley, 1970, p. 9-10) the following f i ve character i s t ic s : (1) Attention is directed to the whole or part of a phenomenally objective f i e l d , e ither perceptual or in tent iona l , and to i t s elements and internal relat ionships. (2) There is an awareness of form, i . e . , the perception of the phenomenal f i e l d as a complex of relationships between the parts which combine to form a unity. (3) It involves an awareness of "regional q u a l i t i e s " , e.g., the fa in t sadness of a l i n e , the cheerfulness of a painting, qua l i t ie s that are described by words taken over metaphorically from human contexts. (4) In comparison with ordinary everyday experiences, i t has a f a i r l y high degree of unity. This unity comprises two parts - coherence and completeness. The various perceptions, feel ings, inferences, etc. f i t or belong together (coherence), and the experience marks i t s e l f of f f a i r l y de f i n i te l y from other experiences (completeness). (5) It i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y g rat i fy ing. Grat i f i ca t ion here must be understood to include not just pleasure but the kind of f u l f i l lment and sat i s fact ion that can be derived from painful and tragic aesthetic experience. Beardsley admits however that the connection between aesthetic experience and aesthetic g r a t i f i c a t i on may be a contingent one. We may note here the public nature of the experience as described by Beardsley. A l l except the la s t character i s t ic given refer to things in the public domain, and this accords with Parsons' ea r l i e r 43. characterisation of the stage four response as one in which aesthetic qua l i t ie s are located " f i rmly in the aesthetic object i t s e l f " (p. 314] where they are "publ ic ly access ible." This stress on the public nature: of the aesthetic experience re l i e s on an account of the aesthetic object as one possessing phenomenally objective qua l i t ie s which are "pub l i c ly accessible." I t r e l i e s , in other words, on an ob ject i v i s t aesthetic. We must now examine th i s aesthetic theory. 2.6 The Object iv i s t Aesthetic Theory We might begin by noting the d i s t i n c t i on , borrowed from the psychology of perception, which Beardsley makes in the early part of his Aesthetics, between the phenomenally objective and the phenomenally subjective parts of the phenomenal f i e l d , which comprises everything of which we are aware or conscious at any given time (Beardsley, 1958, p. 37). This d i s t inc t ion may be i l l u s t r a t ed thus: Suppose you are contemplating an object you have just acquired, say, a car. As you stare at i t you get various sensations from i t , the dark blue colour of the paintwork, the smell of the leather upholstery, the design of the cockpit. You are also aware of a pleasurable fee l i ng ' o f expectation -you w i l l soon be able to get into the d r i ve r ' s seat and take off on the highway. The car appears as something out there, independent of you, having i t s own qua l i t i e s . It i s thus phenomenally objective. Your feel ing of expectation, however, appears to be something going on in your se l f . You dist inguish this s e l f , the " I " , from the objects around you, and the pleasurable feel ing is "here" in the se l f , not "there" in the object. I t i s thus phenomenally subjective. 44. Ordinari ly we have no d i f f i c u l t y in deciding whether something which we f ind in our phenomenal f i e l d i s phenomenally objective or phenomenally subjective, but there may be borderline experiences with no clear orientation either toward the phenomenal se l f or away from i t . Beardsley asserts that "the d i s t inc t ion is fundamental to our consciousness, and almost omnipresent in i t " (p. 38). How important is th is d i s t i nc t ion in understanding the character of aesthetic objects, especia l ly works of art? Beardsley argues that th is d i s t inc t ion i s the basis on which we describe and experience a l l works of art . A paint ing, for example, is phenomenally objective. Its shape, s i ze, colour and posit ion within the visual f i e l d are part of the "given." They are qua l i t ie s of the phenomenal object. But, apart from these qua l i t i e s , the painting may also be described as cheerful, gloomy, excit ing or drab. Are these qua l i t ie s also phenomenally objective in exactly the same sense as the shape and colour of the painting? Beardsley in s i s t s that they are and argues that the cheerfulness i s in the painting, not in your s e l f . To say that a painting i s cheerful, the argument goes, i s not the same thing as to say that i t makes me feel cheerful. If these two statements meant the same thing, neither could be true unless the other were, but the statements are in fact l o g i ca l l y independent. No doubt a cheerful painting would often help to cheer me up. But even when, under some circumstances, the sight of the cheerful painting only increases my own melancholy, by reminding me of what I lack, I can perceive i t s cheerfulness nevertheless, and in fact i t i s precisely th is perception that makes me feel sad... [Beardsley, 1958, p. 38) 45. The statement, "The painting is cheerfu l " , then, says something about the painting, the phenomenal object, not about one's own subjective fee l ing. It i s important to note that th i s explanation of the statement i s not the only one that could be given or has been given. It has been cogently argued, for example, that the statement "The painting i s cheerful " means "The painting expresses cheerfulness", a translat ion which, as we w i l l see, locates the qual i ty of cheerfulness in the painting but not in the way the object iv i s t s have conceived of i t . We shal l examine this explanation and i t s implications in the next chapter. What about the statement, "The music i s sad?" Beardsley argues that the musical composition, l i k e the paint ing, is a phenomenal object. Its location i s "out there" not within the se l f . And this i s so even when I have composed the music or written the tune myself. The music has i t s own ind iv idua l i t y and the statement describes i t s character, not my own subjective state. It would, of course, be strange i f no one was ever touched by sad music but we do not c a l l the music sad because of i t s ef fect on people. How then does music acquire the human attr ibute of sadness? This i s a part icu lar way of putting the broad question of how in general works of art can be correct ly characterized using terms normally used to ascribe attr ibutes to humans. The question w i l l come up again in the next chapter when we discuss the expressive qua l i t ie s of art but i t i s as well to deal now with some of the explanations that have been given for the appl ication of human qua l i t ies to works of art or parts of works of art . 46. Some works of art can occasionally be responded to without the att r ibut ion of any "human" qual i ty but some works of art seem c lear ly to be endowed with human qua l i t i e s . "The interplay of tones or l ines st r ikes one as grand, or graceful, or stark, or monumental, or noble, or rest less " (Hospers, 1971, p. 109). Impressed by this feature of our experience of a r t , Hospers concludes that " i n art a l l percepts are suffused with a f fec t . " How is th i s phenomenon accounted for? One theory explains the at t r ibut ion of human qua l i t ie s to a work of art on the basis of association. When we describe a melody as sad or gay we are saying something about the l ines of association that are awakened in us when we are exposed to the work. This makes the att r ibut ion of the human qual i ty ent i re ly subjective. If two people have d i f ferent mental associations the melody w i l l s t r i ke each of them d i f fe rent l y . One might perceive i t as gay, the other as sad. It begins to look as though no agreement could ever be reached on how a melody sounds or on whether the colours of a painting are warm or cool. To avoid this outcome, the theory maintains that most of the associations are not mere pecular i t ies of the individual viewer's or l i s t ene r ' s biography. Some have a basis in human psychology and so may be common to a l l human observers. Others have the i r basis in features of our environment which again are common to a l l or almost a l l human beings. For example, "warm" colours are so described because of the i r association with f i r e , the sun and so on. The point about th is theory, however, is that i t assumes that the human qua l i t ies of the melody or the painting are distinguishable 47. from the sound of the melody, or the colour of the painting and that these human qua l i t ies - the sadness of the melody or the warmth of colours of the painting - are somehow acquired by the works in question and this acquis i t ion needs to be explained. Beardsley's view is that there is no evidence of any such acquis i t ion and therefore nothing to explain. To look for an explanation of how, for example, a jagged l ine in a work came to acquire the qual i ty of restlessness i s to assume that there was a time when i t d idn ' t have that qual i ty. But there i s , as Beardsley sees i t , no evidence that this was ever the case. Nor i s there any evidence that a person who could see and who understood the use of words could describe the jagged l ine as calm rather than rest less. We perceive the l i n e ' s restlessness just as we perceive i t s jaggedness and we describe the jagged l i ne as restless simply on the basis of i t s s im i l a r i t y to a restless person. "But there i s nothing surprising here", writes Beardsley, "a l i ne that changes i t s d irect ion frequently is l i k e an uneasy or unsettled mind, wavering . between a lternat ives, or subject to contrary impulses; to c a l l the l ine ' r e s t l e s s ' i s to borrow the term on good c o l l a t e r a l " (Beard!ey, 1958, p. 94). In short, af fect ive terms when used to describe art operate as metaphors whose effectiveness l i e s in the s im i l a r i t y between the work of art described and the human qual ity picked out by the descript ion. Bouwsma (1954) i l l u s t r a t e s th is when he argues that we c a l l some music sad because the music has some of the character i st ics of sad persons. " I t w i l l be slow, not t r ipp ing: i t w i l l be low, not t i n k l i n g . People who are sad move slowly, and when they speak they 43. speak so f t l y and low." In other words, people who are sad and music that i s sad have character ist ics in common and when we describe the music as sad i t i s by v irtue of these common character i s t ic s . This appears to be a more straightforward explanation than that which t r i e s to account for the att r ibut ion of human qua l i t ie s by association and, as Hospers points out, i t seems to explain the universal a t t r ibut ion of certain human qua l i t ie s to certain patterns of tones in music. Pratt writes: A person says, for example, that he feels rest less . A description of what i t feels l i k e to be rest less might include references to such things as increased rate of breathing and heartbeat, unsteady organics in the region of the diaphragm, tapping of the feet or f ingers, i n a b i l i t y to keep s t i l l , etc. It requires no great knowledge of music to appreciate the fact that much the same kind of movements may eas i ly be produced in musical phrases. Staccato passages, t r i l l s , strong accents, quavers, rapid accelerandos and crescendos, shakes, wide jumps in pitch - a l l such devices conduce to the creation of an auditory structure which is appropriately described as rest less. (Cited in Hospers, 1971, p. 113) One of the reasons why the object iv i s t s f ind this explanation sat i s factory is that i t f a l l s in neatly with the objective/subjective d i s t inc t ion which Beardsley makes concerning the phenomenal f i e l d . When music imitates the movements of a restless person, the restlessness is heard in the music, that i s , i t i s a phenomenally objective qual i ty of the music and is distinguishable from the l i s t ene r ' s (subjective) reaction or response to i t . An elucidation s imi lar to that of the human qua l i t ie s of painting can thus be given. When we describe a piece of music as sad 49. we do not mean that i t makes us sad, though i t may well do so. Whether or not i t makes us sad is a d i f ferent thing from saying that i t i s sad. "The sadness", Bouwsma wr i tes, " i s to the music rather l i k e the redness to the apple, than i t i s l i k e the burp to the c ider . " That i s , the sadness of the music i s a phenomenally objective qual i ty of the music jus t as the redness of an apple is a phenomenally objective qual i ty of the apple. Does the objective/subjective d i s t inc t ion apply to l i terature? Is l i t e ra tu re a phenomenal f i e l d in the way painting and music are? Beardsley maintains that i t i s . Novels and plays, he argues, present us with persons and places and the things that happen to them. These the reader attends to, and they are as much aspects of the phenomenal f i e l d as the marks on the paper or the sound of the words. In attending to these l i t e r a r y forms the reader c lear ly sees himself as separate from that which he contemplates. Beardsley writes: When you think of Hamlet you can dist inguish him from your feelings about him - which, of course are your feel ings, not his. He is not before you as a real person could be, even when you see the play, for i t i s not Hamlet you see on the stage but someone acting Hamlet. But he is complex and substant ia l , someone you can study, and re f l e c t upon, and discover new things about. (Beardsley, 1958, p. 40) The play then is phenomenally objective. Its human qua l i t ies can be explained in the same way as those of painting and music, as aspects of the objective features of the aesthetic object. Thus the tragic qual i ty of Hamlet is vn the play and d i s t i nc t from the reader's or spectator 's response which might be anything from sadness to del ight. 50. In the same way, what i s v i v i d , frightening or excit ing in a novel i s a phenomenally objective part of the work, d i s t i nc t from the reader's response. And, what is true of novels and plays is also true of poems. "In every poem", Beardsley wr ites, " . . . .there is some concept, however dim or abstract, of a person and a s i tuat ion , and so there i s always something for the reader to regard and to contemplate" (1958, p. 41). But as well as this there are the emotional qua l i t ies of the poem. These too, l i k e the joy and sadness of music and paint ing, are phenomenally objective and so distinguishable from the reader's joy and sadness. Bouwsma urges us to "suppose that the poem is as hard as marble, ingrained, i t may be, with inde l ib le sorrow." If the poem is sad, the sadness is in the poem, as much part of the poem as the words that compose i t . Clearly then, the d i s t inc t ion between what i s phenomenally objective (the features and qua l i t ie s of the aesthetic object) and what is phenomenally subjective (the ind iv idua l ' s response) applies whether the aesthetic objects are v i sua l , auditory or verbal. However, the d i s t inc t ion has been applied so far to the way aesthetic objects i are conceived or described. But i t extends beyond this to the way aesthetic experience is conceived. In th is account the way the aesthetic object is conceived determines how i t i s experienced. This immediately becomes obvious i f we reca l l the f i ve character ist ics of aesthetic experience which Beardsley (1970) gives. Let us examine each of them in some deta i l beginning with the f i r s t . In an aesthetic experience, 51 . (1) Attention is directed to the whole or part of a phenomenally objective f i e l d , e ither perceptual or intent iona l , and to i t s elements and internal relat ionships. Since the aesthetic object has already been described as possessing . phenomenally objective features i t i s only to be expected that an experience of the work should consist in d i rect ing attention to these features. But note that these features, as defined, are publ ic ly accessible, a characterisation del iberately designed, among other things, to prevent the aesthetic appreciation from committing what Wimsatt and Beardsley in a famous essay have ca l led "the intentional f a l l a c y " , that i s , going beyond the text of a poem, for example, to discover what the author's intentions were when he wrote the poem, in the be l ie f that th is would enhance the poem's meaning. Beardsley (1970) in s i s t s that the l i t e r a r y work - the aesthetic object - i s independent and autonomous,, Not only does i t have i t s own properties but these properties are decisive in checking interpretations and judgements. Directing attention to the phenomenally objective features of the work also prevents the individual from confusing what the work is with what i t does to him. F i na l l y , d i rect ing attention to the objective features of the work i s a way of ensuring that c r i t i c a l discussion constantly refers to features of the work and thus remains relevant. For even when he is describing his response, the good c r i t i c would have to point to those features of the aesthetic object that he is responding to. He w i l l also do this when he t r i e s to j u s t i f y his response. 52. (2) There is an awareness of form, i . e . the perception of the phenomenal f i e l d as a complex of relationships between the parts which combine to form a unity. Aesthetic perception i s understood ch ie f l y as perception of aesthetic qua l i t ies - Beardsley has argued that the aesthetic object i s a perceptual object - but "perception" is here used in an extended sense, so that an aesthetic qual ity may be a content of thought or imagination rather than of sight or hearing. Thinking about an aspect or a feature of the work or imagining an event or a place mentioned or described in the work are both d i f ferent aspects of "perceiving" the aesthetic object. Although Beardsley allows that there i s more than one mode of awareness of the objective features of a work, his account, as we shal l see in the next chapter, seems to play down the role of imagination in the experience of art . (3) There i s an awareness of "regional q u a l i t i e s " , e.g., the fa in t sadness of a l i n e , the cheerfulness of the painting, qua l i t ie s that are described by words taken over metaphorically from human contexts. Beardsley argues, as we have seen, that emotional qua l i t ie s l i k e joy or sadness are phenomenally objective qua l i t ie s of the form or gestalt character of a work or of a part of a work. In th i s he is followed by Hospers, Bouwsma and Hepburn. These qua l i t ies are not 53. treated by these writers as d i s t i n c t from other qua l i t ie s commonly attr ibuted to works of art . The conclusion is surely inescapable that these emotional qua l i t ies are perceived in exactly the same way as other qua l i t ie s are perceived, that i s , in order to appreciate the work i t i s necessary only to sense or recognise these qua l i t i e s , just as we sense or recognise the colours of a painting or the progressions of musical tones. This interpretation is supported by the way these emotional qua l i t ie s are characterised. Beardsley in s i s t s that the redness of a painting and i t s cheerfulness are both phenomenally objective in exactly the same sense, implying that both are perceived in the same way. Bouwsma, in the a r t i c l e already referred to, inv i tes us to conceive of the re lat ion between the emotional qual i ty and the work of art as exactly the same as the re lat ion of redness to apply in a red apple, implying thereby that we are aware of both in the same manner. But since both writers i n s i s t that the perceiver need not himself feel the emotion he apprehends in the work, the question then arises as to the sense in which he perceives the emotional qual i ty. I am w i l l i n g to admit that our experience of works of art does involve the apprehension of "phenomenally objective" emotional qua l i t i e s , but, l i k e Harold Osborne, "I am puzzled to know what import attaches to such statements as 'the music is cheerfu l ' a f ter you have said that the cheerfulness to which the statement refers is not something experienced by the work of art (for works of art do not experience emotions) nor something experienced by the l i s teners nor something experienced by the composer" (Osborne, 1963, p. 39). How 54. does one unpack the notion of experiencing an emotion in a work i f there is to be no feel ing involved? What would the experience of such an emotion consist of? These questions re f l ec t my basic d i s sat i s fact ion with a theory that accounts for our emotional experience of art simply in terms of the logic of recognition. In the next chapter I examine an alternat ive account of aesthetic experience that presents a somewhat d i f ferent picture while accepting some of the basic contentions of the ob jec t i v i s t s . (4) In comparison with ordinary everyday experiences i t has a f a i r l y high degree of unity. This unity comprises two parts - coherence and completeness. The various perceptions, feel ings, inferences, e tc . , f i t or belong together (coherence), and the experience marks i t s e l f off f a i r l y de f i n i te l y from other experiences (completeness). This description concentrates on the subjective aspect of the aesthetic experience but i t s t i l l i nd i rec t l y refers to the objective aspect of the phenomenal f i e l d . The perceptions are perceptions of the phenomenal object, the feel ings, feelings sensed from the object, and the inferences, inferences drawn from the object. The feel ing of completeness seems to be ent i re ly subjective. It i s located within the se l f and i s the result of the special kind of attention 55. character i s t ic of aesthetic experience. Although this attention is often highly concentrated we are aware of i t s being d i f ferent from our ordinary attention to matters of pract ical concern. Beardsley is r ight when he says that "the experience detaches i t s e l f , and even insulates i t s e l f , from the intrusion of a l ien elements." Even when the experience is interrupted for some reason, i t i s not d i f f i c u l t to assume the attention again when aesthetic contemplation is resumed. (5) I t i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y g rat i fy ing. The experience of g ra t i f i ca t i on is c lear ly in the s e l f , f o r , although occasioned by the phenomenal object, the feel ing of enjoyment and f i na l sat i s fact ion are located within the ind iv idua l . One need not, of course, enjoy the work. The experience of i t may be disturbing or profoundly unsett l ing, or i t may generate a mood of indifference. This i s why Beardsley feels that the connection between aesthetic experience and aesthetic g r a t i f i c a t i on may be a contingent one. But whatever the nature of the f i na l feel ing one is l e f t with, i t i s the result of a concentration of attention on the whole or part of a phenomenal f i e l d , the aesthetic object, and is intimately connected with i t . If we return now to Parsons' theory we shal l see that the developmental scheme i s based on the objective/subjective d i s t i nc t ion we have been discussing and we shal l also see that what determines development from his perspective i s an increasing awareness of, and a movement towards, the phenomenally objective qua l i t ie s of the aesthetic object. Parsons' theory maintains that at stage one the 56. ch i l d is unable to dist inguish between what is relevant or i r re levant in his aesthetic experience and that th is i s a source of confusion in his aesthetic response. The confusion i s c lear ly the result of the ch i l d ' s i n a b i l i t y to dist inguish between the objective and the subjective aspects of the phenomenal f i e l d . The f i ve and a half year old ch i ld in Parsons' f i r s t example picks out certain elements in Currier and Ives 1 Preparing for Market to which he responds favourably. So far his response i s appropriate and relevant since i t i s directed to phenomenally objective features of the work. But he also responds with equal pleasure to what the picture reminds him of. Indeed since he gives as a reason for l i k i n g the picture the fact that i t reminds him of his cowboy hat, one must conclude that during the experience his attention sh i f t s from the picture to a spec i f i c pleasant association; that i s , from a contemplation of the phenomenally objective features of the work to an indulgence in a private association (the phenomenally subjective element). This i s the source of the aesthetic irrelevance and the confused response of which Parsons speaks. It i s s i gn i f i cant that the ch i l d at this stage confuses l i k i n g with judging. Liking has to do with the ind iv idua l ' s subjective fee l i ng ; judgement requires a reference to , and a consideration of, the objective features of the work. This i s why the l a t t e r i s aesthet ica l ly relevant. The f a i l u re to make th i s d i s t inc t ion is also evidenced in Parsons' second example where the g i r l f a i l ed to "d ist inguish the pleasure of imagining herself l i v i n g on the farm from that due to the appearance of the paint ing. " 57. At stage two the ch i ld achieves a measure of decentering and, from the point of view of the d i s t inc t ion we are discussing, there is a gradual separation of the se l f from the object, and the source of aesthetic pleasure is now located more object ively in the work i t s e l f , that i s , in the phenomenally objective f i e l d . The ch i ld now becomes increasingly aware of external standards to which works of a r t , and his own judgement of them, must conform. The external object and i t s character ist ics begin to dominate the c h i l d ' s experience as he gradually moves into what Beardsley ca l l s the "aesthetic domain." This i s not to say that the ch i l d should not be at a l l concerned with his own feel ings. What i s important is that the d i s t i nc t ion is made. Beardsley writes: We do sometimes ask other people how the object made them f e e l . But on the other hand,, we also ask people what the object i s Tike, and when we ask th i s question we don't want them to reply by t e l l i n g us about the i r feel ings. So i t i s well for us i f those we ask are capable of t e l l i n g the difference between the two questions. (Beardsley, 1958, p. 43) The ch i l d at stage two has ju s t begun to appreciate that difference and this shows in the less id iosyncrat ic nature of his response. But he s t i l l retains certain strong preferences that intrude on his attempt at ob jec t i v i t y . These he does not shed unt i l the next stage. The decentering process goes further at stage three as the ch i l d recognises the existence of a lternat ive sets of standards in works of a r t . But the attention sometimes sh i f t s from the objective features of the work to the a r t i s t ' s intent ion, and the impression i s 58. often given of a loss of d i s t inct ions achieved ea r l i e r on. However, there i s a concentration on the emotional qua l i t ie s of art and th i s further expands the aesthetic experience. But because the ch i ld has d i f f i c u l t y in locating the source of his emotional response ent i re ly in the phenomenal object, some development s t i l l has to take place. This is the stage at which the ch i ld comes to rea l i se that there are d i f ferent kinds of art and that these demand d i f ferent approaches. This might be seen as further exploration of the phenomenally objective f i e l d leading to a better appreciation of i t s complexities. F i na l l y , at stage four, the decentering process i s complete and the ch i ld locates aesthetic qua l i t ie s in the aesthetic object i t s e l f . He has moved, in other words, from a posit ion of complete egocentrism to one where he is completely decentered and is now able to base his aesthetic judgement on phenomenally objective features of the aesthetic object. His response at th is stage can now properly be described as aesthetic. We can use the metaphor of "distancing" to characterise the development from egocentrism (complete subject iv i ty ) to ob jec t i v i t y . At stage one, the ch i ld i s almost one with the object, that i s , there i s no distance at a l l between the subject and the object and consequently no d i s t inc t ion i s made between the two. At stage two the ch i ld achieves a certain distance from the object as he begins to make the d i s t inc t ion between the subjective and the objective aspects of the phenomenal f i e l d . At stage three there i s a further increase in distance between subject and object as the ch i ld t r i e s to locate 59. his aesthetic pleasure in various aspects of the phenomenal object. At stage four his judgement is f i n a l l y based on the objective features of the aesthetic object and he achieves maximum distance from the object. Beardsley's d i s t inc t ion i s , as we have seen, basic to Parsons' theory. From the point of view of the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory, Parsons' developmental thesis therefore seems plaus ible. Whether i t w i l l look equally plausible from the point of view of expression theory i s the subject of the next chapter. I conclude now with an examination of some of the implications of the Beardley-Parsons posit ion for aesthetic education. In an obvious way the Beards!ey-Parsons position i s ref lected in the current practice of art education in the schools. In appreciation classes attention i s constantly directed to the objective features of the work of art for c r i t i c i sm and analysis. Personal response is encouraged but the response must be related to, and j u s t i f i e d by reference to, the whole or part of the perceptual object. Here is the report of an experiment carr ied out in an attempt to improve the way f i f t h and s ixth grade students look at paintings. The groups had been studying Picasso 's Guernica: Of part icu lar note were the s i gn i f i cant differences in the way the control and experimental groups analyzed and noted relationships in paintings and made judgements about the. paintings based on analysis. The experimental groups also directed the i r attention toward the sensory qua l i t i e s , Shape and Color and the formal aspects. Movement-Direction and Value Contrast, more than did the control groups. It was most interest ing to note that the number of references to l i t e r a l aspects of paintings was reduced s i gn i f i can t l y > 60. as the experimental groups gained s k i l l s in perceiving aspects other than l i t e r a l . (Hurwitz & Madeja, 19.77, p. 60-61). What i s interest ing about th is report is not so much the concentration of attention on the perceptual features of the work as the fact that the authors who quote the report with approval feel no need to j u s t i f y the approach. It i s accepted as obviously r ight. A further i l l u s t r a t i o n of th is i s seen in what the authors c a l l "A depth approach to a single work." The work i s Pavel Tchelitchew's Hide and Seek. Again the report i s quoted with approval: Some deta i l s are quickly seen and ident i f i ed -other deta i l s more subtle and sometimes a part of two images, demand very thoughtful "reading" of the picture. Most of us viewing the picture w i l l quickly f ind the hand and the foot of the central multiple image of the painting. Many of us w i l l have d i f f i c u l t y seeing the trunk of the tree as the head of an aged Viking with i t s l e f t eye formed by the butter f ly on the tree trunk, i t s r ight eye by the arm of the g i r l spread eagled against the trunk, i t s nose formed by the g i r l ' s torso. (Hurwitz & Madeja, 1977, p. 61) Emphasis on the phenomenal object of aesthetic contemplation and i t s internal relationship is at the heart of this approach to aesthetic education. Indeed Arnheim in Visual Thinking argues that since the perceptual process is a cognitive function of human i n t e l l e c t , i t should be the basis of the study of works of a r t , for example, paintings. The perceiving of a painting i s not accomplished suddenly, he maintains. The observer starts from somewhere, t r i e s to orient himself as to the main skeleton of the work, looks for the accents, experiments with 61. a tentative framework in order to see whether i t f i t s the tota l content, and so on. When the exploration i s successful, the work i s seen to repose comfortably in a congenial structure, which il luminates the work's meaning to the observer. (Arnheim, 1969, p. 13) This i s in l i ne with Beardsley's insistence that attention be directed to the d i f ferent parts of the work in order to perceive the various internal relationships that hang together to give the work i t s overal l structure. Clearly, the object iv i s t s are r ight in recommending attention to the objective features of the work and in so far as art teaching endeavours to ensure this i t i s doing something important. One should not, of course, conclude from th is that a l l experiences of art must be s t r i c t l y perceptual in the sense just discussed. Attention should properly be directed to the objective features of the work but i f at some point imagination takes over and the viewer finds himself in the world of the work or beyond, we should not hast i l y dismiss th i s as i r re levant, for such imaginative experience may resu l t in a more heightened rea l i sa t ion of the work. It i s pa r t i cu la r l y important for art teachers to keep this in mind when dealing with ch i ldren ' s responses to art . The practice of l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i sm also re f lect s the kind of attention the Beards!ey-Parsons posit ion ca l l s fo r . "The c r i t i c ' s aim", writes Leavis, " i s , f i r s t , to rea l i se as sens i t ive ly and as completely as possible th is or that which claims his attent ion" (Leavis, 1976, p. 213). To " th i s or that" that Leavis talks about are the l i t e r a r y works that the c r i t i c examines. These in a l l the i r complexities are properly regarded as the focus of the c r i t i c ' s attent ion. 62 But Leavis also maintains that the c r i t i c ' s response must be personal, or i t is useless. This, as well as meaning that the c r i t i c must not be unduly influenced by other people's ideas about the work, implies that the c r i t i c ' s personal reactions are as important in l i t e r a r y appreciation and in trying to reach any kind of evaluation of the work as are the objective character ist ics of the work i t s e l f . I w i l l return to a discussion of some of Leavis 's views in Chapter Three. See page 97 and page 143 et passion for further discussion of the notion of appropriate aesthetic response. CHAPTER THREE ASPECTS OF AN EXPRESSION THEORY OF ART 3.1 Introduction In chapter two I argued that Parsons' developmental thesis re l i e s on the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory propounded by Beardsley and his followers and I suggested that the developmental thesis seemed plausible from the point of view of that aesthetic theory. That p l a u s i b i l i t y , however, ult imately rests on the acceptabi l i ty of the ob jec t i v i s t account cf aesthetic experience. I want to question that account in th is chapter by expl icat ing the a lternat ive account of aesthetic experience provided by expression theory and discussing reasons why the expressionist account might be preferred to the ob jec t i v i s t . In chapter four I w i l l use these ideas as part of my cr i t ique of Parsons' theory. 3.2 Expression Theory Let us s tar t by seeing how opponents of expression theory view that theory. I am here largely following Beardsley's (1958) exposition (p. 327). "The musical piece expresses joy" means (1) that the composer was moved by joy to compose the piece of music; (2) that he has given the piece a joyfu l qua l i t y ; and (3) the piece of music has the capacity to give the l i s tener the same feel ing of joy when he hears i t . Thus stated the theory says something about the music and i t s re lat ion both to the composer and the l i s tener . Beardsley, cf course, rejects the Expression Theory in this compound form, arguing, 64 f i r s t l y , that we can never know how the composer f e l t and even i f we could, such knowledge would be i r re levant for we could not predict that a piece of music would sound joyous just on the knowledge that the composer f e l t joyous when composing i t . Secondly, i t i s doubtful whether music can t ru ly be said to arouse emotions, for emotions have objects and involve appraisals. My fear is fear of X, my rage rage at Y, my delight is del ight at Z. Part of what i t means to be af ra id is to perceive a s i tuat ion as threatening. So a cognitive element enters necessarily into the having of an emotion. It is hard to see how music could provide the object and the cognitive element that are the necessary parts of having an emotion. Music can of course be said to arouse feel ings, as d i s t i n c t from emotions, but i f th is is what i s meant i t is better to use the term "arouse" rather than "express" for we can talk about the effects of music on the feelings of l i s teners without reference to the composer and his feel ings. This leaves the middle statement (2), and this can be translated to "the music i s j o y f u l " which is a description of the music with no reference to e ither the composer or the l i s tener . This is the aspect of Expression Theory that Beardsley endorses, and he argues that i f the theory is thus taken i t is useful in understanding the internal const itut ion of aesthetic objects, for we can and do talk about works of art possessing "human qua l i t i e s " or " fee l ing qua l i t i e s " without them being either the cause or effect of emotions. These feel ing qua l i t i e s , he argues, are phenomenally objective qua l i t ies of the works of art and they are on a par with other 65. qua l i t ie s such as the l ines or colours of a painting, or the tona l i ty or rhythm of music. So when we characterize works of art as, for example, sad, cheerful, w i t ty , pompous, t e r r i f y i ng or sombre, we are describing objective features of these works. A "theory" of art as expression, therefore, in order to be meaningful must be interpreted as coming to no more than that art works have properties designated by the same words which designate feel ings, emotions, att i tudes, moods and personal character i st ics of human beings. When so construed, however, the theory, Beardsley argues, loses much of i t s force: The Expression Theory has ca l led our attention to an important fact about music - namely, that i t has human regional qua l i t i e s . But in performing this service i t has rendered i t s e l f obsolete. We now have no further use for i t . Indeed we are better of f without i t . "The music is joyous" i s pla in and can be defended. "The music expresses joy" adds nothing except unnecessary and unanswerable questions. (Beardsley, 1958, p. 331) With this Bouwsma agrees. We should, he recommends, say, unabashed, that "The music is sad" and refra in from saying that th i s means "The music expresses sadness" (Bouwsma, 1948). That way, he concludes, "our language may save us from some torture. " But th i s dismissal of the notion of expression in art seems to me to be altogether too quick. C r i t i c s often talk about the way a painter views a scene, about the way a poet treats a subject or about the way a composer handles a theme, and this kind of ta lk is often not trans latable, in Beardsley's recommended fashion, to ta lk about either the human qua l i t ie s of the design or those of the subject matter of the work of a r t . In other words, while i t is true that we 66. describe works of art as cheerful, sad and so on, by v i rtue of the i r design or subject matter, there are many other cases in which works of art are properly described as expressing cheerfulness or sadness by virtue of what the a r t i s t does in the work, e.g. certain ways of handling a scene or depicting a subject. These " a r t i s t i c act s " , to use S i r c e l l o ' s term (1971), are what account for the expressiveness of these works. S i r c e l l o , whose argument I shal l presently discuss, has, in my view, made a convincing case for the retention of the notion of expression in art against the claims of philosophers such as Beardsley who maintain that the use of the term expression in th is context jus t generates confusion and who want to reduce a l l references to expression in art to straightforward descriptions of the objective features of works of art . There are also frequent occasions when a c r i t i c i s able to experience a work as i f i t were human expression, and this kind of experience can be shown to be d i f ferent from, and in some important ways superior to, the perception of objective qua l i t ie s that the Beardsley/Bouwsma thesis appears to i n s i s t on. E l l i o t t , whose argument I shal l also be presenting short ly, has, i t seems to me, made a good case for according a central place to the experience of a work of art as expression. I examine S i r c e l l o ' s argument f i r s t . 3.3 S i r c e l l o ' s Argument Referring to the Beardsley/Bouwsma posit ion on the question of expression in art as "the Canonical Pos i t i on " , (Hospers in The 67. Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, Vol. 1, p. 47, advocates the Beardsley/ Bouwsma pos i t ion, thus "canonizing" i t . ) S i r ce l l o (1971) maintains that while i t i s true that that posit ion has thrown some l i gh t on the concept of expression in a r t , " i t i s , nevertheless, fa lse in some respects and inadequate in others." He argues that, on the question of the at t r ibut ion of "anthropomorphic predicates" ( " feel ing qua l i t i e s " or "human qua l i t i e s " ) to works of a r t , the Canonical Posit ion has two incorrect presuppositions. The f i r s t i s that works of art are l i k e natural objects such as roses and apples. Beardsley, as we have seen, compares "sad music" to "red rose", and Bouwsma, to "red apple", both implying that as far as the anthropomorphic predicates are concerned, works of art are no d i f ferent from natural objects. The second presupposition is that anthropomorphic predicates are not essent ia l ly d i f ferent from simple colour or shape terms l i k e " r ed " , "yel low", "round" and "square." S i r ce l l o demonstrates the wrongness of the f i r s t presupposition of the Canonical Posit ion by showing, from an examination of the d i f ferent ways in which anthropomorphic predicates apply to works of a r t , that in two important respects the use of these predicates d i f fe r s from the way they apply to natural objects, and these differences emphasize some of the ways works of art d i f f e r from natural objects. He demonstrates the wrongness of the second presupposition by arguing that anthropomorphic predicates are quite unlike simple colour or shape words because the former are re lat ional terms and what they do i s relate various forms of human emotions, feel ings, attitudes and moods to persons. None of these terms has a logic l i k e the logic of colour terms. Let us examine these arguments more c lose ly , beginning with the f i r s t . 68. S i r ce l l o starts by presenting several examples of the appl icat ion of anthropomorphic predicates to a r t . These examples range from the description of Raphael's La Belle Jardiniere as "calm and serene", a description which is partly based on the design and subject matter of the painting and partly on the way the a r t i s t views his subject, through the "gay and carefree" character of Mozart's music for Papageno, to the "impersonal and detached" music of John Cage's Variations 11 ( S i r ce l l o , 1971, pp. 305-309). These examples show three d i f ferent ways in which works of art may properly bear anthropomorphic predicates: (1) Anthropomorphic predicates may apply to works of art by v i rtue of features that the works share with natural objects. Thus the "calm" of Raphael's painting applies in part to the configuration of l ines and shapes that make up the composition, which sorts of features are shared by natural objects. (2) Works of art may bear anthropomorphic qua l i t ie s by v i rtue of the i r subject-matter, that i s , what the works describe, depict or portray. These are often referred to as the i r "representational" aspects. In the Raphael painting, for example, the calm and serenity are due in part to the countryside, the sky, the garments and the faces depicted. "In cases of this so r t " , S i r ce l l o wr ites, " i t i s c lear, neither paintings nor poems are comparable to natural ' objects ' with respect to the way they bear the i r anthropomorphic qua l i t i e s . " (3) F i na l l y , anthropomorphic predicates may be applied to art works by v i r tue of what the a r t i s t does in those works. Thus, to quote the examples from S i r c e l l o ' s discussion 69. (a) La Belle Jardiniere is calm and serene part ly because Raphael views his subject calmly and qu iet ly ; (b) The Rape of the Sabine Women is aloof and detached because Poussin calmly observes the v io lent scene and paints i t in an aloof detached way; ( c l Wedding Dance in the Open A i r is an i ron ic painting because Breughel treats the gaiety of the wedding scene i r o n i c a l l y ; (d) "We Are Seven" is a sentimental poem because Wordsworth treats his subject matter sentimentally; (e) "The Dungeon" is an angry poem because in i t the poet angri ly inveighs against the i n s t i t u t i on of imprisonment; (f) "The Lovesong of J . Al fred Prufrock" i s a compassionate poem because the poet compassionately portrays the condition of his "hero"; (g) Prokoviev's Grandfather Theme is witty because the composer w i t t i l y comments on the character in his ba l l e t ; (h) Cage's Variations II i s impersonal because the composer presents his no i se- l ike sounds in an impersonal, uninvolved way. The underlined verbs in each case show what is done in the work. S i r ce l l o describes what the verbs designate as " a r t i s t i c acts" and argues that i t i s the presence of these " a r t i s t i c acts" in works of art that make those works expressions and "thereby shows that the Canonical Posit ion has missed a great deal of truth in c la s s i ca l Expression Theory." F i r s t , S i r ce l l o points out, the s im i l a r i t y between " a r t i s t i c acts" and the way people express emotions via the expressions on the i r faces; for example: "A person may scowl angr i ly , and thereby have an angry scowl on his face; he may smile so f t l y and thereby have a sad smile on his face; he may gesture impatiently and thus make an impatient gesture" ( S i r ce l l o , 1971, p. 313). In such cases the public 70. signs can provide grounds for the truth of characterizations of the persons as sad, angry and so on. The reason is that sad smiles are character i s t ic expressions of sadness in a person; angry scowls of anger, etc. One does not in fer from the smile on a person's face that he is smil ing, the reason being that "smil ing is not an act which produces or results in a smile so that something could interfere to prevent the smiling from bringing off the smile. ' Smi l ing ' and ' s m i l e ' , we are inc l ined to say, are simply two grammatically d i f ferent ways of referr ing to the same ' t h i n g ' " ( S i r ce l l o , 1971). And so i t i s with " a r t i s t i c acts" in works of a r t . The grounds for the truth of the description of Poussin's painting as aloof are in the painting i t s e l f - "the cold l i g h t , the statuesque poses, the painstaking l i n e a r i t y . " These can a l l be seen in the work. We can either say that Poussin paints his v io lent scene in an aloof, detached way or that the "Sabine" picture i s an aloof, detached painting, and in either case we would be ta lk ing about the work of art and how Poussin painted i t . S imi la r l y , we can say either that Wordsworth in "We Are Seven" treated his subject sentimentally or that "We Are Seven" is a sentimental poem and in either case we would be ta lk ing about the poem. As in the case of f ac i a l expressions and what they t e l l us about the persons responsible for them, the grounds for the truth of an anthropomorphic description of an " a r t i s t i c act" are in the work of art i t s e l f . We do not have to go beyond the work for biographical information about the author, for such information would be t o t a l l y i rrelevant to the establishment of the truth of the 71. anthropomorphic descr ipt ion. This blocks a possible counter move by a proponent of the Canonical Posit ion to the effect that ta lk about " a r t i s t i c acts" i s rea l l y biographical ta lk about the h i s to r i ca l a r t i s t , unconcerned with the work of art . Nor do we have to i n fe r , Wordsworth1s sentimentality ( i . e . his sentimental treatment of the subject) from a reading of the poem. The sentimental poem i j ^ Wordsworth's treatment of i t . "A test for statements describing art in anthropomorphic terms is always, and quite natura l ly , to scrut in ize the ar t , even when the terms are applied in v irtue of ' a r t i s t i c a c t s ' " ( S i r ce l l o , 1971). The immediately preceding discussion shows that anthropomorphic predicates such as "sad", " cheer fu l " , e t c . , do not always apply to art in the same way that predicates apply to natural objects, and, more importantly, they sometimes apply to art rather as they apply to verbal, f a c i a l and gestural expressions of persons. "And, here in" , writes S i r c e l l o , " l i e s an al l- important point which the Canonical Posit ion has missed in i t s interpretat ion of the Expression Theory of Art . " For precisely because of the close s im i l a r i t y between what the a r t i s t does " i n " the work of art to warrant the appl ication of an anthropomorphic predicate (his " a r t i s t i c act") and what a person does in the case of common human expressions, works of art may in certain circumstances function "to express those feel ings, emotions, at t i tudes, moods and/or personal character i st ics of the i r creators that are suggested by the 'anthropomorphic' predicates applicable to the works of art themselves" ( S i r ce l l o , 1971). And when we talk about them 72. functioning in this way we use the kinds of locutions that Beardsley wants to correct. We say "The music expresses sadness" or "The composer expresses sadness in the music" or even, simply, "The music is sad", meaning not (or not simply) some objective qual i ty anyone can point to - in the music but the composer's sadness as expressed in the music. Thus the epithet "sad" in th is context has an e x p l i c i t re lat ional function: i t relates the character of the music to a person's sadness. From th is we can see that the f i r s t presupposition of the Canonical Posit ion - that as far as the appl icat ion of anthropomorphic predicates is concerned, works of art are no d i f ferent from natural objects, i s c lea r l y wrong. And we can see that the second presupposition, that anthropomorphic predicates are not essent ia l ly d i f ferent from simple colour or shape terms, i s also wrong because those predicates have re lat ional functions that simple colour or shape words do not have. They "es sent ia l l y relate to various forms of the ' inner l i v e s ' of human beings. And that " , says S i r c e l l o , " i s where Expression Theory begins." He concludes: "The Canonical model of the red rose (or apple) f a i l s u t ter ly to help us understand how anthropomorphic predicates apply to a r t , because those predicates are not (very much) l i k e simple qual i ty words and what they apply to are not (very much) l i k e natural objects. " It might be thought that the Canonical Posit ion could be saved by a move which Beardsley (1958) makes when he suggests that a l l statements about the expressiveness of a work of art be " t rans lated" 73. into statements about the anthropomorphic " qua l i t i e s " e ither of the subject matter or of the design of the work. (This i s in l ine with Beards!ey's general be l ie f that a l l c r i t i c a l statements should refer to the work only.) This would in the present context mean that anthropomorphic descriptions of a r t i s t i c acts in a work of art can be substituted for descriptions which make no reference to a r t i s t i c acts. This defence w i l l not work however. For instance, Poussin's Rape of  the Sabine Women is described as aloof and detached, but there is nothing about the v io lent subject matter or the formal elements of the painting to which the description "aloof and detached" is appl icable. The subject matter i s merely v io lent. Hone of the characters is aloof or detached, not even Romulus the general in charge, whose expression in any case is not s u f f i c i en t l y detai led for us to t e l l whether i t is aloof or detached. The l ines and colours of the design are certa in ly not "a loo f " , whatever that might mean. Clearly then, in th i s case, as perhaps in several others that could be s im i la r l y analysed, the anthropomorphic predicate can only be applied to the a r t i s t i c act and to no other "objective feature" of the work. It can apply neither to the subject matter nor to the design of the work. Thus descriptions of a r t i s t i c acts cannot be " t rans lated" into l og i ca l l y equivalent descriptions of formal elements.and/or represented subject matter, though the formal element and subject matter may be c i ted when a j u s t i f i c a t i o n of the anthropomorphic description of a r t i s t i c acts is being made. In other words, although in j u s t i f y i ng the aloofness and detachment of Poussin's painting one 74. would have to mention i t s "objective features" such as the subject matter or design, the description of these features does not enta i l aloofness and detachment. The "features" serve to "ground" the description of the painting as "aloof and detached" but they do not entai l that descript ion. This i s so for the simple reason that the same "features" could provide grounds for a description of the painting that was incompatible with the description "aloof and detached." This often explains why two c r i t i c s while pointing to the same "features" in a work give d i f ferent and opposed evaluations of the work. This fact about anthropomorphic descriptions of a r t i s t i c acts is shared by ordinary acts of human.expression. No descr ipt ive feature or movement of a person enta i l s that the person is expressing anything in part icu lar . Rather the descriptive features, movements, etc. form a pattern which can j u s t i f y an expression attr ibution.(The Canonical Posit ion seems to hold that certain descriptive features do imply an anthropomorphic predicate, jus t as a rose being red implies that the rose is red.) J u s t i f i c a t i on is required, however, because the part icu lar features might not be part of a genuine expression of X. For example, while an angry scowl on a person's face may be the way people t yp i ca l l y express anger, the person may be affect ing anger, imitating someone e l se ' s att i tude or portraying a character in a drama. S imi la r l y , a poet who writes compassionate poetry, for example, may be af fect ing compassion, imitating someone e l se ' s s ty le of Writing or portraying the part icu lar sty le of a character in a play or novel who i s represented as having written the poem. 75. What these facts show is that the j u s t i f i c a t i o n of anthropomorphic descriptions of a r t i s t i c acts in a work of art would depend on certain background features or "conditions" having to do with the a r t i s t ' s seriousness and competence, the coherence of the work, etc. These conditions cannot be specif ied in general for a l l cases but are f a i r l y easy to see in most. However, i t i s probably not true to say. that the a r t i s t must be serious, competent and so forth or that the work must be coherent in order for an anthropomorphic predicate to properly apply to a work. "What these terms should be taken as denoting", writes S i r c e l l o , " i s , rather, 'parameters' according to which an a r t i s t or a work can be measured in whatever respect is relevant in a part icu lar case" (1971, p. 325). He concludes that "what the recognition of such 'parameters' means i s that any attempt to save the Canonical Posit ion by ' e l iminat ing ' descriptions of a r t i s t i c acts in favour of ' l o g i c a l l y equivalent ' descriptions of formal elements and/or represented subject matter is doomed to f a i l (1971, p. 326). I don't want to suggest - and neither does S i r ce l l o - that a l l works of art with " a r t i s t i c acts" express emotions. Mine is the more moderate thesis that some works of a r t , because of what the a r t i s t does in them, can function as expressions of emotions, and when they do they can be experienced as expressions. A theory of art which t r i e s to explain e ither the nature of art or our response to art must recognise th i s . The version of Expression Theory I am interested in addresses i t s e l f to th is fact about a r t . Now l e t us go on to E l l i o t t ' s argument. 76. 3.4 E l l i o t t ' s Argument E l l i o t t (1967) maintains that a version of Expression Theory provides a better account of our experience of art than the Beardsley/Bouwsma object i v i s t aesthetic. The version of Expression Theory he wishes to endorse is embodied in the statement that some works of art can be experienced as human expression, and experiencing a work as expression is d i f ferent from perceiving objects or objective qua l i t i e s . "By 'express ion ' " , he wr ites, "I mean only that expression which i s perceived as qual i fy ing or issuing from the person, especia l ly gesture, speech and such internal a c t i v i t i e s as thinking and imagining" (p. 112). Thus a poem, for example, "can be perceived not as an object bearing an impersonal meaning but as i f i t were the speech or thought of another person and. . . i t i s possible for us to make this expression our own" (p. 112). It i s important to note that when the reader of the poem experiences i t as someone's expression and makes the expression his own he does not thereby reproduce in himself the creative a c t i v i t y of the poet. Such exaggeration has in the past acted as a hindrance to better understanding of the function of imagination in aesthetic experience. A l l that is being asserted is that in experiencing the poem as expression the reader imaginatively enters the world of the poem and reads the words as though they were being uttered by himself. A work, E l l i o t t argues, may be experienced "from with in " or "from without", and he goes on to elucidate the meaning of these terms: 77. So far as poetry and painting are concerned, experiencing a work from within i s , roughly speaking, experiencing i t as i f one were the poet or the a r t i s t . If a work is experienced as expression, experiencing i t from within involves experiencing this expression after a certain imaginative manner as one's own. Experiencing i t from without is experiencing i t as expression, but not experiencing this expression as i f i t were one's own. ( E l l i o t t , 1967, p. 112) A l y r i c poem par t i cu la r l y lends i t s e l f to the f i r s t mode of experiencing, experiencing from wi th in , since the poet is actual ly represented as experiencing an emotion, and, as E l l i o t t argues, " to experience the poem at a l l we have to give i t a real or v i r tua l reading in which we embody the poet's expression in our own voice" (p. 113). When th i s is successfully done, the reader is able to "experience the poet's expression and the emotion expressed from the place of the experiencing subject rather than from the place of one who hears and understands the expression from without" (p. 113). A l i t t l e la ter E l l i o t t gives a more detai led description of what this involves: In experiencing a poem from wi th in , the reader keeps more or less e x p l i c i t contact with the poet. Sometimes he seems to be there together with the poet, as i f they inhabited the same body and as i f the poet were speaking or thinking with the reader's voice; sometimes the reader seems to be there in the place of the poet, expressing and experiencing the poet's emotion as i t were on the poet's behalf; sometimes the reader seems even to have supplanted the poet, but s t i l l without experiencing the expressed emotion as the product of his own fantasy. On occasions, as Longinius recognised, the experience is so v i v id that i t seems almost as i f the reader were actual ly in the poet's s i tuat ion. He has to return to himself, rather as i f he were waking from a dream. This description seems to portray the experience of those who have 78. been drawn imaginatively into the world of a poem. The feel ing of waking from the experience as i f from a dream, a feel ing that has been frequently documented by l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s , is one reason why some c r i t i c s i n s i s t that a l l l i t e ra tu re is in some sense "dream." [See, for example, Northrop Frye, "In the anagogic phase l i t e ra tu re imitates the tota l dream of man", Anatomy of C r i t i c i sm, p. 117-119.] The dream, however, is one from which the reader can awake at any time by rel inquishing the imagined s i tuat ion and breaking off his communion with the poet. "We ra re l y " , E l l i o t t wr i tes, "experience a poem ent i re ly from with in, but are drawn into the world of the poem at certain points and l a te r once more experience i t from without, usually without noticing these changes in our point of view" (p. 114). These two modes of experiencing a poem, E l l i o t t explains, may be compared to a lternat ive manners of performing a work. The comparison is apt for jus t as two performances of the same work often d i f f e r in intens ity of rea l i sa t ion and convey d i f ferent emotional e f fect s , so also a poem conveys d i f ferent effects depending on whether i t i s experienced from within or from without. "Two c r i t i c s " , E l l i o t t wr i tes, "may f ind the same poem to be v i v id and un i f ied, but for one i t has the vividness and unity of an observed event, for the other a vividness and unity more l i k e those of an experience in which he act ive ly part ic ipates. . .In one case the poem arises as a complex content ent i re ly at the objective pole of consciousness, in the other i t i s real ised as an experience, the description of which involves a reference not simply to an objective content but also to the subject (p. 115). 79. E l l i o t t discusses two examples of poems whose emotional impact is considerably altered when they are experienced from within and from without. The two poems are Holder l in ' s elegy, "Homecoming" and Donne's poem "The Sunne Ris ing. " He argues that the reader of Holder l in ' s "Homecoming" who experiences i t only from without w i l l not get beyond a certain understanding of the development of the poet's mood from i n i t i a l serene expectation through loving re f lect ion on the homeland to f i na l gratitude. This understanding, though important, f a l l s short of the greater insight and f u l l e r appreciation which comes from experiencing the poem from with in. When the poem is experienced from within the feel ing of strangeness, which is part ly generated by the extreme nature of the emotion expressed and part ly by the idiosyncracies of s ty le , gives way to an appreciation of the poem as "a sublime expression of a great human emotion which i t enables us to experience eminently, though non-primordially." At the same time there is recognition of the emotion as one which we have f e l t in real l i f e . "The difference in what the poem means to us could hardly be greater", E l l i o t t concludes and observes that "the i n a b i l i t y to experience such a poem from within is a deprivation for which no exquisiteness of taste can compensate" (p. 116). Donne's poem, "The Sunne R i s ing " , E l l i o t t argues, has to be experienced according to both modes i f we are to evaluate i t j u s t l y . From without, the poem appears as aggressively clever conceit but from within "the l y r i c a l aspect of the poem is experienced more convincingly and we feel a sense of the power and glory of sensual 80. love." But in th i s case i t is important that the two modes of experience complement each other for both aspects are important for a complete understanding of the poem. The tone of aggression i s established in the very f i r s t l i ne of the poem where the sun is addressed as "Busy old f o o l , unruly Sun." The poet, represented as being in bed with his mistress, i s angered by the inter fer ing rays of the sun which pierce through the curta in. The poet's tone and impatience give an impression of arrogance as the sun is dismissed contemptuously. "Saucy, pedantic wretch, go chide Late schoolboys and sour prentices." When the poem i s experienced from without, E l l i o t t argues, th i s i s the aspect that impresses us. But when we experience the poem from with in, the dramatic character of the poem is appreciably softened and l ines such as these take on more prominence: Love, a l l a l i k e , no season knows nor cl ime, Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time. "Now", E l l i o t t wr ites, " i t seems to us that the poet diminished the sun only to g l o r i f y a greater god, one whose power we ourselves feel in experiencing the poem from with in " (1967, p. 117). What these two examples i l l u s t r a t e is the way the l y r i c poet represents the structure of a developing mood and enables the reader to reproduce in imagination, from the place of the experiencing subject, the various ways in which the emotion manifests i t s e l f as he experiences the poem from with in. "The reader", writes E l l i o t t , "must himself contribute the appropriate feel ing and emotional tone, 81. but his feel ing w i l l be appropriate not only to the imagined s i tuat ion but also to the expression he has made his own" 0967, p. 117). In th i s way the emotion comes into being in him. Thus in an aesthetic experience of a l y r i c poem the experiencing subject i s act ive ly involved in the imagined s i tuat ion and feels the emotion expressed but without necessarily being affected by i t . The implications of th is account for an ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic are obvious. The proponents of that theory maintain, as we noted e a r l i e r , that aesthetic perception is an awareness of certain qua l i t ies of an objective content.' That i s , in an aesthetic experience of a l y r i c poem such as the one just described the reader senses or recognises the emotional qua l i t ie s of the poem. These qua l i t i e s , i t i s argued, are as much part of the objective content of the poem as the words that compose i t , and, to emphasize t h i s , Bouwsma (1954) urges the reader to "suppose that the poem is as hard as marble, ingrained, i t may be, with inde l ib le sorrow." This suggests the picture of a completely detached aesthetic observer whose response is simply to recognise the emotional qua l i t ie s of a work, these qua l i t ies being seen as phenomenally objective qua l i t ie s of the work. It may be that the emotional qua l i t ie s of a work can sometimes simply be recognised in th i s way but notice what a difference there would be between such an experience and the aesthetic experience of the c r i t i c or lover of beauty. The c r i t i c or lover of beauty, in allowing his imagination to run freely and in bringing into play an uninhibited emotional response as he comtemplates a work, is more 82. l i k e l y to benefit from the richness and complexity of the great works of art than the unmoved aesthetic observer who practices what E l l i o t t ca l l s "aesthetic asceticism",seeing his task as that of detecting or recognising phenomenally objective aesthetic features. The unmoved observer aiming at an austere ideal usually does get something from a great work of a r t , but i t w i l l surely be the case that those aspects of the work - and these are frequently the most important aspects -which cannot in any straightforward way be described as phenomenally objective and which often involve the expressive aspects of the work w i l l elude him. In her a r t i c l e , "Aesthetic Concepts", Meager (1970) c i tes the example of the deadly sense of entanglement that permeates the world of Aeschylus's Agamemnon and comments: This is not simply an aspect of the play which may or may not dawn upon spectators, according as they have or have not developed the requis i te 'perceptual viewpoint 1 , leaving the judgement by A that there is no such aspect to the play as acceptable as the judgement byiB that there is such an aspect, in the way that the more naive judgement that a penny seen sideways on looks round is as acceptable as the more sophisticated judgement that i t looks e l l i p t i c a l , since both are merely 'phenomeno-ligical 1 reports from di f ferent 'perceptual viewpoints. ' Those who perceive the sense of human entanglement, by unknown Gods, by our own passions and conceit, in the Agamemnon would f ind i t part of the essential truth and power of the work - hardly a dispensible 'phenomenological' aspect of i t . (Meager, 1970, p. 320-321) Similar examples can be mult ip l ied and not only from l i t e r a tu re . In such cases i t i s more appropriate to speak of the power of the work to provide experiences of imaginative and emotional 83. intens ity rather than a feature of the work to be noted by a refined exercise of detection. E l l i o t t ' s account of experiencing a work from within,as we noted ear l ie r , shows that when the work i s so experienced the so-cal led "phenomenally object ive" features become inseparable from the experiencing subject and an adequate account of the aesthetic object must include a ref lex ive awareness of certain aspects of the aesthetic experience. Let us take stock so fa r . E l l i o t t argues that a version of expression theory "provides a better account of our experience of art and of the nature of a work of a r t " than the Beards!ey/Bouwsma ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory. Some works of a r t , he maintains, can be experienced as i f they were human expression. When the work is experienced as human expression i t can be experienced from within or from without. When a poem, for example, i s experienced from wi th in , the reader, by an imaginative leap, assumes, as i t were, the voice of the poet and experiences the emotion expressed as i f the words . were issuing from himself. He thus enters the world of the poem and makes i t part of his world instead of contemplating i t as i f i t were an object in his world. By doing so the reader attains a level of imaginative insight and understanding of the work that goes far beyond any mere "recognition of emotional qua l i t i e s . " Philosophers of the Beards!ey/Bouwsma persuasion consider any version of the Expression Theory unsatisfactory and subscribe to an ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic because they feel i t provides the most defensible view of the work of a r t , the aesthetic experience of the 84. work and the relationship between the aesthetic object and the experiencing subject. But, as we have seen, the ob jec t i v i s t position f a i l s to explain how i t i s that a work of art can express emotions and so provides an incomplete account of the nature of art or of our experience of a r t . E l l i o t t does not deny that we apply emotional predicates to music according to the two c r i t e r i a Bouwsma mentions (see p. 47-49 above), but he argues that we also use the sentence "The music i s sad" to mean that the music expresses sadness. However, to perceive the sadness expressed in the music we have to hear the sounds as i f they were expression. Sometimes when we l i s t en to music "we f ind ourselves hearing some passage as i f someone were expressing his emotion in and through the sounds as a person does in and through his voice" , and with pure music, E l l i o t t bel ieves, we hear the expressed emotion as i f i t were our own expression. Hearing the music as i f i t were the expression of emotion i s , E l l i o t t argues, l i k e seeing the restless movements of a tree blown hither and th i ther in a strong wind as a " rest less and fearful ag i ta t ion . " To see the fol iage in th i s way i s to see i t as i f i t were an agitated person, but i f one concentrates on the movements one ceases to see the tree as i f i t were a person and the experience becomes less absorbing because less interest ing. It is the same with music. A concentration on the sound as pure sound prevents you from hearing i t as expression and so from experiencing the emotion expressed in the most v i v id way. Experiences of th is kind occur frequently in l i f e as in I 85. art . You can see a dancer's movements as so many complicated steps or you can see the movements as expression, in which case the various complicated steps take on a unity as they express whatever feel ing or emotion is appropriate. The emotion expressed may be the dancer 's, or the composer's or even that of the character the dancer is impersonating. It may even belong to nobody in pa r t i cu la r , but th is is not a hindrance to our experiencing the emotion as expression. We value experiences of th is kind precisely because in them the expressed emotion is most v i v i d l y rea l i sed. As E l l i o t t puts i t , "hearing the music as expressing emotion, whether from without or from wi th in , i s an instance of imaginatively enriched perception, one of Imany which we encounter in the experience of a r t " ( E l l i o t t , 1967, p. 119). In paint ing, too, the spectator has opportunities to move from ordinary aesthetic contemplation of objective features to an experience of the r ea l i t y represented in the pictures. E l l i o t t (1967) discusses the examples of Rouault's F l ight into Egypt and Grunewald's The Buffetting (or The Mocking of Christ) (Vesey, 1973, p. 89). In both pictures the spectator is able to enter imaginatively into the world portrayed, and experience the scene or the events depicted as i f they were rea l . Grunewald's picture has the power to force the spectator-participant to ident i fy with the so ld ier aiming a blow at Christ and although the so ld ie r ' s arm i s raised but does not descend to del iver the blow, this does not prevent the spectator from " l i v i n g the movement of s t r i k ing through to i t s consummation in imaginal time." An imaginative experience of such power and immediacy is only possible 86. when the spectator experiences the work from with in. An account of aesthetic experience and of the work of art which does not permit adequate recognition of t h i s , misses what is most valuable in a r t . It i s necessary at th is point, I think, to summarize b r i e f l y the ways in which the ob jec t i v i s t and expressionist positions I have been concerned with d i f f e r from one another. The ob jec t i v i s t maintains the fol lowing: (a) Anthropomorphic predicates apply to art in the way that they apply to natural objects and this is the only way that they apply to a r t , e.g., "sad" applies to music in the same way that "red" applies to rose (Beardsley) or to apple (Bouwsma). (b) The logic of an anthropomorphic predicate when i t applies to art i s exactly the same as when the predicate applies to a natural object, i . e . , "sad music" and "red rose" have the same "thing-property" re l a t i on , hence the ob jec t i v i s t ' s object-qual i ty interpretation of Expression Theory. (c) The qua l i t ie s or "properties" that warrant the appl icat ion of anthropomorphic predicates are in the work. (d) Aesthetic perception or experience consists in "recognising" the emotional qua l i t ie s that the anthropomorphic predicates pick out. Against th is the expressionist maintains the fol lowing: (a) Anthropomorphic predicates do not apply to art in only one way, they apply to art in a variety of d i f ferent ways. In part icu lar they sometimes apply to art in ways which are 87.. quite unlike the ways in which such predicates apply to natural things. For instance, an anthropomorphic predicate can apply to a work by v i rtue of what S i r ce l l o ca l l s an " a r t i s t i c act . " When the predicate applies in this way, the work of art may function to express feelings or emotions. The log ic of an anthropomorphic predicate when i t applies to art i s not the same as when the predicate applies to a natural object. For example, "sad music" and "red apple" do not both describe object-qual i ty re lat ions. "Sad" in "sad music" has a re lat iona l function which " red" in "red rose" does not have. "Sad" in "sad music" functions to relate the qual i ty to a person's inner l i f e ; "red" in "red rose" simply describes an objective qual i ty of the rose. The expressionist agrees that the relevant qua l i t i e s or properties are in the work of a r t . This i s the only point of agreement between the expressionist and the ob jec t i v i s t . But even here there is a cruc ia l difference in the way the two positions interpret the presence of "emotional qua l i t i e s " in a work of a r t . The expressionist does not accept the ob j e c t i v i s t ' s insistence that "emotional qua l i t i e s " are fundamentally objective qua l i t ie s of the work having the same log ica l status as other qua l i t ie s commonly attr ibuted to works of a r t , such as colour, etc; 88. (d) Aesthetic experience of emotion does not consist simply of "recognising" the emotional qua l i t ie s of a work. If the work is seen as expression i t can be experienced as the expression of emotion and this kind of experience of the work entai l s a level of personal involvement that the ob ject i v i s t position f a i l s to appreciate. In part icu lar i t involves an emotional response of the kind E l l i o t t describes. 3.5 The Object iv i s t Posit ion In fairness to Beardsley and the posit ion I am c r i t i c i z i n g , I would l i ke to emphasize that the object iv i s t s agree that the apprehension of the emotional qua l i t i e s of a work of art is an important part of the aesthetic experience of the work. The contrast is not between cognition on the one hand and affect on the other. Both occur simultaneously in an aesthetic experience, as Parsons notes in the introduction to "Developmental Stages in Chi ldren 's Aesthetic Responses" (1978). In discussing the ch i l d ' s developing sense of relevance in his encounter with works of a r t , he argues that "to f ind something relevant in an aesthetic experience is to respond to i t with some fee l ing " (1978, p. 84). "What develops a f f e c t i v e l y " , he wr i tes , " i s not so much the power of fee l ing ( a l l children have that ) , but the power of feel ing re levant ly, i . e . , in the direct ion of increased complexity, subtlety and responsiveness" (1978, p. 84). From this we can see that Parsons c lear ly acknowledges the importance of an emotional response to a work of art and his 89. developmental thesis outlines the way the ch i l d ' s sense of relevance changes and affects his tota l response to the work of a r t . Parsons can ' t be charged then with f a i l i n g to consider the importance of the emotional aspect of a response to a work of a r t . However, he does base his conception of mature aesthetic experience, i . e . stage four in his developmental scheme, on the work of "Beardsley and his fol lowers. " He writes: Any developmental scheme implies a normative conception of the end state to which development leads. In our case, we must be able to give an account of the kinds of features of aesthetic objects found to be relevant in the aesthetic experience of sophisticated adults. This, of course, i s pr imari ly a matter for the philosophy of art . . . .Our understanding of what th i s means has re l ied heavily on the work of Monroe Beardsley. (1978, p. 84-85) And a l i t t l e l a te r on the same page he writes: "We have not attempted to provide a detai led description ( le t alone j u s t i f i c a t i o n ) of the 'end s t a t e ' , and simply appeal to the work of Beardsley and his followers for this " . (1978, p. 85). Parsons then re l i e s on "Beardsley and his fol lowers" for a detai led characterization of what i t means to have an aesthetic experience of a work of art which would include an emotional response to the work. If we turn now to the work of "Beardsley and his fol lowers" we f ind that, although they say that an emotional response is often an important part of an aesthetic experience of a work, the i r actual description of what the emotional response entai l s is in terms of "a recognition" of emotional qua l i t i e s . This conclusion is borne out by the way these emotional 90. qualit ies, are characterized by these wr iters. Here, is Beardsley on the s im i l a r i t y between the qual i ty " red" in "red rose" and the emotional qual i ty "joyous" in "joyous music": When we say that a rose i s red, we have only one thing, namely the rose, and we describe i t s qua l i ty ; in exactly the same way, when we say the music i s joyous, we have only one 'thing, namely the music, and we describe i t s qua l i ty . (Beardsley, 1958, p. 331-332) In other words, the sentences"The rose is red" and "The music is joyous" behave in exactly the same way, they describe thing-property re lat ions. How do we t e l l that the rose is red? We see the rose and we recognise i t redness. How do we t e l l that the music is joyous? We hear the music and we recognise i t s joyousness. Don't we have to feel the joy in the music when we hear or experience i t ? Not necessari ly, and on this point Beardsley's " fo l lowers" - the ones, I presume, Parsons has in mind - are more e x p l i c i t than Beardsley i s . As we have seen, Hepburn, on the subject of experiencing emotion in works of a r t , says: Of the two ways of speaking - the evocation of emotion and the recognition of emotional qua l i t ie s - the l a t t e r is truer to our actual experience in probably a majority of aesthetic contexts. (Hepburn, 1965, p. 198) For Hepburn then, our emotional response to works of art consists in recognising the i r emotional qua l i t i e s . On this Bouwsma (1954), another of the Beardsley " fol lowers" Parsons probably has in mind, is exactly in agreement with Hepburn. On how we should respond to emotional qua l i t ie s in a poem, he writes, as we saw ea r l i e r : 91. Hear the words and do not imagine that in hearing them you gulp a j igger to make yourself foam. Rather suppose that the poem is as hard as marble, ingrained, i t may be, with inde l ib le sorrow. (Bouwsma, 1954, p. 98) The poem, in other words, has a gestalt character which we ca l l sad, and we perceive the sadness in the poem as we perceive qua l i t ie s l i k e redness in a red apply (Bouwsma's example). Yet another of the Beardsley " fo l lowers " , Morris-Jones, p rac t i ca l l y uses the same words as Hepburn and Bouwsma to describe our response to emotion in a r t . What I do when I read a sad or happy poem or l i s t en to a sad or happy song, he argues, i s "to recognise ( i t a l i c s his) the sadness or happiness, and I i m p l i c i t l y claim that others should recognise them, too, i f they have undergone those perceptual or imaginative experiences which constitute an exhaustive appreciation of those works of a r t " (Morris-Jones, 1962, p. 21). Why do "Beardsley and his fol lowers" who c lear ly must agree that works of art can provide profoundly moving experiences write in th is way about how we respond to emotional qua l i t ie s in works of art? Why do they seem to reduce our emotional responses to a mere recognition of emotional qual i t ies ? We should f i r s t note that i t i s largely because they talk in th i s way that writers l i k e E l l i o t t (1967) describe them as providing us with an impoverished concept of aesthetic experience. Osborne (1963) makes this forthr ight declaration concerning these object iv i s t s ("Beardsley and his fol lowers") talk about "apprehending" or "recognising" 92. emotional qua l i t ie s in a r t : "I do not believe that the solution l i e s in a theory that aesthetic experience involves the cognition by d i rect acquaintance of non-experienced mental states" (1963, p. 40). The considerations that have led Beardsley and his followers to talk in th is way about the experience of emotion in art would appear to be as fol lows. Works of a r t , Beardsley argues, are objects which we encounter in our phenomenal f i e l d , and, as such, they are to be sharply distinguished from our subjective responses. These objects ( i . e . , the works of art) comprise - and th i s i s the heart of the ob ject i v i s t position - phenomenally objective features including aesthetic ones. Thus, for example, the colour of a painting and i t s joyousness are both phenomenally objective in exactly the same sense, and we perceive both in the same way. Referring to these two kinds of properties of works of art as "regional propert ies", Beardsley writes concerning our perception of the regional properties of music: "We can recognise, that i s , hear, the regional qual ity of a work before we analyze i t in any very detai led way... .." (1958, p. 331). Sometimes, to dist inguish emotional qua l i t ie s l i k e sadness or joy from other qua l i t ie s l i k e redness or rhythm, Beardsley refers to the former as "human regional qua l i t i e s " but he c lear ly assumes that the i r log ica l status is exactly the same as those of other properties of works of a r t . On this Osborne (1963) comments: The notions that constel lat ions of visual and auditory perceptions display regional, non-summative properties emergent at various levels is by now well established. What is new, and indeed strange, is the idea that emotional qua l i t ie s are objective in th i s 93. way, that there are perceived properties of things which are expressive of emotion without provoking emotion in the percipient or heing interpreted as the sign of emotion in some other sentient being. (1963, p. 42) Beardsley does say - and his followers are in agreement with him on th i s - that we can ta l k , for example, about the sadness of a piece of music without reference to the composer's feelings or the ef fect the music has on a l i s tener (Beardsley, 1958, p. 326-332). Obviously we can and often do. But our being able to ta lk in th i s way in no way denies that the composer may have expressed his emotion in the music, and when we describe i t as sad we are referr ing to the expressed emotion in the music. Indeed our very use of the emotional predicate, "sad", i s necessitated by certain expressive properties of the music which make i t an expression of emotion. The ob jec t i v i s t s ' mistake - and this i s brought out c lear ly in S i r c e l l o ' s argument - i s to suppose that emotional predicates apply to art in only one way, that, for example the expression "sad music" simply characterises, in a metaphorical way, some objective qual i ty of the music which the l i s tener hears or recognises. Of course there i j ^ something about the music which makes us describe i t as "sad" rather than say "joyous." But the term "sad" in "sad music" has a d i f ferent function from say, the term "red" in "red rose." "Red" picks out a simple property of the rose. "Sad" has a re lat ional function. Its function i s to relate the character of the music to human sadness, jus t as the term "happy" in "happy 94. smile" relates the character of the smile to a human emotional state. It i s this re lat ional function of emotional terms when applied to art that distinguishes them from simple descriptive terms l i k e " red. " And when works of art function as expressions of human emotion, they demand, in E l l i o t t ' s view, a d i f ferent kind of response from that which Beardsley and his followers seem to allow for by the i r often repeated phrase, "the recognition of emotional qua l i t i e s . " As we have seen, E l l i o t t argues that a f u l l appreciation of such works demands that the expressed emotion be experienced in a concrete way. This involves at least fee l ing an appropriate emotion and perhaps imaginatively entering the world of the work in such a way as to achieve an intense and complete rea l i sat ion of the work. He argues that in experiencing the expressed emotion in a poem "I do not merely recognise that the poet i s expressing, for example, sadness, but actual ly feel th i s sadness" (1967, p. 113). Let us agree that the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic, in drawing attention to the objective aesthetic features of a work which must be perceived, has performed a useful service. The c r i t i c ought to be concerned with what i s there in the work not with his own private associations. Having said t h i s , we must be careful not to f a l l into the trap of saying that the recognition of these qua l i t ie s or features is a l l there is in an aesthetic experience. Such an account would leave out what is of the utmost importance - the imaginative experience of the work.' "To underplay the experienced response i s a fata l error in any attempt to explain the nature of aesthetic value" (Meager, 1970). One must stress the fact that there are aesthetic 95. experiences, often the ones we value most, that involve the. tota l absorption of the spectator 's imaginative and emotional powers of response, including, as we noted e a r l i e r , his very self-awareness. As Leavis (1964) notes, "words in poetry i nv i te us. . .to ' f ee l i n to ' or become - to rea l i se a complex experience that is given in the words" (p. 212). Let us now turn to a br ief discussion of Leavis ' s views on the nature of aesthetic c r i t i c i s m . 3.6 Leavis ' s C r i t i c i sm Does the mature response to l i t e ra tu re suggested by some l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i sm d i f f e r from Parsons' conception of the stage four response to art? I f so, what implication does th i s have for Parsons' end state? I f the mature l i t e r a r y response is d i f ferent would this imply d i f ferent teaching strategies? These are the questions that w i l l be addressed in the next chapter. In preparation for that I shal l discuss the c r i t i c a l views of one part icu lar l i t e r a r y c r i t i c -F. R. Leavis. This i s because I agree with Casey's statement that in Leavis ' s c r i t i c i sm "we have the most thoroughgoing attempt to reta in , on the one hand, the emphasis on the emotional importance of l i t e r a t u re , and yet to provide, on the other, objective c r i t e r i a for judging the qual i ty of emotion a poem presents" (Casey, 1966, p. 154). This statement about Leavis ' s work has obvious relevance for an expressionist account of a r t , for basic to Expression Theory i s the notion that works of art express emotions, and I shal l be showing how Leavis, although f inding i t natural to use expressionist language, avoids the usual expressionist d i f f i c u l t i e s . Leavis ' s 96. c r i t i c a l pract ice, I shal l argue, i l l u s t r a te s the fact that one's aesthetic judgements can have objective va l i d i t y without the neces-s i t y of having to adopt the anti-expressionist aspects of ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory. In his discussion of the dif ference between reading poetry and reading philosophy, Leavis (1964) wr ites: Words in poetry inv i te us not to ' think about' and judge but to ' f ee l i n to ' or become - to real i se a complex experience that is given in the words. They demand, not merely a fu l ler-bodied response, but a completer responsiveness - a kind of respon-siveness that i s incompatible with the j ud i c i a l one-eye-on-the-standard approach. . . (p. 212) The words " fee l into or become" describe the kind of response that we had ea r l i e r talked about in discussing E l l i o t t ' s response "from w i th i n " . The reader i s expected to enter imaginatively into the world of the poem and " rea l i se the complex experience given in the words." This i s the kind of response that is "incompatible with the j ud i c i a l one-eye-on-the-standard approach", and also incompatible, I would suggest, with a mere "recognit ion" of emotional qua l i t i e s , and i t may even go beyond the perception of objective features. But there is no suggestion here that the reader needs to'abandon his c r i t i c a l i n t e l l -igence. On the contrary, Leavis i s ins i s tent that the reader bring to bear on the words of the poem a l l his powers of perception, judgement and analyt ic s k i l l . These are to be employed in the e f fo r t to achieve an " i n t e l l i g en t rea l i sa t i on " of the work. Analysis, for Leavis, i s "the process by which we seek to atta in a complete reading of the poem:" 97. There i s about i t nothing in the nature of 'murdering to d i s sec t ' . . .We can have the poem only by an inner kind of possession; i t i s ' there ' for analysis only in so far as we are responding appropriately to the words on the page. . .What we c a l l analysis i s , of course, a constructive or creative process. I t i s a more deliberate fo l low-through of that process of creation in response to the poet's words which reading i t . (1941, p. 309) To respond appropriately to the poem, the reader must attempt to rea l i se to the f u l l the experience given in the words of the poem. He must aim at complete responsiveness, at what Steiner describes as "a kind of poised vu lnerab i l i ty of consciousness in the encounter with the text" (Steiner, 1967). The reader proceeds with an attention which i s close and str ingent, and the poem is " rea l i sed " by a process in which understanding and imagination supplement and progressively correct each other. Needless to say, th i s kind of " r ea l i s a t i on " i s not confined to the reading of poems. Drama (the text rather than the stage production) and the novel are " rea l i sed " in the same way. This " r ea l i s a t i on " involves an evaluation of the work, but the evaluation arises from response, i t does not i n i t i a t e i t . We get a clearer idea of what is involved from the following passage in which Leavis describes the a c t i v i t y of the c r i t i c , the "reader of l i t e r a tu re : The c r i t i c ' s aim i s , f i r s t , to rea l i se as sens i t ive ly and completely as possible that or that which claims his attent ion; and a  certain valuing is imp! ic i t in the rea l i s i ng . As he matures in experience of the new thing he asks, e x p l i c i t l y and i m p l i c i t l y : 'Where does this stand in re lat ion to. . .? How 98. re l a t i ve l y important does i t seem? And the organisation into which i t sett les as a constituent in becoming "placed" is an organisation of s im i l a r l y "placed" things, things that have found the i r bearings with regard to one another, and not a theoretical system or a system determined by abstract considerations. (1964, p. 213) Casey (.1966) has correct ly observed that the key words in th is passage are "and a certain valuing is imp l i c i t in the r ea l i s i n g . " That i s , by becoming aware of more and more of the features of d i f ferent works of l i t e r a t u re , and of d i f ferent experiences, we are able to compare them with one another, to relate them to each other. This map of relations i s our value scheme. Certain works of l i t e ra tu re become part of the c r i t i c ' s i n te l l ec tua l landscape. The c r i t i c a l judgement (the "placing") i s a result of a complex of a c t i v i t i e s , " f inding that th is wears w e l l " , "coming back again to that " , and so on. The "p lac ing" i s thus a result of part icu lar decisions made in response to the concrete presentations in a work. It does not depend on "a theoretical system or a system determined by abstract considerations." And this is why Leavis has always resisted demands that he set forth the general c r i t e r i a or standards by which he judges l i t e r a r y works. He believes that judgement must be based on part icu lar responses to part icu lar works and that readers are r i gh t l y suspicious of any general c r i t e r i a anyone might set up for judging works of art . The c r i t i c , Leavis (.1964) points out, does not ask, in judging a work, "How does this accord with these specif icat ions of goodness in poetry?; he aims to 99. make f u l l y conscious and a r t i cu la te the immediate sense of value that 'p laces ' the poem (1964, p. 213). This i s one of the entry points of aestheticians ' ta lk about the uniqueness of a work of a r t , the feel ing that there is a sense in which the individual work ult imately contains the standard by which i t i s to be judged. "My whole e f f o r t " , writes Leavis, " i s to "work in terms of concrete judgements and part icu lar analyses" (1964, p. 215). The question now arises as to how these "concrete judgements" are j u s t i f i e d . For i t might be objected that in rely ing on his own individual response and independent judgement, the c r i t i c ' s assessment of the work - the "placing" - may be unjus t i f ied. How does Leavis attempt to j u s t i f y his c r i t i c a l judgement? F i r s t , he points to the evidence on which a part icu lar judgement is based. For example, in "Thought and Emotional Qual i ty " , Leavis (1945) compares D.H. Lawrence's poem "Piano" with Tennyson's "Tears, Idle Tears." He finds in "Piano" a presentation of "a spec i f i c s i tua t ion , concretely grasped", and, although "the presenting involves an att itude towards", the "a t t i tude " i s one of "dis interested valuat ion." This disinterestedness holds in check the emotion presented in the poem. In other words, the emotional effect of the poem i s qua l i f i ed by the c r i t i c a l att itude of the poet, and so the poem i s saved from being sentimental. Tennyson's "Tears, Idle Tears", on the other hand, "moves simply forward with a sweetly plangent flow, without check, cross-tension or any qual i fy ing element." The poem invites the reader to flow along with i t , suspending his "thought." In 100. Lawrence's poem " fee l i ng " i s not divorced from "thinking" as i t i s in "Tears, Idle Tears." Here, Tennyson "offers emotion d i r e c t l y , emotion for i t s own sake without a j u s t i f y i ng s i tuat ion, and, in the comparison, i t s i n f e r i o r i t y to Lawrence's poem compels a largely disparaging com-mentary." Leavis 's f i na l judgement i s that Tennyson's poem i s sentimental, and, for Leavis, a 'sentimental ' att i tude is fa l se in a pa r t i cu la r l y radical way, for i t determines how the author views a part icu lar set of objects. So that to say that a poem is sentimental i s to say that the poet f a i l s to grasp the r ea l i t y of a s i tuat ion and to present i t d i s -interestedly. This way of ta lk ing should not lead one to suppose, how-ever, that Leavis i s trying to infer something about the state of mind of the author from the work. Rather he draws attention to those character i s t ics of the work which give r i se to the c r i t i c a l judgement, e.g. the use of language. "The way the poet uses language is the central c r i t e r i on of how he fee l s , and the condition of his having certain f e e l -ings i s his capacity to use language in a certain way" (Casey, 1966, p. 164). As in S i r c e l l o ' s examples discussed e a r l i e r , one can either say that "Tears, Idle Tears" i s a sentimental poem or that Tennyson treats his subject sentimentally, and in either case one would be ta lk ing .about both the poem and Tennyson's treatment of his subject. Leavis also makes no d i s t inc t ion between the thing expressed and the expression of i t , and sO avoids the usual expressionist d i f f i c u l t y of trying to in fer the ' thing expressed' from the passage which 'expresses' i t . The grounds for the description of "Tears, Idle Tears" and of Tennyson's att itude as sent i -mental are in the poem i t s e l f , and these the c r i t i c points to. Thus 101. the ob ject i v i s t c r i t i c and the expressionist c r i t i c have this much in common; they both refer to character i st ics of the work. In pointing to certain character i s t ics of a work, one i s "describing" i t in a certain way. This descr ipt ion, according to Leavis, i s , in certain circumstances, an evaluation. In the context of a d i s -cussion in the connection between thought and emotion in Shel ley 's poetry, he writes: in the examination of his poetry the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c finds himself passing, by inevitable t rans i t ions , from des-cr ibing character i s t ics to making adverse judgments about emotional qua l i ty ; and so to a kind of discussion in which, by i t s proper methods and in pursuit of i t s proper ends, l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i sm becomes the diagnosis of what, looking for an inclus ive term, we can only ca l l sp i r i tua l malady. (Leavis, 1945, p. 60) For Leavis, evaluating does mot take the form merely of inducing an a t -t itude to the fact s , or of persuading people to 'choose' in a part icu lar way, but consists also of persuading people to 'see ' the facts in a par-t i cu l a r way. But, as Casey says, "someone may accept the analysis of a poem as, say, weak in rea l i s a t i on , and, by the same token, sentimental, and by the same token uninte l l igent, "but s t i l l refuse to accept that i t i s bad" (Casey, 1966, p. 159). If, however, he accepts the analysis of the poem but persists in denying that th is amounts to saying that the poem is bad, we may wonder whether he knows what he is saying, whether he has the concept of evaluation. In the same way, i f a person persists in denying that a poem is sentimental however many sentimental-making features we point out, "we may be permitted to wonder what, i f anything, he i_s saying, and whether he has the concept of sentimentality" (Casey, 1966). 102. Leavis attempts, then, to j u s t i f y his c r i t i c a l judgements by showing that they are based on certain descriptions of the l i t e r a r y work, these descriptions implying ways of seeing the work. An acceptance of the descriptions means an acceptance of the judgements. One may, of course, question the descriptions. Are they appropriate, comprehensive, etc.? Do they i l luminate or d i s tort ? A question about the appropriate-ness or comprehensiveness of a description is ult imately a question of how good a c r i t i c Leavis i s . Does his theory give the best account of the facts , including the best evaluation of the facts? If i t does, then his c r i t i c a l judgements are j u s t i f i e d . I have said above that Leavis, l i k e an ob jec t i v i s t c r i t i c , bases his judgements on character i st ics of the work that are publ ic ly accessible. In what way then does he d i f f e r from his ob ject i v i s t counter-part? He accepts the notion that a poet may express his emotion in his work, ("Works of art express emotions") although he would i n s i s t that the evidence that the poet expresses his emotion in his work is in the work i t s e l f . Would Leavis 's stress on the emotional importance of l i t e ra tu re and his emphasis on the f u l l part ic ipat ion of the aesthetic experience suggest a d i f ferent developmental structure from Parsons'? Leavis, of course, is not a developmentalist and he is rea l l y only interested in a mature response to a r t . Hence his repeated stress on l i t e ra tu re that appeals to the adult mind and on the kind of response which an "adult sensit ive modern" should make. However, his stress on the emotional features of l i t e ra tu re and on the reader's part ic ipat ion might make a d i f -ference to certain aspects of Parsons' theory. In spite of his constant 1 03. reference to what is there in the poem or novel, Leavis would probably not be concerned with the idea of distancing in re lat ion to Parsons' thesis. In "L i terary Cr i t ic i sm and Philosophy" he writes: The business of the l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s to atta in a peculiar completeness of response and to observe a pecul iar ly s t r i c t relevance in developing his response into commentary; His f i r s t concern is to enter into possession of the given poem ( let us say) in i t s concrete fu l lness , and his constant concern i s never to lose his completeness of possession, but rather to increase i t . (1964, p. 213) Leavis is rea l l y more c lear ly an expressionist in the sense in which I have been using the term in this thesis than I have indicated so far. I argued ea r l i e r that to say, for example, that a piece of music is sad is to say that the composer has expressed sadness in the music. The epithet "sad" in th is context has an e x p l i c i t re lat ional function: i t asserts that there is a re lat ion between the character of the music and a person's sadness. It follows therefore that any comment about the sadness of music can be construed as a comment about the author's sad-ness in the music. In other words, talk about the expressed sadness could in some cases be talk about both the music and i t s creator. S imi la r l y , talk about the expressed emotion in a poem could be talk about both the poem and the poet. This is exactly S i r c e l l o ' s pos it ion. "Works of a r t " , he wr ites, " may function to express those feel ings, emotions, att i tudes, moods, and/or personal character i st ics of the i r creators that are suggested by the 'anthropomorphic' predicates applicable to the works of art them-selves" ( S i r ce l l o , 1971, p. 318). E l l i o t t goes much further and talks about responding to the expressed emotion in a poem as i f one were in the 104. poet's presence l i s ten ing to his words, thus l ink ing the expressed emotion to the poet. Both these writers see c r i t i c a l comment about the expressed emotion in a work as possible comment about the work or i t s author. And there is no need to suppose that in commenting about the work and the author one has to go beyond the work. Leavis 's c r i t i c i sm is an example of how a' c r i t i c can quite properly make comments about a work and i t s author through an examination of the work i t s e l f . A good example is Leavis 's adverse comments about Shel ley ' s poetry which are also comments about the poet, made through an examination of Shel ley ' s "When the Lamp i s Shattered". The abeyance of thought exhibited by the f i r s t three stanzas now takes on a more s i n i s te r aspect. The switching off of inte l l igence that is necessary i f the sentiments of the th i rd stanza are to be accepted, has now to be invoked in explanation of a graver matter - Shel ley 's a b i l i t y to accept the grosser, the t ru ly corrupt, g ra t i f i ca t ions that have just been indicated. The antipathy of his s en s i b i l i t y to any play of the c r i t i c a l mind, the uncongeniality of inte l l igence to in spr ia t ion , these.clearly go in Shelley, not merely with a capacity for momentary self-deceptions and i n s i n ce r i t i e s , but with a radical lack of self-knowledge. (Leavis, 1972 A, p. 207) Here Leavis c lear ly thinks i t r ight and proper to make c r i t i c a l judgements about the poem and the poet from an examination of the emotion expressed in the poem. Mow,Beardsley and other ob jec t i v i s t philosophers would ca l l th is sort of c r i t i c i sm " i n t e n t i o n a l i s t i c " . The c r i t i c , they would say, should talk about the work, not about the author, and they would try to translate comments such as the above into comments about just the poem and delete a l l references to the author of the poem. Beardsley (1958) in fact does this with some examples of what he ca l l s " i n t e n t i o n a l i s t i c " c r i t i c i sm (p. 27-28), and recommends that we carry out this practice in 105. our reading of c r i t i c i sm . Beardsley's recommendation, however, assumes a false dichotomy - that c r i t i c a l commentary must be either commentary about the work or about the author. But there i s no reason why a c r i t i c cannot, as in the above example of Leavis, talk about both the work and the author. Indeed, the re lat ional logic of anthropomorphic predicates serves to encourage precisely th is when i t i s concerned, as in the example from Leavis, with discussing the expressive qua l i t ie s in a work. And the c r i t i c does not have to go outside the work for evidence to support his comments about the work and i t s author. The grounds for the truth of the c r i t i c a l judgements made about the work and i t s creator come from the work i t s e l f . Beardsley assumes that whatever evidence there is in the work must be evidence to support statements about the work. However, as our discussion of " a r t i s t i c acts" has shown, in applying anthropomorphic predicates to works of a r t , we may well be making just the sort of re lat ional claim Beardsley would proscribe. Thus when, on the basis of an a r t i s t i c act, we characterize a poem as sad, the predicate can function to relate the emotional qual i ty expressed in the poem to the inner l i f e of a person, in this case, the author, just as a smile, for example, relates to and there-by expresses the inner l i f e of the person smil ing. When a c r i t i c , then, makes a c r i t i c a l judgement of the qua l i ty of emotion expressed in the poem, his statements may apply both to poem and poet, for the expressed emotion relates to the poet in the same way that the (expressed) smile relates to the person. The c r i t i c thus finds in the poem, as Leavis does, evidence to support his statements about both the poem and the poet. And herein l i e s the difference between the expressionist c r i t i c and his ob ject i v i s t counterpart. Because of the i r f a i l u re to f u l l y appreciate the logic of 106. of anthropomorphic predicates, the object iv i s t s posit an a r t i f i c i a l gulf between the work of art and i t s creator. The expressionist c r i t i c , how-ever, accepts the fact that an author can express his emotion in his work, or, to put i t another way, the work can function to express i t s author's inner l i f e . And when this happens the expressed emotion can be experienced as expression bearing the same re lat ion to the poet as any ordinary human expression bears to the person doing the expressing. When the work is so experienced, c r i t i c a l judgements can be made about both the work and i t s author. Leavis 's c r i t i c a l practice is a demonstration of t h i s . In his assumption that i t i s legitimate to comment on the author, using the work of art as his source of j u s t i f i c a t i o n , Leavis has i m p l i c i t l y recognized the point S i r ce l l o is at pains to make - anthropomorphic predicates are re lat ional and can be used to l ink work of art and author. His method of c r i t i c i sm embodies th is sort of assumption. I have, therefore, chosen him as an example of what aesthetic c r i t i c i sm can legit imately involve i f one accepts the expressionist pos it ion. The emphasis which Leavis lays on the emotional importance of l i t e ra tu re would also make a difference to the Beards!ey/Parsons' con-ception of the perception of emotional qua l i t ie s in works of a r t . Parsons (1976) argues that, in aesthetic response, i t i s the power of relevant feel ing that develops in the young ch i l d . This development, however, rests on the c h i l d ' s a b i l i t y to perceive emotional qua l i t ie s in works of art . The Beardsley/Bouwsma position on which Parsons re l i e s i s , at the very least , open to the charge that the perception of these qua l i t ie s takes the form of a recognition. One need not feel the emotion so recognized. Leavis, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of a 1 07. t o t a l i t y of response, including an intense emotional response to a work. The reader c lear ly must feel the emotion expressed in the work. How else would he experience i t ? "Poetry", Leavis wr i tes, "can communicate the actual qual i ty of experience with a subtlety and precision unapproachable by other means" (1976, p. 17). The reader w i l l c lea r l y experience very T i t t l e of that "subtlety and precis ion" i f he i s not capable of feel ing the emotions expressed. Leavis talks about the poet's power of "making words express what he fee l s " and of the technique he employs to "compel words to express an intensely personal way of f ee l i ng . " These statements imply that the reader must respond appropriately to the expressed feelings by experiencing them in a concrete way. Only in so doing w i l l the work enlarge his own range of feel ing and enable him to do ju s t i ce to i t s emotional power. This capacity to experience concretely the feel ings or emotions expressed in a work is one of the things that makes l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i sm a cent ra l , l i f e - g i v i n g pursuit. A l l th is has.obvious bearing on a developmental theory that sees response to emotion in works of art as involving no more than the recognition of emotional qua l i t i e s , these qua! it ies being seen as pheno-menally objective in the way that other non-feeling qua l i t ie s of a work are. Such a theory c lear ly cannot accommodate the kind of response to l i t e ra tu re that Leavis and E l l i o t t recommend without changing some of i t s basic assumptions. In chapter four I shall discuss what implications E l l i o t t ' s emphases on the emotional importance of l i t e ra tu re and on the c r i t i c ' s a b i l i t y to experience the emotion expressed in l i t e r a t u r e , have for Parsons' theory and for aesthetic education. CHAPTER FOUR  CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF PARSONS' COGNITIVE-DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY OF AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE 4.1 Introduction I want to discuss the po s s i b i l i t y of constructing a cognitive-developmental theory of aesthetic experience of ch i ldren, somewhat para l le l to the work of Kohl berg on the development of the moral judgements of chi ldren. (Parsons, 1976, p. 305) This i s the sentence with which Parsons begins the exposition of his theory, and, in the a r t i c l e in which he and his assistants present the i r empirical findings about ch i ldren ' s responses to paint ing, he wr ites: "In looking for answers we have had in mind a para l le l with the work of Piaget, Kohlberg and Selman: we were seeking a cognitive-developmental account of aesthetic response" (Parsons, 1978, p. 83). Parsons' cognit ive-developmental theory invites comparison with Piaget 's and Kohlberg's, although he is anxious to maintain that he and his colleagues have "not t r i ed to apply to thinking about the arts the stages described by Piaget or by Kohlberg," since paintings are not objects for s c i e n t i f i c or moral analysis. Nevertheless, the para l le l with Piaget 's and Kohlberg's theories is obvious. Like P iaget ' s , Parsons' theory is concerned ( in a general way) with i n te l l ec tua l development and, l i k e Kohlberg, Parsons sees aesthetic development occurring in a series of c lear-cut qua l i ta t i ve l y d i f ferent stages that lead toward a culminating point or an "end state. " In this chapter I want to examine in some deta i l the extent to which Parsons' theory is s imi lar to Pjaget 's and Kohlberg's and then to see how far the cr i t i c i sms that have been made of Piaget 's and Kohlberg's theories apply 108. 109. to Parsons' theory. F i na l l y , I shal l consider the adequacy of Parsons' theory in the l i gh t of an expressionist theory of art . 4.2 Piaget 's Theory In order to make the comparison easier I shall s tar t with a schematic description of stage development as i t occurs in the theories of the three developmentalists, beginning with Piaget. Piaget sees i n te l l ec tua l development as consisting of four broad stages: there i s a "sensorimotor stage," occupying the f i r s t two years of l i f e , during which the ch i ld gains a pract ical knowledge of the physical world about him, coming to understand, for example, that objects have a permanent ex i s t -ence within a framework of space and time. This i s followed by an " i n t u i t i v e " or "semiotic" stage, ("preoperational"), extending from age two to six or seven, during which the ch i ld explores various kinds of symbols and images representing the world, but does not yet do so in a systematic or log ica l way. Then comes a "concrete operational" stage, extending from about the age of seven to the age of twelve, during which time the subject is able to think l o g i ca l l y about objects, to c l a s s i f y them consistently, and to appreciate the i r continuity despite alterat ions in the momentary appearance. F i na l l y , there i s a "formal operational stage," s tart ing in early adolescence, at which time the ch i ld i s able to reason l og i ca l l y using words and other symbols, so that he can create a world and make deductions about i t , while s t i l l remaining at the "abstract" or " theore t i ca l " l e ve l . We might make a few comments by way'of footnotes to this schem-at i c account. F i r s t , development i s seen as a gradual process of decen-n o . terat ion. The infant begins l i f e in an undifferentiated state. He does not, or is unable, to separate the s e l f from the environment or wish from r e a l i t y . He i s centered about the se l f . In the course of development the infant advances from this undifferentiated state to one of greater separation of the se l f from the environment. He decenters from the se l f . Secondly, the order of the stages is invar iant. Stage one has to come before stage two and so on. For example, the various explorations of the sensorimotor stage have to be carr ied out before the ch i ld can reach the t rans i t ion to symbolic thought which marks the beginning of the develop-ment of language and the end of sensorimotor representation. The reverse cannot occur. Third ly, development takes place as a result of the ch i l d ' s adaptation to his world. This adaptation, or development of "schemata," is the product of the c h i l d ' s interaction with his environment. Cognitive structures are bu i l t up through the slow process of ass imilat ion of r e a l i t y to pr ior schemata and accommodation of these schemata to the external r e a l i t y . F i na l l y , the developing c h i l d , for Piaget, is not a passive being shaped by his environment. When some environmental event occurs the ch i ld does not register i t passively, but instead he interprets i t . It is this interpretat ion, not the event i t s e l f , which affects his behaviour. We might say then that the ch i ld "constructs" r e a l i t y , he modifies raw experience as much as i t changes him. Of the four factors which Piaget l i s t s as responsible for developmental change; maturation, experience, social transmission and equ i l i b ra t ion , he considers the la s t to be "the pr incipal factor " and the co-ordinator of a l l the others. Equ i l ib rat ion, unlike the f i r s t three factors, i s an active process of se l f - regu la t ion, whereby the individual advances his own development through the successful i n . rev i s ion, broadening and in te r - re la t ion of the part ia l understandings which arise from his action on his world. As a result of th is s e l f -regulatory process the ch i ld attains a higher degree of equil ibrium at each stage of development. Equi l ibrat ion is the backbone of mental growth. 4.3 Kohl berg's Theory In contrast to Piaget 's general theory of i n te l l ec tua l develop-ment, Kohlberg's theory is concerned so le ly with moral development, a l -though i t should be emphasized that Piaget in The Moral Judgement of the  Child (1965) provided "what i s probably the most widely discussed theory of how ch i ldren ' s understanding of morality develops" (Lickona, 1969, p. 337). Kohlberg has, in f ac t , elaborated on Piaget 's three stages of moral development in which the ch i ld was seen as moving from an egocentric stage to one of " i nc ip ient co-operation," v/here his moral consciousness acquires a social dimension and f i n a l l y to a stage of "genuine co-operation" where real autonomy i s achieved and the ch i ld sees himself as the equal of others and desires to ass i st in the formation and modification of the moral code. In Kohlberg's theory the ch i ld goes through six stages which are distinguished by the form of the ch i l d ' s moral reasoning rather than the content of his moral be l i e f s . At the f i r s t stage, the c h i l d ' s moral reasoning shows his or ientation towards punishment and obedience. Rules are seen as dependent upon power and external compulsion, and r ight action i s therefore that which leads to the avoidance of punishment. At the second stage, the ch i ld conceives of rules as leading toward the s a t i s -fact ion of one's own needs and occasionally the needs of others, and r ight action is seen as that which leads to rewards and the sat i s fact ion of needs. The f i r s t two stages, which occupy the years from four to ten, 112. are label led "pre-conventional" because the ch i l d ' s moral reasoning at this age has not yet acquired a social dimension. The se l f i s s t i l l very much the centre of attention. The or ientation changes somewhat at stage three, the beginning of the level of conventional moral ity, where the ch i ld seeks to be a "good boy" or "nice g i r l " and sees rules as ways of obtaining social approval and esteem. Stage four brings a law and order or ientat ion. Rules are seen as leading toward the maintenance of the social order and the ch i ld seeks to do what i s r ight in order, to avoid censure by those in authority. At stage f i ve the ch i ld moves out of the level of conventional moral ity, and his moral reasoning acquires a contrac-t ua l , l e g a l i s t i c or ientat ion. This i s the beginning of the "or ientat ion to pr inc iples pf ju s t i ce and welfare" (Kohlberg, 1971) and the ch i ld begins to be aware of the re lat iv i sm of his personal values. At stage s ix the ch i l d ' s or ientation i s toward decisions of conscience and se l f -chosen universal isable moral pr inc ip les . Stages f i ve and six are. label led "post-conventional" or "autonomous," and Kohlberg's theory maintains that i t i s only at this level that the ch i ld can properly be regarded as an autonomous moral agent for i t i s here that "there i s a clear e f fo r t to define moral values and pr inc iples which have v a l i d i t y and appl ication apart from the authority of the groups or persons holding these p r inc ip le s , and apart from the ind iv idua l ' s own i den t i f i ca t i on with these groups." (Kohlberg, 1971) Although this level of post-conventional morality generally represents higher and better moral reasoning than the two previous l eve l s , i t is rea l l y only at stage six that the individual becomes a f u l l y autonomous moral agent, for i t i s here that he i s capable of making moral judgements that are both "prescr ipt ive " and "un iversa l " -1 13. based f i n a l l y on the substantive pr inc ip le of ju s t i ce . Kohlberg's thesis i s c l ea r l y a prescr ipt ive one. He i s saying that we should be reasoning at stage s i x , for stage six reasoning is what moral reasoning ought to be. Here, I think, there may be a difference in emphasis between Kohlberg's theory and. P iaget ' s , for although in his general theory of i n te l l ec tua l development, Piaget 's formal operational stage i s qua l i ta t i ve l y d i f ferent from the ea r l i e r stages, he does not seem to emphasize that i t i s better than the ea r l i e r stages in the way that Kohlberg emphasizes that the pr incipled stage of morality i s better than the ea r l i e r stages of morality. This difference is further brought out in the kinds of educational strategies the two theories might suggest. Educational strategy, as Piaget sees i t , should be designed in such a way as to ensure that the ch i ld has time to f u l l y explore each of the stages while the progression from stage to stage - - which occurs natural ly - -takes place. At least this i s what his theory would seem to suggest. Kohlberg, on the other hand, could be interpreted as wanting adults to do everything they can to ensure a rapid acceleration through the stages. We shal l have more to say about this l a te r . In addition to his thesis that moral development occurs in stages, Kohlberg claims that the sequence of stages is invariant. It holds across a l l cultures. "Each individual ch i ld must go step by step through each of the kinds of moral judgement out l ined" (cited in Beck, 1971, p. 36). His th i rd major claim is that the stage sequence is l o g i ca l l y necessary. "Since each new basic d i f fe rent ia t ion at each stage l og i ca l l y depends upon the d i f fe rent ia t ion before i t , the order of d i f ferent iat ions could not 114. l o g i c a l l y be other than i t i s " (cited in Beck, 1971, p. 48). Here, once again, Kohlberg follows Piaget, who has copiously i l l u s t r a ted the thesis about the stages having a def in i te invariant sequence depending on the relat ionship between concepts in the case of elementary physics and mathematics, and, to a more l imited extent, in the moral sphere. So Kohlberg's stages could not occur in any other order. This does not of course mean that individuals in a l l cultures must go through a l l the stages. For various reasons a person may f ixate at a stage and progress no further, and indeed Kohlberg believes that even whole cultures do not progress through to the f i na l stages of pr incipled moral ity. Kohlberg's main point is that where moral development takes place i t follows this part icu lar sequence of stages across cultures and, because of the relat ionship of the concepts involved, the stage sequence could not have any other order. 4.4 Para l le l s Among the Three Theories The stages of aesthetic development outlined by Parsons are c lear ly not (or not yet) as extensively i l l u s t r a ted as Piaget 's stages of i n te l l ec tua l development or Kohlberg's stages of moral development. Parsons himself recognizes th i s . Indeed i t would appear that he is pre-pared to modify his i n i t i a l description of the stages considerably i f , upon invest igat ion, the facts suggest a somewhat d i f ferent developmental p icture. In the or ig inal a r t i c l e he writes: I have said nothing regarding the question whether the stages I have described are simply mileposts marking qua l i ta t i ve l y d i f ferent but continuously connected points in development, or whether they are r e l a t i ve l y separate plateaus joined by br ief t rans i t ional periods; not whether or how the responses of individuals may scatter over these stages. At 115. present I should prefer to regard them as heur i st ic devices. I have proposed a series of advances in a sequence that seems central to the development of aesthetic experience; and hope that the i r description w i l l enable a more thorough investigation of the facts to take place. (Parsons, 1976, p. 314) This makes i t d i f f i c u l t to make a detai led comparison between the theory he has sketched and the more fu l l -bodied theories of Piaget and Kohlberg. However, Parsons has presented enough of the theory to allow some sort of comparison to be made. To begin with, there i s an obvious para l le l between Piaget 's egocentric stage and Parsons' early stages. As already observed, the infant in Piaget 's general theory of i n te l l ec tua l development begins l i f e in an undifferentiated stage and development is a gradual process of decentering as a result of which the se l f i s gradually separated from the environment. The ch i l d ' s i n i t i a l response to a r t , in Parsons' theory, is s im i la r l y undifferentiated. He f a i l s to "dist inguish between the pleasure . due to the appearances of things from the pleasure due to other features of his environment, and this influences the way he attends to the aesthetic object" (Parsons, 1976, p. 309). But the more interest ing para l le l i s between the general thrust of Piaget 's early stages of moral development and that of Parsons' early stages of aesthetic development. Piaget describes his early stage as egocentric where the ch i ld does not know or follow the ru les, i s completely centred about himself, and f a i l s to take into consideration another person's point of view. Parsons also reports that at the beginning of aesthetic development the ch i l d ' s response to art i s determined by an egocentrical ly close se l f -object re la t i on . This 1 16. egocentric re lat ion results in certain confusions that characterize the aesthetic experience at the. beginning. The ch i ld "confuses what i s per-ceptually present with what is not, l i k i n g with judging, and the appeal of he subject matter with that of representation as such" (Parsons, 1976, p. 310). For Piaget, egocentrism defines certain properties of thought observed in young children which appear to be unavoidable and which must be overcome before the ch i ld can reach a more mature level of cognitive functioning. This seems to be generally true, as both Kohlberg's and Parsons' stage one descriptions confirm. As the ch i ld develops the a b i l i t y to take another's point of view, he moves out of the egocentric stage and gradually becomes decentred. In Piaget 's theory the ch i l d ' s moral conscious-ness then acquires a social dimension; in Kohlberg's the ch i ld moves into the level of conventional morality where r ight action is seen as that which pleases or helps others, and in Parsons' theory, the appeal of the work of art i s now located in the fact that the work sa t i s f i e s certain external standards. After th is i n i t i a l comparison, however, the developmental para l le l seems to be closer between Parsons' theory and Kohlberg's. In Parsons' theory what changes is the sense of aesthetic relevance. The s i tuat ion is confused at the beginning with the ch i ld not being able to dist inguish between what i s relevant and i r re levant in his aesthetic experience. As he develops the requis i te discr iminations, what he judges to be aesthetic-a l l y relevant at each stage determines the kind of experience he has of the work. S im i l a r l y , in Kohlberg's theory, what changes i s the way the ch i ld conceives of rules. The ch i ld changes from seeing rules as ways 117. of avoiding punishment, through seeing them as ways of maintaining the social order, to seeing them as "a r t icu lat ions of social pr inciples necessary for l i v i n g together with others" (Peters, 1972). Then there are s im i l a r i t i e s in the normative conceptions of the end states of both theories. In Kohlberg's system the reasons the ch i ld gives for action are not f u l l y moral unt i l he i s at the pr incipled level of morality - stage f i ve or s i x . In Parsons', the ch i l d ' s response, as seen from the reasons he gives, i s not f u l l y aesthetic unt i l based on qua l i t ie s of the work of art that are in pr inc ip le public - stage four. In Kohlberg's theory the mature moral judgement must be based on the formal pr inc ip le of j u s t i ce . (He regards jus t i ce as the most defensible moral pr inc ip le when we are concerned with the formal aspects of morality and rather than the contents of part icu lar moral systems.) In Parsons' the mature aesthetic judgement must be based on objective features of the work of a r t . (He accepts Beardsley's con-tention that aesthetic response must be response to phenomenally objective features of the work.) Kohlberg can be c r i t i c i z e d and has been, notably, by Peters (1971), for prescribing a moral ity, and we have also questioned the adequacy of the Beardsley/Parsons ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory (see Chapter Three) in accounting for the expressive qua l i t ie s of art and our experience of these qua l i t i e s . Because of th is close para l le l in the accounts given of the two cognitive-developmental theories, I shall concentrate, in the section that fol lows, on the c r i t i c i sms that have been made of Kohlberg's theory and see how far they (or s imi lar ones) apply to Parsons' theory. I shall have to be select ive even here, for the c r i t i c i sms that interest me are those that apply, or can be made to apply, to Parsons' theory. 1 18. 4.5 Cr it ic isms of Kohlberg There have, of course, been various c r i t i c i sms of Kohlberg's theory and most of these have been cr i t i c i sms of part icu lar aspects of the theory. The c r i t i c s , while accepting Kohlberg's general developmental thes is , take exception to the treatment he gives, or f a i l s to give, to part icu lar topics covered by his theory. One such c r i t i c i s Peters, who-in a series of interconnected essays, has questioned the lack of attention to the af fect ive domain, the function of habit in moral development, the . relat ionship between virtues and pr inc ip les , and, in the process, developed a sp i r i ted defence of the role of v i r tues , t r a i t s and habits in moral ity. I shal l be referr ing to relevant aspects of Peters ' arguments in the d i s -cussion that fol lows, but the c r i t i c i sms I want to concentrate on are those made by Ph i l l i p s and Nicolayev (1979). These c r i t i c i sms amount to a tota l reject ion of Kohlberg's theory and his research programme, and some of the points they make seem to me to be applicable to Parsons' Theory. Ph i l l i p s and Nicolayev begin by showing that Kohlberg's theory of moral development forms a "research programme" in the Lakatosian sense (see Lakatos and Musgrove, 1976). There i s an i dent i f i ab le "hard core" consisting of the three claims that there are stages of moral development, that these stages form an invariant sequence of development, and that the stages are l o g i ca l l y necessary. In addition to the "hard core" there is a "protective be l t " whose main function is to insulate the hard core against attack in the form of counter evidence. Ph i l l i p s and Nicolayev f i r s t d i rect the i r arguments against the three claims that form the "hard core" of Kohlberg's theory. 1 19. Against the claim that there are stages of moral development, they, point out that Kohlberg's researchers f ind i t d i f f i c u l t to assign many of the i r experimental subjects to a def in i te stage because these subjects used more than one stage of moral reasoning. Such evidence of individuals straddling stages abounds throughout the experimental reports and this presents immense d i f f i c u l t i e s for the stage hypothesis. P h i l l i p s and Nicolayev (1979) wr ite: When roughly one half of the sample i s de f i n i t e l y straddling at least two stages and the other half i s more than l i k e l y doing so, ta lk of stages seems somewhat strained. What sense could be made of insect development i f at any random point in time f i f t y percent of the observed population was halfway between two stages, or perhaps even straddling three? They conclude that the stage hypothesis i s "at best, a rough heur i s t i c , one which does not approximate the r e a l i t i e s of human development." The claim that the stages of moral development form an invariant sequence would, of course, become i r re levant i f the stage hypothesis i s abandoned. But suppose the stage device i s retained, does the invariance claim then stand? P h i l l i p s and Nicolayev argue that i t doesn't. Numerous cases of regression have been found, they point out, and Kohlbergian researchers have f a i l ed to diffuse the evidence in spite of repeated t r i a l s . C lear ly, the claim of an invariant sequence of stages in development cannot hold i f individuals are found to regress from a higher stage to a lower one. P h i l l i p s and Nicolayev observe that the issue can be sett led only by careful longitudinal studies. "Unfortunately," they conclude, "Kohl-bergians often seem to rest the i r case not on relevant studies of th i s type, 1 20. but on the be l ie f that the i r assumption about invariant upward movement could not possibly be mistaken." What about Kohlberg's th i rd claim that the stages are l o g i ca l l y necessary? Ph i l l i p s and Nicolayev argue that Kohlberg's Stage One i s not a log ica l presupposition of Stage Three and, although "the rea l i sa t ion that one is suffering avoidable pain (Stage I) may well occur before the rea l i sa t ion that other people are not objects but are individuals l i k e oneself (Stage I I I ) " , th is order is not necessitated by log ic . Peters makes a s imi lar point in his c r i t i c i sm of th is aspect of Kohlberg's theory. He argues that although one can see in a general way that Kohlberg's version of Piaget 's autonomous stage could not precede any of the ea r l i e r stages, " i t i s not clear why, l o g i ca l l y speaking, a ch i ld cannot see a rule as being connected with reward or advantage to himself before he sees i t as connected with punishment or harm to himself" (Peters, 1972). After the i r examination of the "hard core" of Kohlberg's theory, Ph i l l i p s and Nicolayev then turn the i r attention to the "protective be l t . " They f ind that t h i s consists of ad hoc adjustments to scoring methods (used by the Kohlbergians to give the results cal led for by the i r theoretical assumptions) and three ways of d i f fus ing the evidence of regression, a l l of which f a i l . This leads them to conclude that: there are no clear steps of moral development -at best they are arb itrary f i c t i on s having l i t t l e or no ver i s im i l i tude; the order in which i nd i v i d -uals "move through" these arbitrary f i c t i on s is far from invar iant, and the sequence of the stages i s certa in ly not l o g i c a l l y necessary. Furthermore, the protective belt seems unable to restore the c r e d i b i l i t y of the hard core. ( Ph i l l i p s and Nicolayev, 1979) 121. The authors observe, further, that there are no signs that the Kohlbergian programme of research is maturing: i t has merely been "patched up" with a series of "pedestrian empirical adjustments" which try but f a i l to save the theory. "In the f i na l analys i s , " P h i l l i p s and Nicolayev wr i te , "the philosophers of science must come to endorse the conclusion reached by common sense - the Kohlbergian programme i s degenerating and has l i t t l e recognizable merit . " 4.6 Application to Parsons Could s imi lar c r i t i c i sms be made against Parsons' theory, and, i f so, would they lead to the same sort of conclusion? Because Parsons' theory has not been around long enough to generate a research programme s imi lar to Piaget 's or Kohlberg's, i t i s not possible to apply in deta i l the kinds of considerations that Ph i l l i p s and Nicolayev bring to bear on Kohlberg's Theory. Indeed, in Parsons' case, i t i s par t i cu la r l y important to bear in mind Lakatos' (1976) warning that to give a stern ' refutable interpretat ion ' to a f ledg l ing version of a programme i s dangerous methodological cruelty. The f i r s t versions may even 'apply ' only to non-existing ' i d e a l ' cases; i t may take decades of theoretical work to arr ive at the f i r s t novel facts and s t i l l more time to arr ive at interest ingly testable versions of the research programmes. . . (p. 131) It i s appropriate, therefore, to regard Parsons' or ig inal a r t i c l e and the report of the investigation of ch i ldren ' s responses to paintings (Parsons et a l , 1978) as constituting the f i r s t steps of a possible programme of research. Parsons himself observes that the report merely shows that "a cognitive-developmental approach along these l ines is very p laus ib le. " 122. He i s of the opinion that there might be further stages of the development of aesthetic response to be discovered and says that the report i s presented in the hope that i t w i l l stimulate further research. Nevertheless, i t i s not ent i re ly out of place to ask certain questions about the cognit ive-developmental aspects of the theory sketched so far . Such questions might even lead towards the formulation of a better and more comprehensive theory. To begin - are there clear-cut stages of the development of aesthetic response? Parsons (1976) argues that aesthetic experience must have a d i s t i n c t developmental history to be investigated, and suggests the existence of four stages of the development of aesthetic experience and judgement in chi ldren. He gets some sort of confirmation of the stage hypothesis from the single study so far carr ied out. In "Developmental Stages in Children 's Aesthetic Responses," the report already mentioned, Parsons, Johnson and Durham (1978) showed three large reproductions of well-known paintings to individual students from grades one to twelve (thirteen from each grade), and asked them questions re lat ing to the following s ix topics: semblance, subject matter, f ee l i ng , a r t i s t ' s properties, colour and judgement. From the answers received, the authors were able to ident i fy at least three stages of development for each top ic , and speculate, from the nature of the answers, that there must be an ea r l i e r stage than stage one, and a l a te r stage than stage three, in nearly a l l the topics discussed. So there may in fact be a tota l of f i ve or more stages. One can ' t be sure, since the authors did not interview preschool chi ldren. A somewhat d i f ferent picture may emerge when data for th i s group i s ava i lable. One should not read too much into a s ingle study and i t would certa in ly be rash to suppose that this one study should 1 2 3 . support or refute the whole stage hypothesis. For one thing the study confines i t s e l f to a single art form - painting, and, even within t h i s , the authors feel "unable to speak of aesthetic stages in general, that i s , stages across a l l topics " (p. 87). A l l the more reason, then, to avoid generalizing the stage thesis across a l l the other art forms. There just hasn't been enough empirical research to back the stage hypothesis, and, as we noted in the las t chapter, a researcher with a d i f ferent aesthetic theory might well "discover" a d i f ferent developmental picture. Maybe there are stages of aesthetic development such as the ones Parsons suggests, but whether there are or not w i l l have to be decided on the basis of avai lable evidence backed by considerations about the most appropriate aesthetic theory from which to operate, for the aesthetic theory may well decide both the nature of the evidence and how i t i s interpreted. But suppose we accept the stage hypothesis as true, could we maintain that the sequence of stages is as Parsons outlines i t ? One can see, in a general way, that the c h i l d , for example, must overcome certain aspects of his egocentric response which result in the confusions already mentioned (stage one), before he can get sat i s fact ion from the fact that the work of art conforms to certain external standards (stage two). So, in that sense, stage one must precede stage two. But we w i l l see shortly (4.7) that there are occasions when a response to a work of art which, according to Parsons' theory would be classed as. stage one, may in fact be appropriate. And th i s i s not a matter of a stage four response having the appearance of a stage one response and being mistakenly classed as such. It i s rather, that, from the point of view of a d i f ferent aesthetic theory, a response which the Parsonian view would judge as inappropriate 1 24. i s seen as appropriate. This, I think, is a fundamental d i f f i c u l t y that would confront researchers seeking to ver i fy Parsons' claims, unless, of course, they a l l shared the Beardsley/Parsons' ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory on which Parsons bases the normative aspects of his theory. We w i l l return to th is below. Is the order of Parsons' stages l o g i ca l l y necessary? Parsons, once again unlike Piaget and Kohlberg, does not make the claim that his stages are l o g i ca l l y necessary in the sense that stage one, for example, is a log ica l presupposition of stage two, and so on. But i f such a claim were made of the theory as i t now stands, could the claim be defended? In some instances perhaps, in others, c lea r l y not. Take the report which Parsons and his colleagues (1978) give concerning the i r f i r s t top ic: "semblance." They describe stages one and two thus: Stage 1, Semblance. The concept dominating this f i r s t stage i s the idea of representation Paintings represent objects by portraying the i r important features, both what can be seen and what is known to be true about them: a person's head must have two eyes, a nose, a mouth; a hand must not have s ix f ingers. . . . The chief demand is that the painting be comprehensible. Often this i s art icu lated as the demand that things look " r e a l , " or l i k e they are "supposed t o . " We ca l l th i s the stage of schematic realism. Stage 2, Semblance. The new d i s t i nc t ion achieved at this stage i s that between schematic and visual realism. Paintings are s t i l l required to represent, and to look " r e a l " ; but what is to be represented is the visual appearance of objects, rather than simply what i s known about them. This amounts to a more precise set of expectations, which we cal led "photographic real i sm." This change requires a degree of decentring because i t takes account of what can be seen by anyone. (pp. 87-88) 1 25. It i s obvious from this description that the stage of "photographic realism" presupposes that of "schematic real i sm." A ch i ld has to have had the idea that paintings represent objects before he can come to appreciate the accuracy or otherwise of the representation. The one is c lear ly a log ica l prerequisite of the other, or, the one l og i ca l l y pre-supposes the other. That i s , stage two semblance l og i ca l l y presupposes stage one. But we cannot say the same of the i r second top ic, "subject matter." Consider the stage one and two descriptions which the authors give of this topic: Stage 1, Subject Matter. At th is stage, the character of the subject matter dominates the response to a painting. The ch i ld thinks paintings should be about pleasant, and cus-tomary subjects; they should be about happy rather than sad things, and i t i s better i f there is some action going on. ... . Stage 2, Subject Matter. The range of suitable subject matters expands to include much that was previously thought unsuitable - in part icu lar sad, nostalg ic, and unpleasant subjects. However, v io lent , c rue l , or tragic items are s t i l l rejected, often on moral grounds. (p. 90) While i t is true that the ch i l d ' s preferences of subjects for art would go from a l imited to a more extended range, i t i s not the case that the more extended range l og i ca l l y presupposes the l imited one. In fact there i s no reason why, l o g i ca l l y speaking, the ch i ld cannot go from preferring an extended range of subjects to preferring a more l imited range. There "is nothing here, .then, to t e l l us that stage two cannot occur before stage one. One is therefore forced to the conclusion that any claim of log ica l necessity may be true for some topics, and possibly, for some art forms 1 26. but fa lse for others. 4.7 Expressionist C r i t i que of Parsons Let us at th is point take another c r i t i c a l look at Parsons' stage developmental thes is , this time in the l i gh t of our ea r l i e r discussion of the expressive properties of art and aesthetic response to these properties. Using as i t does the ob ject i v i s t model of stage four, Parsons' Theory, as we saw in Chapter Two, maintains that the c h i l d ' s response at stage one i s aesthet ica l ly confused. At th is stage he i s very much influenced by subject-matter in paintings and he f a i l s to dist inguish between the pleas-ure he derives from the painting and that derived from other sources in his experience. His response i s completely egocentric, i . e . , when confronted with a work his attention i s centred on himself rather than on the work and he sees everything in re lat ion to himself and his interests. Thus, con-fronted with Curr ier and Ives' Preparing for Market, the f i r s t example Parsons gives, the ch i ld says he l i kes i t because i t reminds him of his cowboy hat. That he should say this even though neither cowboy hats are in the picture i s i l l u s t r a t i v e of his egocentr ic ity. The painting is not being responded to appropriately and i t i s c lear that the c h i l d ' s ego-centr ic nature governs what he l i kes and why he l ikes i t . Parsons' second example further i l l u s t r a t e s t h i s . The g i r l said she l iked painting because " i f she were to l i v e in the farm in the p icture, she would l i k e i t . " (p. 310). Parsons interprets this reply as showing that the g i r l had projected herself into the picture and, l i k e the boy of the ea r l i e r example, l iked i t because of a private and i r re levant association. What would be a para l le l stage one response to a l i t e r a r y work? 1 27. Let us discuss a response to Wordsworth's "The So l i tary Reaper." T h e S o l i t a r y R e a p e r W i l l i a m Wordsworth (1770-1850) Behold her, single in the f i e l d , Yon so l i t a ry Highland Lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass! Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy s t r a i n ; 0 l i s t e n ! for the Vale profound Is overflowing with the sound. No Nightingale did ever chaunt More welcome notes to weary bands Of travelers in some shady haunt, Among Arabian sands: A voice so t h r i l l i n g ne'er was heard In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird, Breaking the s i lence of the seas Among the farthest Hebrides. Wil l no one t e l l me what she sings?-Perhaps the p la int ive numbers flow For o ld , unhappy, f a r - o f f things, And battles long ago: Or i s i t some more humble lay, Familiar matter of today? Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, and may be again? Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang As i f her song could have no ending; 1 saw her singing at her work, And o 'er the s i ck le bending;-I l i s tened, motionless and s t i l l ; And, as I mounted up the h i l l , The music in my heart I bore, Long after i t was heard no more. Imagine a s i tuat ion in which a c h i l d , who has pondered over this poem, says he l i kes i t because i t reminds him of his parents' house in the country. There i s , of course, no description or even mention of a country house in the poem, so this response would appear to be on a par 128. w i th that of the c h i l d i n Parsons ' f i r s t example. In both cases, what the c h i l d i s reminded o f , i . e . the image which i s suggested to him by the ob jec t pe rce i ved , i s not depicted or descr ibed i n the work, and t he re f o r e , Parsons would add, i t i s i r r e l e v a n t because the c h i l d ' s focus i s s h i f t e d from the work to some aspect of the c h i l d ' s p r i v a t e l i f e . But l e t us examine more c l o s e l y what i s happening here. The c h i l d ' s a s s oc i a t i on of the experience presented i n the poem with the house i n the country may have been suggested by the opening l i n e s of the f i r s t ve r se , which set the g i r l alone i n a f i e l d harvest ing g r a i n : Behold her, s i n g l e i n the f i e l d , Yon s o l i t a r y Highland Lass l Reaping and s ing ing by h e r s e l f ; Stop here, or gent ly pass! Farming here might be as soc iated i n the c h i l d ' s mind wi th l i v i n g i n the country and hence wi th a p a r t i c u l a r house i n the country. Or perhaps i t i s the o v e r a l l e f f e c t of the g i r l ' s song that t r i g g e r s o f f the c h i l d ' s a s s o c i a t i o n . The l a s t two l i n e s of the f i r s t stanza i n v i t e the reader (or l i s t e n e r ) to imagine the e n t i r e v a l l e y "over f lowing w i th the sound" produced by the s i n g e r ' s v o i ce . I t i s reasonable to ma in ta i n , t h e r e f o r e , that the c h i l d ' s response i s i n part an imaginat ive entrance i n t o the world of the poem, the world i n which the g i r l ' s song, descr ibed i n the next stanza as surpass ing that of the N ight inga le and the Cuckoo-bird in i t s t h r i l l and beauty, br ings a f e e l i n g o f new l i f e and energy as one might experience at the end of a vacat ion i n the country. This would be con s i s ten t wi th the reason the c h i l d gives f o r l i k i n g the poem - that i t reminds him , of h i s house i n the country, a house surrounded i n h i s imaginat ion by the 1 29. exquisite sounds of the countryside; sounds which in combination provide music very l i k e that to which the poet l istened and remembered "Long after i t was heard no more." We can see that the ch i ld is here responding to the poem as human expression and responding, to use E l l i o t t ' s term, "from wi th in . " According to Parsons' theory the ch i ld who gives such a reason for l i k i n g the poem has responded i r re levant ly and therefore inappropriately to the poem. He has allowed himself to be carried away by a personal and private association and has not responded to the poem as a work of a r t . But the 'world ' of Wordsworth's poem invites the kind of association the ch i ld makes and i t may be that imaginal associations of th is kind are just what make the experience described in the poem more meaningful and poignant. If the ch i ld can imaginatively relate to the song of the ' s o l i t a r y reaper' by way of the association with a house in the country and a l l that that pleasant memory conveys, how much more ef fect ive w i l l be the la ter impres-sion of a sudden and permanent expansion of s p i r i t which the la s t four l ines of the poem convey when the ch i l d has just experienced in imagination both joy and comfort. I do not want.to claim that a l l poetry can or should be responded to in this way. But the experience of some poetry, certa in ly of a l o t of l y r i c poetry, gains by this kind of imaginal entrance into the world of the poem. Wordsworth's poem may be said to have suggested the c h i l d ' s imaginal association and provided an environment for i t . Now, what does a l l th is amount to? The example we have been discussing is one in which a plausible stage one response to a poem turns out, on examination, to be, equally p laus ib ly, part of an appropriate 1 30. aesthetic response to the poem. This seems to be contrary to Parsons' theory, for according to i t a stage one response of this type is aesthetic-a l l y confused and quite inappropriate. Responses at stages two and three show some advance towards aesthetic relevance but i f i s not unt i l stage four that aesthetic response achieves complete relevance and ob jec t i v i t y . If, as I would l i k e to maintain, we have no constructed a plausible stage one response that contradicts the theory, then we are forced to say one or other of two things. We could e ither say that, with some poetry, a stage one response i s an appropriate aesthetic response, or that the stage theory as described and i l l u s t r a ted by Parsons does not apply "across the board" to l i t e r a tu re . To say the former would amount to denying the normative assumption of the developmental thes is , i . e . , that the response at stage one i s aesthet ica l ly confused and that i t i s only at stage four that an aesthetic response can properly be described as appropriate. To say the l a t te r would be to deny Parsons' contention that his stage theory accounts for development across the arts . But suppose a defender of the Beardsley/Bouwsma position were to deny that the c h i l d ' s response to "The So l i tary Reaper" (my example) was equivalent to Parsons' f i r s t example in which a f ive-and-a-half-year-old ch i ld said he l iked Currier and Ives' Preparing for Market because i t reminded him of his cowboy hat. The objector might maintain, for example, that while the response to Wordsworth's poem could be seen as a relevant imaginative entrance into the world of the poem, the response to Preparing  for Market is a clear example of aesthetic irrelevance because the ch i ld is preoccupied by the image of his cowboy hat and his attention sh i f t s 1 31. from aesthetic contemplation of the painting to a private and i rrelevant association. This objection needs to be considered very carefu l l y . We might begin by examining Parsons' interpretation of the ch i l d ' s response to Preparing for Market. Parsons comments on the response thus: Of course, there are no cowboy hats in the picture, nor any cowboys. Presumably he was reminded of his hat by something in the p icture, probably the horse; and i t appears that what he was reminded of was  qui te as relevant and important a part  of the experience as what he actual ly saw. (Parsons, 1976, p. 309) The underlined statement is c r u c i a l , for the d i s t inc t ion Parsons is anxious to maintain i s between what is there in the painting as part of the given and the associations that the viewer brings with him to the work. A person who subscribed to this d i s t inc t ion would hold that in talking about the "given" one is ta lk ing about the phenomenal object, the work of a r t , while in talk ing about the associations one i s ta lk ing about oneself or other things besides the work. Thus Parsons argues that the c h i l d ' s response to Preparing for Market i s inadequate because he f a i l s to make the important d i s t inc t ion between what i s there in the picture and what he i s reminded of and because the ch i ld regards what he is reminded of as an important part of the aesthetic experience, as important as what he actual ly sees. I shal l argue that the c h i l d ' s response to Currier and Ives' painting can, l i k e the response to Wordsworth's poem considered above, be seen as a relevant imaginative entrance into the world of the painting which makes the picture more meaningful for the ch i l d . 132. Currier and Ives 1 Preparing for Market shows a detai led homely scene of farm l i f e . The farmer in the foreground is in the act of handing a loaded basket from the cart to his wife whose hands are outstretched to receive i t . There are two horses, one attached to the cart and the other standing i d l y by. S l i ght ly to the l e f t of the foreground a ch i ld looks on from the door of the house which i s presumably the i r home. The painting induces the spectator to share in the peaceful character of the scene and the f i ve and a half year,old ch i l d ' s response can be seen as an imaginal entrance into the scene depicted and this ch i ld can accomplish without much d i f f i c u l t y . From with in, the ch i ld sees himself s i t t i n g on one of the horses wearing his cowboy hat, a hat, i nc identa l l y , not unlike that worn by the farmer in the act of unloading the cart. It is quite l i k e l y that the ch i ld ident i f i e s with the farmer wearing his hat, though i t i s possible for a spectator to become imaginally involved in the world of the work without ident i fy ing with any character in i t . The ch i l d ' s response may be said to have been invited by the picture and is therefore perfectly appropriate. What he i s reminded of while contemplating the scene depicted is an important part of the aesthetic experience because in responding he has enjoyed imaginally the experience of being in the farm where cowboys and cowboy hats have a place. He does not of course lose the sense of being an aesthetic spectator looking at a painting depicting a detai led scene of farm l i f e . He does however adapt himself to the demands of the work and in doing so he follows Osborne's advice which I believe to be sound: In making contact with part icu lar art works no single rule is more important than that 133. of f l e x i b i l i t y and complete adaptabi l i ty to the demands of each work. (Osborne, 1970) It i s therefore not ent i re ly correct to say, as Parsons does, that because a cowboy hat is not depicted in the picture the c h i l d ' s mind has wandered away from a contemplation of the picture to an i r re levant association. This view has a certain p l a u s i b i l i t y because we do some-times f a l l into a daydream at a concert, for example, or even while staring at a painting in an art ga l le ry , and begin to worry about the next day's business. Here i t i s wholly fa lse because the ch i l d ' s mind, far from wandering away has through the power of his imagination entered into a r ight re lat ion with the work and make the absent present. The same may be said of the g i r l in Parsons' second example. She said she l i ked the painting "because i f she were to l i v e in the farm she would l i k e i t " (Parsons, 1976, p. 310). The g i r l could say this only i f she had entered imaginatively into one world of work and responded to i t s peaceful character. Some paintings c lear ly do ca l l for this kind of imaginal experience which goes beyond the mere perception of what is depicted. The works of Corot are an obvious example and, as E l l i o t t suggests, " I t may be that persons of unready imagination simply do not get to the heart of the work, no matter how s k i l l e d they may be in perceptual d iscr iminat ion" ( E l l i o t t , 1972). Our discussion of stage one aesthetic responses has shown that ch i ldren ' s responses to art are not s i gn i f i can t l y d i f ferent from adu l t s ' , or, to put i t d i f f e r en t l y , stage one responses to art may be just as aesthet ica l ly adequate as stage four responses, depending on the part icu lar 134. works being examined. One has, of course, to allow for the fact that chi ldren might f ind some works d i f f i c u l t because of the i r complexity or obscurity, or because of the i r vocabulary. Parsons, I would argue, had supposed the stage one responses he discussed to be examples of aesthetic irrelevance because he was too much influenced by an ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic. This aesthetic interprets aesthetic experience rather s t r i c t l y on the model of inspecting and coming to know an object and, in i t s extreme form, i s completely unsympathetic to the operations of Imagination which I have t r i ed to describe in discussing Wordsworth's "The So l i tary Reaper" and Parsons' stage one examples. In discussing this view E l l i o t t wr ites: According to this view the aesthetic spectator is not cal led upon to imagine anything but simply to apprehend what is there to be seen. 'No one would deny that perception i s an important end of aesthetic contemplation, but the presupposition that the only consummatory experiences of Art are s t r i c t l y perceptual ones i s challengeable. . . In i t s less extreme form the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic does not maintain that Imagination has no place whatever in aesthetic contemplation, but i t presupposes that the work i s phenomenally objective: that i s , whenever the work appears to us i t appears as something "given" at the objective pole of consciousness, separated from the perceiving subject by an intentional space. ( E l l i o t t , 1972, p. 99) Because of th i s supposed "distance" between the phenomenal object of aesthetic perception and the experiencing subject Parsons finds i t necessary to construct a theory that purports to explain in four stages "the way in which aesthetic qua l i t i e s are. conceived" by the experiencing subject. "The var iab le, " he wr ites, " i s the location as between persons and the object 1 35. of these qua l i t i e s " (p. 309). In the guiding summary which he gives, Parsons describes how children (the experiencing subjects) conceive the aesthetic qua l i t ies of the object at each of the four stages. The development then is seen as one of a gradual increase of the distance between the se l f and the object, so that the close re lat ion between the se l f and object in stage one i s transformed in stage four to the s i tuat ion in which the se l f attains maximum distance from the object and aesthetic qua l i t ie s are viewed "as qua l i t ie s of the object i t s e l f . " This developmental scheme c lear ly assumes that in an aesthetic experience the experiencing subject must always be separate from the object exper-ienced. "But," as E l l i o t t (1972) observes, "an experience can be an experience of an object without having a structure of th is type, and an experience which does not have a structure of th is type may yet be pecul iar ly appropriate to the object experienced." We have seen that in cases where imagination transports the individual from his world to the "world" of the work, the experiencer and the object experienced become part of a world in which i t makes no sense to speak of the aesthetic object being ent i re l y separate from the experiencing subject. These are not rare cases or exceptions. On the contrary, we are constantly urged by l i t e r a r y c r i t i c s to t ry to enter imaginatively into the world of the l i t e r a r y work in order to acquire i t s most profound and valuable meaning. When we do this and succeed in becoming ent i re ly involved in the work, or " s p i r i t ed away" by i t , we should remember that, on such occasions, the important thing i s the qual i ty and s ignif icance of the experience as a whole, not qua l i t ie s of the work as a separate phenomenal object. 136. I have argued for the retention of the idea of expression in art because I believe this notion captures important aspects of the nature of art and of our response to i t that are missed by the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory, with i t s emphasis on the perception of phenomenally objective aesthetic qua l i t i e s . I have also argued that attention to the expressive qua l i t ie s of art exposes d i f f i c u l t i e s in the normative aspects of Parsons' stage-developmental sequence. I would now l i k e to go over some of these d i f f i c u l t i e s b r i e f l y by way of summary. In Chapter Two we saw that a l l four stages of Parsons' develop-mental scheme depend on what the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory takes the notions of aesthetic object and aesthetic experience to be. In each of his developmental stages Parsons assumes that the work of art i s composed of stable and unchanging objective qua l i t ie s and that i t i s the ch i l d ' s re lat ion to these that develops in an aesthetic encounter. The trouble with this assumption is not so much that i t i s wrong as that i t under-estimates the more fundamental importance of the experience of the work. An account of the aesthetic object must, as we have seen, include the ref lex ive experience of the subject. For Parsons th i s means that the work of art and the c h i l d ' s response to i t should be taken together and not treated as forever separate. Once i t i s admitted that the ch i l d ' s response can be, and often i s , central to an appropriate aesthetic response to the work, Parsons' stages would have to be restructured to r e f l e c t th i s . The concentration on examples from painting comes natural ly as a resu l t of the assumption that aesthetic response i s response to the way the object appears; or as Parsons says "whatever is phenomenally avai lable to the perception of any qua l i f ied observer" (.1978, p. 85). But, as Meager 1 37. (1970) has observed, "once we leave the visual a r t s , the emphasis on 1phenomenological 1 qua l i t ie s f i t s strangely on those aesthetic qua l i t ies we f ind of v i t a l importance." As we saw in Chapter Two, the development from stage one to four is seen as a gradual increase of the distance between the se l f and the object so that the close re lat ion between the se l f and object in stage one i s transformed in stage four to the s i tuat ion in which the se l f attains maximum distance from the object and aesthetic qua l i t ie s are seen as pheno-menally objective qua l i t ie s of the object, ent i re ly separate from the se l f . We have discussed several examples that show that the se l f and the object do not always remain separate in an aesthetic experience. Indeed in the most consummatory aesthetic experiences the subject is completely trans-ported into the world of the object and a state of rapture is often reported. This, I bel ieve, is the magic which art never ceases to perform on the spectator w i l l i n g to submit himself completely to the demands of the work of a r t , and is counted among the ultimate values. Parsons' developmental scheme, by assuming as i t does the distance between the object experienced and the experiencing subject, encourages an unduly reverential att itude toward the work of art and this could lead to a suppression of the imagination. The remarks which E l l i o t t makes at the end of his "Aesthetic Theory and the Experience of Art " contains advice which I think ought to be kept in mind in a l l discussions of aesthetic experience, and so I quote them in f u l l : 138: Our experience of a r t , l i k e our re l ig ious or moral experience, has i t s own character but is not yet transparent to us. It i s t h i s , in a l l i t s var iety and complexity and with a l l the problems i t presents, that Aesthetics should exhib it and examine, not only for the sake of remaining in contact with ordinary lovers.of art but in order that through Aesthetics we may atta in a better understanding of ourselves. A version of aesthetic experience adapted in a comparatively simple manner to our i n t e l l e c t u a l i s t preferences i s not an acceptable subst itute. ( E l l i o t t , 1967, p. 126) I have, in the discussion of aesthetic response to expressive properties of a r t , suggested that in responding to a work of art as expression, one enters into a r ight relat ionship with the work, exploring in imagination the various suggestions contained in the work, feel ing the emotion expressed as i f i t were one's own yet at the same time remaining aware of whose emotion i t i s . This suggests a relat ionship very much l i k e that of fr iendship between persons. I want now to explore further what might be involved in this kind of personal relat ionship with a work of a r t , as a way of examining what we should be doing in education to ensure that in the i r encounters with art our pupils do jus t i ce to both the nature of art and the complexity of aesthetic experience. I f one were to l i s t qua l i t ies that a relat ionship such as that of friendship between persons might c a l l fo r , then perhaps some of the following w i l l appear on such a l i s t : patience, understanding, love, imagination, tolerance, knowledge, sympathy, honesty and s incer i ty . These qua l i t ie s too are cal led for in a personal relat ionship with a work of art . Recall Wordsworth's reminder that "a poet i s a man speaking to men." Read the poem, therefore, as though you were l i s ten ing to a speaking voice, 1 39. the voice of a f r iend. Gradually a relat ionship w i l l be established that w i l l enlarge the experience and enhance the l i f e of the reader as well as transforming the work of art i t s e l f . Thus there i s need for patient regard in aesthetic contemplation. "What matters," writes Forster (1975), " i s the accent of his voice, his song." That has to be caught and the only way to catch i t i s to read with patience, humility and imagination. Forster is discussing Dostoyevsky as an example of the supreme a r t i s t in his role as nove l i s t , poet and "prophet." Unless we read him in th is way we are l i k e l y to miss what i s of most value in his work. Dostoyevsky's characters ask us to share something deeper than the i r experiences. They convey to us a sensation that i s part ly physical - the sensation of sinking into a translucent globe and seeing our experience f loat ing far above us on i t s surface, t i ny , remote, yet ours. We have not ceased to be people, we have given nothing up, but 'the sea is in the f i s h and the f i sh i s in the sea. ' ^ (Forster, 1975, p. 138) This brings out the kinds of features of aesthetic experience that are intimately connected with seeing the work as expression and responding accordingly. The rec iproc i ty between the work of art and the lover of art should be seen as a creative process of great value which should be recognized in education. I am del iberately contrasting th i s approach and i t s value with that encouraged by the ob ject i v i s t aesthetic theory with i t s emphasis on the use of analyt ical tools in discerning or investigating the "objective features" of a work of art . E l l i o t t (1972) urges us not to confuse aesthetic experience with analyt ical reasoning, and stresses the loving relat ionship with art T 40. which should be emphasized in education. He writes: Many philosophers of art tend to think of aesthetic experience as i f i t were a form of enquiry. The work i s conceived as an object rather l i k e a map, and the spectator, as seeking to discern i t s objective aesthetic qua l i t i e s , good or bad, in order to arr ive at an overal l judgment of i t s merit. Engagement with i t i s i dent i f ied with c r i t i c a l contem-plat ion and thought to be worthwhile in very much the same way as i n te l l ec tua l a c t i v i t i e s l i k e history and pure science. . . As we have seen, the impression is cer ta in ly given of a look*recognition theory of aesthetic experience by writers of the Beardsley/Bouwsma persuasion. It seems to me we must go beyond th i s objective approach and seek to achieve a relat ionship with a work of art which E l l i o t t describes as that of the " lover of a r t . " He writes: For the lover the work i s not objective in th i s way. Personal knowledge of the work i s an aspect of his engagement with i t , but his chief intention - or rather hope - i s to enter into a relat ionship with the work which has the character of friendship . . . he w i l l claim that shared experience is part of the value of art as i t i s part of the value of fr iendship, and that sometimes this sharing occurs at the level of his deepest concern. To achieve at th i s level a personal r e l a t i on -whip which has almost the character of an ident i ty seems to him a miracle the value of which he cannot properly express. . .There i s a rec iproc i ty between the lover and the work. If asked further concerning the value of art the lover w i l l not think immediately of the actual izat ion of mental powers or of enjoyment-but w i l l ta lk about the insp i rat ion and perhaps the consolation he derives from a r t , and may say that some of the works which matter to him constitute or embody a c r i t i c i sm of his own personal mode of l i f e . ( E l l i o t t , 1972) Something of th is kind of value i s intimated by H. S. Broudy's description of "enlightened cherishing" as "a love of objects and actions that by certain norms and standards, are worthy of our love" (Broudy, 1972, p. 6). Aesthetic education should be concerned with getting pupils to recognize the value and special nature of the aesthetic response and teachers of analyt ic d i sc ip l ines as well as those of the arts should consider how eas i ly and unwittingly they might come to discourage th i s . It may be that the kinds of d i s t inct ions and emphases made by the ob jec t i v i s t approach w i l l ult imately put the aesthetic in danger, in our society, "withering l i k e Blake's sick rose" (Gregor, 1972, p. 162). Witness Osborne's (1967) comments: . . .It has frequently been remarked of recent years that the analyt ica l habits of mind and the pract ical outlook fostered by our technological culture run counter to modes of awareness and attitudes of attention which are essential to appreciative commerce with the arts . This appears to be one reason why some of the most i n te l l i gen t and highly educated persons today f ind themselves in adult l i f e obtuse to the arts and without aptitude to appreciate them. The word they use i s "understand." It i s my contention that an over-rel iance on the approach intimated by the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory would indeed lead to constant attempts to "understand" a work of art rather than to appreciate i t . Already there exists a crop of educators who are merely interested in object i fy ing and measuring in art education, an approach which shows that they have rea l l y los t a l l contact with a r t . There is need to redress the balance by emphasizing again the expressive qua l i t ie s of a r t . Such emphasis w i l l achieve two things: do ju s t i ce to the work of art and enable aesthetic 1 42. theory to remain in contact with ordinary lovers of art. In Chapter Five I shal l summarize the various points of view I have discussed and draw together the ramifications they would l i k e l y have for aesthetic education. CHAPTER FIVE THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO A WORK OF -ART 5.1 Introduction We'have ea r l i e r discussed the importance of an emotional re-sponse to a work of a r t . This chapter concentrates on the narrower question of what i t means to have an emotional response to a work of art and the kinds of implications th is question might have for aesthetic education. 5.2 Considerations for Aesthetic Education The discussion in th is section and the next involves an at -tempt to answer the following general question: What difference in educational practice would result from the adoption of an expressionist view as compared with the adoption of the ob ject i v i s t view? I have argued that the basic difference between the expressionist view and the ob ject i v i s t view is that the expressionist view recognises and stresses the fact that works of art can express emotions. In our f a c i l i t a t i o n of aesthetic development, therefore, the expressionist would have us give an important place to the development of an understanding of how works of art do so. If we also accept E l l i o t t ' s view of how we ought to respond to certain works of a r t , then we w i l l need to address the educational problems i n -volved in developing appropriate emotional responses to works of art . In e i ther case, educational practices w i l l l i k e l y be d i f ferent from what they would be i f we follow the ob j e c t i v i s t ' s view with i t s stress on recognition and i t s misunderstanding of the logic of expression. The programme of aesthetic education envisaged here then is one that gives central place 143. 144. to the development of an emotional response to a work of art . What is involved in an emotional response to a work of art? We should f i r s t note what i t i s to which a person responds emotionally. Here S i r c e l l o ' s analysis i s relevant. Anthropomorphic predicates ( i n -cluding emotional terms), he argues, are sometimes applied to a work of art by virtue of something which the a r t i s t embodies in that work - an " a r t i s t i c act " . It i s the presence of these a r t i s t i c acts in works of art that makes those works on some occasions expressions of emotion. And when works of art express emotions an emotional response may well be appropriate. What the person then responds to i s the emotion which the anthropomorphic predicate picks out. What constitutes the response? Here E l l i o t t ' s (1967) remarks are he lpfu l . The person responding feels the expressed emotion but "the emotion that I feel in experiencing a work of art from within (and that which I feel as another person's in real l i f e ) may be present in me without being predicable of me." The emotion, he goes on, i s present in me because I do not merely recognize that the poet is expressing, for example, sadness, but actual ly feel th is sadness; yet the emotion I feel i s not predicable of me, i . e . , i t would be false to say that I am sad or even, unqual i f iedly, that I feel sad. (p. 113) This account of emotional response to a work of art i s c lear ly s imi lar to emotionally empathizing with a person in real l i f e . You may feel the other person's emotion as you feel that expressed in a work of art but at the same time you remain aware of whose emotion i t i s . We may note here that not a l l aesthetic responses are 145. emotional responses. I am concerned here only with cases where the ap-propriate and adequate response is also an emotional response. How would one go about getting people to respond in th is way? To answer this question we should f i r s t note that emotional responses l o g i ca l l y depend upon seeing. You can 't respond to what you can ' t see, so our f i r s t task i s to get people to see correct ly . Sibley (1962) wr i te s : " I t i s with an a b i l i t y to notice or see or tel1 that things have certain qua l i t ie s that I am concerned" (p. 45). With this I agree, but how does one get people to "see" or "not ice" or " t e l l " correctly? The f i r s t thing to be said is that terms l i k e "seeing", "not i c ing " , etc. do not describe s k i l l s . You cannot practise seeing or notic ing. These terms express what White (1967) ca l l s "reception concepts". They pick out receptions or upshots, things which result from, but are not themselves exercises of, our a b i l i t i e s and s k i l l s . In a sense they happen to us as a result of a b i l i t i e s we have and use. Daniels and Parkinson (1976) have a useful discussion of reception concepts under the general heading of "The Logic of Empathy concepts". They wr ite: Reception verbs d i f f e r from achievement verbs since receptions cannot be, while achievements can be, the "objective of a task." It makes sense to say that we are try ing to discover, to cure, or to win. It i s very odd to say that we are trying to notice, r ea l i s e , or become aware of something. (p. 335) This being so we cannot teach people by having them practise seeing or noticing certain qua l i t ies i n , or properties of, works of a r t . We can only orient them or get them to orient themselves in such a way that they come 146. to see or notice these qua l i t i e s . The orienting might take the form of providing the person with the concepts that w i l l enable him to see qua l i -t i e s , or i t might take the form of repeatedly pointing out certain features of a work unt i l the person comes to see or rea l i ze them. The log ica l features of these reception concepts also hold for concepts which pick out emotional responses. They too are upshots pro-duced by our perceptions of things. Recent philosophical analyses of emotion concepts (see, for example, Dearden et a l . , 1972) have made us a-ware of the fact that emotions usually have objects. For example, my anger is anger at X, my fear, fear of Y and my envy is envy of Z. Be-sides having objects, emotions involve what Peters c a l l s ' appra i sa l s . ' "These are constituted by seeing s ituations under aspects which are agree-able or disagreeable, benefic ial or harmful in a variety of demensions" (Peters, 1970). So once again the appropriate pedagogy i s that of or ient ing. One can only bring about the response by getting the person oriented appropriately. One's part icu lar emotional response to a work of art i s a product of how one sees the work or certain features of the work and this in turn depends on factors such as one's knowledge, education or aesthetic s en s i t i v i t y . Sens i t i v i t y , of course, can be developed. A teacher can get pupils to be inc l ined to notice certain things in a work of art and respond appropriately to them. In discussing the quotation from E l l i o t t above, about the content of our emotional response to a work, I mentioned the close s im i l a r i between responding emotionally to a work of art and empathizing with a-nother person in real l i f e . In fact there are cases in which our 1 47. response to a work of art i s quite l i t e r a l l y empathic. I am thinking of those cases in l i t e ra tu re when part of our tota l emotional response to a work is a response to a part icu lar character 's emotion, say Othel lo ' s g r ie f . We can empathize with Othello, that i s , feel jealousy on his behalf and see and feel Desdemona's behaviour as suspicious through Othel lo ' s eyes, etc. When we empathize in th i s way with a f i c t i o na l character, what we do i s no d i f ferent from what we do when we empathize with a real person. This i s a way of saying that empathic understanding i s an important requirement for appropriate and adequate emotional responses to some works of a r t . The educator who is concerned with appropriate emotional responses to works of art must be prepared to get his pupils to cu l t i vate empathic understanding and i t s necessary ingredient, imagination. But again empathy is not the sort of thing one can pract ise. As Daniels and Parkinson (1976) note, "Neither 'having empathy' nor 'being empathic' suggest that the empathic person does anything. Empathy is a 'passive ' phenomenon -i . e . we don't do empathizing; rather, empathizing happens to us or we become empathic" (p. 334). We can ' t therefore d i r e c t l y teach someone to empathize, nor can we teach him to "imaginatively enter" the world of a work of a r t . What we can do is help students to orient themselves to allow upshots l i k e empathy and "imaginative entrance" into the world of a work to occur. Imagination of course plays a supremely important role in the experience of a r t . It enables a spectator to experience a work most power-f u l l y and v i v i d l y . And, as Warnock (1976) has argued, imagination enters into our perception of the ordinary world and enables us to interpret i t 1 48. in one way rather than another. Its role in our experience of art i s i l l u s t r a ted by E l l i o t t (1973) in his discussion of our experience of Grunewald's The Buffeting (or the Mocking of Chr i s t ) . The p icture, he argues, induces the spectator to ident i fy with the only powerfully active character in i t , a soldier whose f i s t i s raised in the act of s t r i k ing Christ. Imaginally the spectator -part ic ipant has already gathered up his force and i s ahead of himself at the moment of impact. Now there is nothing to stop the blow from descending, since in so far as he is experiencing the movement from within i t i s no longer something which he can be aware of only through sight The experience is a momentary one It i s as i f I were in the world of the picture, in the place of the s t r i k ing sold ier del iver ing a blow at the Chr i st , whom I see from my ordinary spectator!'al standpoint. But although in the place of the so ld ier , I am not performing the action on his behalf. The sat i s fact ion that I feel is not his but my own. From wi th in , i t i s as i f I had been substituted for him, and am behaving l i k e him; but from without I s t i l l see the sold ier with his f i s t upraised. Imagination has no d i f f i c u l t y in accomplishing a powerful synthesis of these two aspects of the experience: the inner one in which I am the s t r i ke r and go through with the blow; the outer one in which the s t r i ke r i s a so ld ier and the movement is frozen in an instant. It i s obvious from this description that the spectator 's imagination invests the work with a power and immediacy i t would not otherwise have, and the spectator can thus achieve what Leavis describes as "a complete rea l i s a t i on " of the work. How can the educator bring about imagined responses of th is kind 1 49. that seem to be required by some works of art? As mentioned above, he can 't d i r ec t l y teach people to "imaginatively enter" the world of the work in the way described by E l l i o t t . What he can do i s expose pupils to part icu lar works of art and keep drawing attention to features which, when seen, are l i k e l y to lead to the occurence of the kind of imaginal entrance described above. What I have discussed so far in th is section are the kinds of considerations that a programme of aesthetic education aimed at bringing about the kinds of aesthetic response the expressionist envisages would have to take into account. What makes these educational considerations d i f ferent from the kinds that an ob jec t i v i s t would take into account? The main difference l i e s in what I have ca l led an "emotional response" to a work of art and teaching aimed at bringing this about. The ob jec t i v i s t would no doubt emphasize correct seeing, not ic ing, etc. of the objective features of the work. In so far as these are features other than those picked out by anthropomorphic predicates, the educational practices of the ob jec t i v i s t and the expressionist would be the same. But when i t comes to those features picked out by anthropomorphic predicates the educational practices of the two positions would d i f f e r considerably be-cause of the d i f ferent attitudes to the logic and s ignif icance of these emotional predicates. The ob ject i v i s t maintains that these predicates apply to art in only one way, namely, they describe objective qua l i t ie s of the work and a l l the spectator has to do in an aesthetic experience of the work is recognize these qua l i t i e s . It follows from this that teaching should simply be aimed at getting people to "see" or "recognize" certain features. The expressionist, while agreeing that emotional predicates 1 50. do apply to some works of art in the way the object i v i s t says they do, i n s i s t s that there are other cases - perhaps a lo t more - in which the predicates function to draw our attention to the fact that the works are expressions of various forms of human emotion. And he w i l l then add that when a work is perceived as an expression of emotion i t can be responded to emotionally. This kind of emotional response is c lear ly d i f ferent from what the ob jec t i v i s t position would allow and requires the kinds of pedogical considerations I have dealt with in th is section. 5.3 The emotions of the aesthetic experinces There i s , however, a related but distinguishable aspect to aesthetic education which involves the emotions of the aesthetic experiences As Peters (1970) notes, "Emotions have in common the fact that they i n -volve appraisals e l i c i t e d by external conditions which are of concern to us or by things which we have brought about or suffered" (Peters, 1970). They thus involve an evaluative element. We can, therefore, talk about the correctness or reasonableness of an appraisal and consequently of having this or that emotion. Emotions can have adequate or inadequate grounds, be j u s t i f i e d or absurd. As a result they may be educable. Such education w i l l be concerned, for a s ta r t , with bringing about appropriate appraisals. It w i l l also be concerned with "ousting vague and imprecise or crude emotions by more spec i f i c , appropriate and discriminating ones; with preventing emotion-experience from stagnating -replacing jaded and repet i t ive habit-emotions with fresh and keen emotions, coupled l o g i ca l l y to new indiv idual ized ways of seeing" (Hepburn, 1972). 1 51. Leavis 's talk about the "scrupulous use of in te l l i gence " in achieving a "concrete rea l i s a t i on " of a work, i f practised, ought to af-fect the way a person makes appraisals and the kinds of appraisals that he makes. It should also contribute to the freshness and pa r t i cu l a r i t y of a reader's emotions. Professor Hepburn (Hepburn, 1972) quotes the following well-known passage from Anna Karenina (pt. VII, Ch. 16) where Levin expresses his emotion at seeing his new born ch i ld for the f i r s t time: What he f e l t towards th is l i t t e creature was utter ly unlike what he had expected. There was nothing cheerful and joyous in the fee l ing ; on the contrary, i t was a new torture of apprehension. It was the con-sciousness of a new sphere of l i a b i l i t y to pain. And this sense was so painful at f i r s t , that i t prevented him from noticing the strange t h r i l l of senseless joy and even pride that he had f e l t when the baby sneezed. Hepburn then comments: How can the reading of a passage l i k e this be emotionally educative? Because emotion i s being make the object of a sens i t ive, attentive study in i t s own r ight - not simply being l ived through unref lect ive ly : not c l a s s i f i ed in the rough and d i s tort ing way our normal p r a c t i c a l , u t i l i t a r i a n interests encourage. Most of a l l , the i nd i v i dua l i t y , unexpectedness'and in t r i cacy of emotion are not denied, in the way the generalizing cl iches of everyday l i f e deny them and reduce them to greeting-card emotion-stereotypes. (Hepburn, 1972, p. 486) A writer need not, of course, name the emotions in the way Tolstoy does in the above passage. Shakespeare often achieves great precision in ex-pressing a part icu lar emotion without naming i t . The expressed emotion 152. i s sometimes related to a part icu lar and precise way of seeing, the ap-preciation of which enlarges our own emotional dimension. We therefore talk about l i t e ra tu re being creative of new emotions by e l i c i t i n g a new way of seeing, a way that is l o g i c a l l y inseparable from a way of fee l ing. "A work of a r t " , Hepburn wr ites, " i s not constructed for the t i t i l l a t i o n of feelings we already have known, but for the enlargement of our emotion-al experience" (Hepburn, 1972, p. 486). Here we have, I think, a rough way of dist inguishing l i t e ra tu re from, say, pornography. The pornographic work endlessly offers the reader the same s t imu l i , the same contortions and fantasies and thus prevents him from experiencing any new feel ing as well as largely depriving him of the use of his imagination in a f resh, ' creative way. The l i t e r a r y work, by contrast, engages the reader in a creative process that adds a new element to his emotional l i f e . As well as enriching his emotional l i f e , l i t e ra tu re often makes i t possible for a reader to experience quite precise emotional re-sponses to s ituations that would normally be too complex for him to ap-prehend in real l i f e , and about which he would therefore have confused and anxious emotions. This emphasis on the freshness, pa r t i cu l a r i t y and precision of emotion which a proper teaching of, and a response to, l i t e ra tu re en-courages, has relevance in a person's moral l i f e . Questions of honesty and s incer i ty in an ind iv idua l ' s private and public l i f e are affected by the kind of understanding he has of his own emotions and those of the people he deals with. A response to l i t e ra tu re may perhaps undermine the reader's rel iance on the emotion-cliches generated by the popular 153. culture of his day, and so increase his emotional freedom. "An aesthetic education", Hepburn writes, " i s an introduction to countless a lternat ive po s s i b i l i t i e s for fee l ing: the options are shown to be immeasurably more d iver s i f i ed than the cl iches allow" (Hepburn, 1972, p. 488). Steiner puts the matter stark ly when he writes: " I t i s a matter of seriousness and emotional r i s k , a recognition that the teaching of l i t e r a t u r e , i f i t can be done at a l l , i s an extraordinar i ly complex and dangerous business, of knowing that one takes in hand the quick of another human being" (Steiner, 1967). To the extent that Steiner and others are r i ght , Leavis i s correct to emphasize, as he does, the emotional importance of l i t e ra tu re and the kind of response that th is demands. CHAPTER SIX TOWARD A PEDAGOGY OF AESTHETIC EDUCATION 6.1 Introduction This concluding chapter summarizes the major questions dealt with in the thesis with regard to Parsons, objectivism and expression theory. It also reviews the educational considerations discussed ea r l i e r . 6.2 Parsons and Objectivism The two major l ines of inquiry which have been pursued in this study concern theoretical aspects of Parsons' developmental thesis and educational issues raised by various aspects of his theory. In th is sec-tion I shall concern myself with the conclusions arrived at in the d i s -cussion of the theoretical aspects of Parsons' thesis. As we noted in Chapter One, much research in the area of aesthetic development has con-centrated on ch i ldren ' s developing a b i l i t i e s to produce a r t s , that i s , on children as they create or attempt to create works of art rather than as they respond to them. Parsons, we noted, is the f i r s t to outl ine a develop-mental theory of aesthetic experience that concentrates ion the ch i ld as he responds to works of, art rather than as he creates them. His theory sug-gests a four-stage developmental sequence "somewhat para l le l to the work of Kohlberg on the development of the moral judgements of chi ldren" (Parsons, 1976, p. 305). The sequence begins with the c h i l d ' s undifferent iated, egocentric response to works of a r t , which Parsons describes as "confusedly aesthet ic " , and ends when the ch i ld becomes completely decentered and i s able to locate aesthetic qua l i t ies in the object i t s e l f . The movement 154. 1 5 5 . from stage one to stage four is thus a gradual separation of the ch i ld from the object of his awareness or a distancing of the se l f from the object, with the result that at stage four the ch i ld attains maximum distance from the aesthetic object and is able to view i t object ive ly , that i s , see the aesthetic qua l i t ie s as objective qua l i t ie s of the work. What changes in this sequence of development, Parsons argues, i s the c h i l d ' s sense of aesthetic relevenace. From the stage (stage one) in which he is unable to dist inguish between what is relevant or i r re levant in his aesthetic experience the ch i ld acquires, in a gradual manner, an increasing sense of relevance which structures his experience into qua l i ta t i ve l y d i f ferent stages and determines what he responds to in the aesthetic object at each stage. We saw that both in his conception of development and in his view of the end state to which the development leads, Parsons re l i e s on an ob ject i v i s t aesthetic. Indeed he says so himself,as we saw ea r l i e r . Parsons thus accepts the account of aesthetic experience given by "Beardsley and his fol lowers" - the object i v i s t s - as a sat is factory ac-count of the most advanced stage of the development of aesthetic experience. This account of aesthetic experience therefore forms the goal of aesthetic development as he sees i t , and hence of aesthetic education. This norm can of course be assessed independently as a desirable end state whether or not the developmental portion of Parsons' hypothesis i s defensible. The norm, however, determines what constitutes development at each stage. I argued that the ob jec t i v i s t aesthetic theory is r ight in drawing attention to objective features of a work of a r t . However in i t s 156. assumption that emotional qua l i t ie s of works of art are objective in the same way as simple qua l i t ie s l i k e "red" and in i t s characterisation aesthetic response as "recognising" these emotional qua l i t i e s , the ob-j e c t i v i s t aesthetic theory: (1) gives a distorted view of the nature of a r t ; (2) misconstrues the logic of expression in a r t ; (3) f a i l s to do ju s t i ce to the power and complexity of our emotional response to a r t , and thus (4) underplays the role of the aesthetic experiencer in the appreciation and evaluation of works of art . I maintained that because i t does these things i t offers an inadequate ac-count of the goal of aesthetic development and thus incomplete goals for aesthetic education. We may, therefore, f ind certain elements in Parsons' hypothesis dubious, or at least in need of reconsideration and expansion. In par t i cu la r , the ob ject i v i s t notion of what i s relevant in an aesthetic experience excludes much that would contribute to a more heightened, i n -tense and therefore more adequate response to a work of art . In em-phasizing the objective features of the work of art that must be perceived in an aesthetic experience, however, the ob ject i v i s t position draws at -tention to the fact that the relevant features of the work of art are i_n_ the work. I believe this to be true and important. But the dismissal of the idea that works of art can express emotions, and a l l that that idea en ta i l s , leaves the ob ject i v i s t account - and Parsons' norm - vulnerable to the charge of misrepresenting the nature of art and aesthetic ex-perience. The ob ject i v i s t position and Parsons' norm c lear ly need to be revised or modified in such a way as to include the sorts of things em-phasized by Expression Theory. 157. 6.3 Expression Theory In the discussion of Expression Theory I dealt with the arguments of two writers - S i r ce l l o and E l l i o t t - who approach the prob-lem of expression in art in two d i f ferent ways but whose accounts can be seen as complementary. Both writers assert that works of art can express emotions. S i r ce l l o deals with the log ic of expression and gives an account of how works of art bear anthropomorphic predicates and, in so doing, function to express emotions. E l l i o t t i s more interested in analyzing how we respond, or ought to respond, to expressive works of a r t . Both writers reject the ob jec t i v i s t account of expression, S i r ce l l o pointing out that the account "ignores complexities in works of art which are es-sential in understanding how they can bear anthropomorphic predicates" (1971, p. 311), and thus how they can sometimes express various forms of human emotions, while E l l i o t t in s i s t s that the ob jec t i v i s t account i g -nores the fact that "some works of art are capable of being experienced as i f they were human expression and that we do not experience expression exactly as we perceive objects or ordinary objective q u a l i t i e s " , (1967, p. 112). E l l i o t t ' s pos it ive account of experiencing a work of art (e.g., a l y r i c poem) as expression, that i s , experiencing i t "from with in " i n -cludes: (1) an imaginative entrance into the world of the poem in which the reader places himself in the poet's s i tuat ion "and experiences the poet's expression and the emotion expressed from the place of the expressing subject"; (2) feel ing the expressed emotion, as i t were, on the poet's behalf, (This appears to be s imi lar to empathizing with another person's emotional state in real l i f e ) ; (3) remaining conscious of the fact that the ex-pressed emotion is the poet's and not one's 158. own, hence "the emotion that I feel may be present in me without being predicable of me." Experiencing the poem "from with in " thus brings the reader so close to the imagined poet's s i tuat ion that i t sometimes appears as i f "the poet were speaking with the reader's voice". This comes close to Leavis ' s insistence that "we can have the poem only by an inner kind of possession", (1941, p. 309), a statement that suggests an imaginative and emotional involvement in the e f fo r t to rea l i se to the f u l l the experience given in the words of the poem. E l l i o t t accepts the fact that for some works of art the kind of experience which the object i v i s t s characterize as "perceiving objective qua l i t i e s " or "recognising emotional qua l i t i e s " would probably be adequate, but he in s i s t s that th is kind of response would be both inappropriate and inadequate for some works of art . These works, he argues, demand the kind of response which he characterizes as response "from with in " i f we are to -appreciate the i r f u l l imaginative and emotional power. Once again there i s a connection between this and Leavis 's recommendation that the reader " fee l in to " the emotional s i tuat ion depicted in the poem in order to achieve a "complete rea l i s a t i on " of the poem. How does one know when the work of art demands this kind of response? This i s the same question as asking how one knows when the work of art i s , or functions as, an expression of emotion. One attends to what is there in the work, the language and style of the poem and the treatment of i t s subject, the l ines and colour of the painting and the treatment of i t s subject, etc. S i r ce l l o writes: 159. One knows by looking at Poussin's painting that he has painted the scene in an aloof, detached way. The cold l i g h t , the statuesque poses, the painstaking l i n ea r i t y are a l l v i s i b l e in the work. S imi la r l y , we recognize by reading Wordsworth's poem that he treats his subject sentimentally. That i s just what i t i s to give the c h i l d , who believes that the dead are present among the l i v i n g , the advantage over her matter-of-fact inter locat ion . . . . . . . A test for statements describing art in anthropomorphic terms is always, and quite natura l ly , to scrut in ize the a r t , even when the terms are applied in v irtue of " a r t i s t i c acts " . Leavis 's c r i t i c a l pract ice, as we have seen, shows him, in S i r c e l l o ' s terms, " sc rut in i z ing the a r t " - in his case Literature - and modifying his response and ours accordingly. The connection between S i r c e l l o , E l l i o t t and Leavis can per-haps be stated thus: A l l three are expressionists. S i r ce l l o t r i e s to show how i t i s that works of art can express emotions; E l l i o t t t r i e s to describe how we ought to respond to those works that express emotions; and Leavis shows how, in pract ice, a c r i t i c actual ly responds to the expressed emotion in a poem. The expressionist posit ion which S i r ce l l o and E l l i o t t in the i r d i f ferent ways argue for and which i s exemplified in Leavis ' s c r i t i c a l practice suggests a d i f ferent "end state" from that which Parsons envisages in his developmental sequence. The Parsons - Beardsley ob jec t i v i s t "end state, " while useful in d i rect ing attention to what is there to be seen in works of a r t , f a i l s , as we have seen, to do ju s t i ce either to the nature of art or to aesthetic experience. The expressionist "end s ta te " , on the other hand, stresses the fact that works of art can function to 160. express various forms of the inner l i ves of human beings and suggests that th is fact is often the most important feature of the ar t . When works of art function as expressions of emotion they demand a d i f ferent kind of response from that suggested by the Parsons - Beardsley ob jec t i v i s t "end s tate " . The S i r c e l l o - E l l i o t t - Leav i s expressionist "end s tate, " while stressing this expressive function of art and our emotional response to i t , also directs attention to what is there to be seen in works of art -only adding that "what i s there to be seen" includes expressive properties to which the kind of response advocated by E l l i o t t and fostered by Leavis ' s c r i t i c a l practice i s appropriate. The expressionist "end state" therefore suggests a d i f ferent goal for aesthetic education, one that stresses the importance of the role of emotion in the experience of a r t . Let us now bring together and review some of the educational ramifications of what has been put forward here. 6.4 Review of Educational Considerations In chapter one I discussed, as background to Parsons' develop-mental theory, two opposing views of aesthetic education, held by the progressives and the new curriculum movement, respectively. The pro-gressives, i t was pointed out, see art as something which the ch i ld natural ly produces and place the i r educational emphasis on getting the ch i ld to make ar t . They thus encourage the development of the ch i l d as an a r t i s t . The new curriculum movement, by contrast, stresses that there i s a cognitive core to art which must be emphasized in teaching, thus en-couraging the development of the ch i ld as " c r i t i c " or responded to a r t . 161. It was pointed out that these two views of aesthetic education were re-f lected in developmental studies of ch i ldren ' s a b i l i t i e s as a r t i s t s and c r i t i c s and that many more studies had focussed on the development of children as a r t i s t s than on the i r development as c r i t i c s . Parsons' theory, was then introduced as one that concentrates on the ch i ld as he responds to works of art and thus inv ites the educator to gear his teaching to -wards developing the ch i l d ' s understanding and appreciation of art . But i t was pointed out that spec i f i c teaching strategies would have to await the confirmation of certain aspects of Parsons' developmental hypothesis. For instance, Parsons argues that the c h i l d ' s sense of aesthetic relevance changes as he develops so that some things judged by the ch i ld to be i rrelevant at an ea r l i e r stage may la ter be seen by him to be important and relevant while others considered relevant at an ea r l i e r stage may later be seen to be i r re levant. If th i s i s so, teachers of.the arts would have to organise the i r teaching methods and the contents of what they teach in such a way as to appeal to the ch i ld at a part icu lar stage in the development of his sense of aesthetic revelance. The stage of the ch i ld should i n -fluence the choice of teaching material and influence the teacher 's ex-pectations of his pupils. Also the fact that the subject-matter of art appeals d i f fe ren t l y to pupils at d i f ferent developmental stages would affect when and how the teacher introduces works of art that deal with certain kinds of subjects. F i na l l y , i t was observed that the proper matching of teaching content with developmental stage might solve prob-lems encountered in the teaching of l i t e r a t u r e , such as inadequate 1 62. response to, and lack of love fo r , the l i t e r a r y work. I also discussed the influence of the ob jec t i v i s t position on the current practice of art education in the schools. This i s seen in ap-preciation classes where attention in constantly directed to the objective features of the work of art . The ch i l d ' s response i s related to and jus -t i f i e d by, the whole or part of the perceptual object. I questioned whether th i s approach might not discourage the use of imagination in the experience of a r t . The ch i ld i s asked to concentrate on, and respond to, what he can see in the work not what the work leads him to imagine. This, i t seems to me probably does less than jus t i ce to the suggestive power of complex works of art and the i r a b i l i t y to carry the reader beyond the world of immediate experience. The point about th is i s that there are aspects of a work of a r t , which do not f i t into the category of the simple phenomenally objective but which are nevertheless important and have to be experienced for the work to be t r u l y appreciated. And there are other aspects, the existence of which the ob jec t i v i s t posit ion ex-p l i c i t l y denies, which demand a d i f ferent response from that which is suggested by this approach. The teacher of the arts has somehow to a le r t his pupils to both of these while pointing out the phenomenally objective features of a r t . I argued that aesthetic education should concentrate on developing in pupils a part icu lar kind of relat ionship with a work of a r t , a relat ionship very much l i k e that of friendship between persons. This I feel i s implied by the expressionist pos i t ion, especia l ly by E l l i o t t ' s suggestion that, in responding to some works of a r t , one enters into a 1 63. r ight relationship with the work, exploring in imagination the various suggestions contained in the work, feel ing the emotion expressed as i f i t were one's own. I characterized this kind of relat ionship with a work of art as that of the " lover of a r t " and contrasted i t with that encouraged by the ob ject i v i s t aesthetic theory1, with i t s emphasis on per-ceiving objective features and "recognising emotional q u a l i t i e s " , an .ap-proach which leads to attempts to "understand" a work rather than to ap-preciate i t . I suggested that the rec iproc i ty between the work of art and the lover of art should be seen as of great value and that th i s should be recognised in aesthetic education. Aesthetic education, I suggested, should be concerned with getting pupils to recognise the value and special nature of the aesthetic response and to see i t as en-dangered by an exclusive interest in object i fy ing and analyzing. F ina l l y I suggested that i f the expressive qua l i t ie s of art are emphasized in teaching, such emphasis w i l l do ju s t i ce to the work of art and enable aesthetic theory to remain in contact, with the f u l l range of p o s s i b i l i -t ies embodied in works of a r t . In Chapter Four I compared Parsons' cognitive-developmental theory with those of Piaget and Kohlberg and suggested that one of the s im i l a r i t i e s between Parsons' theory and Kohlberg's was that both would probably want the educator to adopt such means as would accelerate the development through the stages so that Kohlberg's individual would ad-vance rapidly from the pre-conventional stages of morality to the p r in -cipled stages when he becomes an autonomous moral agent, and Parsons' would rapidly become decentered and get to the point when his aesthetic 1 64. judgement is based on objective features of the work of art rather than on some more egocentric re la t i on . The point about th is i s that for Kohlberg the individual i s not t ru ly a moral agent untiT he gets to the pr incipled stage of moral ity, and for Parsons the individual does not engage in a proper aesthetic experience of a work of art unt i l he gets to the stage (stage four) when he can " locate aesthetic qua l i t i e s , f i rm-ly in the aesthetic object i t s e l f " . Whether or not one wants to try to accelerate development i t seems to me that Parsons' theory requires that special care be exercised in the selection of works of art so that the ch i l d i s not questioned about works that are far above his level of com-prehension or that treat subjects with which he i s emotionally i l l -equipped to deal. It i s important, too, to remember Piaget 's discovery that the ch i ld d i f fe r s from the adult in his approaches to r e a l i t y , in his views of the world, and in his use of language. This imposes on the educator the need to make a special e f fo r t to understand the unique pro-perties of the c h i l d ' s experience and ways of th inking, e ither generally or as they are manifested in part icu lar areas such as the moral realm (Kohlberg) and the aesthetic realm (Parsons). In the aesthetic realm i t is necessary for the educator to dist inguish between the developing ch i ld a r t i s t and the developing " c r i t i c " so that he can f ind teaching strategies that w i l l cater to these d i f ferent p o s s i b i l i t i e s . 6.5 Conclusion We have also seen Leavis 's stress on emotional expression in l i t e r a tu re . This stress ca l l s for changes in certain aspects of Parsons' 1 65. theory, in par t i cu la r , his conception of mature aesthetic response. The emphasis on the expressive qua l i t ie s of art requires that in addition to "seeing" of the features the ob ject i v i s t stresses, the student should learn to see what S i r ce l l o ca l l s " a r t i s t i c acts" and respond appropriately to such works of art . That means bringing about a kind of involvement with works of art which the ob ject i v i s t overlooks. Apart from the fact that the kind of response which some works of art e l i c i t shows that the expressionist i s c lea r l y r i gh t , we want our experience of art to somehow go beyond what i s immediately pre-sented to the senses. I cannot put th is more succinct ly, but Warnock's (1976) remarks at the conclusion of her Imagination capture what I mean. She writes about The be l ie f that there i s more in our experience of the world than can possibly meet the unreflecting eye, th is kind of be l ie f may be referred to as the feel ing of i n f i n i t y . 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