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Objectivity and sensitivity in aesthetics Rudinow, Joel 1974

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OBJECTIVITY AND SENSITIVITY IN AESTHETICS  by  JOEL RUDINOW B.A., The University of California, Santa Barbara, 1968  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the Department of PHILOSOPHY  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY  OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  August, 1974  rs  In presenting  this thesis in partial  fulfilment of the requirements for  an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference  and study.  I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives.  It is understood that copying or publication  of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Philosophy  Department of  The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada  Date  fj  7/  i  ABSTRACT  T h i s essay i s a d i s c u s s i o n o f two r e l a t e d t o p i c s i n contemporary a e s t h e t i c s : sitivity,  the n o t i o n o f a e s t h e t i c  and the q u e s t i o n of the o b j e c t i v i t y o f  judgements.  Its point o f departure  S i b l e y on " a e s t h e t i c  sen-  aesthetic  i s the work o f Frank  concepts".  In Chapter I i n t u i t i o n i s m i s r e j e c t e d b o t h as p r o v i d i n g an answer to the q u e s t i o n , "Are a e s t h e t i c  judge-  ments o b j e c t i v e ? " and as p r o v i d i n g the b a s i s f o r an account of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y . In Chapter I I an account o f a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y based on the s e e i n g - a s n o t i o n i s e x p l o r e d and u l t i m a t e l y abandoned. In Chapter I I I the i s s u e o f o b j e c t i v i t y f o r judgements i s developed i n d e t a i l , as t u r n i n g on the  aesthetic avail-  • a b i l i t y o f some d e c i s i o n procedure or o t h e r f o r the r e s o l u t i o n of disputes.  I t i s argued t h a t r e l a t i v i s m ,  the  posi-  t i o n t h a t no such d e c i s i o n procedures f o r a e s t h e t i c  judge-  ments are a v a i l a b l e , cannot be a d e q u a t e l y defended.  An  analogy between a e s t h e t i c judgement and c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n emerges as b a s i c to a p r o m i s i n g s t r a t e g y aesthetic objectivism.  f o r a defense o f  The s t r a t e g y i n v o l v e s the demand f o r  an a r t i c u l a t i o n o f d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s r e l e v a n t to c o l o r  ii  attribution. it  The promise o f the s t r a t e g y  i s argued that standard  need not undermine i t . of one r e l a t i v i s t ,  i s defended when  anti-intuitionist criticisms  F i n a l l y , the theses and arguments  Isabel C. Hungerland, are c r i t i c i z e d .  Part o f her defense o f r e l a t i v i s m i s t r a c e d to her acceptance o f an analogy between a e s t h e t i c judgement and seeingas.  The r e s u l t s o f Chapter I I , i n which the l i m i t s o f that  analogy are exposed, are employed a g a i n s t her. Chapter IV i s an o u t l i n e o f a s e t o f d e c i s i o n procedures f o r c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n .  Color d e c i s i o n procedures  i n v o l v e the s e l e c t i o n o f a r e f e r e n c e  group o f o b s e r v e r s ,  whose v i s u a l experiences are taken to be a u t h o r i t a t i v e . Members of the r e f e r e n c e two  group are s e l e c t e d on the b a s i s o f  p r i n c i p l e s of selection:  normal observers, s t r a b l y higher  one which s e l e c t s s t a t i s t i c a l l y  and one which s e l e c t s observers o f demons  discriminatory capacity.  A system of sub^-  s i d i a r y p r i n c i p l e s , which operates when the two main are at odds i n t h e i r s e l e c t i o n s , i s i l l u s t r a t e d . In Chapter V the p l a u s i b i l i t y of an a e s t h e t i c analogue of the theory  o f c o l o r o b j e c t i v i t y developed i n Chapter IV i s  defended against  two major o b j e c t i o n s .  i s based on a p o i n t o f d i s a n a l o g y  The f i r s t  objection  between c o l o r s and a e s t h e t i c  f e a t u r e s : the V-emergence" of a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s ,  It i s ar-  gued, i n e f f e c t , that t h i s i s not a r e l e v a n t p o i n t o f d i s -  iii  analogy.  The  the  meanings  are  never  more the  second o b j e c t i o n of  twice  plausible  terms  used  the  same.  one,  which  colors/aesthetics  to  is  express  This does  analogy,  based  view not is  on  the  aesthetic is  pose  view  judgements  criticized, difficulties  considered.  that  and for  a  iv  CONTENTS  Chapter  I II III  Page  1 24 41  IV  79  V  103  Bibliography  131  V  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT  I want to thank the members o f my s u p e r v i s o r y committee, P r o f e s s o r D. G. Brown and P r o f e s s o r W. J . M u l l i n s f o r t h e i r comments, and e s p e c i a l l y the c o m m i t t e e ' s who,  c h a i r m a n , P r o f e s s o r R. I .  i n h i s c a r e f u l s u p e r v i s i o n o f the  of t h i s t h e s i s ,  Sikora,  writing  kept me busy l o n g e r than I wanted  and s o , caused me to see many d e f i c i e n c i e s i n what I had w r i t t e n .  My thanks are a l s o due to  J a n i c e Rudinow f o r h e l p w i t h p r o o f r e a d i n g and numerous  intangibles.  CHAPTER I  J . L. A u s t i n once remarked that a e s t h e t i c s would begin to prosper as a branch of philosophy,  i f only  aestheticians  would d i v e r t t h e i r a t t e n t i o n from the b e a u t i f u l to the and  the dumpy.  has  been w e l l s t i m u l a t e d  1  The  t h e t i c concepts'^ has  f i e l d work A u s t i n envisaged f o r a e s t h e t i c s by Frank S i b l e y , whose work on  been the focus  of much recent  Among the somewhat c o n t r o v e r s i a l pieces apparatus that S i b l e y introduces d i s t i n c t i o n between a e s t h e t i c and  the n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c About the  t i o n , there  "aes-  discussion.  of p h i l o s o p h i c a l  are the f o l l o w i n g two: nonaesthetic  concepts  perhaps p r o p e r t i e s , judgements, terms, uses of terms); ii)  dainty  i) a (or and  sensitivity.  f i r s t , the a e s t h e t i c / n o n a e s t h e t i c  i s a good deal of c o n f u s i o n ;  distinc-  numerous attempts  have been made to give a c l e a r account of i t , ^ the r e s u l t s of  J.L. Austin, "A Plea for Excuses," in Philosophical Papers, by J.L, Austin, ed. J.O. Urmson and G.J. Warnock (London: Oxford University Press, 1961), p. 131. 2 Frank Sibley, "Aesthetic Concepts," The Philosophical Review, 68 (1959), 421-450, reprinted in Philosophy Looks at the Arts, ed. Joseph Margolis (N.Y.: Scribner's, 1962), pp. 68-87, references to this article w i l l be to the Margolis volume; Frank Sibley, "Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic," The Philosophical Review, 74 (1965), 135-159. 3 Isabel C. Hungerland, "The Logic of Aesthetic Concepts," Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Assn., 36 (1962-1963), 43-66, reprinted in Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics From Plato to Wittgenstein, ed. Frank A. Tillman and Steven M. Cahn (N.Y.: Harper and Row, 1969), pp. 595-  2  which have been so i n c o n c l u s i v e as to cause some to d e s p a i r o f ever producing such an account.4 p a r t , S i b l e y has  philosophers For h i s  been content w i t h a rough, i n t u i t i v e  t i o n , generated by  s o r t i n g sample remarks.  He  own  distinc-  says:  I make this broad distinction by means of examples of judgements, qualities, and expressions. There i s , i t seems to me, no need to defend the distinction. Once examples have been given to illustrate i t , I believe almost anyone could continue to place further examples barring of course the expected debatable, ambiguous, or borderline cases - in one category or the other. . . Those who in their theoretical moments deny any such distinction usually show in their practice that they can make i t quite adequately.^ And  he  illustrates  i t thus:  I wish to indicate two broad groups. I shall do this by examples. We say that a novel has a great number of characters and deals with l i f e in a manufacturing town; that a painting uses pale colors, predominantly blues and greens, and has kneeling figures in the foreground, that the theme in a fugue is inverted at such a point and that there is a stretto at the close; that the action of a play takes place in the span of  617; Isabel C. Hungerland, "Once Again: Aesthetic and Non-Aesthetic," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 26 (Spring, 1968)^ 285-295, reprinted in Aesthetics, ed. Harold Osborne (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), pp. 106-120; Ruby Meager, "Aesthetic Concepts," The British Journal of Aesthetics, 10 (1970), 303-322; and Dorothy Walsh, "Aesthetic Descriptions'," The British Journal of Aesthetics, 10 (1970), 237-247. Allen Casebier, "The Alleged Special Logic of Aesthetic Terms," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 31 (Spring, 1973), 357-364; and Ted Cohen, "Aesthetic/Non-aesthetic and the Concept of Taste: a Critique of Sibley's Position," Theoria, 39 (1973), 113-152. 4  5  Sibley, "Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic," p. 135.  3  one day and that there is a reconciliation scene in the f i f t h act. . . On the other hand, we also say that a poem is tightly-knit or deeply moving; that a picture lacks balance, or has a certain serenity and repose, or that the grouping of the figures sets up an exciting tension; that the characters in a novel never really come to l i f e , or that a certain episode strikes a false note.g In connection sensitivity,  there has  with the second, the n o t i o n been as much controversy  might have meant  by  what the n o t i o n  i t s e l f comes t o .  of a e s t h e t i c  over what S i b l e y  " a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y " or " t a s t e " as over The  o f t e n quoted and  puzzled  over passage i n S i b l e y i s : When I speak of taste in this paper. . . i t is with an ability to notice or see or tell that things have certain qualities that I am concerned. n  The  r e l a t i o n s h i p between these two  pieces  of p h i l o -  s o p h i c a l apparatus i s i t s e l f a s u b j e c t of some i n t e r e s t . Schwyzer, i n a response to S i b l e y ' s p i o n e e r i n g a possible strategy  f o r drawing a sharp  H.  work, p o i n t s  R. to  aesthetic/nonaesthetic  d i s t i n c t i o n , a s t r a t e g y perhaps to be d i s t i l l e d  from S i b l e y .  The distinction between aesthetic and nonaesthetic discourse is clearly to be located in the area of what we can and cannot say given normal eyesight, normal hearing, normal intelligence (where "what we cannot say" is due to a lack in taste or perceptiveness, and not, for instance, to a lack in erudition). Initially, Sibley makes precisely the same point. 8  Sibley, "Aesthetic Concepts," p. 63. Ibid.  p. 65.  H.R.G. Schwyzer, "Sibley's 'Aesthetic Concepts'," The Philosophical Review, 72 (1963), 72-78; Cf. Morris Weitz, "Open Concepts," Revue Internationale de Philosophie 26 (1972), 106. 8  3  G.  4  In  i n t r o d u c i n g the n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y  t a s t e , S i b l e y does draw a t t e n t i o n to the s u p e r f i c i a l l y  obvious  t h i n g that some of us are b e t t e r than others at viewing d i s c u s s i n g works of a r t .  or  and  I t would seem that even among those of  us with a normal endowment of i n t e l l i g e n c e and normally  func-  t i o n i n g senses, some are able to make o b s e r v a t i o n s about  and  give d e s c r i p t i o n s of works of a r t t h a t seem at once to be r e markable, and j u s t the r i g h t l i k e w i s e having  things to say, where o t h e r s , while  20/20 v i s i o n , unimpaired  h e a r i n g and so on,  are  incapable of saying anything at a l l a p p r o p r i a t e about a work of art,  and are a p p a r e n t l y incapable of grasping any  remarks of t h e i r more t a l e n t e d f e l l o w s . with normal c o l o r v i s i o n can t e l l  of the  incisive  For example, anyone  an o b j e c t ' s c o l o r , p r o v i d e d  that he i s not drugged, that the c o n d i t i o n s of o b s e r v a t i o n ( v i z . l i g h t i n g ) are standard, and so on. with normal senses  and  But not everyone of us, even  i n the most normal s i t u a t i o n s , can  that a p a i n t i n g i s d e l i c a t e , or that a landscape that a melody i s l y r i c a l , Some people, How  tell  i s a u s t e r e , or  or bouyant, or d a r k l y r e f l e c t i v e .  i t seems, have a knack f o r t h i s s o r t of t h i n g .  do they do i t , these people w i t h t h e i r knack? Schwyzer suggests  that we  connect  this l a s t question,  about the nature of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y , up with the q u e s t i o n about the d i f f e r e n c e between a e s t h e t i c and n o n a e s t h e t i c d i s course.  A c c o r d i n g l y , we might begin to c h a r a c t e r i z e the  aes-  t h e t i c / n o n a e s t h e t i c d i s t i n c t i o n roughly as f o l l o w s : (Except i n  5  c e r t a i n non-standard circumstances) nonaesthetic  judgements  be made by  anyone with normal e y e s i g h t ,  touch,  gence, and  so on, whereas f o r a e s t h e t i c judgements, something  else i n addition i s required.  We  hearing,  intelli-  might hope f u r t h e r f o r an  account of t h i s something e l s e , an answer to the q u e s t i o n , do they do thetic  can  i t ? " to generate or complete the  "How  aesthetic/nonaes-  distinction. Ted  Cohen suspects t h a t the connection  aesthetic/nonaesthetic  d i s t i n c t i o n and  between the  the n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c  s e n s i t i v i t y i s even c l o s e r and more i n e x t r i c a b l e than does Schwyzer, indeed t h a t the n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y i s nothing  but  the a e s t h e t i c / n o n a e s t h e t i c  d i s t i n c t i o n i n another  guise. Suppose i n discussing a painting someone refers to one of i t s lines, saying, "That line is curved", and later adds, "That line is graceful". The latter is an aesthetic judgement, the former is not. . . which is to say that taste is required to apply "graceful" but no more than normal eyes and intelligence i s required to apply "curved". [But] That i s the aesthetic/nonaesthetic distinction at work. . . g And  S i b l e y gives away as much when he  says on the one  hand,  When I speak of taste i n this paper. . . i t i s with an ability to notice or see or tell that things have certain qualities that I am concerned.  Cohen, "Aesthetic/Non-aesthetic and the Concept of Taste," p. 124; Cf. Monroe Beardsley, "What is an Aesthetic Quality?" Theoria, 59 (1973), p. 54. 1 0  Sibley, "Aesthetic Concepts," p. 65.  6  Presumably these are aesthetic aesthetic  judgements  -  q u a l i t i e s , ones mentioned i n  and when he subsequently d i s t i n g u i s h e s  a e s t h e t i c judgements and q u a l i t i e s aesthetic  i n terms of the e x e r c i s e of  sensitivity. Many judgements about the shape, color, sound, wording, subject matter, or composition of things, including works of art, are such that i t would be ludicrous to suggest that aesthetic sensitivity, perceptiveness, or taste had been exhibited in making them. Similarly, i t would be ridiculous to suggest that aesthetic sensitivity was required to see or notice or otherwise perceive that something i s , say, large, circular, green, slow, or monosylabic. Accordingly, I speak of nonaesthetic judgements, qualities, descriptions, and concepts. By contrast, there are other judgements the making of which could clearly be said to exhibit an exercise of aesthetic sensitivity or perceptiveness. Similarly, i t would be natural to say that aesthetic sensitivity was required to see, notice, or otherwise perceive, for instance, that something i s graceful, dainty, or garish, or that a work of art i s balanced, moving, or powerful. Accordingly, I speak of aesthetic judgements, qualities, descriptions, and concepts.^  Cohen goes f u r t h e r to suggest that the i n t e r p l a y between the n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y and the a e s t h e t i c / n o n a e s t h e t i c d i s t i n c t i o n helps  to expose that d i s t i n c t i o n as a phantom.  There i s no sensible and important way of dividing terms in line with Sibley's aesthetic/nonaesthetic d i s t i n c t i o n . ^ What Sibley does after invoking the distinction is ignorable: the distinction i t s e l f i s a l l the philosophy Sibley has, and i t i s the ultimate cause of whatever uneasiness one feels with Sibley's p o s i t i o n . ^  11 12 13  Sibley, "Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic," p. 135. Cohen, "Aesthetic/Non-aesthetic Ibid.  p. 124.  and the Concept of Taste," p. 139.  7  Though I am not aesthetic/nonaesthetic  t e r r i b l y concerned to shore up  d i s t i n c t i o n , or to defend any p a r t i c u l a r  s o r t i n g of examples, and  though the  between a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y and distinction  is plain,  I think  eon f u n c t i o n interdependently at  the  intimacy  the  of the  connection  aesthetic/nonaesthetic  i t i s a l s o p l a i n that these items (with the a i d of a few  examples)  l e a s t to p i c k out phenomena f o r p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n s p e c t i o n ,  without thereby reducing triviality.  that p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n s p e c t i o n to empty  Moreover, though we  thetic sensitivity  must admit that d e f i n i n g aes-  i n terms of the a e s t h e t i c / n o n a e s t h e t i c  dis-  t i n c t i o n while d e f i n i n g that d i s t i n c t i o n i n terms of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y reduces the whole a f f a i r to c i r c u l a r i t y , we at  the  same time  foreclose on the p o s s i b i l i t y of an  needn't  independent  account of e i t h e r . In t h i s essay I t r y to do two  things:  i)  I t r y to  get c l e a r about the nature of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y . deed, I o f f e r t h i s e x c u r s i o n tivity tor  in-  i n t o the n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i -  as something that ought to i n t e r e s t even such a  detrac-  of S i b l e y ' s e n t e r p r i s e as Cohen, s i n c e Cohen's c r i t i q u e  the a e s t h e t i c / n o n a e s t h e t i c quently  on asking  d i s t i n c t i o n turns  i t s e l f so  then e i t h e r supplying  not".  ii)  questions  of  fre-  i n e f f e c t , "Does the c o r r e c t a p p l i c a t i o n of  these terms r e a l l y r e q u i r e the e x e r c i s e of a e s t h e t i c and  And  sensitivity?"  or i n v i t i n g the answer, "No,  i t does  I t r y to c l a r i f y and move toward an answer to such  as "Is a e s t h e t i c judgement o b j e c t i v e ? " or "Is  d e l i c a c y of a s c u l p t u r e a matter of f a c t ? "  the  8  As aesthetic  a first  step i n the i n q u i r y i n t o the n o t i o n of  sensitivity,  I want to d i s p o s e , at l e a s t t e n t a t i v e l y ,  of a common view of what S i b l e y meant by " a e s t h e t i c  sensitivity".  There i s o f t e n a temptation i n p h i l o s o p h i c a l sions  o f areas o f d i s c o u r s e  i n which disagreement abounds ( a r t  c r i t i c i s m b e i n g such an area) to i n t r o d u c e of simple p r o p e r t i e s  discus-  t a l k of s p e c i a l  sorts  and corresponding s p e c i a l s o r t s of percep-  t i o n f o r which some of us are equipped and some not.  So S i b l e y ,  who t a l k s o f a s p e c i a l a b i l i t y e x h i b i t e d when a e s t h e t i c  judge-  ments are made, i s o f t e n taken to have meant by t h i s a s p e c i a l quasi-sense or i n t u i t i o n f o r the d i r e c t apprehension o f c e r t a i n simple and experience-independent p r o p e r t i e s . 1 4  w  e  could  call  such a p o s i t i o n " i n t u i t i o n i s m " , and though numerous commentators on S i b l e y have taxed him f o r what they take to be h i s " i n t u i tionism",  i t amounts, I t h i n k ,  to a crude parody o f any p o s i t i o n  Sibley a c t u a l l y holds. Cursory r e f e r e n c e , sometimes taken as s u f f i c i e n t ist,  to passages i n S i b l e y ' s work i s to e s t a b l i s h him as an i n t u i t i o n -  and S i b l e y ' s vocabulary i s admittedly s u g g e s t i v e i n s e v e r a l  places.  14 R. David Broiles, "Frank Sibley's 'Aesthetic Concepts'," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 23 (Winter, 1964), 218^225; Joseph Margolis, "Sibley on Aesthetic Perception," The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 25 (Winter, 1966), 155-158; Joseph Margolis, "Recent Work i n Aesthetics," The American Philosophical Quarterly, 2 (1965), 182-192; David Pole, "Presentational Objects and Their Interpretation," Philosophy and the Arts: Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, VI, (London: Macmillan, 1973), pp. 153-154; John Casey, "The Autonomy of Art, in Philosophy and the Arts, p. 66. iM  9  We see that the book is red by looking, just as we t e l l that the tea i s sweet by tasting i t . So too, i t might be said, we just see (or f a i l to see) that things are delicate, balanced, and the like.^jAesthetics deals with a kind of perception. People have to see the grace or unity of a work, hear the plaintiveness or frenzy i n the music, notice the gaudiness of a color scheme.^ However, the i n t u i t i o n i s t  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of S i b l e y has  seldom been argued f o r , and never c o n c l u s i v e l y argued f o r . who  point  so a c c u s i n g l y  at passages such as the above,  Those  usually  overlook such passages as the below. . . . puzzlement over the "esoteric" character of aesthetic qualities arises from bearing i n mind inappropriate philosophical models. When someone i s unable to see that the book on the table i s brown we cannot get him to see that i t is by talking; consequently i t seems puzzling that we might get someone to see that the vase is graceful by talking. If we are to dispel.'this puzzlement and recognize aesthetic concepts and qualities for what they are, we must abandon unsuitable models. . My d i s m i s s a l o f the i n t u i t i o n i s t  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of S i b l e y  will  only be complete i n Chapter III below, where I argue i n e f f e c t that t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n can only  be c o n c l u s i v e l y argued f o r on  the b a s i s of c o n t r o v e r s i a l , and g r o u n d l e s s , assumptions concerning  the m e t a p h y s i c a l and o n t o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the view  that a e s t h e t i c  judgements  are " o b j e c t i v e " , a view to which  1 5  Sibley, "Aesthetic Concepts," p. 77.  ^  Sibley, "Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic," p. 137.  1 7  Sibley, "Aesthetic Concepts," p. 79.  Sibley  10  subscribes,  But f o r now,  as regards  Sibley's suspicious ter-  minology, s u f f i c e i t to say t h a t S i b l e y i s as s u s p i c i o u s about that terminology  as anyone might be and has  s a i d that i n con-  n e c t i o n w i t h i s s u e s of " o b j e c t i v i t y " there i s a need to examine, i f not abandon, the inadequately investigated notion of a property, both inside and outside aesthetics. Even more r e c e n t l y , S i b l e y has  e x p l i c i t l y backed away  from the i n t u i t i o n i s t p o s i t i o n t h a t M a r g o l i s , B r o i l e s , and have t r i e d to p i n on him.  His use of the term " p r o p e r t y " i n  connection with a e s t h e t i c s , he i n s t r u c t s , i s to be in  others  a q u i t e m e t a p h y s i c a l l y n e u t r a l way,  and  understood  to be taken to i n d i -  cate only that i n v i r t u e of which c e r t a i n a e s t h e t i c judgements may of  p r o p e r l y be regarded  as " o b j e c t i v e " , where that i n v i r t u e  which the " o b j e c t i v i t y " of a e s t h e t i c judgements i s secured  needn't be anything l i k e f o r i n s t a n c e a simple, independent p r o p e r t y ,  T h i s move, as we  shall  experience-  l a t e r see,  connects  with a c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the n o t i o n of o b j e c t i v i t y by means of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between c e r t a i n i s s u e s o s t e n s i b l y concerning objectivity.  This c l a r i f i c a t i o n  i n t u r n allows f o r the  c i d a t i o n of v a r i o u s of p i e c e s of S i b l e y ' s apparatus, his  elu-  including  use of the term " p r o p e r t y " , h i s use of p e r c e p t i o n termin-  ology, and h i s emphasis on an analogy between a e s t h e t i c judge-  18 British  Journal  Eva Schaper and Frank Sibley, "Symposium: About Taste," The of Aesthetics 6 (1966), 69. 3  11  ment and  color attribution. For present purposes l e t us note that  from the  i n backing away  i n t u i t i o n i s t p o s i t i o n , S i b l e y a l s o backs away from  q u e s t i o n about the nature of a e s t h e t i c f y i n g h i s use  of the  sensitivity.  term " p r o p e r t y " he  of h i s concern as excluding i n t o the nature of a e s t h e t i c  any  In  the  clari-  a l s o exposes the l i m i t s  very deep or d i r e c t i n q u i r y  sensitivity.  There remains then the q u e s t i o n as to what s o r t of a knack a e s t h e t i c and  so the  i n t u i t i o n i s t ' s notion  perceptual tivity.  sensitivity is.  f a c u l t y as b a s i c  But we  may  Part  of the  account of a e s t h e t i c perception  of a p e r c e p t u a l  s t r e n g t h s and  sensi-  weaknesses of  a t t r a c t i o n of an i n t u i t i o n i s t s e n s i t i v i t y comes from the  ways i n which a e s t h e t i c As  quasi-  own.  terminology i s so f r e q u e n t l y  situations.  or  to an account of a e s t h e t i c  examine the  such an account on our  Sibley rejects intuitionism  terms come to be  S i b l e y notes, we  fact  and  applied  taken too  the  in p a r t i c u l a r  have to see that the  "hear" be  that  used to i n d i c a t e  i s g r a c e f u l , and hear that the music i s f r e n z i e d . i s that the words "see"  based  painting  The  danger  literally. 19  ( S i b l e y gives  a c l u e when i n the  There might a f t e r a l l be d e l i c a t e and  seeing  X's  same b r e a t h he  says " n o t i c e " .  a d i f f e r e n c e between seeing  that X i s  d e l i c a c y , e s p e c i a l l y where "X's  Sibley, "Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic," p.  137.  )  delicacy"  12  i s c o n s t r u e d t o i n d i c a t e some s i m p l e or u n a n a l y z a b l e  property  which i n h e r e s i n or i s had by X i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f e x p e r i e n c e . One has t o be a b i t d e l i c a t e about t h e word  "see".  In the f i r s t p l a c e , not every o c c u r r e n c e o f the word " s e e " i s an o c c u r r e n c e  o f a p e r c e p t i o n term.  There i s n o t h i n g  essen-  t i a l l y v i s u a l o r p e r c e p t u a l , f o r i n s t a n c e , about " s e e i n g someone o f f " .  Nor i s t h e r e a n y t h i n g i r r e m e d i a b l y odd about a b l i n d  man's r e c e p t i o n i s t u s h e r i n g you i n w i t h "Mr. Smith w i l l  see you  now." Moreover, even where " s e e i n g " c e n t r a l l y i n v o l v e s t h e eyes, where t h e word "see" i s used t o i n d i c a t e some p e r c e p t u a l event o r a c t i v i t y , t h e r e i s wide v a r i e t y .  In some employments,  the verb " t o s e e " i s a verb o f accomplishment, i n some not.  In  some c a s e s , s a y , i f I've gone t o see a mime p e r f o r m a n c e , s e e i n g i s l i k e watching: sees i n an i n s t a n t .  i t takes time.  I n cases o f o t h e r s o r t s one  E q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t , not a l l seen and s e e a b l e  t h i n g s a r e o f t h e same o r d e r , and t o assume o t h e r w i s e i s t o invite  (bad) j o k e s : Do you see the difference between the p i l l a r and the post? Well, I see the p i l l a r . . . and I see the post. . . but I can't yet see the difference. Maybe i f the p i l l a r and the post were removed from the line of sight. . .  Here, i n s p i t e o f the grammatical  s i m i l a r i t i e s between the  s u b s t a n t i v e " t h e d i f f e r e n c e " and s u b s t a n t i v e s l i k e " t h e p i l l a r " and "the p o s t " , we r e a l i z e the nonsense i n r e g a r d i n g d i f f e r e n c e s  13  as "things  to be  are "to be  seen".  seen" i n the way But  i n which p i l l a r s  n e i t h e r d i f f e r e n c e s nor p i l l a r s  much l i k e simple or unanalyzable p r o p e r t i e s . that we  say we  see  turns  out  posts are  observation  terminology to  f a c u l t y appropriate  to be a f a i r l y e s o t e r i c use.  the very l e a s t , more w i l l have to be  very  begins to look  of p e r c e p t i o n  i n d i c a t e the employment of a p e r c e p t u a l  intuitionist  The  the d e l i c a c y of p a i n t i n g s  somewhat harmless, f o r the use  simple p r o p e r t i e s  and  s a i d to move us  for At  toward  account of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y than that we  apparent p e r c e p t i o n  terminology i n connection with  an use  aesthetic  judgements. Another apparent a t t r a c t i o n of the  intuitionist  of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y i s that i t p r o v i d e s ,  account  or perhaps c o n s t i -  t u t e s , a response to c e r t a i n r e a d i l y o f f e r e d a n t i - c r i t i c a l I think that i n the community of people who about the a r t s and who  engage i n and  are  enthusiastic  s e r i o u s l y read c r i t i c i s m of.  the a r t s , i t i s almost u n i v e r s a l l y agreed that c r i t i c a l course i s , i n some sense, " o b j e c t i v e " . criticism any  i s n e i t h e r systematic  nor  views.  We  dis-  agree that even i f  systematizable,  i t i s at  r a t e an area of endeavor i n which terms l i k e " i n s i g h t " and  20 "acumen" have a r e a l a p p l i c a t i o n . c r i t i c s and  laymen, and we  defer,  We  d i s t i n g u i s h between  i n the main, to the c r i t i c ,  in  Cf. Arnold Isenberg, "Critical Communication," The Philosophical Review, 58 (1949), reprinted i n Aesthetics and Language, ed. William Elton, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1954), at p. 136n.  14  view of h i s acknowledged e x p e r t i s e .  We  say,  i n other words,  that some of us are b e t t e r than others at viewing and works of a r t . it  But,  discussing  as seemingly obvious as t h i s p o s i t i o n i s ,  i s nonetheless q u i t e c o n t r o v e r s i a l , at l e a s t o u t s i d e  community of p r a c t i t i o n e r s and  s e r i o u s readers of a r t  Consequently, i t i s a view thought by  the  criticism.  some to be worthy of  defense. The  a n t i - c r i t i c a l attack  of a r h e t o r i c a l challenge  comes normally i n the  to produce the bases on which a r t -  c r i t i c a l pronouncements are founded, and dures by which a r t - c r i t i c a l This c h a l l e n g e ,  controversies  the  intuitionist  i s to be  and  Naturally  baseless,  the a n t i - c r i t i c w i l l  i f he h i m s e l f  making a e s t h e t i c judgements.  arbitrated.  authority  l a c k s the  of  esteem f o r  vindicated.  account of a e s t h e t i c  t i v i t y provides a s o r t of response to the tion:  might be  or r e j e c t e d , i f our  e n t e r p r i s e of a r t c r i t i c i s m Now,  the d e c i s i o n proce-  which i s meant to undermine the  the c r i t i c , must e i t h e r be met the  form  sensi-  anti-critical  posi-  f i n d c r i t i c i s m obscure requisite faculty for  It i s j u s t t h i s , the  possession  of a e s t h e t i c i n t u i t i o n , a s p e c i a l quasi-sense concerned w i t h simple a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , that d i s t i n g u i s h e s a r t viewer from the the s e n s i t i v e c r i t i c  tasteless pedestrian.  The  the  sensitive  authority  of  r e s t s i n h i s a b i l i t y to grasp, v i a h i s  a e s t h e t i c i n t u i t i o n , the true nature of the work of a r t before  15  him,  to see j u s t what a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s  i t r e a l l y does have.  Suppose we are committed to the view that  aesthetic  judgements are i n some sense " o b j e c t i v e " , and that the d i s t i n c t i o n between the s e n s i t i v e and the i n s e n s i t i v e a e s t h e t i c observer i s worthy and capable of defense. defense;  but the i n t u i t i o n i s t  What i t wants then i s a worthy  defense i s both inadequate and  o v e r l y c o s t l y (as I hope to show s h o r t l y ) . it  i s , we can c a l l  Something  , whatever  i t " a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y " , d i s t i n g u i s h e s the  s e n s i t i v e from the i n s e n s i t i v e a e s t h e t i c observer; i t i s not n e c e s s a r i l y the p o s s e s s i o n  of a s p e c i a l quasi-sense.  Apart from problems w i t h i n t u i t i o n i s m g e n e r a l l y , there  are s p e c i a l problems i n a p p l y i n g  a n a l y s i s to a e s t h e t i c  an i n t u i t i o n i s t * * b a s e d  sensitivity.  Suppose we were to say that seeing delicate  that a p a i n t i n g i s  (or g a r i s h or balanced) i s not so much l i k e  that the house i s r e d , and that h e a r i n g  seeing  that the overture i s  2 u n i f i e d i s not so much l i k e t a s t i n g the sweetness o f the d e s s e r t as they are both l i k e seeing coordinates  that the c o l o r s o f your  don't match, or seeing  f a t h e r resemble each other  wife's  that John and h i s grand-  facially.  Aesthetic  might be an a b i l i t y to see or n o t i c e or t e l l  sensitivity  that c e r t a i n  For the present and for convenience I am taking redness and sweetness as properties in the sense relevant to intuitionism, that i s , as simple properties which inhere in objects independently of experience. But see below pp. 58-61.  16  experience-independent tain objects,  r e l a t i o n a l properties  or complexes o f objects^.  22  ( I ' l l call  " R e l a t i o n a l P r o p e r t i e s " , or RP a c c o u n t ) , r a t h e r t u a l a b i l i t y to p i c k out s i m p l e ones. t a i n advantages after  this  The RP account has  independent  will  judgement  There are a few  people whose d e s c r i p t i o n s and a n a l y s e s o f , s a y , p o l i t i c a l t i o n s are uncanny i n v e r y much the same way i n which the  uncanny.  note  i n which we d i s t i n g u i s h between  the s e n s i t i v e and the i n s e n s i t i v e o b s e r v e r .  t h e t i c judgements  cer-  attractions.  S i t u a t i o n s i n v o l v i n g a r t and a e s t h e t i c  are not the o n l y s i t u a t i o n s  the  than a p e r c e p -  over the i n t u i t i o n i s t one, which I  I note some o f the RP a c c o u n t ' s i)  are had by c e r -  o f the man w i t h a e s t h e t i c  situaaes-  s e n s i t i v i t y are  We r e a d i l y d i s t i n g u i s h i n many areas (not j u s t i n  the a r t s ) between the s e n s i t i v e or p e r c e p t i v e commentator and the i n s e n s i t i v e o b s e r v e r .  O c c a s i o n a l l y we g i v e names to  a b i l i t i e s and shortcomings o f the s e n s i t i v e and the observer r e s p e c t i v e l y .  "Taste"  o n l y one such example.  There i s , f o r i n s t a n c e ,  cannot c a r r y a t u n e : "tone-deafness".  the  insensitive  (as S i b l e y uses the term)  is  the f e l l o w who  h i s shortcoming i s c a l l e d a " t i n - e a r "  There are o t h e r s who, l i s t e n i n g b r i e f l y  or  while  Again for expository convenience I am taking color harmony, color dischord, and f a c i a l resemblance to be a l i k e , r e l a t i o n a l , and experience-independent. But see below pp. 58-61.  17  one  is  tuning  and whether tive  up,  it  pitch".  pitch  has,  sists  in  is  but  can  of  they  relational  just  the  don't  match  depends  your  of  sensitivity  (if  in  wife's  fact  consists  in  something  ii) seems  viding  a  of  the  would the  the  between  ability  objects.  to  take  that  of  the  of  the  virtue  your  aesthetic  properties,  outfit property other  types  properties also  but  add  of  it  does  aesthetic as  aesthetic  is  far  account,  alleged  as  the  prois  challenge  sensitivity to  constitute  challenger,  relational  sensi-  relativism  aesthetic  and h i s  discern certain  sounds,  view.  critic's  critic  of  sensitivity  intuitionism,  what  certain  perceive  wife's  a n d many  con-  relative  to  relational  intuitionist  of  of  relational  these  that  lacks,  with  able  "rela-  relative  combinations  RP a c c o u n t  with  the  the  being  tune,  their  properties  certain  anti-critical  against in  a  of  pitch  people  certain  relational  as w i t h  disallowed  distinction  case, by  Here,  an  of  perceiving  proof  on a p a r  anti-critic be  not  say,  colors  we  in  addition,  response to  concerned.  the  out  someone w i t h  relative  to  of  plausibility  be  that  virtue  That  Is  In to  is  is  demonstrating  relational  upon s e e i n g  perceiving the  in  that  consist  we do)  to  tivity  do  outfit. to  That  properties  judgement  of  ability  or  string  thus  someone w i t h o u t  sounds.  do w h a t  which  flat,  intervals,  certain as  just  or  special  that  hearing  tell  sharp  The  combinations pitch  can  in  properties  this had  18  In tionist  what  phenomenon of  the  of  works  of  art  One  of  of  in  It art  is in  other  and  just  capture  again  one  for  all  zeroes  that  of  , but  and  so o n .  Thus  on the  other,  a point  aesthetic  one's in  having  which  aesthetic  one  one  to  hand,  of  can  the  intui-  If  music,  he  painting.  He  the  an  simple  not  as  it  that  for  dance.  account  of  properties one  all  when  judgements  about  and where  works  is  given  artistic  only  and to  areas,  pain-  delicate  delicate  sculpture,  d i s a n a l o g y between  aesthetic  sensi-  for  vision  the  It  as  about  subtlety,  the  known  observer  razor-sharp a  of  on  well  appreciation  thick  on t h o s e  find,  is  example, to  an  color  intuitionist  difficult  intermittant  easily,  sensitivity.  to  damaging  sensitivity:  be  abound i n  delicate  and  is  or  to  and  quite  unfortunate  depends  the  sensitive  hit-and-miss  expect  a point  uneven  a  miss  speak)  perception,  verse,  which  to  is  which  can  delicate  tivity  (so  properties  one  never  unerringly  rather  aesthetic  where  tings  in  be  a  is,  do w i t h  criticism  s h o u l d be  might  observation  aesthetic  in  to  A person might  spirit  sensitivity  faculty  area  he  aesthetic  of  preferable  a commonplace t h a t  areas.  the  This  that  account  expertise  paintings;  time  expect  this  c o n s i d e r a t i o n has  uneven  arts.  to  might  is  one? i)  comes  ways  above,  color have  a person can  to  uneven see  account  imagine  vision  the  in  or  on  some-  the  way  intermittant  redness  of  19  blood, miss But  he  the in  is  not  likely  redness  order  of  art,  of  aesthetic  to  while  of  (under  sunsets  accomodate  yet  holding  or  faculties  sorts  properties  that  the  case  of  and  larly  odd  the  in  saying  insensitive in  in  discerning  person and  bad  might at  thetically from  give  may  easily  or  be  uneven  area  prominence  good at  to  This  artistic be  the  spatial  of  have  to  the  individual  caps. works  account begin  to  various importance  properties, properties;  surrealist-^aesthetic  would  is  be  nothing  sensitive  properties  relational  may n o t  on  aesthetic  expertise,  to  would  correspond to  there  where  others.  observers  to  properties,  a n d s o o n ad i n d e f i n i t u m .  someone  relational  relevant  artistic  (which  another,  seeing  phenomenon o f  hand,  that  baseball  drama-aesthetic  properties,  other  or  painting-aesthetic  properties,  On  conditions)  intuitionist-rbased  take  properties,  cubist-aesthetic  baroque-aesthetic  to  would  aesthetics:  sculpture-aesthetic  an  about  a philosopher  perceptual  in  facts  onto  sensitivity,  viewing  fire-engines  the  multiply of  normal  in  seeing  complex certain even  if  c o u l d be  properties area.  case):  To  but  consists A  relationships  help  to  explain  shown  vary take  area  objects.  that  the aes-  significantly a  suppose the  relations,  one  sensitivity  could it  in  particu-  and m u s i c  simple plastic to  example arts  temporal  ones. The  first  difficulty  with  intuitionism  in  connection  20  with aesthetics, a d i f f i c u l t y that  avoided by  the RP  account, i s  i t leads to an unwarranted p r o l i f e r a t i o n of  perceptual  faculties. ii) t h e t i c s has The  A second d i f f i c u l t y w i t h i n t u i t i o n i s m i n aes-  to do with the simplicity  of the a l l e g e d  properties.  p r a c t i c e of a r t c r i t i c i s m would seem to support the  that,  i f there are a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s ,  t i v e l y complex, and Intuitionism  they must be  they must c e r t a i n l y be  thesis  rela-  capable of  analysis.  i n a e s t h e t i c s would, i n s h o r t , make much of  p r a c t i c e of a r t c r i t i c s and  viewers  the  unintelligible.  There i s , f o r example, a h i g h - s t r u n g h u s t l e  and  bustle,  a n e a r - f r e n z y about c e r t a i n of Mondrian's  or say,  some of A l b e r t Ammons' boogie woogie piano s o l o ' s ,  say,  a c e r t a i n reading of the  Clavier.  a c t i v i t y of c r i t i c s  a r t i c u l a t i o n , or the  these.  Prelude i n  But there is in each case much more to be  deal of the the  first  A critic  He p o i n t s  said.  A  or  Tempered great  unpacking,  of o b s e r v a t i o n s j u s t  like  draws a t t e n t i o n to s p e c i f i c areas of a canvas.  out v a r i o u s  attention  from f e a t u r e  nizes  inherent  passages i n the music, a r e c u r r i n g A critic  to f e a t u r e .  This  d i r e c t s or guides  sophistication  judgements which would be  rhythm, our  a c t i v i t y , which recog-  complexity of a e s t h e t i c  to i n d i c a t e a degree of aesthetic  The Well  i s given over to the  analysis  a motif here, a phrase there,  the  paintings,  objects,  and  seems a l s o  complexity about  incommensurable with  an  21  i n t u i t i o n i s t - b a s e d account of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y . more s t r o n g l y  suggestive of the RP  Though the RP  It i s  account.  account of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y  some ways an improvement over i n t u i t i o n i s m , i t i s not  is in  a very  i l l u m i n a t i n g view e i t h e r . i)  First,  there  a e s t h e t i c from n o n a e s t h e t i c  i s the matter of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g s e n s i t i v i t i e s , the matter of  at what i s d i s t i n c t i v e about a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y . many nonaesthetic (The  judgements r e q u i r e  cat i s on the mat.  The  the p e r c e p t i o n  piano i s out  from the n o n a e s t h e t i c , sensitivity;  and  the  t u r n out  f a s t c r i t e r i a can be  t i o n s , even i f t r u e , represents  stated.  no  great  toward a d e f i n i t i v e account of a e s t h e t i c A second, and  account.  But  seeing  i n each case, and  case,  rela-  distinction,  or  sensitivity.  that  of  the  i t shares w i t h  I said that, i n providing  to a c e r t a i n a n t i - c r i t i c a l c h a l l e n g e ,  one  In any  more important, l i a b i l i t y  account o f a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y i s one  attractions.  aes-  advance e i t h e r toward  a c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the a e s t h e t i c / n o n a e s t h e t i c  the i n t u i t i o n i s t  be  aesthetic  that the  saying merely that a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y i n v o l v e s  RP  may  It  d i s t i n c t i o n i s a phantom, or at l e a s t  f o r which no hard and  ii)  of r e l a t i o n s ,  so, d e r i v a t i v e l y , to i s o l a t e a e s t h e t i c  on the other hand, i t may  thetic/nonaesthetic  Certainly  of tune.).  p o s s i b l e to d i s t i n g u i s h i n some independent way  getting  both views had  a response apparent  f o r s i m i l a r reasons,  the  22  response  i s o f a very u n a t t r a c t i v e s o r t .  response  i s both i n c o n c l u s i v e and n e e d l e s s l y a r b i t r a r y .  t h i s i s because i n each case the response confused and s u p e r f i c i a l .  Both accounts  In each case, the And  i s at once deeply respond  to the a n t i -  c r i t i c by p o s i t i n g a s p e c i a l range o f experience-independent •properties  and corresponding modes o f access to them.  But to  respond so i s to confuse l e g i t i m a t e e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l questions with q u e s t i o n a b l e o n t o l o g i c a l ones. product o f of  T h i s c o n f u s i o n i s the  (and e q u a l l y the support o f ) a s u p e r f i c i a l r e a d i n g  the a n t i - c r i t i c a l c h a l l e n g e , amounting to the r e f u s a l to  take s e r i o u s l y the a n t i - c r i t i c ' s  l e g i t i m a t e and  fundamental  demand f o r a d i s p l a y of c r i t i c a l  d e c i s i o n procedures.  Of  course, the a n t i - c r i t i c a l c h a l l e n g e i s q u i t e o f t e n c o n f u s e d l y put i n such a way as to obscure  i t s legitimate epistemological  m o t i v a t i o n s and i n v i t e i n s t e a d the t a k i n g of dogmatic ontol o g i c a l stands.  Responses o f the i n t u i t i o n i s t  w h i l e confused, nonetheless  and RP s o r t a r e ,  understandable.  But the confused and m i s l e a d i n g form i n which the anti-critical  c h a l l e n g e o f t e n appears  i s no more grounds f o r  the r e j e c t i o n o f the c h a l l e n g e than i t i s f o r an o n t o l o g i c a l response  to i t .  Rather, the a n t i - c r i t i c ' s c h a l l e n g e ought to  be accepted, taken s e r i o u s l y , understood, met.  This i s what I attempt  only through the attempt  and then, i f p o s s i b l e ,  beginning i n Chapter  III.  to take a e s t h e t i c r e l a t i v i s m  It i s seriously  and to expose the husks o f c o n f u s i o n that surround i t f o r what  23  they are, that  I hope to make my doubts about the two above  accounts of a e s t h e t i c  sensitivity  any c l e a r e r .  24  CHAPTER  An  i n t e r e s t i n g suggestion,  r e c e i v e d i t s due understood  IJ  and one  that has  not yet  a t t e n t i o n , i s that a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y  be  as a k i n d of a s p e c t - p e r c e p t i o n , a k i n d of "seeing-  23 as".  S e n s i t i v e a t t e n t i o n to the phenomena of  t i o n and  aspect-change may deepen our understanding  t h e t i c judgements, a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y , and phenomena. may  aspect-percep-  I will  first  of  aes-  their  surrounding  i n d i c a t e where I t h i n k one  philosopher  have been too quick to dismiss a s p e c t - p e r c e p t i o n  d i s c u s s i o n of a e s t h e t i c concepts.  Despite  this,  I'm  from the convinced  t h a t a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y i s not a k i n d or v a r i e t y of aspectperception.  I s h a l l continue  the analogy  to i n d i c a t e then a p o i n t at which  between a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y and  aspect-perception  r e a l l y does break down. Peter Kivy, i n an attempt to scotch an analogy  be-  ... , 24 tween a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y and a s p e c t - p e r c e p t i o n , tries  to  " See V i r g i l C. Aldrich, Philosophy of Art, (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1963), esp. pp. 20-ff.; David Micheal Levin, "More Aspects to the Concept of 'Aesthetic Aspects'," The Journal of Philosophy, 65 (August, 1968), 483-489; K. Mitchells, "Aesthetic Perception and Aesthetic Qualities," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 67 (1966-1967), 53-72; B.R. Ti]ghman, The Expression of Emotion in the Visual Arts: A Philosophical Inquiry, (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1970), p.77. J  Peter Kivy, "Aesthetic Aspects and Aesthetic Qualities," The Journal of Philosophy, 65 (February, 1968), 85-93. 2 4  25  seperate  the two j u s t at the p o i n t where a e s t h e t i c judgements  have been s a i d to be grounded i n the n o n a e s t h e t i c things.  He notes  must underpin  a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d o f support  every  features of  that he claims  instance of aspect-perception,  he f i n d s c o n s p i c u o u s l y  l a c k i n g i n many cases  but which  of aesthetic 25  judgement.  He r e c a l l s the duck-rabbit  of W i t t g e n s t e i n .  How might I go about "revealing" the rabbit aspect of the figure? Well, I would doubtless point to some crucial feature, (say) the two long protrusions on the l e f t . . . The duck-rabbit can be seen as a duck because (in part) the long protrusions can be seen as a duck b i l l . It can be seen as a rabbit because (in part) they can be seen as rabbit ears^g while on the other hand, we are often at a complete loss to say just what i t is that does constitute the unity of a particular (eg.) musical composition.^7 David Micheal justification  L e v i n , i n h i s r e p l y to Kivy, t a l k s about the  of (aspectr) p e r c e p t u a l c l a i m s , by r e f e r e n c e to 28  these c r u c i a l  features.  But t a l k o f " j u s t i f i c a t i o n " i n a  s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d sense would seem to imply seeing the p r o t r u s i o n s as a duck's b i l l  i n t h i s case  can be done  that  indepen-  25 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, G.E.M. Anscombe, (N.Y.: Macmillan, 1953), pp. 193-rff.  trans.  26 Kivy, "Aesthetic Aspects and Aesthetic Qualities", p. 90. 28 Ibid. Levin, "More Aspects to the Concept of 'Aesthetic Aspects'," p. 484.  26  d e n t l y o f s e e i n g the f i g u r e as a duck, not j u s t i n p r i n c i p l e , 29 but i n f a c t . T h i s seems to me u n l i k e l y . so t o K i v y as w e l l . )  (Perhaps i t would seem  Can you see the p r o t r u s i o n s as a duck's  b i l l w h i l e s e e i n g the f i g u r e as a r a b b i t ? r a b b i t w i t h a duck's b i l l Consider  attached  to the back o f i t s head?  t h e phenomenon o f aspect-change.  an aspect  -  what i s t h i s l i k e ?  . . . and . . . suddenly I succeed. i n s t a n t the duck aspect dawns on me. immediately  i t i s the b i l l  The "dawning" o f  Suppose I am t o l d , " T r y t o  see these p r o t r u s i o n s as a duck's b i l l " .  and  Do you see i t as a  So I t r y v e r y hard  But i n the v e r y  same  I see the duck's b i l l ,  o f a duck5!:  That i s the dawning;  or i t might be, f o r s e e i n g the p r o t r u s i o n s as a duck's i s no l e s s an achievement than s e e i n g the d u c k - r a b b i t duck.  bill as a  And s i n c e , i n a c t u a l p r a c t i c e , s e e i n g the p r o t r u s i o n s  as a duck's b i l l n o r m a l l y  i n v o l v e s and i s i n s e p e r a b l e  from  s e e i n g the f i g u r e as a duck, one's success i n g e t t i n g someone to see the p r o t r u s i o n s as a duck's b i l l  t u r n s the t r i c k , one  j u s t gets him t o see t h e duck. It  s h o u l d be s t r e s s e d too t h a t p o i n t i n g t o c r u c i a l  f e a t u r e s and s a y i n g , " T r y t o see these as . . . " i s o n l y one way of" " r e v e a l : i n g " an,aspect.  There a r e o t h e r means q u i t e  See eg. Micheal Scriven, Primary 1966), p. 57.  Philosophy,  (N.Y. :McGraw-Hill,  27  w e l l s u i t e d to the same aims. t h i s way",  or "Turn your head so".  out the p e r l o c u t i o n a r y nature to  get you  I might say,  This should help to b r i n g  of the d e s i r e d e f f e c t :  to see the duck aspect  number o f ways.  "Turn the f i g u r e  -  I want  I can go about i t any  In s t r e s s i n g that there are many ways to  help someone achieve  an aspect-change, I am  i n no way  chal-  l e n g i n g the c e n t r a l i t y of p o i n t i n g out c r u c i a l f e a t u r e s to the n o t i o n of a s p e c t - p e r c e p t i o n .  For a f i g u r e to have  aspects,  i t must have f e a t u r e s which are themselves ambiguous, f e a t u r e s which are t h e r e f o r e c r u c i a l and  to the n o t i c i n g of the  aspects,  can be employed i n an attempt to " r e v e a l " an aspect.  the n e c e s s i t y of there being  these  ambiguous c r u c i a l  only emphasises the intimacy w i t h which seeing the as a duck's b i l l  and  But  features  protrusions  seeing the f i g u r e as a duck are bound up  with each other. If one  seeing the p r o t r u s i o n s as a duck's b i l l  of those  things that comprises seeing the f i g u r e as a  duck, or that seeing the duck aspect out and  i s just  i n t e r p r e t i n g of c r u c i a l  c o n s i s t s i n , the p o i n t i n g  f e a t u r e s of the f i g u r e  perhaps be understood as a p a r t i a l a r t i c u l a t i o n or  may  clarifi-  c a t i o n of what i t i s to see one  of the f i g u r e ' s aspects.  Furthermore, t h i s might provide  a c l u e to the s i t u a t i o n i n  aesthetics. What keeps Kivy from seeing t h i s as a p o s s i b i l i t y ,  28  (and  i t is t h a t ) , i s h i s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h what i s i n f a c t  an e n t i r e l y g r a t u i t o u s Kivy  observes that we  someone to see art.  But  f e a t u r e of some a e s t h e t i c encounters.  are o f t e n at a l o s s as to how  the u n i t y or d e l i c a c y or frenzy  i n a work of  he b e l i e v e s that t h i s d i s c l o s e s an important  d i s t i n c t i o n between a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y and tion.  to d i r e c t  It i s true enough that we  logical  aspect-percep-  are o f t e n stymied when c h a l -  lenged to " j u s t i f y " or " e x p l a i n " a p a r t i c u l a r a e s t h e t i c judgement we t u r n out  have made.  The  u n i t y or grace may  to be opaque or i n e f f a b l e f o r us.  from t h i s , as Kivy must i f he  relatively We  often  needn't assume  i s to d r i v e h i s wedge, that  are stymied f o r good and proper, or f o r good reason. is  prepared to t o l e r a t e i n e f f a b i l i t y  indeed to regard  in aesthetics;  Kivy he seems  i t as a sometimes inexpurgable f e a t u r e  some a e s t h e t i c s i t u a t i o n s .  But  f a c t that "support f o r " or the judgement i n nonaesthetic give that the request not always l e g i t i m a t e .  i t doesn't f o l l o w from "explanation  o f " an  we  of the  aesthetic  terms i s i n some cases d i f f i c u l t  f o r such "support" or " e x p l a n a t i o n " Kivy might  have noted that we  to is  are  s i m i l a r l y stymied sometimes when asked to p i n p o i n t c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s , say, between f a c e s .  30  Whatever  difficulties  See E.H. Gombrich, "The Mask and the Face': The Perception of Physiognomic Likeness in Life and in Art," in Art, Perception, and Reality, by E.H. Gombrich, Julian Hochberg, and Max Black (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972), pp. 1-46.  29  we may e x p e r i e n c e , i s nothing  i t c e r t a i n l y doesn't f o l l o w t h a t  there  that a given s i m i l a r i t y c o n s i s t s i n . Moreover, a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s a r e , so i t i s s a i d ,  "emergent".  That i s , t h e l o g i c o f a e s t h e t i c concepts i s  d i s t i n c t from t h a t o f , s a y , " c o v e r e d " or "autographed", i n the f o l l o w i n g way:  two photographs may s e n s i b l y be s a i d t o  be i d e n t i c a l save t h a t the one i s autographed and the o t h e r not.  Two c h a i r s may s e n s i b l y be s a i d t o be i d e n t i c a l save  t h a t the one i s covered and the o t h e r n o t .  But i t never  makes sense t o say o f two t h i n g s t h a t they are i d e n t i c a l save the one's b e i n g g r a c e f u l , o r d a i n t y , or b a l a n c e d , or dumpy, o r . . . and the o t h e r ' s  not.  I f two o b j e c t s can  be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d a e s t h e t i c a l l y , then they must be d i f f e r e n t i a b l e i n o t h e r ways as w e l l , and s o , where r e q u e s t s f o r " s u p p o r t " or " e x p l a n a t i o n s "  amount t o r e q u e s t s  a e s t h e t i c d i f f e r e n c e s be p o i n t e d  t h a t non-  o u t , such r e q u e s t s are 31  always and o f n e c e s s i t y s e n s i b l e .  So, i f t h e t h e s i s t h a t  a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s are emergent i s c o r r e c t , K i v y seems n o t j u s t premature i n s u g g e s t i n g (sometimes) " u n s u p p o r t a b l e " ;  t h a t a e s t h e t i c judgements are he seems wrong.  Sibley, "Aesthetic Concepts," p. 66; Also see Micheal Tanner, "Objectivity and Aesthetics," Proceedings of the Aristotelian  Society,  Supplement,  42 (1968), p. 61; Cf* R.M. Hare, The Language  of  Morals, (London: Oxford University Press, 1952), p. 81, on the logic of "good"; but see also Gary M. Stahl, "Sibley's 'Aesthetic Concepts': an Ontological Mistake," The Journal  29 (Spring, 1971), 385 -389.  of Aesthetics  and Art  Criticism,  30  W i t h these remarks i n v i e w , and a l s o i n view o f t h e i n t i m a c y w i t h which the p o i n t i n g out o f c r u c i a l  ambiguous  features of a f i g u r e i s r e l a t e d to the a c t u a l n o t i c i n g of i t s a s p e c t s , we may t e n t a t i v e l y e x p l o r e the p o s s i b i l i t y o f an analogy between a s p e c t - p e r c e p t i o n and a e s t h e t i c judgement further.  L e t us examine two p a r t i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s t h a t come  under t h e heading " a r t c r i t i c i s m " and see how c l o s e l y are  related.  judgements.  they  One such a c t i v i t y i s t h e making o f a e s t h e t i c Suppose an a r t c r i t i c has judged t h a t a work  of a r t i s u n i f i e d and t i g h t l y - k n i t . mono-thematic  Now he r e f e r s t o t h e  s t r u c t u r e o f t h e work, enumerating r e c u r r e n c e s  of some i m p o r t a n t element, and t e l l i n g how t h a t t h e m a t i c element i s r e i n f o r c e d i n v a r i o u s ways a t v a r i o u s p o i n t s i n the  work.  T h i s l a t t e r a c t i v i t y i s supposed t o have some  b e a r i n g on b r r e l a t i o n  t o the o r i g i n a l  a e s t h e t i c judgement  t h a t the work o f a r t i s u n i f i e d and t i g h t l y - k n i t . how t h i s l a t t e r a c t i v i t y stands t o the o r i g i n a l  But j u s t  judgement  i s not so easy t o say. We are prone, p e r h a p s , t o view these two a c t i v i t i e s and t h e r e l a t i o n s between them from the s t a n d p o i n t o f the a r t e n t h u s i a s t and r e a d e r o f a r t c r i t i c i s m .  Our u n d e r s t a n d i n g  of what t h e c r i t i c i s d o i n g here i s l i k e l y , t h e r e f o r e , t o v a r y as our i n t e r e s t s and concerns as a e s t h e t i c v i e w e r s and r e a d e r s o f c r i t i c i s m change, which they f r e q u e n t l y do. are  some n o t uncommon s i t u a t i o n s :  Here  31  i)  I have read the o r i g i n a l  with i t . That  the work i s u n i f i e d and  what I would have s a i d . it  But  p o i n t s out the v a r i o u s passages, structure.  Now  I agree  tightly-knit  i s just  I do not yet understand  i s about the work that accounts  thematic  judgement.  for this.  The  what  critic  making c l e a r the mono-  I understand  better;  he has  "ex-  p l a i n e d " the judgement. ii) fathom i t .  I have read the o r i g i n a l judgement. I t would never have occurred to me  work u n i f i e d .  The  I can't  to c a l l  c r i t i c p o i n t s out the v a r i o u s  passages,  making c l e a r the mono-thematic s t r u c t u r e , and now (that the work i s u n i f i e d ) .  iii)  I see i t  Here we might regard the  a c t i v i t y as more " i n s t r u c t i v e " than  "A mistake!"  critic's  "explanatory".  I have read the o r i g i n a l judgement.  disagreement w i t h i t .  the  I say.  I am  I am i n s t r u c k not  by any u n i t y i n the work, but by i t s d i v e r s i t y or v a r i e t y , or perhaps by c o n f u s i o n and chaos. out the v a r i o u s passages,  and so on.  Now  the c r i t i c p o i n t s  Here, s i n c e the  original  judgement i s c h a l l e n g e d , we might regard the c r i t i c ' s  activity  as an a n t i c i p a t o r y response argumentative  to a p o s s i b l e c h a l l e n g e , or as  b u t t r e s s f o r the o r i g i n a l  say that the c r i t i c  judgement.  We  i s " s u p p o r t i n g " or "defending" h i s  an  might judge-  32 ment.  This ties i n with the view that aesthetic judgements are  32  T h i s i s one way t o approach t h e q u e s t i o n a t hand. A c c o r d i n g l y i t might be s a i d t h a t the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the a e s t h e t i c judgement and what the c r i t i c says f o l l o w i n g i t are not one b u t s e v e r a l , t h a t t h e r e a r e s e v e r a l c r i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s , perhaps going on s i m u l t a n e o u s l y , and t h a t  these  are t o be d i s t i n g u i s h e d by r e f e r e n c e t o what t h e c r i t i c i s a b l e t o o r can hope t o a c c o m p l i s h  i n h i s r e a d e r s , g i v e n the  p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t s and concerns o f h i s r e a d e r s . have s t i l l not s a i d what t h e c r i t i c i s doing;  But we  we have o n l y  s a i d what some o f t h e v a r i o u s t h i n g s a r e t h a t he can hope to a c h i e v e by doing i t .  I t i s important  t o see t h a t , w i t h  r e s p e c t t o these v a r i o u s ends, t h e r e a r e numerous means a v a i l a b l e to the c r i t i c .  Art criticism i s notoriously 33  f l e x i b l e i n t h i s regard. a parallel flexibility  Here we s h o u l d be reminded o f  about " r e v e a l i n g " a s p e c t s o f t r i c k  figures.  claims; claims are of the sort of thing that one sup-ports. But support for claims comes normally i n the form of further (in this case nonaesthetic) claims which, i f true, make the controversial claim certain, or probable, or a good bet. Sibley argues that this kind of support i s not available for aesthetic judgements. Accordingly, he cautions that should we choose to use "support" for what the c r i t i c does i n these situations, we should take care not to construe "support" i n the normal way, ("Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic," p. 143). Nevertheless, i t does not follow from this that aesthetic judgements are not claims, or that support, i n some perfectly acceptable sense of "support", for them i s not available. See Chapters I I I and TV, below. 3 3  Cf. Sibley, "Aesthetic and Nonaesthetic," pp. 142-143.  33  In a d d i t i o n , by a p p r o a c h i n g the q u e s t i o n a t hand from the s t a n d p o i n t o f t h e r e a d e r o f c r i t i c i s m , we o v e r l o o k one v e r y i m p o r t a n t i t e m  -  perhaps  the e f f e c t t h a t the  a c t i v i t y o f p o i n t i n g out c r u c i a l f e a t u r e s o f t e n has upon the  agent,  ( i n t h i s case the c r i t i c ) .  The c r i t i c , i n  c i t i n g and documenting t h e monothematic s t r u c t u r e o f a work of a r t , though he may seek by t h i s a c t i v i t y t o e n l i g h t e n o r persuade  h i s r e a d e r s , o r deepen t h e i r u n d e r s t a n d i n g and  a p p r e c i a t i o n s w i t h r e s p e c t t o a p a r t i c u l a r a e s t h e t i c judgement, can d i s c o v e r t h i n g s h i m s e l f , and deepen h i s own u n d e r s t a n d i n g . I t i s t e m p t i n g t h e r e f o r e t o see the c r i t i c ' s a c t i v i t y i n p a r t at  l e a s t as the s p e l l i n g - o u t o f an a e s t h e t i c judgement, o f  a r t i c u l a t i n g i t , an a c t i v i t y i n which he e x p l o r e s the judgement and makes i t e x p l i c i t One i s reminded  (as f a r as he can) i n d e t a i l .  o f t h e p o p u l a r and m i s g u i d e d com-  p l a i n t against c r i t i c s that i n t h e i r zeal to analyze of " d i s s e c t " a work o f a r t , they succeed o n l y i n r u i n i n g something of the experience of i t . ^  4  But as a r u l e , the c r i t i c  r u i n s n o t h i n g i n g u i d i n g the v i e w e r ' s a t t e n t i o n (and h i s own) from i m p o r t a n t f e a t u r e t o i m p o r t a n t f e a t u r e .  On t h e c o n t r a r y ,  t h e a p p r e c i a t i o n o f a work o f a r t i s by and l a r g e enhanced, both f o r the c r i t i c and h i s r e a d e r , by j u s t the s o r t o f  Cf. James K. Feibleman, Aesthetics, Pearce, 1949), p. 202.  (N.Y.: Duell, Sloan and  34  " d i s s e c t i o n " that f i g u r e s i n t h i s a n t i - i n t e l l e c t u a l plaint.  Often  the a e s t h e t i c judgement, say, that the work  of a r t i s u n i f i e d , i s i t s e f f r i c h e d i n process of patterns  com-  sharpened, deepened, and en-  of i t s a r t i c u l a t i o n , by the s p e c i f i c a t i o n  o f s t r e s s or emphasis i n c r i t i c a l  attention,  and by the pursuant d i s c o v e r y o f c r u c i a l f e a t u r e s and f u r t h e r crucial  features. At the same time, the a e s t h e t i c judgement  c o n t r i b u t e s to the d i r e c t i o n of c r i t i c a l to determine the p a t t e r n of focus. vious  itself  a t t e n t i o n and helps  This i s e s p e c i a l l y ob-  i n the case o f judgements i n v o l v i n g such terms as  "balanced", "unbalanced", "coherent", " d i f f u s e " , and " u n i f i e d " . And  again,  i f t h i s seems mysterious or p a r a d o x i c a l , i t i s at  l e a s t no more so than i s the case o f the d u c k - r a b b i t , n o t i c i n g the r a b b i t aspect sists  ( i n p a r t ) in seeing  both brings  as prominent  into  prominence,  an otherwise  where  and  con-  insignificant  spot on the back o f the duck's head. Whatever the s t r e n g t h and i n s t r u c t i v e n e s s o f the seeing-as  analogy i n t h i s regard,  see where the analogy f a i l s . of disanalogy  i t i s e q u a l l y important to  I want now to expose a p o i n t  between matters of a e s t h e t i c judgement and  matters of a s p e c t - p e r c e p t i o n of aspect-change. can s t i l l , with  by c o n s i d e r i n g the phenomenon  I now see the f i g u r e as a duck.  a l i t t l e e f f o r t , see the r a b b i t .  But I I can look  35  for  the o t h e r r e a d i n g .  reading to look f o r .  Most i m p o r t a n t , t h e r e i s another I will  suggest t h a t t h i s i s not always  so w i t h a e s t h e t i c judgements. Let us note two i m p o r t a n t f e a t u r e s o f the duckrabbit  case: i)  There i s an  r e a d i n g s o f the f i g u r e .  exclusive The  disjunction  of a l t e r n a t i v e  f i g u r e can be seen e i t h e r as  a duck or as a r a b b i t , but not b o t h . both a s p e c t s i s an i m p o s s i b i l i t y .  Simultaneous  of  To r e c o g n i z e a f i g u r e as  a d u c k - r a b b i t i s , o f c o u r s e , not to grasp both duck r a b b i t a s p e c t s i n an i n s t a n t ;  grasp  and  i t i s r a t h e r to r e c o g n i z e  t h a t i t i s t r u e of t h a t f i g u r e t h a t i t can be seen e i t h e r as a duck or as a r a b b i t , but not ii)  Each d i s j u n c t persists.  both. That i s , n e i t h e r the  duck nor the r a b b i t i s i n any immediate or s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d way  p r e f e r a b l e to the o t h e r as a r e a d i n g of the f i g u r e .  to put i t another way,  Or,  one can go from duck to r a b b i t w i t h  equal ease as from r a b b i t to duck. Now  t h e r e may  be cases from time to time i n a r t  c r i t i c i s m where both of the above f e a t u r e s appear to be present.  For i n s t a n c e , t h e r e may  be cases where a p l u r a l i t y  of a l t e r n a t i v e a e s t h e t i c judgements o f a g i v e n work o f a r t are e q u a l l y f i t t i n g , each " s u p p o r t a b l e " by the for  each of a p a r t i c u l a r p a t t e r n of c r i t i c a l  specification  attention, a  36  p a r t i c u l a r p a t t e r n of stresses and emphases on n o n a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s which seem to emerge f o r each as c r u c i a l .  Thus we  get the i n t e r e s t i n g s o r t o f d i s p u t e which can sometimes occur between r e c o g n i z e d c r i t i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s , where each can see what i t i s the o t h e r i s t a l k i n g about, where each can understand  or " a p p r e c i a t e " the o t h e r ' s a e s t h e t i c "per-  s p e c t i v e " , and where each " a e s t h e t i c r e a d i n g " seems to per. 35 sist. +  But t h i s i s not always so, and  i t i s due,  I suggest,  when i t does o c c u r , to a p e c u l i a r i t y you have sometimes  with  works o f a r t , j u s t as you have i t sometimes  drawings:  a s o r t of i n - b u i l t a m b i g u i t y .  with line  That o c c a s i o n a l l y we have a  s i t u a t i o n i n a r t c r i t i c i s m such as the above i s not the manif e s t a t i o n of some p a r t of the n a t u r e o f a e s t h e t i c i t i s not an element of their t r u e even i f a l l the  objects  logic.  T h i s might e a s i l y  be  of a e s t h e t i c judgement were  s y s t e m a t i c a l l y ambiguous, but anyway t h e y ' r e n o t . f i g u r e s ,have a s p e c t s :  judgements',  the d u c k - r a b b i t does; the  Some figure  below does,  And yet there i s even a difference here. Each of the disputing c r i t i c s can grasp the other's c r i t i c a l position without having to abandon his own. But i n order to see the duck, you have to give up the rabbit.  37  but  some do not.  Likewise,  some o b j e c t s of a e s t h e t i c judge-  ment, some works of a r t , f o r i n s t a n c e , w i l l  support  c r i t i c a l disagreement of the above s o r t , and to have " a e s t h e t i c a s p e c t s " , but many w i l l Then too, there a r t - r e l a t e d experience  be s a i d  not.  seem to be f e a t u r e s of some of that make a seeing-as  a e s t h e t i c judgement awkward. see  so may  art-  our  a n a l y s i s of  Suppose someone has  that a p a r t i c u l a r work of a r t i s u n i f i e d and  come to tightly-  k n i t , where he had p r e v i o u s l y judged i t to be d i f f u s e and chaotic. one  Kivy d i s c u s s e s  a h y p o t h e t i c a l case i n which some-  l i s t e n i n g to Weber's  Invitation  to the Dance  is told  [T]his is not merely a string of waltzes. It is a rondo in which one of the waltzes recurs, setting up a pattern of repitition. . . Further, the work i s introduced by a seemingly diffuse section, which however, has a definite program. . . And i t ends with a coda, also programatic, which utilizes the same thematic material as the introduction. upon which he comes to see t h a t the p i e c e many cases of t h i s s o r t there f o r the previous  reading.  sense of progress,  i s no t u r n i n g back, no  looking  enrichment, or improvement, which d e r i v e s  From the new  the a c q u i s i t i o n of  vantage p o i n t one  Peter Kivy, Speaking 1973), p. 90.  In  There i s about such a change a  from the attainment of a p l a t e a u , and hindsight.  is unified.  sees t h a t h i s  of Art, (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff,  38  former p o s i t i o n no tion.  longer  l i v e s as a s e r i o u s l y tenable  So, where aspect-change i s e s s e n t i a l l y and  s a r i l y r e v e r s i b l e , many cases of s h i f t s with a e s t h e t i c judgement are one-;directional and and  hence  neces-r  respect  to  irreversible,  "progressive".  Harold  Osborne makes a s i m i l a r - s o u n d i n g p o i n t  c e r n i n g what he claims ciation  op-  con^  as an e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e of a r t appre-  generally: When we look at an ambiguous drawing which may be seen either as a duck or a rabbit, both perceptual objects are at the same level of complexity. . . Neither object is a development or enrichment of the other and the process is reversible. In appreciation, on the contrary, the aes-r thetic object which is actualized is an object of a different category. It w i l l be better articulated, more fully determinate and more unified than that which preceeded i t . . . And the process is irreversible; once the aesthetic object is actualized there is no switching back. It  i s i n v i r t u e o f t h i s sense of progress  t h i s sense of " p r o g r e s s " , s o p h i s t i c a t e d and ful  and  that we  the n a i v e ,  d i s t i n g u i s h between the  as w e l l as between the  the misguided, i n c r i t i c i s m .  of progress  ( i . e . not  insight-  In a d d i t i o n , the  about a e s t h e t i c judgements h i n t s that  might be an honest  perhaps, i n  sense  there  "metaphorical") analogue f o r 7 O  a e s t h e t i c judgements of the r e a l l y - i s / o n l y - s e e m s  Harold Osborne, The Art of Appreciation, University Press, 1970), pp. 174-175 ,my emphasis.  dichotomy.  (London: Oxford  See Hungerland, "The Logic of Aesthetic Concepts," p. 602, references to this article are to i t s reprinting in Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics, ed. Tillman and Cahn; and see below Chapter III.  39  Note aspect is  and  a  like  coming  involved  in  difference  to  see  coming  that  to  see  between certain  that  coming  to  relations  see  the  duck  obtain.  the  two  figures  see  the  congruency:  What  below  are  congruent?  Here  is  seen,  the  rabbit  thing  an  To  make  Missing  occasion, the  one  of and  look  for It  from  one's  Here  then  sensitivity  disjoined  in is  with  are  cases  the  not  order  is  the you  to  as  or  which  exercise  is  like  many of  disappear, or  same look  make  for  the to  like  forgetting as  making the  it  disappear.  duck.  of  the  about  it  congruency  think  once  What disappear?  beating  a  sophistication. point  seeing-as  diverge.  in  to  silly  a crucial  figures  tolerable  made  congruency,  just  must  same way  to  own c r i t i c a l  readings,  associated  be  disappear  aspect-perception  of  coming  the  these  rabbit  Incongruency? retreat  about  congruency c a n ' t  can.  on  would  one  and  The of the  at  the  which  of  persistence  aesthetic  of  essence of  and  analyses  aesthetic  duck-rabbit,  central  the  judgement exclusively  phenomena is  not  relatively  sensitivity,  in  the  simple I  will  have  40  occasion  to  apply  this  result  in  the  next  chapt  41  CHAPTER I I I  In her attempt to c l a r i f y the a e s t h e t i c / n o n a e s t h e t i c distinction,  I s a b e l Hungerland takes  the view that  expressions  of a e s t h e t i c judgement l i e between statements l i k e "I am i n p a i n " and such expressions book i s r e d . " that they, perienced "out  of nonaesthetic  They are d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the former i n  l i k e the l a t t e r , concern f e a t u r e s which are exas phenomenally o b j e c t i v e , ( i . e . experienced  t h e r e " r a t h e r than " i n h e r e " ) .  guished  judgement as "The  as  But they are d i s t i n -  from the l a t t e r by b e i n g , l i k e the former, not " l o g i -  cally objective". the " l o g i c a l  They have n o t , i n Hungerland's words, got  f o r c e o f c l a i m s " , s i n c e they are not s u b j e c t to  39 "intersubjective verification".  I w i l l r e t u r n to consider  some of Hungerland's claims s p e c i f i c a l l y chapter,  but i t i s convenient  at the end o f t h i s  f o r me f i r s t  i s s u e about the " l o g i c a l o b j e c t i v i t y "  to approach the  (hereafter " o b j e c t i v i t y " )  of a e s t h e t i c judgement by o u t l i n i n g and c r i t i c i z i n g one major p o s i t i o n w i t h r e s p e c t to i t . i)  In so doing,  to t i e up some loose ends l e f t  I hope a d d i t i o n a l l y  i n Chapter I, and i i ) to  develop a s t r a t e g y f o r the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the i n q u i r y i n t o the nature  of a e s t h e t i c  sensitivity.  39 Hungerland, "Once Again, Aesthetic and Non-Aesthetic," p. 107, references to this article are to i t s reprinting in Aesthetics, ed. Osborne.  42  I have o f t e n overheard and more o f t e n p a r t i c i p a t e d i n sometimes heated debates over works of a r t . cerns the merits or great.  But  Debate o f t e n con-  of a work of a r t , say whether a work i s good  j u s t as o f t e n , the controversy  s o r t of remark.  For  i n s t a n c e , we  concerns another  might wonder whether a par-  t i c u l a r passage of music i s imposing, towering, or we  majestic;  might dispute whether c e r t a i n shapes or l i n e s are  f r a g i l e , or d e l i c a t e .  brittle,  In these l a t t e r cases i t i s an  aes-  40 t h e t i c judgement that i s the focus t h e t i c judgement i s c h a l l e n g e d , controversial.  But  the c o n t r o v e r s y , is  of discussion.  and,  i f not  q u i t e f r e q u e n t l y there  An  given up, is a shift,  becomes and  which began as an a e s t h e t i c or c r i t i c a l  one,  e i t h e r transformed i n t o or r e p l a c e d by a p h i l o s o p h i c a l  P a r t i e s whose concern at the beginning of an a e s t h e t i c versy  i s over what the r e s o l u t i o n to i t w i l l be,  s o r t that i s to be r e s o l v e d  contro-  i s of a  at a l l .  A p o s i t i o n which I w i l l abbreviate  one.  f i n d them-  s e l v e s l a t e r embroiled over whether the controversy  and  aes-  call  "relativism" arises.  "aesthetic relativism", At  first  the p o s i t i o n  Sibley characterizes this difference as one between purely evaluative remarks, which he calls "verdicts", and aesthetic judgements, which are at least not purely evaluative. (See "Aesthetic Concepts,".p.' 68n.;. and "Aesthetic" and Nonaesthetic," p. 136.) Perhaps the intrusion of the fact/value distinction at this point is misleading and unnecessary. See Alan Tormey, "Critical Judgements," Theoria, 39 (1973), esp. pp. 46-49.  43  may  appear to be a n o n - p o s i t i o n .  issues a challenge  The  relativist  initially  to produce the r a t i o n a l bases of c r i t i c i s m ,  the d e c i s i o n procedures whereby c r i t i c a l d i s p u t e s may settled. than  So the r e l a t i v i s t may  asking  , "But  appear to be d o i n g no more  i s t h i s not s i m p l y a d i f f e r e n c e of  What would s e t t l e such an argument anyway?" t i v i s t challenge is rhetorical.  be  i s r a r e l y e n t i r e l y innocent. I t i n v i t e s us to c o n s i d e r  But  opinion?  the  rela-  More o f t e n i t  the p o s s i b i l i t y  t h a t no d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s are f o r t h c o m i n g to s e t t l e v e r s i e s i n a r t c r i t i c i s m , such m a t t e r s b e i n g irresoluble.  Its We  essentially  I m p l i c i t i n much r e l a t i v i s t r h e t o r i c  view t h a t a remark l i k e "The  waltz  l o g i c a l force i s different  contro-  i s the  i s l i l t i n g " i s not a c l a i m .  from t h a t o f "The  book i s r e d . "  are d e c e i v e d (by the grammar?) i n t o t h i n k i n g t h a t we  d i e t one  another about the w a l t z , when, i n a c t u a l i t y ,  contra^ issues  of t h i s s o r t , about w a l t z e s , concern m a t t e r s of o p i n i o n , m a t t e r s of f a c t , and  i n any  by r a t i o n a l debate.  So l e t us admit to a d i f f e r e n c e of  opinion;  c a s e , m a t t e r s not t o be  l e t us agree to d i s a g r e e ,  more p r o m i s i n g  settled  and q u i c k l y pass on  to  topics.  This i s r o u g h l y  the view of Hungerland (though  does t h i n k t h a t some r e l a t i v e l y l a r g e measure of agreement can be expected w i t h i n a g i v e n c u l t u r a l and she  not  she  critical coterie),  i s not unique i n s u b s c r i b i n g to i t ; the view i s a l -  44  most v u l g a r . The  r e l a t i v i s t p o s i t i o n (taken by Hungerland and  others)  i s a r e g i o n a l one (though i t might have been o t h e r -  wise).  That i s , i t i s based on a contrast  m a t t e r s o f o p i n i o n and m a t t e r s o f f a c t . the a e s t h e t i c r e l a t i v i s t t h a t t h e r e  between s o - c a l l e d I t i s assumed by  are c o n t r o v e r s i e s which  are amenable t o f i n a l s e t t l e m e n t , b u t t h a t a e s t h e t i c c o n t r o v e r s i e s a r e not among those. I have a l r e a d y t a k e n note o f one o f t h e important consequences o f a e s t h e t i c r e l a t i v i s m . provides  Aesthetic  an apparent ground f o r a c h a l l e n g e  relativism  against the  a u t h o r i t y or e x p e r t i s e o f the s o - c a l l e d a e s t h e t i c a l l y sens i t i v e observer,  a challenge  a g a i n s t t h e d i s t i n c t i o n between  the c r i t i c and t h e p e d e s t r i a n , and a g a i n s t t h e n o t i o n  that  some o f us a r e b e t t e r than o t h e r s a t v i e w i n g and d i s c u s s i n g works o f a r t .  The e f f e c t o f a e s t h e t i c r e l a t i v i s m i f i t can  be m a i n t a i n e d ,  i s t o reduce t h e c r i t i c ' s p r o c l a m a t i o n s  the rank o f mere e x p r e s s i o n s  of o p i n i o n , thereby  putting  him on t h e same f o o t i n g as t h e p e d e s t r i a n ; t a l k i n g to the c r i t i c is.'no " b e t t e r than t a l k i n g  to  (listening)  ( l i s t e n i n g ) t o one-  self. The  core o f t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l i s s u e , o f which aes-  t h e t i c r e l a t i v i s m i s one s i d e , and so t h e core o f the concept " o b j e c t i v i t y " i n t h i s connection,  concerns t h e r e s o l u b i l i t y  45  of controversy.  I s h a l l c o n t i n u e t o use " o b j e c t i v i t y " and  i t s r e l a t i v e s t o i n d i c a t e what t h e r e l a t i v i s t d e n i e s about a e s t h e t i c judgements: t h e r e s o l u b i l i t y o f c o n t r o v e r s y . There i s a danger o f m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g two d i s t i n c t t h i n g s might be understood is resolved."  here s i n c e  by "The c o n t r o v e r s y  One might say a c o n t r o v e r s y had been r e s o l v e d  where t h e p a r t i e s t o i t have ceased d e b a t i n g and reached agreement.  A l t e r n a t i v e l y , one would say a c o n t r o v e r s y had  been r e s o l v e d where i t had been e s t a b l i s h e d which among t h e c o n t r o v e r s i a l p o s i t i o n s was r i g h t and which wrong.  The d i f -  f e r e n c e between these two i s e s s e n t i a l l y s i m i l a r t o t h a t between p e r s u a s i o n and p r o o f .  I may prove a p o i n t w i t h o u t  t h e r e b y o r a t the same time p e r s u a d i n g you; on t h e o t h e r hand, i f I am a c l e v e r s o p h i s t , I may persuade y o u , and y e t f a i l to give proof.  When I t i e o b j e c t i v i t y t o the r e s o l u -  b i l i t y o f c o n t r o v e r s y , I s h a l l be concerned  w i t h p r o o f , not  persuasion. I s h a l l now attempt  to persuade, i f not to prove,  t h a t t h e t h e s i s a g a i n s t a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i t y i s too f i r m and f i n a l t o be t e n a b l e . I t i s easy t o understand  how i t i s t h a t a e s t h e t i c  r e l a t i v i s m i s so r e a d i l y o f f e r e d and so w e l l r e c e i v e d . Though t h e grammatical  s i m i l a r i t i e s between e x p r e s s i o n s o f  a e s t h e t i c judgement and some paradigms o f o b j e c t i v e e x p r e s s i o n s  46  are q u i t e obvious, the n o t i o n is l i l t i n g " d i f f e r s  that the l o g i c o f "The waltz  from that o f "The book i s r e d " comes a l i v e  as soon as a t t e n t i o n i s drawn to the amount of l o n g - l i v e d and supposedly u n r e s o l v e d disagreement ments o f the f i r s t pointed  that attends judge-  type i n p a r t i c u l a r , that i s , when i t i s  out that debate concerning  aesthetic  has proven so i n c o n c l u s i v e and c r i t i c a l  disagreements  accord so e l u s i v e .  However, w h i l e p e r s i s t e n t disagreement  i s indeed a  notable f e a t u r e of the a e s t h e t i c s i t u a t i o n , a f e a t u r e  that  needs both to be taken i n t o account and accounted f o r , i t i s not enough by i t s e l f to secure the r e l a t i v i s t  conclusion.  It i s one t h i n g to show that c e r t a i n matters are not agreed on; i t i s much more d i f f i c u l t resoluble.  to show such matters to be i r -  I t c e r t a i n l y doesn't f o l l o w from some c r i t i c a l  i s s u e ' s remaining c o n t r o v e r s i a l , even over ages, that i t remains  so of n e c e s s i t y .  So r e l a t i v i s m , which  motivated, i s not so e a s i l y e s t a b l i s h e d .  is easily  In f a c t , with only  t h i s much o f f e r e d i n support o f i t , the r e l a t i v i s t ' s p o s i t i o n seems to be a mere e x p r e s s i o n of d e s p a i r , despair  and premature  at t h a t . I f a e s t h e t i c r e l a t i v i s m i s to be adequately defended,  it  f i r s t needs to be c l a r i f i e d  considerably.  In p a r t i c u l a r ,  the r e q u i s i t e s o f r e s o l u b i l i t y need to be f i l l e d i s no small order.  Indeed,  I suspect, though  i n , and t h i s  I can't prove,  47  that i t cannot be to r e s t r i c t the  filled.  Since the  range of the  o b j e c t i v e by  matters that have to do w i t h a e s t h e t i c q u i r e d to s p e c i f y tions,  to s p e c i f y  no way  of our  to s p e c i f y  such as w i l l i s s u e s and But it  yet  the  fill  see  a specification  the  how  of the  might begin with the  way  to r e s o l v e i t .  the  specified  vio-  I know of  settlable  relativist. in d e t a i l ,  denying that aes-  r e l a t i v i s t might proceed toward  necessary c o n d i t i o n s f o r (ultimately  objectivity.  empty) t r u i s m that a  only i f there i s at  Suppose there i s an  (ways of r e s o l v i n g  The the availability objectivity of a assumption of an  in addition  resoluble.  n e c t i o n between o b j e c t i v i t y cedures  not  r e s t r i c t i v e needs of the  c o n t r o v e r s y i s r e s o l u b l e i f and one  aesthetic  i n t u i t i v e l y obvious cases of  necessary c o n d i t i o n s are  us  that  find i t d i f f i c u l t  e n t i r e l y c l e a r what i s meant by  Let  necessary condi-  necessary c o n d i t i o n s f o r r e s o l u b i l i t y  t h e t i c controversy i s  He  these which do  i s re-  i n t u i t i o n s about o b j e c t i v i t y .  i n c l u d e the  u n t i l the i s not  as  e x c l u d i n g from i t  w i l l want t e s t s  I suspect that he w i l l  such t e s t s  late certain  He  i s concerned  judgement, he  t e s t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the  for o b j e c t i v i t y .  judgement f a i l s .  relativist  analytic  ( r e s o l u b i l i t y ) and controversies).  4 1  least con-  decision  pro-  From t h i s  connection might be synthetic; i t might be the case that of a decision procedure is just the best evidence for the kind of judgement. L i t t l e is lost however in allowing the analytic connection.  48  f o l l o w s the b e g i n n i n g , for o b j e c t i v i t y :  but  only  a controversy  the beginning,  of a t e s t  i s not r e s o l u b l e i f there  i s no way t o r e s o l v e i t . There must be some e s t a b l i s h e d or d i s c o v e r a b l e d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e f o r a g i v e n i s s u e o r i t remains up f o r grabs.  For a range o f judgements t h e r e must  be e s t a b l i s h e d o r d i s c o v e r a b l e procedures f o r d e c i d i n g among r i v a l judgements which i s r i g h t and which wrong, i f the judgements i n t h a t range a r e t o be regarded as o b j e c t i v e . The  questions  cedure?  a r e then, what w i l l count as a d e c i s i o n pro-  and when can we conclude t h a t t h e r e a r e none?  At  t h i s p o i n t t h e r e l a t i v i s t ' s p o s i t i o n may come u n s t u c k ! L e t me i l l u s t r a t e what I take t o be t h e r e l a t i v i s t ' s  difficulty  w i t h t h e f o l l o w i n g example. The i t ' s not.  f i r s t mate says t h e m a i n s a i l ' s r i g g e d . How do we s e t t l e t h i s d i s p u t e ?  and r i g o r o u s means t o go about c h e c k i n g mainsail i s i n fact rigged. both k n o t t e d  I say  There i s a c l e a r  whether o r not the  I check t h a t t h e h a l y a r d i s  a t the head o f the s a i l , and s e c u r e l y c l e a t e d  to t h e mast, t h a t t h e l u f f i s p r o p e r l y t h r e a d e d i n t o t h e s l o t , t h a t the mainsheet i s p r o p e r l y threaded through b l o c k s and  safety knotted.  I check t h e t e n s i o n a t t h e o u t h a l l ,  the d o w n h a l l , the i n h a l l , and so on.  I f a l l the c o n d i t i o n s  on my l i s t a r e f u l f i l l e d , then the s a i l i s r i g g e d ; i f one b a t t e n i s l e f t out o f p l a c e , o r one l i n e l e f t u n s e c u r e d ,  49  then i t ' s not r i g g e d . sail  What i t means q u i t e simply f o r the  to be " r i g g e d " i s f o r a l l the c o n d i t i o n s on such a l i s t  to be met.  Here we have an example of a d e c i s i o n procedure,  one that i s i n f a c t used to s e t t l e a c e r t a i n s o r t of q u e s t i o n or d i s p u t e .  W i l l t h i s example serve the needs of the r e l a -  tivist? At f i r s t  glance, the r e l a t i v i s t p o s i t i o n f o r aes-  t h e t i c s seems to gain f o r c e through t h i s example, f o r t h i s s o r t o f c h e c k l i s t - a n d - i n f e r e n c e procedure does seem to be l a c k i n g f o r a e s t h e t i c judgements.  There i s no set of non-  a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s such that t h e i r presence i n a work of a r t e i t h e r l o g i c a l l y guarantees or i s l o g i c a l l y  required  f o r any p a r t i c u l a r a e s t h e t i c judgement about that work of art.  There are no canons  of c r i t i c i s m i n that sense.  f a c t that some c r i t i c s have m i s t a k e n l y supposed to be employing or f o r m u l a t i n g or d i s t i l l i n g  themselves  the canons of  c r i t i c i s m serves a p p a r e n t l y to b o l s t e r the r e l a t i v i s t tion.  Critics  (and p h i l o s o p h e r s ) who  have been, a f t e r a l l ,  mistaken.  The  have supposed  posi-  this  4 2  Yet on c l o s e r i n s p e c t i o n , t h i s example y i e l d s a c r i t e r i o n f o r r e s o l u b i l i t y too r e s t r i c t i v e even f o r the relativist.  While a d m i t t e d l y no such c h e c k l i s t - a n d - i n f e r -  ence procedure i s a v a i l a b l e f o r a e s t h e t i c judgements,  no  42 Just why they have supposed this, and why they are mistaken are interesting matters, but ones I w i l l not take up in detail here.  50  such c h e c k l i s t - a n d - i n f e r e n c e p r o c e d u r e i s a v a i l a b l e f o r c o l o r attribution vprove  ( f o r example) e i t h e r .  t h a t the s a i l i s r i g g e d ;  t h a t the s a i l i s w h i t e ?  I know how t o check and  how do I go about p r o v i n g  4 3  The same goes f o r o t h e r s o - c a l l e d secondary q u a l i ties.  One cannot go about c h e c k i n g , i n ways s t r i c t l y  ana-  logous t o my d o c k s i d e p r o c e d u r e , whether or not the meat i s s a l t y , w h i l e one can so check whether i t has s p o i l e d , or whether t h e r e i s s a l t i n i t .  In s h o r t , i f the r e l a t i v i s t ' s  p o s i t i o n i s f i l l e d out i n terms o f the above example, then i t e x t e n d s , not o n l y t o a e s t h e t i c judgement, but a l s o to c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n and o t h e r supposed paradigms o f o b j e c t i v i t y , where someone w i t h a r e g i o n a l r e l a t i v i s m might be e x p e c t e d t o balk. Nor i s the r e l a t i v i s t ' s t r o u b l e here owing s i m p l y t o my choice  o f a sample d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e .  My sample was not  chosen a t random, but n e i t h e r was i t chosen m a l i c i o u s l y .  My  s t r a t e g y here i s d e s i g n e d t o p o i n t up the f a c t t h a t the s e l e c t i o n o f some paradigm o r o t h e r o f o b j e c t i v i t y cannot s e r v e as a b a s i s f o r d i s q u a l i f y i n g any c a n d i d a t e f o r o b j e c t i v i t y .  Nor  Here my challenge to produce decision procedures for colors is entirely innocent. I do not mean that color decision procedures are not available. But they do need to be spelled out. Chapter IV below i s devoted to the task of spelling them out. 4 3  51  can a simple survey of any f i n i t e number of such  paradigms  so serve.  discussion  of  And y e t , i n almost every r e l a t i v i s t i c  the matter that I have seen, the r e l a t i v i s t ' s  argument  proceeds by s e l e c t i n g , as I have done, some paradigm of  or other  o b j e c t i v i t y , but then by t r e a t i n g the paradigm more or  l e s s as the b a s i s f o r a c r i t e r i o n of o b j e c t i v i t y , such that departure from the paradigm the  d i s q u a l i f i e s a candidate from  realm of the o b j e c t i v e . Note here how  tivist  much tougher i s the l o t of the r e l a -  than i s that of h i s opponent, the o b j e c t i v i s t .  The  a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i s t needs only to s p e c i f y a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r r e s o l u b i l i t y , and show a e s t h e t i c judgement to meet i t , i n order to secure h i s case;  so paradigms,  of which  there are a f a i r number, can f i g u r e prominently i n the objectivist's are  arsenal.  Different  sorts of controversy, a f t e r a l l ,  to be s e t t l e d i n d i f f e r e n t  t i m a t e l y how believe.  s o r t s of ways.  This i s u l -  the n o t i o n of o b j e c t i v i t y must be handled, I  Since the range of o b j e c t i v e matters i s wide and  s  v a r i o u s , d e c i s i o n procedures r e l e v a n t to c e r t a i n matters w i l l not decide c e r t a i n o t h e r s , and yet those matters may a l l be o b j e c t i v e enough.  Think of such v a r i o u s t e s t s or d e c i s i o n  procedures as the litmus t e s t , comparison with a standard, counting, d e d u c t i o n , i n d u c t i o n . complete; relativist,  but why  should we  The l i s t  i s c e r t a i n l y not  even t h i n k i t completable?  however, as soon as he has f u l l y  The  s p e c i f i e d what  52  condition that  with  for in  or  the  set  of  decision "What  with  of  prise  kinds,  the  open  for  or  are  problem  be  lack  view,  for  the  assa  fails of  at  now  the  likely  critique  set  of  relativist  for  of  concept,  it  some  objectivity of  sample  response,  the  and  enter-  characteris-  simply  conclusion requires  closed  of  essence",  defining is  notion  candidates  array  the  is is  the  Platonic  give  it  meet,  squaring  limited  least  finite  to  requirements  Wittgenstinian a  conditions)  decision procedures  other  examples,  for  of  problem of  any  intended  treated  set  some p e r f e c t l y  invites  the  relativist's  tivity"  this:  that  might  While  "objec-  well  be  an  "objectivity"  is  an  one. I  cannot  open c o n c e p t , procedure  thetic  I  final  In  take  the  that  a  be  show  cannot to  it  be is.  might  position  list  I is  suspect too  show t h a t  tenable. is  produce  that  to  I  can  conceivable, an  and be  aesthetic  But  exhaustive  that  possible I  firm  "objectivity"  It  of  completed.  fact,  relativism,  cannot  haps  or  cannot  position.  that  above  searching  The  his  S p e c i f y i n g the  offered  perhaps  of  tics.  the  in  general  the  procedures  are  finally  one  more  objectivity. terms  disjunctive  judgement,  objectivity  kind,  I  finite,  aesthetic  saddled of  (or  at  have  types  no  that  argument  to  open  be  least  list  of  for  that  like  aes-  tenable.  concept,  relativism  though  decision  position,  final an  of  hope  is to  unlikely, types  of  too  then  If per-  firm  and  persuade that  some-  decision  53  procedure, which c o u l d then serve to c l o s e the concept "objectivity".  But no such compendium has y e t been  and c e r t a i n l y not by a e s t h e t i c r e l a t i v i s t s .  produced,  I countenance  the p o s i t i o n that " o b j e c t i v i t y " i s an open concept p a r t l y to dramatize the s u p e r f i c i a l i t y o f our understanding o f objectivity, all  and to c a u t i o n a g a i n s t the premature assumption  d e c i s i o n procedures are of a p i e c e .  the n o t i o n of an open concept i n v i t e a deeper  My f l i r t a t i o n w i t h  i n t h i s connection i s meant to  i n q u i r y i n t o the n o t i o n o f o b j e c t i v i t y  has been made on b e h a l f of a e s t h e t i c  than  relativism.  On the other hand, where d e f e n s i b i l i t y t e n a b i l i t y ) i s concerned,  that  (as opposed to  i t i s enough o f an embarrassment to  r e l a t i v i s m to note t h a t , s i n c e we can never be sure o f a given l i s t  o f d e c i s i o n procedures  concept might be open.  that i t i s e x h a u s t i v e , the  But as long as the concept might be  open, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how the r e l a t i v i s t his  position.  T h i s ought  can defend  to prompt the a l t e r a t i o n , i f not  the abandonment, o f r e l a t i v i s m , even as an h y p o t h e s i s . L e t us see how the r e l a t i v i s t might  t r y to o b v i a t e these  diffi-  culties . A f i r s t move might be to r e s i g n to a very p e r v a s i v e r e l a t i v i s m on which many s o r t s of judgement, among them aest h e t i c judgement and c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , f a i l objectivity.  the t e s t f o r  Here i t would be taken that the establishment  54  or d i s c o v e r y  of d e c i s i o n procedures i s c e n t r a l l y bound  with the n o t i o n of o b j e c t i v i t y , and  f u r t h e r concluded  there can be no d e c i s i o n procedures r e l e v a n t to the of judgement i n  first  strategy  i n v o l v e s an  to buy  i t already.  By such a move the r e l a t i v i s t  consistency,  bility..  but  at the e x h o r b i t a n t  I am not here o f f e r i n g a.  Paradigm Case Argument.  The  extensive  relativism.  enough i s able  cost of a l l p l a u s i -  v a r i a n t of the s o - c a l l e d  f a c t that c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n i s  almost s u r e l y o b j e c t i v e does not general  sorts  that i t r e s u l t s i n the abandonment of some  of the supposed paradigms of o b j e c t i v i t y , i s to say against  that  question.  To say that the r e l a t i v i s m , and  up  c i n c h the case  What i t does do  against  i s to make i t necessary  for  the r e l a t i v i s t  to b r i n g strong arguments i n support  his  case, or f a i l i n g t h a t , to r e t r e a t i n t o a l e s s r a d i c a l  and more t e n t a t i v e p o s i t i o n .  In t a k i n g the h e r o i c  against paradigms, the r e l a t i v i s t burden of proof,  of  line  assumes a s u b s t a n t i a l  which he can only s h i f t  by tempering h i s  position. Furthermore, the c o n c l u s i o n d e c i s i o n procedures r e l e v a n t question  i s premature and  seems to be ficiently  to the  that there  can be  no  s o r t s of judgement i n  i l l - f o u n d e d i f i t i s based, as i t  i n the case of a e s t h e t i c r e l a t i v i s m , on an i n s u f -  deep a n a l y s i s of " o b j e c t i v i t y " .  That i s to  say,  55  even i f t h e c o n s i s t e n c y o f t h e r e l a t i v i s t ' s p o s i t i o n i s purchased a t t h i s p o i n t by denying o b j e c t i v i t y t o c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , t h e fundamental weakness o f the p o s i t i o n r e mains i n i t s r e f u s a l  t o s e a r c h f o r and c o n s i d e r  v a r i e t i e s of decision  alternative  procedure.  A second move would be t o attempt t o p u l l o b j e c t i v i t y a p a r t from d e c i s i o n  p r o c e d u r e s , and t o s a y , i n e f f e c t ,  t h a t o b j e c t i v i t y i s p o s s i b l e even where t h e r e can be no decision  procedures.  A c a r e l e s s r e l a t i v i s t might see t h i s  as a way o u t , t h i n k i n g  that the d i f f i c u l t y i n r e c o n c i l i n g  the n o t i o n o f o b j e c t i v i t y w i t h t h e l a c k o f d e c i s i o n  proce-  dures f o r some paradigms o f o b j e c t i v i t y would be overcome, i f o b j e c t i v i t y d i d not r e q u i r e d e c i s i o n  procedures.  Such a move, however, u n d e r c u t s t h e v e r y b a s i s on which t h e r e l a t i v i s t grounds h i s a t t a c k on the o b j e c t i v i t y of a e s t h e t i c  judgement.  from t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l too,  Indeed, i t amounts t o a d e p a r t u r e i s s u e w i t h which we began, and so  t h e abandonment, o r a t l e a s t the a l t e r a t i o n , o f r e l a -  tivism.  L e t us keep i n mind the o r i g i n s  I"ve c a l l e d r e l a t i v i s m . o f , and i s a r e a c t i o n aesthetic  Relativism arises  s p e c i f i c a l l y out  t o , f r u s t r a t i o n at the p e r s i s t e n c e of  disagreement.  terprise of aesthetic  o f the p o s i t i o n  The r e l a t i v i s t ' s a t t a c k on the en-  debate p o l a r i z e s  some p a r t i e s  t o such  debate, who come t o t h e defense o f the a c t i v i t y i n which they a r e , and w i s h t o remain, engaged; thus i t generates a  56  philosophical  issue.  But the issue c l e a r l y concerns the  r e s o l u b i l i t y of c o n t r o v e r s y and the p o s s i b i l i t y o f p r o o f s in aesthetics;  the r e l a t i v i s t ' s  contribution  to the i s s u e  i s p r e c i s e l y the i n a r t i c u l a t e demand f o r proofs and d e c i s i o n procedures i n a e s t h e t i c s .  When i t i s suggested that  deci-  s i o n procedures are no e a s i e r to f i n d f o r c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n than they are f o r a e s t h e t i c the r e l a t i v i s t the  judgements, i t i s not open f o r  to simply s o f t e n or withdraw the demand i n  case o f c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , unless he i s prepared to  s i m i l a r l y soften  or withdraw the demand i n a e s t h e t i c s , or  unless he can show the two to be r e l e v a n t l y d i f f e r e n t . In t h i s chapter I have so f a r maintained that the relativist's  t h e s i s that d e c i s i o n procedures are not f o r t h -  coming i n a e s t h e t i c s  i s premature.  r e l a t i v i s t ' s major c o n t e n t i o n  I argued a l s o that the  would r e q u i r e  a k i n d of support  which would be q u i t e d i f f i c u l t  to p r o v i d e , and which the  o b j e c t i v i s t ' s major c o n t e n t i o n  would not r e q u i r e .  a l s o mentioned a d i f f i c u l t y the  f o r the r e l a t i v i s t  from which  o b j e c t i v i s t can take p o s i t i v e encouragement:  that the r e l a t i v i s t ' s e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l side the r e g i o n  of aesthetics,  the f a c t  challenge applies  out-  and indeed to some of those  very paradigms o f o b j e c t i v i t y against ment i s thought to be c o n t r a s t a b l e . about t h i s s h o r t l y .  I have  I want f i r s t  which a e s t h e t i c  judge-  I w i l l have more to say  to dispose o f a p o s s i b l e  57  o b j e c t i o n on the r e l a t i v i s t ' s b e h a l f  to what I have so f a r  done i n t h i s chapter. I have represented the r e l a t i v i s t  as having a more  burdensome t h e s i s to defend than does the o b j e c t i v i s t , and i t might be claimed, q u i t e the has  that the  much l e s s to defend than the o b j e c t i v i s t .  uncommon f o r r e l a t i v i s t s in  contrary,  aesthetics  to represent  relativist  It i s not  the o b j e c t i v i s t t h e s i s  as i n v o l v i n g a s u b s t a n t i a l o n t o l o g i c a l commit-  ment to " a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s " . the o b j e c t i v i s t as  The  r e l a t i v i s t might read  claiming:  A e s t h e t i c .^judgements -are .obj e c t i v e , even though are no  c r i t e r i a f o r them, because of the a e s t h e t i c  of t h i n g s .  properties.  ever a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s has  regardless  work i s g r a c e f u l you  But  But  you  properties) i t  Now  i f you  j u s t do the  want to t e l l whether  same as you would do  are no  conditions  must i n a d d i t i o n use  you  look.  governing  p e r t i e s , which though they are to be p e r c e i v e d ,  the  need  aesthetic  your a e s t h e t i c  sensipro-  l i k e c o l o r s , i n ithat they  they are not,  or  i f you  You  t i v i t y , because of the s p e c i a l a e s t h e t i c nature of the  there  what-  or I or anyone e l s e would say  wanted to t e l l whether the book i s red: to look because there  j u s t as  an o b j e c t has  (and n o n - a e s t h e t i c  of what you  think about the matter.  concepts.  properties  Works of a r t have a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s ,  they have non-aesthetic  there  are  like colors, accessible  58  simply  through the normal c h a n n e l s . The  objectivist  i s presumed to have a s u b s t a n t i a l  o n t o l o g i c a l commitment owing to h i s c o n v i c t i o n t h a t aest h e t i c judgement i s o b j e c t i v e , w h i l e the r e l a t i v i s t , about any  ontological multiplication,  against aesthetic o b j e c t i v i t y . see h i s own  4 5  argues on t h a t b a s i s  Thus the r e l a t i v i s t would  burden of p r o o f as r a t h e r s l i g h t by  w i t h t h a t o f the  dubious  comparison  objectivist.  I maintain,  a g a i n s t t h i s , t h a t the o b j e c t i v i s t  can  defend the o b j e c t i v i t y of a e s t h e t i c judgement w i t h o u t committ i n g h i m s e l f to a n y t h i n g  which would be an o n t o l o g i c a l e x t r a -  vagance . In c o n n e c t i o n j e c t i v e , we may  w i t h k i n d s of judgement c l a i m e d  w i s h t o i n d i c a t e t h a t the f e a t u r e s we  as  ob-  judge  t h i n g s to have enjoy a k i n d of e x p e r i e n c e - i n d e p e n d e n c e .  We  want to be a b l e to countenance cases of a person's e x p e r i e n c e being  out of tune w i t h what i s the case.  i s t o invoke p r o p e r t y  locutions.  p e r t y l o c u t i o n s does n o t , i n and gant o n t o l o g y ,  One  way  to do  this  But the i n v o c a t i o n o f  pro-  of i t s e l f , imply an  f o r t h e r e are a number of senses of  extrava"experience-  independence" . 44  Something l i k e this i s involved i n much of the off-hand c r i t i c i s m of Sibley as an i n t u i t i o n i s t . 45 See Broiles;;and Margolis, "Sibley on Aesthetic Perception."  59  In the weakest sense, experience-independence  amounts  j u s t to the p o s s i b i l i t y o f countenancing cases of a person's experience being out of tune with what i s the case.  Colors  have at l e a s t t h i s s o r t of experience-independence.  The  v i s u a l experiences of c o l o r - b l i n d people are f a i r l y regul a r l y at v a r i a n c e w i t h what i s the case, and even a f u l l y c o l o r - s i g h t e d person may  f o r i n s t a n c e have a  phenomenally  red v i s u a l experience when what he i s l o o k i n g at i s i n f a c t green. The primary q u a l i t i e s might be s a i d to be experienceindependent  i n a somewhat s t r o n g e r sense i n r e s p e c t of which  they would be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the secondary q u a l i t i e s  like  colors. F i n a l l y , a f e a t u r e might be s a i d to be experienceindependent  i n a t h i r d and s t i l l  stronger sense, where t h i n g s  which have such f e a t u r e s have them r e g a r d l e s s of a l l a c t u a l 46  or p o s s i b l e experiences of o b s e r v e r s .  It i s only i n t h i s  l a s t sense of "experience-independence" that one runs a r i s k of o n t o l o g i c a l i n f l a t i o n .  clearly  The r e l e v a n t  difference  between p r o p e r t i e s which have experience independence  i n the  Someone might hold that i t i s just possession of this very strong kind of experience-independence that distinguishes the primary from the secondary qualities. But holding this, one is likely to beg a crucial question against phenomenalism and idealism.  60  former two  senses and  p r o p e r t i e s which have t h i s very  k i n d of experience-independence i s that the the l a t t e r w i l l not, reduction. all  For  strong  former w i l l ,  but  admit of c e r t a i n s o r t s of metaphysical  instance,  i t i s l o g i c a l l y p o s s i b l e to reduce  t a l k of p r o p e r t i e s , w i t h experience-independence of e i t h e r  of the f i r s t  two  kinds,  to statements about the a c t u a l or  p o s s i b l e experiences of observers;  but  t a l k of  properties  with strong experience-independence i s incompatible such a n a l y s i s .  Therefore,  the  with  any  former s o r t s of p r o p e r t i e s  are at l e a s t p o t e n t i a l l y l e s s of an o n t o l o g i c a l burden than are p r o p e r t i e s with strong  experience - independence.  b r i e f l y , t a l k , o f p r o p e r t i e s , where what i s i m p l i e d  Put  i s strong  experience-independence, n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e s a commitment to o n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i s m w i t h r e s p e c t  to those p r o p e r t i e s ,  t a l k of p r o p e r t i e s , where e i t h e r of the two  weaker s o r t s of  experience - independence i s i m p l i e d , need i n v o l v e no mitment. respect  (Thus f o r i n s t a n c e , Thomas Reid  but  such com-  i s a r e a l i s t with  to a l l s e n s i b l e p r o p e r t i e s , where Locke adopts r e a l i s m  with respect The both the discussed  to primary, but not p o i n t with r e f e r e n c e  intuitionist  and  secondary q u a l i t i e s .  4 7  )  to a e s t h e t i c s i s t h i s : while  RP accounts of a e s t h e t i c  sensitivity  i n Chapter I arguably i n v o l v e commitments to onto-  See  eg. Peter Kivy, Thomas Reid's Lectures  (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973), pp,4-8.  on the Fine  Arts,  61  l o g i c a l r e a l i s m , one can  be an a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i s t ,  and  f u r t h e r one can express one's a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i s m i n terms o f a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , w i t h o u t b e i n g committed l o g i c a l r e a l i s m o f those p r o p e r t i e s .  t o the onto-  Thus, i f one t a k e s the  p o s i t i o n o f the o b j e c t i v i s t , but not t h a t o f the r e a l i s t , one's burden o f p r o o f i s c o n s i d e r a b l y  s m a l l e r than t h a t of  the r e l a t i v i s t . E a r l i e r I suggest t h a t the o b j e c t i v i s t may couragement from the f a c t t h a t the r e l a t i v i s t ' s c h a l l e n g e a p p l i e s as w e l l t o c e r t a i n supposed  take en-  epistemological  paradigms  of  objectivity  (eg. to c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n ) as i t does to a e s t h e t i c  judgement.  A s u r p r i s i n g number o f b o t h o b j e c t i v i s t s and  rela-  t i v i s t s have o v e r l o o k e d the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y t o which r e l a t i v i s m i s l i a b l e . this oversight  i s to consider  about g o v e r n i n g c o n d i t i o n s  the way  One way  to i l l u s t r a t e  i n which S i b l e y ' s  thesis  f o r a e s t h e t i c concepts has been  handled. S i b l e y argues t o the e f f e c t t h a t t h e r e are no con^ d i t i o n s g o v e r n i n g the a p p l i c a t i o n o f a e s t h e t i c terms. are those who  There  would c l a i m t h a t i n view of these arguments,  S i b l e y ' s commitment t o the o b j e c t i v i t y of a e s t h e t i c ment commits him a l s o t o the e x i s t e n c e  judge-  of c e r t a i n b i t s of  n o n - i n f e r e n t i a l knowledge, and so t o an i n t u i t i o n i s m . t h e r e are those who  c l a i m or i m p l y t h a t S i b l e y ' s t h e s i s  And about  62  governing  conditions i s incompatible  t h e t i c judgement i s o b j e c t i v e . claims are f a i r l y p l a i n ;  w i t h the view t h a t aes-  The reasons f o r making such  they a r e a l s o q u i t e p l a i n l y i n s u f -  ficient . T h e o r i s t s o f c r i t i c i s m have f i x e d too f i r m l y on t h e " r e a s o n s " w h i c h c r i t i c s g i v e why a p a r t i c u l a r work o f a r t i s , for  example, g r a c e f u l , t h e assumption b e i n g  that the  reasoning  of c r i t i c i s m i s t o be found i n t h e c r i t i c ' s " r e a s o n s " 48 anywhere a t a l l .  - i f  One i s tempted t o look f o r a p a r t i c u l a r  k i n d o f d e c i s i o n procedure i n c r i t i c i s m , one t h a t a l l o w s us to u n d e r s t a n d t h e c r i t i c ' s " r e a s o n s " on an analogy w i t h those of t h e g e o m e t r i c i a n .  I n geometry c r i t e r i a  of c e r t a i n sorts  are employed, a c e r t a i n paradigms o f p r o o f a r e e x e m p l i f i e d : among them one i n which t h e presence o f f e a t u r e $ i n an obj e c t i s e s t a b l i s h e d by t h e presence i n i t o f c e r t a i n other "^-making" f e a t u r e s , Sibley maintains, p o r t e d by c r i t e r i a  0, . . .  I f i t i s c o r r e c t , as  t h a t the c r i t i c ' s " r e a s o n s " are n o t supo f t h i s s o r t , ( i . e . t h a t judgements about  the presence i n works o f a r t o f a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s a r e n o t Eg. Margaret Macdonald, "Some Distinctive Features of Arguments Used i n Criticism of the Arts," Proceedings of the A r i s t o t e l i a n Society, Supplement, 23 (1949), 183^194, reprinted i n Aesthetics and Language, ed. Elton, see esp. p. 129; Stuart Hampshire, "Logic and Apprec i a t i o n W The World Review, NS No. 44 (October, 1952), pp. 36-.40, re-r  printed i n Elton, see esp, p. 166; Albert Tzugawa, "The Objectivity of Aesthetic Judgements," The Philosophical Review, 70 (1966), at p. 12; and Morris Weitz, "Criticism Without Evaluation," The Philosophical Review, 61 (1952), at p. 61.  63  to  be i n f e r r e d from the presence  i n works of a r t of  non-  a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s ) , the i n c l i n a t i o n might be to jump i n e i t h e r of two o b j e c t i v e ; or tial  directions:  i ) a e s t h e t i c judgements are not  i i ) t h e i r o b j e c t i v i t y depends on n o n - i n f e r e n -  knowledge, an i n f l a t e d ontology, and  i n any  something other than d e c i s i o n procedures. here, though, i s a f a l s e trichotomy,  case  What we  have  founded again on  e l e v a t i o n of one paradigm of o b j e c t i v i t y  ( t h i s time  on  the  from  the exact s c i e n c e s ) to the s t a t u s of a standard f o r objectivity. If one  i s to see  without in  there are no c r i t e r i a  f o r , say, grace, then i f  that a t h i n g i s g r a c e f u l , one must grasp i t  an i n f e r e n c e .  One  must do something i n t u i t i v e .  And  c i t i n g the n o n a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s on which the grace of a  p a r t i c u l a r t h i n g n o t a b l y depends, one  c a l l s u l t i m a t e l y on  an immediate or i n t u i t i v e grasping as w e l l . not f o l l o w that one  Still  i t does  cannot demonstrate by an i n f e r e n c e , using  an i n f e r e n c e procedure  a v a i l a b l e , i n theory, to anyone, that  a given t h i n g i s (or i s not) g r a c e f u l (or d a i n t y , dumpy, . . . ) . In c o n c l u d i n g , from the l a c k of a p a r t i c u l a r s o r t of c r i t e r i o n in  c r i t i c i s m , that a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i t y r e q u i r e s n o n - i n f e r e n -  t i a l knowledge, e t c . the p o s s i b i l i t y of there being d e c i s i o n procedures of  criteria  which do not i n v o l v e or amount to the employment f o r grace whicK  hinge  on. the,presence  in graceful  things  64  of "grace-making"  features  cedure may nonetheless  i s overlooked.  But some such  pro-  be adequate to the task of s e t t l i n g  a e s t h e t i c c o n t r o v e r s y , and capable  t h e r e f o r e of s e c u r i n g  the o b j e c t i v i t y o f a e s t h e t i c judgement.  Until this  b i l i t y has been e l i m i n a t e d , i t i s at l e a s t not the that r e q u i r e s the n o n - i n f e r e n t i a l knowledge.  Until  possiobjectivity this  p o s s i b i l i t y has been e l i m i n a t e d , a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i t y need 49 r e q u i r e only d e c i s i o n procedures. This suggests q u i r y must be.  again what a f u r t h e r step i n t h i s i n -  I t i s a step i n which we s t i c k , at l e a s t  p r o v i s i o n a l l y , by our paradigms of o b j e c t i v i t y , and suspend  In Speaking of Art, Peter Kivy mounts an energetic argument against Sibley to the effect that aesthetic concepts may, for a l l Sibley says, be quite condition-governed after a l l . Kivy's strategy consists basically i n the attempt to defuse various of Sibley's arguments meant to establish that aesthetic discourse i s non-condition-governed, and to neutralize the observations of Sibley, Hungerland, and others, which are taken to indicate that aesthetic discourse is non-condition-governed. I have been assuming that Sibley i s right about the lack of governing conditions, of a certain sort, for aesthetic terms. Nor shall I undertake to examine in detail Kivy's contentions against Sibley on this point. I am, however, unsatisfied with Kivy's general approach to Sibley, inasmuch as Kivy seems insensitive to the distinction I am just now trying to urge. Kivy seems convinced that for there to be objectivity i n art criticism is for there to be the possibility of art c r i t i c a l proofs of a certain kind: for there to be the kind of governing conditions for grace, unity, and so on, which hinge on the presence in graceful and unified things of graceand unity-making features. It i s just this that I want to deny. I take my point here to be similar to one made by Maurice Mandelbaum about family resemblances. See Maurice Mandelbaum, "Family Resemblances and Generalization Concerning the Arts," The American Philosophical Quarterly, 2 (1965), 219-228, reprinted" in Problems in Aesthetics, 2nd ed., ed. Morris Weitz (N.Y.: Macmiilan, 196 ), pp. 181-198, esp. pp. 183-186.  65  judgement about a e s t h e t i c judgement. the  It involves  further  i n i t i a t i o n o f the search f o r such d e c i s i o n procedures  as might secure o b j e c t i v i t y both f o r c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n ( f o r example) and a e s t h e t i c judgement. This worthwhile search i s pursued by S i b l e y , a l though h i s r e s u l t s are not e n t i r e l y c o n c l u s i v e . reasons f o r searching  Sibley's  i n v o l v e h i s r e c o g n i t i o n that i n con-  n e c t i o n w i t h a e s t h e t i c s , the p h i l o s o p h i c a l issue o f objectivity  i s b a s i c a l l y an e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l  i s s u e about the  a v a i l a b i l i t y o f d e c i s i o n procedures. One reason for denying objectivity to aesthetic descriptive remarks has been the supposed need of a special quasi-sense or intuition to explain how we come by the knowledge they express. I prefer to put the matter ans other way. . . With objective matters there must be proofs, decision procedures, ways of establishing truth and falsity. Where proof is impossible there is no objectivity. . . Proof i s a way of settling who is right and who is wrong.^ But  i n a d d i t i o n we have some reason to hope f o r  success i n the search, temological  issue,  and at l e a s t f o r a break i n the epis-  Sibley's, f o r instance,  t i c undertaking, concerned only native  to e l i m i n a t e  i s no  pessimis-  a pesky a l t e r s  to r e l a t i v i s m , nor i s itmmerely an experimental un^  Sibley, "Colours," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 68 (1967-1968), 145-166; Sibley, "Objectivity and Aesthetics," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplement, 42 (1968), 31-54. ^  Sibley, "Objectivity and Aesthetics," p. 34.  66  dertaking.  From, the o u t s e t  i s an o p t i m i s t i c and  S i b l e y ' s p u r s u i t of t h i s  confident  one.  The  strategy  optimism i s grounded  i n the analogy which S i b l e y s t r e s s e s , and which I have been f o l l o w i n g , between a e s t h e t i c judgement and  52 color a t t r i b u t i o n .  There i s a somewhat u n d e r s t a n d a b l e urge to t i r e such a n a l o g i e s aesthetics.  i n a e s t h e t i c s , i f not of the whole f i e l d  The  of  i s s u e of a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i t y i s l i k e l y  seem p a r t i c u l a r l y t e d i o u s c r i t i c a l i s s u e s , may s l o w l y as i t can. the d r e a r i n e s s  of  at t h i s s t a g e .  to  I t , l i k e some a r t -  seem to be g o i n g nowhere, about as  Here, f o r i n s t a n c e , i s W.  B. G a l l i e on  o f the h i s t o r y of a e s t h e t i c s :  The main cause of the unsatisfactory state of . . . philosophical aesthetics i s the one-sided, almost exclusively epistemo^centered approach which philosophers adopt towards [it]. . . To give some examples. Common to, and central to, both Kant's and Wittgenstein's contributions to aesthetics, i s the question: are aesthetic judgements genuine judgements . . . i n contrast to mere expressions or affirmations of personal likes and dislikes? Both philosophers begin by pointing to certain usually recognized expectations and ways of speaking which suggest that aesthetic judgements are intended to be accepted as correct', yet both acknowledge that, i n contrast to the situation with s c i e n t i f i c judgements, there are no public and systematically applicable tests of their correctness. But to the question how these seemingly irreconcilable facts are to be explained, these leading philosophers offer surprisingly feeble and even half-hearted answers.^  52  For another employment of the colors/aesthetics analogy, see Oliver A. Johnson, "Aesthetic Objectivity and the Analogy With Ethics," i n Philosophy  53  totelian  and the Arts,  W.B.  Society,  165-181, esp. p.  179.  G a l l i e , "Art and P o l i t i c s , " Proceedings Supplement,  46 (1972), pp. 103-104.  of the Ar%s-  67  G a l l i e ' s remark (and t h e " h a l f - h e a r t e d " responses he laments)  i s an example o f the profound d e s p a i r of many aes-  theticians;  i t may p o i n t as w e l l to a source o f the d i s i n -  t e r e s t i n , and even contempt f o r , a e s t h e t i c s had by some philosophers. to  A e s t h e t i c i a n s , i n t h e i r d e s p a i r , may be prone  view the analogy between a e s t h e t i c judgement and c o l o r  a t t r i b u t i o n as very b o r i n g l y o l d - h a t , and so, to e n t i r e l y miss  i t s l i b e r a t i n g s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the a e s t h e t i c objec-  tivity  enduro. I am d i s a p p o i n t e d to f i n d l i t t l e  a p p r e c i a t i o n of the importance logy i n h i s Speaking  of Art.  evidence o f Kivy's  of the c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s ana-  His d i s c u s s i o n there of aspect-  p e r c e p t i o n i n c l u d e s a passage which p r o v i d e s some evidence that the importance  o f the analogy e n t i r e l y escapes him.  Here i s that passage more or l e s s i n i t s e n t i r e t y . Imagine a dab of black paint on an otherwise blank canvas. It can be seen as a black dot either i n front of or behind a white expanse; the figure w i l l accomodate either perceptual interpretation. This seems to me a clear case of aspect-perceiving even more disarmingly simple than, yet in the same family as, the Duck-Rabbit. Suppose now that Mr. A sees the figure as black i n front of white and Mr. B sees i t as black behind white. What crucial feature could Mr. A adduce. . . to defend the black-on-white ascription? He could say: "The white can be seen as behind the black," or urge: "See the white as behind the black,". . . But to say "The white can be seen as behind the black," i s to say nothing more than "The black can be seen as i n front of the white," which is exactly the ascription to be defended. . . The figure is so simple that whichever aspect we grasp is grasped as a whole with no really distinguishable parts to constitute crucial features and provide the basis for a defense.  68  The species of aspect-perceiving represented by DuckRabbit can be thought of as a series of figures of ascending complexity, from the absolute simplicity of the WhiteCanvas -with- Black- Spot to such intricate figures as the Skull-Lady, with Duck-Rabbit somewhere in the middle range. At some point along this series we pass from aspect-ascriptions that are not to aspect-ascriptions that are defensible. Thus, to say that the canvas has a black-before-white aspect is to make a purely personal remark about how the figure appears to the one who makes the remark. . . ^ We for  should be t r o u b l e d i n i t i a l l y by Kivy's c o n c l u s i o n ,  i t seems to deny what i s a s s e r t e d i n h i s h y p o t h e s i s .  are f i r s t  asked  to suppose a very simple case of v i s u a l  b i g u i t y , a f i g u r e which "can be seen as a b l a c k dot in  . .  f r o n t of or behind  a white expanse".  We am-  either  What comes most  r e a d i l y to mind i n answer to these s p e c i f i c a t i o n s  is a figure  such t h a t i)  i t can be seen as a b l a c k dot i n f r o n t of a white expanse,  ii)  i t can be seen as a b l a c k dot behind expanse,  iii)  i t cannot be seen as the Parthenon a g a i n s t a f i e l d of l i l l i e s .  a white  There are, i n other words, c e r t a i n readings of the f i g u r e which, though they are mutually mate r e a d i n g s ;  i n c o m p a t i b l e , are i t s l e g i t i -  there are other c o n c e i v a b l e readings of the  f i g u r e which are not l e g i t i m a t e .  Kivy, Speaking  of  Art,  And  yet Kivy's c o n c l u s i o n  pp. 100-101.  69  amounts t o the s u g g e s t i o n  that aspect-perceptual  claims  about  the f i g u r e a r e i n d e f e n s i b l e and i n c o r r i g i b l e , much as a s t a t e ment o f t h e form "X seems p t o me". deny, and i n q u i t e p a r a d o x i c a l macy t h a t n a t u r a l l y a t t a c h e s  T h i s i s , I submit, t o  f a s h i o n , t h e sense o f l e g i t i -  t o the v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o r r e a d i n g s  of our h y p o t h e t i c a l f i g u r e . But t o r e t u r n t o t h e importance o f c o l o r s :  what i s  most i n t e r e s t i n g i s t h e m i s t a k e t h a t u n d e r l i e s t h i s doxical suggestion.  K i v y q u i t e c o r r e c t l y observes t h a t  i s a hierarchy o f complexity the d u c k - r a b b i t  para-  among ambiguous f i g u r e s , w i t h  somewhere between t h e most simple  more complex such f i g u r e s .  there  But he m i s t a k e n l y  and the  asserts  that  t h e r e i s a d i s t i n c t i o n between d e f e n s i b l e and i n d e f e n s i b l e aspect-ascriptions archy o f c o m p l e x i t y ,  which r e f l e c t s o r p a r a l l e l s t h e h i e r such t h a t a t the lower e x t r e m i t y  h i e r a r c h y , even i f nowhere above i t , a s p e c t - p e r c e p t u a l  o f the claims  are i n d e f e n s i b l e and i n c o r r i g i b l e , much as a statement o f the form "X seems p t o me". are a p p a r e n t l y  K i v y ' s grounds f o r t h i s  j u s t t h a t a t t h e lower e x t r e m i t y  assertion o f the h i e r -  archy what we have i s a f i g u r e o f such extreme s i m p l i c i t y t h a t i t cannot be analyzed  o r broken down i n t o a p l u r a l i t y o f  d i s c r e e t " c r u c i a l f e a t u r e s " , so t h a t , owing  to the  simplicity  (read " u n a n a l y z a b i l i t y " ) o f the f i g u r e , any attempted " d e f e n s e " of an a s p e c t - p e r c e p t u a l ceptual  claim.  c l a i m c o l l a p s e s i n t o the aspect^per^  70  But the argument i s u n c o n v i n c i n g , r e a s o n i n g s we owing to the  f o r by these same  s h o u l d have to conclude t h a t c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n s , (supposedly p a r a d i g m a t i c ) s i m p l i c i t y and  l y z a b i l i t y of c o l o r s , are i n d e f e n s i b l e and  i n c o r r i g i b l e , much  as a statement of the form, "X seems p to me",  and  t h i s con-  c l u s i o n would be as unwarranted as i t i s unwelcome. i t unfortunate  unana-  I think  t h a t the case of c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n d i d not  occur to K i v y at t h i s j u n c t u r e ; h i s c u r i o s i t y about how a t t r i b u t i o n s are s t i m u l a t e d , and  color  to be defended might o t h e r w i s e have been such c u r i o s i t y , i t seems to me,  i s quite  c r u c i a l t o advancing the i s s u e o f o b j e c t i v i t y i n a e s t h e t i c s . I t h e r e f o r e t h i n k i t worth r e - e m p h a s i z i n g now  that  the p o i n t of an analogy between a e s t h e t i c judgement and a t t r i b u t i o n i s not t o e s t a b l i s h the e x i s t e n c e simple  color  o f a range of  a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , u n d e r s t o o d to a t t a c h to  objects  independent of the a c t u a l or p o s s i b l e e x p e r i e n c e of any  observer,  of f a c u l t i e s f o r the a p p r e h e n s i o n of such p r o p e r t i e s , or of c e r t a i n b i t s of n o n - i n f e r e n t i a l knowledge, as might be mistaken.  The  p o i n t of such an analogy i s , so f a r , o n l y to show  that, with respect  t o p r o o f s , d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s , and  r e s o l u b i l i t y of c o n t r o v e r s y ,  the  i s s u e s s t r i c t l y p a r a l l e l to those  r a i s e d by the r e l a t i v i s t i n a e s t h e t i c s can a l s o be r a i s e d about c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , and at l e a s t i n i t i a l l y .  o t h e r paradigms of  objectivity,  71  Indeed the [ r e l a t i v i s t ] , whose f i r s t move, when there are disputes, i s to demand proofs i n aesthetics, i s l i k e l y to accept other matters as objective enough without making any such demand there. Nor i s i t prima facie obvious i n d e t a i l what a conclusive proof even i n some of these areas would come to: what would be involved i n a proof that something i s red. . . ?rr  But  s i n c e c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n i s not  o n l y almost s u r e l y  o b j e c t i v e , but an area of p a r a d i g m a t i c s e t t l a b i l i t y there  i s good (even i f not t h o r o u g h l y c o n c l u s i v e )  suppose t h a t t h e r e are attribution.  But  i s s u e s can be r a i s e d w i t h r e s p e c t  i f parallel  to r e s t .  Surely  t o both c o l o r  attribution  This  i s not  not d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s  well?  to say t h a t I t h i n k t h e r e  f u s i o n about d e c i s i o n procedures f o r c o l o r s . d e a l , and  is l i t t l e  con-  There i s a good  S i b l e y , of a l l p e o p l e , shares i n i t . Indeed  continued underappreciation  be  t h e r e must be d e c i s i o n p r o -  cedures f o r c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , so why a e s t h e t i c judgement as  to  epistemological  a e s t h e t i c judgement, then perhaps these i s s u e s can  s i m i l a r l y put  for  to c o l o r  at the v e r y l e a s t , s u r p r i s e d  be shown t h a t t h e r e are none.  and  reason to  d e c i s i o n procedures r e l e v a n t  We would be,  as w e l l ,  the  of the c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s analogy  owes as much to the c o n f u s i o n  that there  i s about c o l o r d e c i -  s i o n p r o c e d u r e s as does the s t a t e of the debate about aesthetic objectivity.  Thus the c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s analogy i s  Sibley, "Objectivity and Aesthetics," p. 35.  72  important a l s o as an i n v i t a t i o n to i n q u i r y i n t o the of c o l o r d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s .  In Chapter IV below, I i n v e s -  t i g a t e the case of c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n and of i t s o b j e c t i v e b a s i s .  s k e t c h an  In the remainder of the  c h a p t e r I r e t u r n to c o n s i d e r  nature  account  present  some of the t h e s e s of  Isabel  Hungerland. That Hungerland i s a r e l a t i v i s t ,  as I have c h a r a c -  t e r i z e d t h a t p o s i t i o n , i s i n d i c a t e d i n the f o l l o w i n g passages: For purposes of making a prima facie basis of d i s t i n c t i o n between A's aesthetic features and N's nonaesthetic features I shall reject the requirement, proposed by Sibley, that a special sort of training or s e n s i t i v i t y i s always required. That leaves me with the following sort of rough basis for a distinction. A-ascriptions are not intersubjectively v e r i f i a b l e . . . • A room that looks cheerful to you may look garish to me - though we can agree on what colors and shapes and so on the furnishings have. We can always agree i n principle on a store's identifying description of a garment, but not so on whether i t i s dowdy or elegant. 56  The lack of v e r i f i a b i l i t y for A-ascriptions delights rather than distresses me. In moral matters, we must achieve some large measure of agreement or be annihilated. In science, we must require agreement or abandon the project - intersubjectivity here i s of the essence. In a r t , we can be out of step with the rest of the world without endangering a single soul or abandoning the enterprise. How delightful Hungerland's main t h e s i s i s t h a t a e s t h e t i c judgements are not  intersubjectively verifiable.  t h i s that there  are not  any  I t a k e her  to mean by  d e c i s i o n procedures, a v a i l a b l e  Hungerland, "Once Again, Aesthetic and Non-Aesthetic," p. Ibid.  pp. 110-111.  107  73  i n p r i n c i p l e to any s u b j e c t , whereby t o check the c o r r e c t ness or i n c o r r e c t n e s s of a g i v e n a e s t h e t i c judgement.  If  t h e r e were-not and c o u l d not be such d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s , then I would agree w i t h her t h a t a e s t h e t i c judgements  were  not o b j e c t i v e , t h a t t h e i r l o g i c d i f f e r e d from t h a t o f c l a i m s But I have y e t t o see i t demonstrated even t h a t t h e r e no such p r o c e d u r e s .  are  I have a l r e a d y argued t h a t an analogy  between a e s t h e t i c judgement and c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , c o u p l e d w i t h a l a c k o f s p e c i f i c i t y and c l a r i t y about the n a t u r e of c o l o r d e c i s i o n procedures, provides  some  r e a s o n t o suppose  t h a t t h e r e might a f t e r a l l be d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s i n aesthetics.  I t h i n k t h e r e f o r e t h a t i t i s too e a r l y to a s s e n t  to t h i s t h e s i s o f Hungerland's. Hungerland c l a i m s as a r e l a t e d p o i n t t h a t t h e r e i s no p r o p e r analogue f o r a e s t h e t i c judgements only-seems  dichotomy, a dichotomy which presumably  with colors.  "invented  does  apply  But her meaning here i s not e n t i r e l y c l e a r .  f i r s t she says t h a t the t e r m i n o l o g y was  of the r e a l l y - i s /  for aesthetic  At  judgements  j u s t f o r the p u r p o s e s o f d e s c r i b i n g how  things  58 look".  She seems to have i n mind the view t h a t s i n c e an  a e s t h e t i c judgement l i k e "The p a i n t i n g i s g a r i s h " i s e l l i p t i c a l f o r "The p a i n t i n g i s g a r i s h - l o o k i n g " , sentences of the Hungerland, "The Logic of Aesthetic Concepts," p. 602.  74  form. "The p a i n t i n g (only) looks g a r i s h - l o o k i n g " are f a u l t y , or redundant, or u s e l e s s , hence no dichotomy. qualifies  Of course  t h i s as an i n d i c a t o r of r e a l l y - i s / o n l y - s e e m s  Color words, she allows, were "invented of d e s c r i b i n g how  things  look".  not a l l a e s t h e t i c judgements  t a i n l y should. obscuring  F i r s t of a l l ,  are about the looks of t h i n g s .  no problem f o r Hungerland, prose cer-  But more important  i s that Hungerland i s here  the very p o i n t of a p p l i c a t i o n f o r the r e a l l y - i s /  only-seems dichotomy. all  areas.  j u s t f o r the purpose  But q u a l i f i e d or n o , t h i s i s s o p h i s t r y .  And i f music presents  she  Even i f a e s t h e t i c judgements  one and  concerned the looks of t h i n g s , there might s t i l l be good  use i n d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between a t h i n g ' s .looking, and i t s only here l i e s ,  I suspect,  seeming  so.  really  being  cjgarish-  Part of Hungerland's problem  i n her having  put the a p p e a r a n c e / r e a l i t y  dichotomy, f o r which I, i n order to approximate her, use " r e a l l y - i s / o n l y - s e e m s " , i n terms of r e a l l y being looking  $ and only  '$. I would say that the r e a l l y - i s / o n l y - s e e m s  a p p l i e s where  i ) matters are o b j e c t i v e , and  table explanation not r e a l l y being for  dichotomy  i i ) some accep-  f o r a t h i n g ' s seeming $ to someone, while $ can i n p r i n c i p l e be found.  aesthetic objectivity  But the case  i s as yet f a r from l o s t ;  more, we do o f f e r such e x p l a n a t i o n s  Furthers  as "This only seems to  75  you  t o be v i g o r o u s  because i t i s surrounded by so many f l a c c i d  t h i n g s " , o r " T h i s o n l y seems c h a o t i c t o you because you a r e unfamiliar with cubist paintings".  On t h i s p o i n t Hungerland  o f f e r s a d i s t i n c t i o n between e x p l a n a t i o n s  which " c a l l our  a t t e n t i o n t o the presence o f absence o f p h y s i c a l d e f e c t s i n sense organs" and those which i n s t e a d c a l l a t t e n t i o n to " t h e presence o r absence o f common s y m p a t h i e s , s n o b b e r i e s , o u t 59 looks.  . ."  She c l a i m s  that explanations  o f the l a t t e r  k i n d alone a r e f o r t h c o m i n g i n c o n n e c t i o n  w i t h a e s t h e t i c judge-  ments, and t h a t t h i s makes t h e e x t e n s i o n  o f the r e a l l y - i s /  only-seems dichotomy t o a e s t h e t i c s a "metaphor". What i s wrong w i t h an e x p l a n a t i o n to, say, lack of t r a i n i n g ? there  t h a t makes  Hungerland seems t o t h i n k  reference that  i s something s p e c i a l about an e x p l a n a t i o n which makes  reference  t o a p h y s i c a l d e f e c t , say one a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c o l o r  b l i n d n e s s , as i f one c o u l d be t e s t e d f o r the presence o f such a defect them.  w i t h o u t l o o k i n g a t t h i n g s and making judgements about What i s e x p l a i n e d  on e i t h e r s i d e o f Hungerland's  a l l e g e d d i s t i n c t i o n i f n o t s i m p l y the i n a b i l i t y t o make c e r t a i n discriminations?  I f a i l t o see the r e l e v a n c e  i n t h i s con-  n e c t i o n o f the p o i n t t h a t , w h i l e we t h i n k t h a t by talking  we  can sometimes " r e f i n e " a person's a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y , we cannot t a l k a p e r s o n out o f c o l o r - b l i n d n e s s . 5 9  Ibid.  p. 604.  76  There remains o n l y Hungerland's f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h socalled gestalt properties.  6 0  The f e a t u r e s  of g e s t a l t s i t u a -  t i o n s most i n t r i g u i n g f o r Hungerland and o t h e r s a r e those i l l u s t r a t e d so w e l l by t r i c k f i g u r e s l i k e the d u c k - r a b b i t , and  the phenomena known as " f i g u r e - g r o u n d " ,  namely t h e per-  sistence of e x c l u s i v e l y d i s j o i n e d r e a d i n g s .  Seeing-as i s  6 1  here seen, I t h i n k , as the b a s i s on which t o e s t a b l i s h the theoretical legitimacy of aesthetic r e l a t i v i s m .  If parti-  c u l a r works o f a r t can be seen-as X, Y, Z, P, Q, and R, then i t i s senseless  t o expect agreement i n a e s t h e t i c judgements  l e t alone i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s .  How de-  lightful! I n t e r e s t i n g n o t e : B. R. Tilghman t h i n k s t h a t the s e e i n g - a s a n a l y s i s of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y p r o v i d e s a b a s i s f o r a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i s m , s i n c e the d u c k - r a b b i t 62 be seen as a kangaroo". duck-rabbit's duck-rabbit  only  cannot " a l s o  The duck and the r a b b i t are the  ( l e g i t i m a t e ) aspects.  has o n l y two a s p e c t s ,  there  But though the i s nothing  i n prin-  c i p l e b a r r i n g ambiguous o b j e c t s ' h a v i n g more than two. as between any o f the l e g i t i m a t e r e a d i n g s o f a g i v e n  And  ambi-  60  Hungerland, "The Logic of Aesthetic Concepts," pp. 610-612; Hungerland, "Once Again: Aesthetic and Non-Aesthetic," pp. 109-ff. AT  See above, Chapter I I . 62 p. 79.  B.R. Tilghman, The Expression  of Emotion  in the Visual  Arts,  77  guous o b j e c t , there i s no p r e f e r a b i l i t y ; sists.  But  this  each r e a d i n g per-  i s the p a r t i c u l a r seeing-as phenomenon that  seems to a r r e s t Hungerland, and she i s a b s o l u t e l y c o r r e c t about what the e f f e c t of i t s i n t r o d u c t i o n , by way  of the  seeing-as a n a l y s i s of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y , i n t o the jectivity  i s s u e w i l l be.  ob-  Her mistake, however, i s i n g l i b l y  and u n c r i t i c a l l y assuming the a e s t h e t i c - g e s t a l t  connection.  A zoo director can return the animal i f he orders a zebra but what is delivered turns out to be a pony. But he w i l l get nowhere i f he claims that he ordered a horse-like black animal with white stripes (this i s the way he sees zebras) and what he got was a horse-like white animal with white stripes. A museum director who purchases a Rothko identified as having a certain size and shape and having broad horizontal bands of blue, white, and green, can return i t i f the canvas is a larger one, uniformly yellow, except for a narrow red band accross the middle. There is no point however in his arguing that though the identifying description f i t s the picture ordered, i t does not have the dynamic visual tensions that some c r i t i c s have found.gj Now,  as i t turns out, one  can s e n s i b l y d i s t i n g u i s h between  v a r i e t i e s of zebra a c c o r d i n g to whether the s t r i p e s  are  b l a c k on a white background or white  supposing  on b l a c k .  zebras not to be s o r t a b l e i n t h i s way, about  zebras:  But  Hungerland i s r i g h t  one c o u l d not l e g i t i m a t e l y f e e l cheated  a zebra on f i g u r e - g r o u n d grounds.  about  But here i s p r e c i s e l y  the  p o i n t at which the zebra case and the Rothko case might be  Hungerland, "Once Again: Aesthetic and Non-Aesthetic,';' p. 109.  78  disanalogous.  For i f a e s t h e t i c judgement i s an o b j e c t i v e  m a t t e r , then i f one were s o l d a p a i n t i n g on the u n d e r s t a n ding that c e r t a i n v i s u a l tensions  were among i t s a e s t h e t i c  p r o p e r t i e s , and i t t u r n e d out t h a t they weren't, one c o u l d p e r f e c t l y l e g i t i m a t e l y f e e l cheated found o n e s e l f But not  -  e s p e c i a l l y i f one  stuck w i t h the p a i n t i n g .  even i f a e s t h e t i c judgement u l t i m a t e l y t u r n s out  t o be an o b j e c t i v e m a t t e r * t h e r e  i s an i m p o r t a n t  difference  between s e e i n g - a s and a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y which Hungerland misses, a point  I developed i n Chapter I I ,  I p o i n t o u t , t h a t the p e r s i s t e n c e readings,  The d i f f e r e n c e  of exclusively disjoined  which i s e s s e n t i a l t o s e e i n g - a s , i s not i n t h e  same way t o l e r a b l e w i t h a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y , i s i n f a c t j u s t t h e d i f f e r e n c e Hungerland wants t o deny.  I f the r e s u l t s  of my Chapter I I a r e c o r r e c t , and Hungerland's a s s e r t i o n o f an analogy g i v e s no s u b s t a n t i a l evidence t o t h e c o n t r a r y , then  at  least  Hungerland has no b a s i s f o r r e l a t i v i s m i n t h e  comparison between a e s t h e t i c judgement and  aspect-perception.  79  CHAPTER  IV  In t h e p r e c e d i n g c h a p t e r I c o n s i d e r e d relativist's  a n t i - c r i t i c a l challenge  the a e s t h e t i c  and d i s c o v e r e d  that i t s  a p p l i c a b i l i t y i s i n i t i a l l y somewhat w i d e r than t h e r e l a t i v i s t l e t s on.  I suggest t h a t t h i s d i s c o v e r y  ought to prompt a r e -  opening o f the s e a r c h f o r t h e r a t i o n a l bases o f a r t c r i t i c i s m , t h a t i s , f o r d e c i s i o n procedures f o r a e s t h e t i c judgements. discussed  I  what i s perhaps S i b l e y ' s most s i g n i f i c a n t , i f most  w i d e l y m i s u n d e r s t o o d , c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the i s s u e o f a e s t h e t i c objectivity:  h i s i n s i s t e n c e on an analogy between a e s t h e t i c  judgement and c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , and h i s r e l a t e d of s e a r c h i n g  f o r the f o u n d a t i o n s o f a e s t h e t i c  a l o n g l i n e s to be d i s c o v e r e d color attribution.  i n analyzing  strategy  objectivity  the o b j e c t i v i t y of  The s t r a t e g y i s , I t h i n k , b o t h sound and  p r o m i s i n g , whether o r not i t w i l l l e a d t o t h e c o n c l u s i o n a e s t h e t i c judgement i s o b j e c t i v e .  that  What i s l e f t w a n t i n g i n  S i b l e y ' s t r e a t m e n t o f the o b j e c t i v i t y i s s u e , however, i n an adequate a n a l y s i s o f t h e o b j e c t i v i t y o f c o l o r  attribution.  What i s i t t o say t h a t c o l o r s a r e o b j e c t i v e , o r t h a t t h e a t t r i b u t i o n of colors to things  i s an o b j e c t i v e b u s i n e s s ?  It i s to t h i s matter, i n t e r e s t i n g  enough on i t s own, t h a t I  address m y s e l f i n t h i s c h a p t e r .  I am c o n v i n c e d t h a t the r e -  sults of philosophers'  i n t o i t have not been en-  inquiries  80  t i r e l y c o n c l u s i v e , and  t h a t the p r e v a i l i n g c o n f u s i o n  c o l o r s , c o u p l e d w i t h the w i d e l y  about  acknowledged c e n t r a l i t y  of  c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n as an area of o b j e c t i v i t y , has b o t h r e t a r d e d our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of o b j e c t i v i t y g e n e r a l l y and  severe-  l y hampered most of the d i s c u s s i o n c o n c e r n i n g a e s t h e t i c j e c t i v i t y i n p a r t i c u l a r . As a p r e l i m i n a r y to the  ob-  discussion  of c o l o r d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s , i t i s c o n v e n i e n t to develop a terminology  f o r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g among v a r i o u s  types o f  pro-  p e r t y t h a t a t h i n g might be s a i d to have. Where the d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s r e l e v a n t to e s t a b l i s h i n g the t r u t h of judgements of a c e r t a i n k i n d i n v o l v e h y p o t h e t i c a l or c o n d i t i o n a l p r o p o s i t i o n s we may properties.  Thus f r a g i l i t y  d i s p o s i t i o n a l property.  The  speak of d i s p o s i t i o n a l  (solubility, elasticity) is a t r u t h c o n d i t i o n s f o r judgements  l i k e "X i s f r a g i l e " i n v o l v e c o n d i t i o n a l s of the form "Under c e r t a i n p h y s i c a l c o n d i t i o n s , X would undergo c e r t a i n p h y s i c a l changes." When the h y p o t h e t i c a l f o r a d i s p o s i t i o n a l p r o p e r t y makes c r u c i a l r e f e r e n c e  to the e x p e r i e n c e of an o b s e r v e r ,  w i l l speak of " e x p o s i t i o n a l p r o p e r t i e s " .  I  An e x p o s i t i o n a l  p r o p e r t y w i l l be one where the t r u t h c o n d i t i o n s f o r judgements a t t r i b u t i n g i t to t h i n g s i n v o l v e h y p o t h e t i c a l s of form, " I f an o b j e c t X stood  i n r e l a t i o n R to an o b s e r v e r  0 would have an e x p e r i e n c e of such and  such a k i n d . "  the 0,  81  On t h i s  terminology,  non-expositional;  triangularity  and n o n - e x p o s i t i o n a l ; (see below) are  f r a g i l i t y is dispositional i s both  non-dispositional  smoothness i s e x p o s i t i o n a l ;  is expositional;  a l l expositional  redness  properties  dispositional. C o l o r s , though they are e x p o s i t i o n a l , are not  expositional. property  D e t e r m i n i n g t h a t an o b j e c t  i s a matter o f e s t a b l i s h i n g  be o b s e r v e r s f o r whom the o b j e c t a c e r t a i n kind of experience; establish  has an e x p o s i t i o n a l  t h a t t h e r e are or c o u l d  has the c a p a c i t y to  but e s t a b l i s h i n g  A blue object,  has an e x p o s i t i o n a l p r o p e r t y  occasion  t h i s does not  (A) w h i c h m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f i n from c o l o r c h i p  But i t may a l s o have an e x p o s i t i o n a l p r o p e r t y i t s e l f i n some c o l o r - b l i n d o b s e r v e r s '  t i c a l to I I .  situa-  l i k e color chip I  f o r i n s t a n c e my f i n d i n g i t d i f f e r e n t  fests  simply  an o b j e c t ' s c o l o r , f o r the f o l l o w i n g s o r t o f  t i o n can a r i s e :  I's  but  I t has but one c o l o r : b l u e .  c o l o r i n v o l v e s not o n l y e s t a b l i s h i n g  II.  (B) which mani-  finding i t Thus  iden-  establishing  t h a t t h e r e are some  82  observers f o r whom I has  the c a p a c i t y  s o r t of v i s u a l experience;  to o c c a s i o n  i t involves  a certain  e s t a b l i s h i n g some  such observers as also having pre-eminent or a u t h o r i t a t i v e status.  Accordingly  tional properties".  I s h a l l speak of "pre-eminent An  expositional properties only one  o b j e c t may  have, as above, numerous  i n an area such as c o l o r , o f which  w i l l be pre-eminent.  o b j e c t which has  exposi-  It i s even p o s s i b l e f o r  a number of e x p o s i t i o n a l p r o p e r t i e s ,  have no pre-eminent e x p o s i t i o n a l p r o p e r t i e s  at  all.^  to 4  I assume that c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n i s o b j e c t i v e . assume, i n other words, that there available  f o r s e t t l i n g disputes  an  I  are d e c i s i o n procedures  about the c o l o r s of  things.  I f t h i s assumption stands i n need of support, l e t that  sup-  p o r t come i n the  form of an account of what those d e c i s i o n  procedures are.  I propose the  Color objectivity  attribution lies  following i n one  i s t i e d to a r e f e r e n c e  for disputes.  of those areas whose  group of o b s e r v e r s .  such areas, the members of r e f e r e n c e as I s h a l l c a l l  account.  groups, or  "referees"  them, f u n c t i o n as p o t e n t i a l f i n a l Disputes w i t h i n  any  In  arbiters  of these areas may  s e t t l e d w i t h f i n a l i t y by appeal to the experiences of  be the  referees.  64  I discuss examples which indicate this possibility at the end of this chapter.  83  W i t h c o l o r s and of s e t t l i n g d i s p u t e s  o t h e r s i m i l a r m a t t e r s , the p r a c t i c e  involves s e l e c t i n g referees.  are concerned w i t h p r i n c i p l e s of s e l e c t i o n .  one  we  There are  b a s i c p r i n c i p l e s f o r the s e l e c t i o n of members of groups:  So  reference  c o r r e s p o n d i n g to a m a j o r i t a r i a n b i a s or  t i o n we have i n matters of o b j e c t i v i t y i n g e n e r a l ;  two  inclinathe  other  c o r r e s p o n d i n g to a b i a s or i n c l i n a t i o n we have i n f a v o r  of  d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s and  prin-  sensitivity.  I w i l l c a l l the f i r s t  c i p l e the " m a j o r i t a r i a n p r i n c i p l e " , and sitivity principle". t i a l l y as a s y s t e m a t i c heads, and  the second the  Each p r i n c i p l e may  be u n d e r s t o o d  "senini-  i n c l i n a t i o n , on thervone hand, to count  on the o t h e r , d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s .  We  are i n c l i n e d  take the s t a t i s t i c a l l y n o r m a l , the members of the m a j o r i t y or p l u r a l i t y as r e f e r e e s ;  and we  to  agreed  are i n c l i n e d  to  take the m a x i m a l l y s e n s i t i v e o b s e r v e r s ,  those c a p a b l e of  the most d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s , as r e f e r e e s .  By "maximally s e n s i -  t i v e " and  so on,  I do not mean "capable of a l l p o s s i b l e  dis-  c r i m i n a t i o n s " , but r a t h e r "capable of more d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s than any c o m p e t i t o r " .  A l s o , f o r the sake o f c o n v e n i e n c e , I  i g n o r e cases of r a d i c a l l y d i v e r g e n t and  s e t s of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s  l i m i t c o n s i d e r a t i o n to cases where the s e n s i t i v e obser-  v e r s make a l l the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s other people do, p l u s a few more. The  two  considerations, s t a t i s t i c a l normality,  and  84  r e l a t i v e d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y , seem t o be f a i r l y i n weight.  equal  N e i t h e r s t a t i s t i c a l n o r m a l i t y nor maximum d i s -  c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y i s by i t s e l f a n e c e s s a r y c o n d i t i o n f o r q u a l i f i c a t i o n as a r e f e r e e .  Neither s t a t i s t i c a l  nor maximum d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y i s by i t s e l f to e s t a b l i s h t h e r e f e r e n c e  group.  normality sufficient  A necessary c o n d i t i o n f o r  a g i v e n group's s e l e c t i o n t o r e f e r e e s h i p i s t h a t t h a t group s h a l l be e i t h e r s t a t i s t i c a l l y normal o r capable o f more r e l e v a n t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s than any competing group. is,  That  I r e p e a t , n o t capable s i m p l y o f a g r e a t e r number o f d i s -  c r i m i n a t i o n s , b u t c a p a b l e o f a l l t h e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s made by any  competitor,  p l u s a few more.  Of c o u r s e , i f the m a x i m a l l y  s e n s i t i v e are a l s o s t a t i s t i c a l l y normal, that i s s u f f i c i e n t to e s t a b l i s h them as r e f e r e e s . I have used t h e terms " b i a s " and " i n c l i n a t i o n " .  I  do n o t mean by these t o derogate e i t h e r o f the two p r i n c i p l e s of s e l e c t i o n .  But because o f t h e i r p l a c e and r o l e i n a com-  p l e x and d e l i c a t e s e l e c t i o n p r o c e d u r e , n e i t h e r the m a j o r i t a r i a n nor t h e s e n s i t i v i t y p r i n c i p l e can be f o r m u l a t e d  either  as a n e c e s s a r y o r as a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r q u a l i f i c a t i o n as a r e f e r e e . themselves.  T h i s i s why " b i a s " and " i n c l i n a t i o n " suggest I t i s w e l l to c a l l both p r i n c i p l e s " p r i n c i p l e s "  because our s e l e c t i o n o f r e f e r e e s them.  i s i n any case guided by  But i t i s a l s o w e l l t o be reminded t h a t each o f the  85  two by  principles the  other.  be  o v e r r i d d e n , under c e r t a i n  case of c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n i s an  t i n g r e f e r e e s to the  the  into focus.  o b j e c t i v i t y of c o l o r  t i c a l l y normal and  i m p o r t a n t one  c e n t r a l i t y of  o b j e c t i v i t y of a c e r t a i n k i n d of  second because i t b r i n g s the  of s e l e c t i o n  color  The  above two  sensitive,  s e n s i t i v i t y i s s t a t i s t i c a l l y n o r m a l , has  than r i v a l groups.  But  of c o l o r s  an o c c a s i o n f o r some c o n t r o v e r s y and  about the  c o n c e p t u a l b a s i s of  principles  t h i s f a c t , that  o b j e c t i v i t y of c o l o r  e x p e r i e n c e s of the e f f e c t t h a t the  made the  case  confusion  objectivity.  Competing t h e o r i e s have been suggested:  i s t i e d to the  judge-  t h a t i s , capable of more  color  i i ) to the  selec-  a t t r i b u t i o n i s t i e d are b o t h s t a t i s -  discriminations  i n the  to  o b s e r v e r s to whose judgements  color  e f f e c t t h a t the  sensitive  a tiny minority?  e x p l o r e , f i r s t because i t i l l u s t r a t e s the  ment, and  circumstances,  What happens, f o r i n s t a n c e , when the  p e o p l e make up The  can  i ) to  the  a t t r i b u t i o n i s grounded  s t a t i s t i c a l l y normal o b s e r v e r ; ^ o b j e c t i v i t y of c o l o r  attribution  e x p e r i e n c e s of those making the most  detailed  This view, often attributed to Locke, appears more recently  eg. i n Jonathan Bennett, Locke,  Berkeley,  Ewne  -  Central  Themes,  (London:  Oxford University Press, 1971), at p. 94; George Pitcher, A Theory of Perception, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), at p. 223; Johnson, "Aesthetic Objectivity and the Analogy With Ethics," pp. 179-181; and Hungerland, "The Logic of Aesthetic Concepts," at p. 51; Kivy, at pp. 67-68 of Speaking of Art, i n examining Hungerland's position, accepts normality as the basis of color objectivity.  86  and  extensive  set of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s . ^  The two t h e o r i e s a r e  m a n i f e s t l y opposed i n answer t o the q u e s t i o n ,  "Who would de-  c i d e the c o l o r s o f t h i n g s i f the c o l o r s e n s i t i v e numbered a small minority?"  (Again f o r the sake o f e x p o s i t o r y  simpli-  c i t y I l i m i t c o n s i d e r a t i o n t o cases where t h e p o p u l a t i o n d i v i d e s f a i r l y n e a t l y i n t o two groups, one l a r g e r than the o t h e r , t h e s m a l l e r o f t h e two b e i n g t h e more s e n s i t i v e . ) On t h e f i r s t a c c o u n t , t h e c o l o r s t h a t t h i n g s the c o l o r s t h a t t h i n g s looked  are would be  t o be t o t h e m a j o r i t y .  On t h e  second a c c o u n t , the c o l o r s t h a t t h i n g s a r e would be t h e c o l o r s that things looked  t o be t o t h e s e n s i t i v e m i n o r i t y .  On t h e  account I p r o p o s e , i t i s not y e t c l e a r t o whose e x p e r i e n c e s the o b j e c t i v i t y o f c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n would be t i e d , t h e hypot h e t i c a l s i t u a t i o n being  a t t h i s stage u n d e r d e s c r i b e d .  Room i s made, as I s a y , f o r t h e two competing t h e o r i e s by t h e convergence, i n t h e case o f c o l o r s , o f s e n s i t i v i t y and n o r m a l i t y , and each o f the two t h e o r i e s has i t s measure o f p l a u s i b i l i t y owing t o the c e n t r a l i t y o f s e n s i t i v i t y and o f normality But  r e s p e c t i v e l y to the business of s e l e c t i n g r e f e r e e s .  i n each case something has gone wrong.  philosopher,  I t i s as i f the  i n t r y i n g t o see c l e a r l y , h o l d s t h e o b j e c t  very  Sibley, "Colours," p. 149; An irony: Sibley's well known emphasis on the normality of sight, hearing, touch. . . as that than which something more i s needed i n order to make aesthetic judgements documents the grip that our majoritarian bias has even on him.  87  c l o s e and s q u i n t s , c l o s i n g one o r t h e o t h e r o f h i s eyes. am s u g g e s t i n g  I  t h a t we open b o t h eyes and stand a b i t f u r t h e r  back. I want now t o d i s c r e d i t t h e two above t h e o r i e s o f the s e l e c t i o n o f c o l o r r e f e r e e s , and t o m o t i v a t e my own, by e x p o s i n g f o u r p o s s i b l e sources o f c o n f u s i o n . i)  I t i s a matter of contingent  f a c t t h a t people  s e n s i t i v e t o c o l o r d i f f e r e n c e s v a s t l y outnumber t h e c o l o r b l i n d , that color s e n s i t i v i t y i s s t a t i s t i c a l l y . n o r m a l .  This  i s n o t t o say t h a t the n o r m a l i t y o f c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y i s an accident.  I expect t h e r e i s a p r e t t y good e x p l a n a t i o n f o r  the convergence o f c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y and n o r m a l i t y ,  which  would i n v o l v e observed r e g u l a r i t i e s i n t h e b e h a v i o r o f l i g h t , and  i n the physiology  o f t h e p e r c e i v i n g organism, some r e p r o -  d u c t i v e g e n e t i c s , and so on.  Nevertheless,  we can e a s i l y  imagine c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y ' s b e i n g o r becoming s t a t i s t i c a l l y r a r e , and t h i s j u s t means t h a t t h e c o n n e c t i o n s e n s i t i v i t y and n o r m a l i t y  i s a contingent  between c o l o r  one.  But t h i s f a c t  i s i t s e l f s u b j e c t t o a m i s a p p l i c a t i o n through p h i l o s o p h i c a l squinting.  Accordingly  a word o f c a u t i o n :  I t does n o t f o l l o w  from the c o n t i n g e n c y o f s e n s i t i v i t y ' s c o n n e c t i o n either  with  normality  that s e n s i t i v i t y i s i n c i d e n t a l to o b j e c t i v i t y while  m a l i t y i s germane or t h a t n o r m a l i t y t i v i t y w h i l e s e n s i t i v i t y i s germane.  i s i n c i d e n t a l t o objec-  nor-  88  ii)  S e c o n d l y , a word about the words "normal"  "sensitive".  Each o f these words wears i t s h e a r t , so t o  speak, on i t s s l e e v e .  Each i s i n a way  which i s not f u l l y or adequately  l i k e the word " g r i n g o " ,  understood except as con-  v e y i n g a measure of d i s a p p r o b a t i o n .  "Normal" and  "sensitive",  i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h c o l o r p e r c e p t i o n and a t t r i b u t i o n at r a t e , each c a r r y a c l e a r , but measure of a p p r o b a t i o n . approbation  and  not,  any  I emphasize, overwhelming  That t h e r e s h o u l d be a measure of  i s o n l y to be e x p e c t e d ,  s i n c e the words r e f l e c t  our m a j o r i t a r i a n and s e n s i t i v i t y b i a s e s r e s p e c t i v e l y . our b e i n g b i a s e d i n f a v o r of the m a j o r i t y i s not  But  equivalent  t o , nor does i t e n t a i l , our b e i n g bound to s e l e c t normal s e r v e r s as r e f e r e e s .  Our  i n c l i n a t i o n s to r e c e i v e the m a j o r i t y  r e p o r t and to t r e a t normal people as r e f e r e e s are not tible.  irresis-  I t i s open t o us to d e c l i n e to so t r e a t them, even  a g a i n s t our i n c l i n a t i o n s ; iii)  s i m i l a r l y f o r our s e n s i t i v i t y b i a s .  T h i r d l y , we must c a r e f u l l y d i s t i n g u i s h between  d e c i s i o n procedures ( f o r d i s p u t e s ) and (for  ob-  referees).  appeal  s e l e c t i o n procedures  C o l o r d i s p u t e s are s e t t l e d u l t i m a t e l y by  to the c o l o r r e f e r e n c e group, however t h a t group i s  selected.  Now,  g e n e r a l l y , i t takes a m a j o r i t y r e p o r t from  an overwhelming m a j o r i t y o f a r e f e r e n c e group to b r i n g a d i s pute to u l t i m a t e s e t t l e m e n t . this  -  I won't go i n t o the reasons f o r  some o f them are q u i t e o b v i o u s ;  o t h e r s have to do  w i t h such v a g a r i e s of the p e r c e p t u a l encounter as the e f f e c t s  89  of d i s e a s e , v i t a m i n i n t a k e , temperature o f the s u r r o u n d i n g a i r , e t c . on our p e r c e p t i o n s . i s s e t t l e d by an i m p r e s s i v e  In any c a s e , a c o l o r  m a j o r i t y o f the c o l o r  dispute  reference  group, which happens t o be an i m p r e s s i v e  m a j o r i t y o f the  population.  m a j o r i t y o f the  impressive But  I n t h i s c a s e , an i m p r e s s i v e  m a j o r i t y i s , i t s e l f , an i m p r e s s i v e  majority.  the f a c t t h a t d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s c a l l f o r i m p r e s s i v e  m a j o r i t i e s does n o t r e q u i r e t h a t r e f e r e n c e  groups be im-  pressive majorities. iv) determining  F i n a l l y , we must bear i n mind t h a t t h e means o f t h e n o r m a l i t y o f an o b s e r v e r a r e d i f f e r e n t from  the means o f d e t e r m i n i n g  his sensitivity.  S t a t i s t i c a l nor-  m a l i t y i s determined by a p r o c e s s o f c o u n t i n g t i v i t y by a p r o c e s s o f c o u n t i n g  heads, s e n s i -  and comparing d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s .  Now, i n t h e o r d i n a r y course o f t h i n g s , i f we were t o c a l l someone a "normal o b s e r v e r " ,  we would mean, among o t h e r  things,  t h a t he had a c e r t a i n l e v e l o f c o l o r - d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y . So we might be i n c l i n e d t o c o n s t r u e t h e s t a n d a r d c r i m i n a t i o n t e s t as a t e s t f o r t h e n o r m a l i t y  color dis-  of color v i s i o n .  One might t h i n k t h e r e b y t o c o l l a p s e s e n s i t i v i t y and n o r m a l i t y . But  t e s t s f o r any p a r t i c u l a r l e v e l o f c o l o r - d i s c r i m i n a t o r y  c a p a c i t y can f u n c t i o n as t e s t s f o r the n o r m a l i t y  of color  v i s i o n o n l y so l o n g as t h a t l e v e l o f c o l o r - d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y i s i n f a c t normal. normality  So, u n l e s s  t h e s t a t i s t i c a l ab-  o f c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y i s i n c o n c e i v a b l e , which i t i s  90  not,  the  two  I that can  hope  the  neither  be  to  something  be  to of  collapsed.  have  another  one in  referees.  toward  given  I  things  majority?"  as  a matter  of  with  two  which as  left  in  the  case  reference without  sider  cases  pick  out  our of  group,  group  notice  a  difference  tical.  We may  variety  of  that  what  color.  suppose  sorts, the  We c a n  fellow  a  this let  us  claims  satisfy  decide  importance.  with  not,  of  pick  or  would have  which  We  are,  same reference  as  well  to  not,  or  might  a battery  help  sensitive,  the  color  a need  the  selection,  out  the  in  us  when  to  the  con-  of  not  sub-  decide two  main  tension.  between  but  to  s u c h c a s e s we  that  suppose  done  not  and  us  tobhave  were  the  Let  business  sensitive  between  in  the  color  but  the  to  would  happen  do  diminished  words,  principles  view  sensitivity  "Who  principles,  us  other  of  the  question,  adjudicating  leave  importance  for  the  sidiary  principles  nor  other  establishing  they  majority  the  in  main  ado) ,  In  and  philosophical  (thus  which  same.  the  colors  further  in  the  if  normality  their  establishing  of  think,  to  hope,  colors  I  some m o t i v a t i o n  statistical  collapsed  one  selecting  the  now  notions  relative of  cannot  fellow objects to  London  which  concern  for to  in  is  rather  see  a  to  as  difference  simplicity's  notice  ourselves  a  we  claims  sake  idenof  a  wide  suppose  difference  in  straightforwardly  91  as to whether or not he does d i s c r i m i n a t e , by t e s t s to him. him  One such t e s t would i n v o l v e p l a c i n g  before  o b j e c t s which we cannot d i s t i n g u i s h and g e t t i n g him to  order  them or p i c k out the odd ones.  j e c t s and r e c o r d h i s o r d e r i n g . and  administering  ask him to r e - o r d e r  We scramble the o b j e c t s ,  them as b e f o r e ,  the l a b e l s hidden from him. orderings,  We then l a b e l the ob-  a l l the while keeping  After several successful re-  the p l a u s i b i l i t y o f supposing the f e l l o w to be  guessing, or lucky, e t c . begins to decrease r a p i d l y u n t i l we are j u s t r i g i d and s i l l y not to be s a t i s f i e d that he does, a f t e r a l l ,  d i s t i n g u i s h between o b j e c t s where we do not.  Now suppose that a f a i r l y widely d i s t r i b u t e d group o f observers, s t i l l  though a t i n y m i n o r i t y ,  have demonstrated,  i n some such way, the a b i l i t y to make c e r t a i n agreed minations where the m a j o r i t y  do n o t , thus e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e i r  s e n s i t i v i t y r e l a t i v e to the m a j o r i t y .  What  would count e i t h e r i n favor o f or against group as the r e f e r e n c e i)  discri-  considerations  t r e a t i n g such a  group?  One c o n s i d e r a t i o n  concerns the degree of s u b t l e t y  of the d i f f e r e n c e that d i s t i n g u i s h e s these o b j e c t s  f o r these  67 observers.  Suppose we ask the s e n s i t i v e observers how b i g  or d r a s t i c i s the d i f f e r e n c e they n o t i c e .  Would they say i t  I am following a suggestion of Jonathan Bennett's.  92  i s a v e r y b i g d i f f e r e n c e , and and b l u e ?  l i k e n i t to t h a t between r e d  Or would they c a l l i t a s u b t l e nuance, l i k e n i n g  i t to some of the more minute d i f f e r e n c e s i n shade to which we  i n the i n s e n s i t i v e m a j o r i t y are a l i v e ?  the d i f f e r e n c e , the s t r o n g e r the s e n s i t i v e m i n o r i t y ;  The  more s u b t l e  the case becomes i n f a v o r of  the more gross or r a d i c a l the  f e r e n c e , the s t r o n g e r the case becomes a g a i n s t .  This  sound a b i t a r b i t r a r y i n i t s b a l d form, but t h e r e reaons why  may  are  the s u b t l e t y of a d i f f e r e n c e tends to make i t  acceptable. a)  dif-  Here are  two:  S u b t l e d i f f e r e n c e s , s l i g h t d i f f e r e n c e s , are q u i t e  r i g h t l y thought hard to d e t e c t , whereas gross or r a d i c a l ferences  are thought hard to m i s s .  good measure of i n i t i a l about any  Hence t h e r e w i l l be  i m p l a u s i b i l i t y and  difa  subsequent d a z z l e  s u p p o s i t i o n to the e f f e c t t h a t t h e r e i s n o t i c e d  some r a d i c a l , h a r d - t o - m i s s d i f f e r e n c e , which i s  nevertheless  r e g u l a r l y and u n i f o r m l y missed by n e a r l y everyone.  But  there i s nothing  there  so e x t r a o r d i n a r y i n s u p p o s i n g t h a t  i s n o t i c e d some s u b t l e , h a r d - t o - d e t e c t r e g u l a r l y , u n i f o r m l y , and w i d e l y Now,  we  nuance, which goes  unnoticed.  are not at t h i s stage e n t e r t a i n i n g any  doubts  about the a b i l i t y of the s e n s i t i v e few to d i s t i n g u i s h where the v a s t m a j o r i t y do not.  That a b i l i t y of t h e i r s we  may  suppose has been amply demonstrated, whether the d i f f e r e n c e  93  i n question  i s t i n y or tremendous.  i s whether we  What is at i s s u e here  s h a l l or shan't a l l o w the language to conform  to t h e i r judgements.  I am  suggesting  t h a t the u n c o m f o r t a b l e  c u r i o s i t y of t h e i r s e n s i t i v i t y to a g r o s s , h a r d - t o - m i s s d i f f e r e n c e , which c u r i o s i t y remains even a f t e r t h e i r has been e s t a b l i s h e d , p r e s e n t s t r e a t i n g them as b)  a not n e g l i g i b l e o b s t a c l e  to  referees.  There i s a n a t u r a l ease about r e g a r d i n g  t i v i t y to s u b t l e , hard^-to-detect  w h i l e i t i s d i f f i c u l t to r e g a r d  sensi-  d i f f e r e n c e s as n o n e t h e l e s s  w i t h i n the range of i m p r o v a b i l i t y of those who  ferences  sensitivity  lack i t ,  s e n s i t i v i t y to g r o s s d i f -  as something one might improve toward and  acquire.  One's t h r e s h o l d of s e n s i t i v i t y needs o n l y to be coaxed a b i t f o r one  to be enabled to see a v e r y s u b t l e nuance, say  tween c o l o r samples o f the same hue, few  d i f f e r i n g o n l y by  increments i n s a t u r a t i o n or i n t e n s i t y .  t h i n k , w i t h s u b t l e d i f f e r e n c e s , t h a t i f we or more p r a c t i c e , of more v i t a m i n A, we  So we  bea  tend to  got more s l e e p ,  too c o u l d see  them.  But w i t h gross d i f f e r e n c e s i t i s much more d i f f i c u l t to imagine what an improvement i n one's s e n s i t i v i t y would be  like,  much l e s s what might e f f e c t such an improvement. ii)  Another i m p o r t a n t c o n s i d e r a t i o n concerns  the  presence or absence o f o t h e r measureable d i f f e r e n c e s which c o r r e s p o n d t o those n o t i c e d by the s e n s i t i v e few.  Suppose  94  the s e n s i t i v e few  d i v i d e the t e s t samples i n t o two  c a t e g o r i e s , A and  B.  Now  suppose we  discover  color  uniform  measureable d i f f e r e n c e s between the A o b j e c t s  and  objects.  l i g h t waves  of one  Suppose that the A's  length and  the B's  always r e f l e c t  of another;  the B  or that the  A's,  when p l a c e d  i n water, r e g u l a r l y d i s s o l v e , while the  when p l a c e d  i n water, p r e c i p i t a t e sugar;  discover  a uniform age  by carbon d a t i n g .  or suppose  d i f f e r e n c e between the A's  At one  can be used to help  e s t a b l i s h what can otherwise be  help  c l a i m to be  test.  func-  sensitive.  At another l e v e l ,  They  estabthey  can  to determine what kind of s e n s i t i v i t y i s e s t a b l i s h e d  whether we  are d e a l i n g w i t h c o l o r , as opposed to say tem-  perature, ? s e n s i t i v i t y .  But  t a b l i s h e d , and where i t has any  B's  l e v e l , such d i s c o v e r i e s can  an i n i t i a l  a hidden-labels  we  and  t i o n to corroborate  l i s h e d by  B's,  impressive  discovery  once s e n s i t i v i t y has been e s t a b l i s h e d i n a  the m i n o r i t y ' s against  any  t r e a t i n g the m i n o r i t y  heroic  as r e f e r e n c e  tend to count group.  Of  course,  v a r i o u s , these c o r r e l a t i v e d i s c o v e r i e s  are, the more impressive sensitive.  A failed  uniform measureable c o r r e l a t e of  basis of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n w i l l  the more numerous, and  minority,  of t h i s s o r t w i l l tend a l s o to  weigh i n favor of the s e n s i t i v e m i n o r i t y . attempt to d i s c o v e r  been es-  they each become i n favor of  the  95  iii)  Then t o o , t h e r e i s t h e d i m e n s i o n o f u t i l i t y .  How u s e f u l o r d e s i r a b l e would i t be t o have t h e d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y o f t h e s e n s i t i v e few? ginable a l t e r n a t i v e s here, ranging  There a r e many imafrom s e n s i t i v i t i e s  no u s e f u l a p p l i c a t i o n s whatever, t o s e n s i t i v i t i e s  with  with  t r i v i a l a p p l i c a t i o n s (imagine a man who had become unbeata b l e a t p o k e r , so l o n g as he c o u l d see t h e backs o f c a r d s ) , to s e n s i t i v i t i e s w i t h v i t a l  uses (imagine a man who c o u l d  a c c u r a t e l y f o r e c a s t e a r t h q u a k e s , based on a s e n s i t i v i t y t o color differences i n rocks). tivities ble.  There might even be s e n s i -  w h i c h a r e p o s i t i v e l y t o be a v o i d e d i f a t a l l p o s s i -  Here I t h i n k o f extreme temperature s e n s i t i v i t y , ac-  companied perhaps by a low d i s c o m f o r t  threshold.  Of c o u r s e ,  the more a t t r a c t i v e , u s e f u l , o r i m p o r t a n t the d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y o f t h e s e n s i t i v e , the h i g h e r  i t spositive u t i l i t y  v a l u e , the g r e a t e r the tendency t o s e l e c t the s e n s i t i v e t o refereeship;  t h e lower t h e u t i l i t y v a l u e , t h e g r e a t e r t h e  tendency i n the o p p o s i t e d i r e c t i o n . I s a i d that a s u f f i c i e n t q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r a reference group i s b o t h maximum d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y and normality.  Where no s i n g l e group i s b o t h s e n s i t i v e and  n o r m a l , a s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r a g i v e n group's c a t i o n as r e f e r e n c e tivity  statistical  qualifi-  group w i l l be e i t h e r t h a t group*s s e n s i -  o r i t s n o r m a l i t y , p l u s whatever a d d i t i o n a l s u b s i d i a r y  96  evidence i s i m p r e s s i v e group as r e f e r e n c e  enough t o cause us t o s e l e c t t h a t  group.  I have i l l u s t r a t e d some ways i n  which evidence might be o b t a i n e d s e n s i t i v e o r o f the m a j o r i t y . t i o n s t h a t can count: to t h e m i n o r i t y ;  e i t h e r i n support o f t h e  There a r e o t h e r  the s i z e o f t h e m a j o r i t y  the r e l a t i v e s t a t i s t i c a l  considerarelative  d i v e r s i t i e s of  the two groups, t h a t i s , whether t h e s e n s i t i v e m i n o r i t y would, a p a r t from performance on d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t e s t s , cons t i t u t e a random sample; interdependencies ciples.  and so on.  There a r e a l s o c e r t a i n  between v a r i o u s o f t h e s u b s i d i a r y p r i n -  F o r i n s t a n c e , the r e l a t i v e s i z e s o f m i n o r i t y and  majority w i l l a f f e c t the weighting  of other s u b s i d i a r y p r i n -  c i p l e s i n a g i v e n d e l i b e r a t i o n , i . e . w i l l determine i n p a r t how much s u b s i d i a r y evidence o f one o r another k i n d i t w i l l take t o sway t h e s e l e c t i o n i n e i t h e r d i r e c t i o n . I have touched on p r i n c i p l e s which seem t o me  likely  to have a s p e c i a l b e a r i n g on t h e i s s u e o f o b j e c t i v i t y i n aesthetics.  For i n s t a n c e , supposing f o r the moment t h a t t h e  c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s analogy can be p r e s s e d for  to y i e l d a c r i t e r i o n  a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y , and supposing what i s l i k e l y  that  the membership o f t h e c l a s s thus d e l i n e a t e d i s a m i n o r i t y , then a f a i r l y s t r o n g case c o u l d be made f o r t h e i r s e l e c t i o n to r e f e r e e s h i p based on t h e s u b s i d i a r y p r i n c i p l e s I've mentioned.  The s u b t l e t y and r i c h n e s s o f the v o c a b u l a r y o f  97  c r i t i c i s m i n d i c a t e s that the d i s t i n c t i o n s i t i s used to make.are themselves of a h i g h degree of s u b t l e t y . p a r t of the  l o g i c of a e s t h e t i c judgments:  Secondly,  the emergence of  a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s , l o g i c a l l y guarantess c o r r e l a t i v e sets of d i f f e r e n c e s . v i d u a l s who  we  And  t h i r d l y , the behavior of those indi-*-  ( i n the absence of a c l e a r account o f aes-  t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y ) call  s e n s i t i v e i n the a r t s i n d i c a t e s  q u i t e s t r o n g l y that they d e r i v e a g r e a t e r measure of joyment from contact insensitive;  and  w i t h the a r t s than do those we  i f we  a r t - r e l a t e d pleasure by  t h e i r having and  -prima  facie  desirable.  order  of i n q u i r y i n  intensified  get c l e a r about fundamental n o t i o n s ,  n o t i o n of o b j e c t i v i t y , by c o n s i d e r i n g l i k e c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , and  consider  and  e x e r c i s i n g s e n s i t i v i t y , which would make  Often the p r e s c r i b e d  cases,  philosophy like  epistemology being  It has  only then to proceed to  been suggested to me  fundamental and  has  must f i r s t  doubt r a i s e a few  do sound epistemology.  eyebrows to suggest that  something to o f f e r epistemology.  there  i s something to be  such that,  b a s i c to any p a r t i c u l a r -  i z e d or " a p p l i e d " p h i l o s o p h i z i n g , i f you want to do a e s t h e t i c s , you  the  standard, c e n t r a l  the more c o n t r o v e r s i a l , l e s s c e n t r a l cases,  as a e s t h e t i c judgement.  no  call  are to b e l i e v e t h e i r words, t h e i r  i s as a r u l e i n c r e a s e d  aesthetic s e n s i t i v i t y  i s to f i r s t  en-  good It w i l l  aesthetics  I t h i n k , though, that  s a i d f o r proceeding, as I have done,  98  i n "reverse order" with respect to o b j e c t i v i t y , c o l o r s , and aesthetics.  In approaching the q u e s t i o n of o b j e c t i v i t y v i a  i t s a e s t h e t i c p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n , one opportunity  has  an u n p a r a l l e l e d  f o r g e t t i n g the q u e s t i o n i n t o c l e a r focus.  For,  u n l i k e c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n , a r t c r i t i c i s m i s n o t o r i o u s l y an area i n which the p e r s i s t e n c e of disagreement i s n o t a b l e , alarming,  and  of c o n s i d e r a b l e p r a c t i c a l concern;  and i t  i s disagreement t h a t gets the p h i l o s o p h i c a l i s s u e about  ob-  j e c t i v i t y o f f the ground.  with  So  i t i s heve , i n connection  (an area such as) a r t c r i t i c i s m , that the motivations  for  s c e p t i c i s m can be most v i v i d l y and d r a m a t i c a l l y exposed. With the s c e p t i c s motives i n f u l l view, we to explore c o l o r o b j e c t i v i t y i n a way have been  I complained at the running  c e r t a i n e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l and  may  of the  the p r e c e d i n g  temology i n t o ontology,  together  e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l ones,  i n view of my  chapter,  i s s u e of d e c i s i o n procedures,  negative)  otherwise  of  o n t o l o g i c a l i s s u e s , to the  (important)  perhaps be o b j e c t e d ,  t h i s and  which might  ignored.  Earlier  detriment  have been able  on the  rt  heavy emphasis i n epistemological  that I myself have run epis-:  that I have drawn c e r t a i n (mainly  o n t o l o g i c a l conclusions  temological considerations.  from e s s e n t i a l l y e p i s -  I t h i n k not.  I argued that the s u p p o s i t i o n that there are  aes-  99  t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s w i t h strong experience-independence i s more e x t r a v a g a n t than i s r e q u i r e d f o r the t a s k o f d e f e a t i n g aesthetic relativism.  I t may  seem t h a t I p u r p o r t  to  eli-  minate such p r o p e r t i e s by an a p p l i c a t i o n of Occam's r a z o r . But most c a r e f u l l y p u t , I b e l i e v e Occam's r a z o r amounts t o the t h e s i s t h a t any o n t o l o g i c a l m u l t i p l i c a t i o n i s prima extravagant, It  facie  and stands t h e r e f o r e i n need o f j u s t i f i c a t i o n .  f i x e s t h e r e f o r e the burden of p r o o f on whoever would  to o n t o l o g y ; proof.  add  but i t i s c u t t i n g o n l y i n the absence of such  I have not examined  a l l extant  arguments i n f a v o r  of r e a l i s m f o r a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s ; ^ that i s outside 6  scope of t h i s essay.  the  I have not r u l e d out r e a l i s m i n t h i s  way. I have g i v e n an account of the d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s r e l e v a n t t o e s t a b l i s h i n g judgements  o f a c e r t a i n k i n d (of  w h i c h c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n s are exemplary) as t r u e or f a l s e , and I have suggested the account as p l a u s i b l e f o r a e s t h e t i c judgements.  The account I have g i v e n i s s i m i l a r i n form to  what a phenomenalist would g i v e as an a n a l y s i s o f what judgements l i k e "X i s r e d " mean given i s s t i l l  (or should  mean ) .  o n l y an account o f a p r o c e d u r e f o r t e l l i n g  when i t i s c o r r e c t t o say o f an o b j e c t  6 8  Modality,  cated  But what I have  (for instance)  that  See GfcVran Hermeren, "The Existence of Aesthetic Qualities", i n  Morality  to Soren  and Other  Hallden,  Problems  of Sense  and Nonsense:  Essays  (Lund: C.W.K. Gleerup, 1973), pp. 64-76.  Dedi-  100  i t i s r e d . As such, i t i s as c o m p a t i b l e w i t h r e a l i s t anal y s e s o f the meaning o f "X i s r e d " as i t i s w i t h phenomena l i s t ones;  and i t i s c o m p a t i b l e w i t h r e a l i s t as w e l l as  phenomenalist o n t o l o g i e s .  I t f o l l o w s from the a p p r o p r i a t e -  ness o f a p a r t i c u l a r d e c i s i o n procedure f o r c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n n e i t h e r t h a t the meaning o f "X i s r e d " must be s o l e l y i n terms o f e x p e r i e n c e , lyzed.  analyzed  nor t h a t i t cannot be so ana-  I t f o l l o w s from the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s  of a p a r t i c u l a r  d e c i s i o n procedure f o r c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n n e i t h e r t h a t c o l o r s a r e , nor t h a t they are n o t , p r o p e r t i e s w i t h s t r o n g independence . ^  experience-  9  F i n a l l y , I want t o c o n s i d e r  an example o f M i c h e a l  Tanner's, because i t i l l u m i n a t e s a f e a t u r e , worth b r i n g i n g o u t , o f the account I. have o u t l i n e d of an area o f o b j e c t i v i t y : namely t h a t on t h a t account, o b j e c t i v i t y i s p e r f e c t l y compatible with a  limited  relativism.  pose the e n t i r e p o p u l a t i o n  Tanner asks us t o sup-  d i v i d e d i n t o two f a i r l y  equal  groups, making e q u a l l y many c o l o r d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s , and whose judgements c o i n c i d e everywhere, but f o r a s y s t e m a t i c  disa-  Because I believe i ) that r e a l i s t analyses of the meaning of "X i s graceful" w i l l not do, and i i ) that there are i n fact no aesthetic properties with strong experience ^-independence, I have been concerned to show that aesthetic objectivism does not entail ontological realism with respect to aesthetic properties. Apart from that, my views about realism, phenomenalism, and so on, are tangential to theipreseht essay. U J  101  greement about  t h e c o l o r o f some s p e c i f i c  t h i n g , say crude o i l . blue,  Group A c a l l s  this  t h i n g or s o r t of sort of thing  and c a n n o t d i s t i n g u i s h c i t s c o l o r f r o m t h a t o f t h e  deep s e a , w h i l e  Group B c a l l s  this  sort of t h i n g  yellow,  and c a n n o t d i s t i n g u i s h i t s c o l o r f r o m t h a t o f a r i p e Tanner  suggests.'this  reference  as a c a s e i n w h i c h t h e r e  banana.  w o u l d be  g r o u p , and so p r e s u m a b l y , no o b j e c t i v i t y ,  no  or at  70 l e a s t none o f t h e k i n d clination would  say  I have been d i s c u s s i n g .  My i n -  i s t o h a n d l e the example q u i t e d i f f e r e n t l y . i ) that  there  is a r e f e r e n c e  namely the c o l o r r e f e r e n c e  group  I  in this  case,  g r o u p , w h i c h i s {ex hypothesi  entire population;  and  the  i s d i v i d e d as t o t h e c o l o r o f c r u d e o i l  reference  that  group  i i )that  i t makes no s e n s e t o t a l k o f " t h e " c c o l o r  In o t h e r words,  because  of crude o i l .  h e r e i s a c a s e o f a t h i n g h a v i n g a number  of e x p o s i t i o n a l properties which i s pre-eminent. is  i t is precisely  ) the  i n t h e a r e a o f c o l o r , none o f  (This  i s not t o say t h a t  crude o i l  "colorless".) I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o n o t e an a c t u a l c a s e w h i c h i s  v e r y c l o s e to Tanner's  hypothetical  t h i o - u r e a , which tastes proportion  o f the normal  one:  intensely bitter  the case of phenolto a f a i r l y  sizable  and s e n s i t i v e e h u m a n t a s t e r s , b u t  t a s t e s " t a s t e l e s s " ( l i k e water) to the r e s t .  Tanner, " O b j e c t i v i t y and A e s t h e t i c s , " p.  Jonathan  57.  102  Bennett has s a i d t h a t i n t h i s case we cannot s e n s i b l y t a l k 71 o f " t h e " t a s t e o f the s u b s t a n c e .  T h i s i s , o f c o u r s e , not  to say t h a t the substance i s t a s t e l e s s . less.  (Water i s t a s t e -  " T a s t e l e s s " i s what " t h e " t a s t e o f water i s c a l l e d ) .  It i s rather to assert r e l a t i v i s m . substance p h e n o l - t h i o - u r e a  I t i s t o say t h a t the  has a number o f e x p o s i t i o n a l  p r o p e r t i e s i n the area o f t a s t e , none o f which i s preeminent.  And t h a t i s t o a s s e r t a l i m i t e d r e l a t i v i s m .  there i s nothing  But  i n the a s s e r t i o n o f r e l a t i v i s m here t h a t  i m p l i e s t h a t the t a s t i n g o f t a s t e s i s not an o b j e c t i v e business.  There i s n o t h i n g  i m p l i c i t i n the a s s e r t i o n of  r e l a t i v i s m here t h a t d e n i e s the a v a i l a b i l i t y o f a d e c i s i o n procedure or a r e f e r e n c e phenol-thio-urea.  group o f o b s e r v e r s ,  even f o r  S i m i l a r l y , i n Tanner's h y p o t h e t i c a l  I would suggest t h a t the f a i l u r e o f the a p p r o p r i a t e s i o n procedure t o y i e l d s e t t l e m e n t s  case  deci-  i n some s p e c i f i c and  l i m i t e d range o f cases would not show t h a t we hadn't any d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s , o r even t h a t we hadn't any r e f e r e e s . We a s s e n t t o r e l a t i v i s m i n such i s o l a t e d cases p r e c i s e l y because the d e c i s i o n p r o c e d u r e s we do have f a i l t o do t h e i r j obs.  The American  Jonathan Bennett, "Substance, Reality, and Primary Qualities," Philosophical  Quarterly,  2 (1965), 9.  103  CHAPTER  V  The r e s u l t s o f Chapter IV, and the a n a l y s i s o f c o l o r o b j e c t i v i t y , move us somewhat c l o s e r t o a s e t t l e m e n t o f the issue of o b j e c t i v i t y i n aesthetics.  We can a t l e a s t see  what the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f the c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s be f o r a e s t h e t i c s .  analogy would  We can a t l e a s t see what s o r t o f a e s t h e t i c  analogue we are l o o k i n g f o r .  I f the c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s  l o g y has a n y t h i n g f u r t h e r t o o f f e r toward a e s t h e t i c tivity,  ana-  objec-  then what we a r e l o o k i n g f o r i s a r e f e r e n c e group  of o b s e r v e r s t o whose e x p e r i e n c e s we might appeal f o r the s e t t l e m e n t of a e s t h e t i c d i s p u t e s ; the c o n s i d e r a t i o n s  and we know what some o f  are t h a t w i l l be r e l e v a n t  t i o n o f such a group.  t o our s e l e c -  I f , as would seem l i k e l y ,  the aes-  t h e t i c a l l y s e n s i t i v e are few and f a r between, we w i l l want t o know how s u b t l e the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s  they make a r e ,  whether o r not t h e r e are c o r r e l a t i v e n o n a e s t h e t i c ences between o b j e c t s  differ-  they d i s t i n g u i s h a e s t h e t i c a l l y , and  how i m p o r t a n t o r v a l u a b l e  their ability  t o make a e s t h e t i c  discriminations i s . Having s e l e c t e d an a e s t h e t i c r e f e r e n c e group, we would be a b l e t o i d e n t i f y , by r e f e r e n c e t o i t s members' aesthetic experiences, c e r t a i n expositional aesthetic p e r t i e s of an o b j e c t  as pre-eminent.  pro-  By r e f e r e n c e t o the  104  aesthetic  experiences  reference  group,  tional have  we  things  have  color-blind: aesthetic  they  of  When a d i s p u t e not  a certain  is  among " i t s  visual  the  feature  it  is  the  an  its  wise  non-pre-eminent  in  the  properties" properties sitional its of  properties  case would which  would  are  object  genuinely  they  would  be  they  manifest  those  of  have  its  aesthetic themselves  in  the  an  as  the  of  the  The an  I  have  one  in that  its  expo-  and n o t  any like-  "aesthetic aesthetic  would be  not  be  expoamong  properties  the  question, the  the  concerned.  non-pre-eminent  they would  be  called  be  of  feature)  properties,  object  sense  whether  aesthetic  good sense t h a t  would  to  we w o u l d  color  dispositions in  colored  of  expositional  though  perfectly the  would  expositional  An o b j e c t ' s  pre-eminent.  properties  the  these  pre-eminent,  expositional  properties", in  is  is  aesthetics:  be  aesthetic  "aesthetic the  of  that  object  which  or  w i t h what  Thus,  of  addi-  that  an o b j e c t  a color  property  of  but  the  have  experiences  about  (say  properties",  color  to  than  object.  expositional  sitional  objects  betnoH-preTeminent  arises  color  other  dispositions  pre-eminent where  groups  properties,  the  the  would  properties  or  to  occasion  of  establish  aesthetic  analogous  to  members  could  expositional  a status  of  object and  though  experiences  aesthetic,  rather  than  105  c o l o r , or o l f a c t o r y , or t e x t u r e ones,'' All  of t h i s depends on the r e l e v a n t v i a b i l i t y of  c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c analogy. t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i s m , and has been t r a d u c e d ,  Because I am  the  s y m p a t h e t i c to aes-  a l s o because I f e e l t h a t the  analogy  I have t r i e d so f a r to develop the ana-  l o g y s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y , and so d o i n g ,  6  to p r o t e c t i t a g a i n s t a t t a c k .  I do not p r e s e n t a knock-down argument f o r aes-  t h e t i c o b j e c t i v i s m , s i n c e I l e a v e i t open f o r r e l a t i v i s t s continue flaws.  In  to  t o probe the c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s analogy f o r f a t a l However, s h o u l d the analogy f a i l , we have seen t h a t  r e l a t i v i s m would s t i l l not be  inevitable.  This b e i n g  so, I  '^ There i s an interesting difference between the colors case and the aesthetic case, as regards the ways i n which we might talk about non-pre-eminent expositional properties: Owing p a r t l y to some of the received central functions of art works, i t would be much more important generally to know about and talk about the capacity of a given work to occasion aesthetic experiences i n observers who are not aesthetic referees, than i t i s to know about or talk about the analogous capacities of objects in the area of color. We care l i t t l e what non-pre-eminent expositional color properties a thing has, but we might care a great deal about the non-pre-eminent expositional aesthetic properties of a novel or a symphony. Suppose the reference group of listeners turned out not to i n clude those whotfind Beethoven's music profound, but rather those who find i t r e p i t i t i o u s , finding Shoenberg or Webern profound instead. Now, where we readily say of an object that i t is red, but only seems grey to the color-blind observer, we might prefer to say of Beethoven's 9th, not that i t only seems profound to nonereference-group listeners, but that i t really is profound for them. This need not disrupt the colors/aesthetics analogy: To say that the red object only seems grey to the color-blind observer should not be construed as denying the object's capacity to occasion a phenomenally grey experience i n the color-blind observer, a capacity genuinely had by the red object; and to say that Beethoven's 9th r e a l l y i s profound for some non-reference-group listeners would be consistent with denying that profundity i s among i t s "aesthetic properties".  106  am c o n t e n t to devote t h i s c h a p t e r to the modest task of fending of  the p l a u s i b i l i t y of the analogy a g a i n s t  two  de-  sorts  objection. One  i n t e r e s t i n g outcome of Chapter IV i s the  of d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y .  notion  T h i s n o t i o n seems a f i n d ,  as i t t u r n s out, c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y , s e n s i t i v i t y to  for  smells,  s e n s i t i v i t y to t a s t e s , s e n s i t i v i t y to t e m p e r a t u r e s , r e l a t i v e p i t c h , and  so on, can all  be a n a l y z e d i n terms of i t .  It i s a b i t embarrassing that d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y not p r e s e n t i t s e l f l y s i s of  aesthetic  straightaway sensitivity.  as the way The  did  to b e g i n an ana-  v e r y word  "sensitivity"  seems to suggest an a b i l i t y , not u n i v e r s a l l y s h a r e d , to differentiate.  But  i t i s also understandable that  the  n o t i o n of d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y s h o u l d emerge as an portant  one  as the d i s c u s s i o n of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y  advanced s t a g e s , because the n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c comes i n i t i a l l y t i e d to the o b j e c t i v i t y itself  imreaches  sensitivity  i s s u e , which comes  i n i t i a l l y i n r a t h e r c o n f u s e d shape. I t has  been argued though t h a t problems e x i s t even  f o r a d i s c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y a n a l y s i s of a e s t h e t i c s e n s i tivity,  and  so, problems f o r the f u r t h e r p u r s u i t o f  the  c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s analogy. One  supposed problem has  between c o l o r s and  to do w i t h an assymetry  aesthetic features  as r e g a r d s  discrimi-  107  nation tests.  In the case of c o l o r s , the n o t i o n of d i s -  c r i m i n a t o r y c a p a c i t y i s informed by c e r t a i n s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d and p e r s u a s i v e  t e s t i n g p r o c e d u r e s , such as the  t e s t s used by o p t o m e t r i s t s I described  and h i d d e n - l a b e l s  above i n Chapter IV.  Micheal  colored-dots  t e s t s such as  Tanner suggests  t h a t s i m i l a r l y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d t e s t i n g p r o c e d u r e s would, i n a e s t h e t i c s , be much l e s s p e r s u a s i v e ,  owing to the emergence  of a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s . . . . i t i s sensible to say that two objects d i f f e r only i n respect of their colours, but not to say that two objects d i f f e r only i n respect of their aesthetic properties. . . Since this i s so, the ways i n which we t e l l whether a person has acute color discrimination, and the ways i n which we t e l l whether he has acute aesthetic perception, are markedly different i n their logical character. For the best way of testing a person's colour discriminations would be e.g. to present him with a set of cards, identical i n appearance except for their colouring, and get him to sort them, and then after shuffling, to re-sort them, as often and as much as we f e l t necessary for ruling out chance, coincidence, or whatever. This procedure i s simple, straightforward, unproblematic. But unfortunately there i s nothing at a l l l i k e i t that we can do i n the aesthetic case. I t i s impossible to test a person's aesthetic discriminations without also testing some of his non-aesthetic discriminations. And this means that whereas the colour-tester might himself be colour-blind, and have to rely on numbers on the reverse side of the cards to see that they had been properly sorted, yet he would have no grounds for scepticism as to the object i v i t y of colours, the aesthetic tester, i f he was himself lacking i n any capacity for aesthetic discrimination, might say, "There's nothing more to a l l this aesthetic-properties t a l k than the fact that some people l i k e some shapes, and c a l l them 'graceful', while d i s l i k i n g others, which they c a l l 'meandering'. I can see as well as they can that the shapes are different; but there i s no further objective difference between them than that which anyone with normal eyesight could perceive. . . 7 7  Tanner, "Objectivity and Aesthetics," pp. 61-62.  108  The  s c e p t i c a l move Tanner deploys here sounds at  f i r s t both p l a u s i b l e and d e v a s t a t i n g .  However I have a  measure o f s u s p i c i o n about the c a u t i o n of Tanner's s c e p t i c . I t may  be no more than a g e n e r a l , and  ance of a s t u t e c a r e ) u n c r i t i c a l a s o r t of "emperor's t a i l o r " . simple  its  f e a r of b e i n g  i t one may  appear-  taken i n by  Tanner's move i s not  as i t at f i r s t appears, and  disassembling  ( d e s p i t e the  I want to show how  as by  be able to d i v e s t i t of some o f  appeal. i)  F i r s t o f a l l , i f the s c e p t i c i s m goes through  h e r e , i t o n l y works i n i t i a l l y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d as those we  against  t e s t i n g procedures as  i n f a c t use  for color  sensitivity.  I t does not show t h a t l e s s s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y t e s t s c o u l d not be f o r m u l a t e d suasive  which would be as p e r -  as the q u i t e s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d c o l o r ones. ii)  But b e f o r e  r e t r e a t i n g even t h i s f a r , i t i s w o r t h  n o t i n g t h a t w h i l e the c u r r e n t c o l o r - d i s c r i m i n a t i o n t e s t s are both r e l a t i v e l y  simple  and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d , they are  n e a r l y so u n p r o b l e m a t i c as Tanner s u g g e s t s . o f f e r two  a)  To show t h i s I  thought e x p e r i m e n t s , (whose v e r y p o s s i b i l i t y makes  the s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d s i m p l i c i t y mination  not  tests  of p e r s u a s i v e  color-discri-  problematic).  Suppose every d i s c r i m i n a b l e d i f f e r e n c e i n c o l o r  corresponded to a d i s c r i m i n a b l e d i f f e r e n c e i n shape, so  that  109  a thing out  could  undergo a n o t i c e a b l e  supposition  a set  i t w o u l d be  o f t e s t i n g samples  respect  only  one  like  varied.  Thus  i t w o u l d be  the  his  capacity  totally  achromatic  while  reacting  'yellow'  or  difference The the  this  i n one  i n other  between  discriminable  supposition,  c o l o r s without s h a p e s , so  shape  to t e s t  that  might  a  say,  fact  that  say  one  call  it  to  but  see  shape and  other  there  'red',  shapes, c a l l i n g  as w e l l i s no  as  a  also  t a l k than the  I can  t h e y can  further  them that  objective  them."  thought  presuasiveness  anyone  colors  ways t o  different,  first  this  to d i s c r i m i n a t e  'orange'.  shapes a r e  on  color-sensitivity-tester  more t o  some p e o p l e r e a c t  i n every  On  below,  to d i s c r i m i n a t e  testing  to d i s p l a y to  b e l o w , i n w h i c h b o t h c o l o r and  impossible,  person's capacity  " T h e r e ' s no  the  with-  change i n shape.  impossible  identical  save c o l o r , l i k e  were  the  change i n c o l o r  suffering in addition a noticeable  this  but  not  of  experiment  simple  and  i s intended  straightforward  to  show  tests  that for  110  color sensitivity  i s not u n p r o b l e m a t i c .  On a c e r t a i n ,  i n c o n c e i v a b l e h y p o t h e s i s , the assymetry Tanner c l a i m s tween a e s t h e t i c judgement and c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n s e n s i t i v i t y t e s t s can be e l i m i n a t e d .  not be-  vis a vis  Color s e n s i t i v i t y i s  l e f t open to the same s c e p t i c a l c h a l l e n g e as Tanner's  scep-  t i c levels against aesthetic s e n s i t i v i t y . "But",  i t might be p r o t e s t e d , "even though the  metry can be e l i m i n a t e d , as you say, on a c e r t a i n  assy-  conceivable  h y p o t h e s i s , the e l i m i n a t i o n of i t r e q u i r e s , i n any case, h y p o t h e s i s , and a w i l d l y f a r - f e t c h e d one  at t h a t .  an  Color  d i f f e r e n c e s and d i f f e r e n c e s i n shape are not connected as i n the f i r s t h y p o t h e s i s , and i f they were, the w o r l d would be, to say the l e a s t , a r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t s o r t o f p l a c e it is.  So, w h i l e you  may  than  have e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t i n a c e r -  t a i n p o s s i b l e w o r l d s c e p t i c i s m w i t h r e s p e c t to c o l o r sens i t i v i t y would be s u p p o r t a b l e a l o n g s i d e s c e p t i c i s m w i t h r e s p e c t to a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y , such s c e p t i c i s m w i t h r e s p e c t to c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y  i s not i n f a c t s u p p o r t a b l e  in this  w o r l d , w h i l e s c e p t i c i s m w i t h r e s p e c t to a e s t h e t i c s e n s i t i v i t y just  is." b)  T h i s b r i n g s me  to the second thought  experiment.  Let us not f o r g e t t h a t t h e r e a r e , i f we  b e l i e v e c u r r e n t t h e o r i e s about the b e h a v i o r f e r e n c e s which correspond  are to  of l i g h t ,  dif-  t o and always accompany d i s c r i m -  inable differences i n color.  We needn't p o s i t a f a r - f e t c h e d  Ill  correspondence between c o l o r and to c h a l l e n g e  shape d i f f e r e n c e s i n o r d e r  Tanner's assymetry.  d i f f e r e n c e i n c o l o r i s , so we  S i n c e any  t h i n k , n e c e s s a r i l y accompanied  by a d i f f e r e n c e i n the wave l e n g t h s cannot (mutatis  mutandis  discriminable  of r e f l e c t e d l i g h t ,  from Tanner) t e s t a person's  to d i s c r i m i n a t e c o l o r s , w i t h o u t a l s o t e s t i n g h i s to d i s c r i m i n a t e wave l e n g t h s  of l i g h t .  as good at d i s c r i m i n a t i n g wave l e n g t h s criminating colors  -  and  shapes.  We  capacity  are at d i s -  suppose we were a l l  p h y s i o l o g i c a l l y so equipped as to be a b l e to see waves and  to d i s c r i m i n a t e t h e i r l e n g t h s  w i t h the naked eye.  capacity  are nowhere near  as we  But  light  i n Angstrom u n i t s  Then a t o t a l l y a c h r o m a t i c c o l o r - s e n s i -  t i v i t y - t e s t e r , n o n e t h e l e s s p e r f e c t l y "normal" i n h i s to d i s c r i m i n a t e wave l e n g t h s , might say,  "There's  way  to o b j e c t s  r e f l e c t i n g l i g h t of c e r t a i n wave  and  c a l l them ' r e d ' , w h i l e  different  r e a c t i n g i n o t h e r ways to  but  there All  i s no f u r t h e r  ob-  'yellow'  I can see as w e l l as they can t h a t the i n respect  on  lengths  j e c t s r e f l e c t i n g o t h e r wave l e n g t h s , c a l l i n g them  are  ability  nothing  more to t h i s c o l o r s t a l k than t h a t some people r e a c t  or 'orange'.  we  objects  o f the l i g h t waves they r e f l e c t , objective  d i f f e r e n c e between them."  I can so f a r have shown by e n t e r t a i n i n g  the  above hypotheses i s t h a t the p e r s u a s i v e n e s s of s i m p l e straightforward color s e n s i t i v i t y tests i s problematic.  and It  112  i s open f o r Tanner, or someone f o l l o w i n g Tanner, now t o suggest t h a t  were  we so equipped as t o be a b l e to t e l l  wave l e n g t h d i f f e r e n c e s w i t h the naked eye, s c e p t i c i s m would be a p p r o p r i a t e  for color sensitivity  thetic sensitivity.  This t a k e s f o r g r a n t e d the sense and  f o r c e of Tanner's s c e p t i c ' s i n i t i a l  as well  as aes-  move a g a i n s t  aesthetic  s e n s i t i v i t y , and i t seems t o me s t i l l t h a t t h e r e i s somet h i n g odd about i t . iii)  We speak o f doubt (and of s c e p t i c i s m )  the s o r t of t h i n g t h a t one sometimes has room f o r  as o f -  (eg.  o f c e r t a i n t y as a c o n d i t i o n i n w h i c h t h e r e i s not any room for doubt).  What I want t o e x p l o r e now i s what i t i s t h a t  makes room f o r the doubt d f T a n n e r ' s s c e p t i c about :  simple  and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d s e n s i t i v i t y t e s t s , and then what i t i s t h a t prompts or o c c a s i o n s it.  h i s doubt, once t h e r e  Tanner's s c e p t i c t a k e s , as h i s o s t e n s i b l e  point, a  logical  properties:  beginning  assymetry between c o l o r s and a e s t h e t i c  the emergence o f a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s .  suggests t h a t i t i s t h i s  logical  Since  I suppose t h e r e  Tanner  assymetry t h a t makes f o r  the f u r t h e r assymetry between s e n s i t i v i t y t e s t nesses.  i s room f o r  persuasive-  is the l o g i c a l assymetry to  which Tanner r e f e r s , I wonder how  i t i s t h a t my thought  experiments work, how i t i s t h a t , on c e r t a i n h y p o t h e s e s , s t r i c t l y symetrical s c e p t i c a l challenges  can be  levelled  113  against  color s e n s i t i v i t y tests.  I suggest that what makes  the doubt i n the a e s t h e t i c case p o s s i b l e gence of a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s  at a l l , but  i s not  the emer-  something which i s  e q u a l l y present i n the c o l o r s case, something which makes the doubt dubious. Suppose we precondition be p o s s i b l e  are t e s t i n g f o r c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y .  f o r doubt about  color  A  s e n s i t i v i t y i s that  an a l t e r n a t i v e or c o r r e l a t i v e set of  there  differences  between t e s t samples, a set of d i f f e r e n c e s other than or a d d i t i o n a l to those the for.  The  precondition  s e n s i t i v i t y to which we i s necessary f o r the  are t e s t i n g  doubt.  The  c o l o r - b l i n d c o l o r - s e n s i t i v i t y - t e s t e r would have no room to doubt the performance of h i s s u b j e c t t e s t samples by color tive differences  but  can  a l s o see  there  is sufficient  But  Aesthetic  the  Wherever such a p o s s i b i l i t y e x i s t s ,  then we  are w e l l on the way  Tanner's s c e p t i c a l move. contrary,  But for  i s room f o r the kind of doubt Tanner's s c e p t i c  presses.  the  by means  might have been d i s c r i m i n a t i n g .  that the p r e c o n d i t i o n  s c e p t i c a l opening.  the  f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of a l t e r n a -  (shape d i f f e r e n c e s , f o r instance)  of which the s u b j e c t we  at d i s c r i m i n a t i n g  probing a  sensitivity,  He  i s not,  special  to  initial  ex-  trivializing appearances to  s c e p t i c a l opening at a l l .  so f a r from being a s p e c i a l case of  v u l n e r a b i l i t y to s c e p t i c i s m ,  i s on a par,  not  only  with  114  c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y , but with any you  other s o r t of  sensitivity  care to name, as f a r as room f o r doubt goes.  f i n d s the  s c e p t i c a l opening an  aesthetic  case;  Tanner  impressive f e a t u r e  what impresses me  i s how  the  unimpressive  that  opening i n a e s t h e t i c s  really is.  ubiquitous,  i n f a c t , i t cannot i n p r i n c i p l e be  closed.  mundane;  The  of  s c e p t i c a l opening i s  There i s always the p o s s i b i l i t y of a l t e r n a t i v e  sets of d i f f e r e n c e s , so there i s always room f o r doubt. iv)  Why  at a e s t h e t i c  i s i t then that Tanner probes s c e p t i c a l l y  s e n s i t i v i t y and  haps i t i s because the  not  at c o l o r s e n s i t i v i t y ?  s c e p t i c a l opening i n the  case seems an e s p e c i a l l y gaping one.  aesthetic  Perhaps the  aesthetic  case seems an e s p e c i a l l y good o c c a s i o n f o r doubt. this  Per-  Why  should  be? Each of my  hypotheses i n v o l v e s ,  over and  above  the  p o s s i b i l i t y of c o r r e l a t i v e sets of d i f f e r e n c e s , a supposit i o n that the p o s s i b i l i t y  is actualized.  The  supposition  that there are a c t u a l c o r r e l a t i v e d i f f e r e n c e s prompts doubt that  t h e i r p o s s i b i l i t y makes room f o r .  But  second hypothesis makes c l e a r , t h i s s u p p o s i t i o n to e x p l a i n  Tanner's t a x i n g  aesthetics  Of course there i s a l s o the c o l o r t a l k and tical  aesthetic  as  the  i s not  enough  while exempting c o l o r s .  l o g i c a l assymetry between  t a l k , which h i g h l i g h t s the  opening i n a e s t h e t i c s .  the  scep-  A c o r r e l a t i o n between sets  of  115  d i f f e r e n c e s i s l o g i c a l l y guaranteed i n the a e s t h e t i c case, (by the emergence of a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s ) ,  where i t i s i n  other  cases a matter of e m p i r i c a l f a c t , and where i n  other  cases we  have to imagine i t .  These l o g i c a l  do not, however, make the s c e p t i c a l move any appropriate  i n a given case;  more or l e s s  which i s (merely) p o s s i b l e .  Another p a r t of the s t o r y i n v o l v e s the direct  gradations  a c o r r e l a t i o n which i s cer-  t a i n i s more p o s s i b l e than one  t e s t e r ' s supposed  still  sensitivity-  awareness of the a l t e r n a t i v e or  c o r r e l a t i v e d i f f e r e n c e s as something which occasions doubt that there  i s room f o r ,  The  s i t i v i t y - t e s t e r would have no  the  c o l o r - b l i n d color-sen-  l e s s room, but  less  occasion,  or so i t might seem, f o r doubt i f he were not h i m s e l f with  the unaided  eye to d i s c r i m i n a t e ' between the t e s t samples  by shape or by wave length d i f f e r e n c e s . tic:  " I can see  different.  able  . ."  as w e l l as they can In each of my  Cf. Tanner's scep-  that the shapes  hypotheses, over and  are above  the a c t u a l i t y of c o r r e l a t i v e d i f f e r e n c e s , i t i s supposed that the c o l o r - s e n s i t i v i t y - t e s t e r c o r r e l a t i v e d i f f e r e n c e s , and aided  eye.  But  i s d i r e c t l y aware of  can p i c k them out w i t h the  the use  for notice  that  same wave length d i f f e r e n c e s , when d i s c o v e r e d of s p e c t r o m e t r i c  to c h a l l e n g e ,  un-  to assume a s c e p t i c a l pose i n such an i n -  stance i s to assume q u i t e a b i t b e s i d e s , the very  the  instruments, serve  to support,  the p o s i t i v e f i n d i n g s of simple c o l o r  by not  sensiT  116  tivity  tests. I am t e m p t e d r a t h e r  c y n i c a l l y t o add t o a l l t h i s  in  T a n n e r ' s p a s s a g e , as i n my  is  assumed t o have a c e r t a i n  tivity in  my  that  two h y p o t h e s e s , t h e s c e p t i c insensitivity.  Tanner's  sensi-  t e s t e r i s s u p p o s e d t o be a e s t h e t i c a l l y i n s e n s i t i v e ; examples  blind. ticism  t h e c o l o r t e s t e r i s s u p p o s e d t o be  It i s interesting i n this  connection that  seems most e a s i l y r a i s e d a g a i n s t  to a heightened degree, of s e n s i t i v i t y . m i g h t incline  color-  a kind  scep-  , as  One's  opposed  insensitivity  one t o w a r d s c e p t i c i s m a b o u t s e n s i t i v i t y ,  i t would not warrant i t .  I d o n ' t t h i n k we w o u l d s u p p o r t an  a n a l o g o u s s o r t o f s c e p t i c i s m where t a s t e and s m e l l ences c o i n c i d e .  I t m i g h t be d i f f i c u l t  defective person, with d i f f e r e n c e s between  but  t o convince  a smell-  n o r m a l t a s t e b u d s , t h a t we  objects  differ-  can  as w e l l as t a s t e them.  smell  This  w o u l d p r o v i d e no c o m p e l l i n g e v i d e n c e f o r t h e v i e w t h a t j e c t s which d i f f e r If  i n t a s t e do n o t a l s o d i f f e r  Tanner's o b j e c t i o n  i s generalizable  ob-  i n smell. and so  loses  f o r c e , t h e r e i s a second o b s t a c l e w h i c h has i t s r o o t s  speci-  fically  on  i n theory of a r t c r i t i c i s m .  Numerous w r i t e r s  the  t h e o r y o f c r i t i c i s m have s u g g e s t e d t h a t a r t c r i t i c i s m  may  be l o g i c a l l y p e c u l i a r , t h a t  logical  features  liarities,  i t may  not share c e r t a i n  of the b e h a v i o r of c o l o r t a l k .  w h i c h have o c c a s i o n e d r e a c t i o n s  The  ranging  pecu-  from  117  N o r t h r o p Frye's criticism  attempt to rescue  the c o g n i t i v i t y of a r t  by s y s t e m a t i z i n g the a r t c r i t i c a l v o c a b u l a r y ,  H e n r i Bergson's d o c t r i n e s of the a b s o l u t e i n e f f a b i l i t y  to of  the a r t work, and the p r o f o u n d f u t i l i t y of a l l v e r b a l i z i n g about a r t , are thought to i n v o l v e the i m p o s s i b i l i t y s a y i n g the same a r t c r i t i c a l thetic objects.  of  t h i n g about two d i s t i n c t aes-  T h i s seems to have been behind  §10  of  W i t t g e n s t e i n ' s L e c t u r e s on A e s t h e t i c s : If I were a good draughtsman, I could convey an innumerr able number of expressions with four strokes.  Such words as 'pompous' and 'stately' could be expressed by faces. Doing this our descriptions would be much more f l e x i b l e and various than they are as expressed by adjectives. I f I say of a piece of Schubert's that i t i s melancholy, that i s l i k e giving i t a face. . . I could i n ^ stead use gestures or dancing. In fact, if we want to be exact, we do use a gesture or a f a c i a l expression.-. And  i t seems to have i n f l u e n c e d A r n o l d Isenberg when he  noticed that Reading c r i t i c i s m , otherwise than i n the presence, or the direct recollection, of the objects discussed i s a blank and senseless employment. _ 7  Ludwig Wittgenstein, Lectures and Conversations on Aesthetics, Religious Belief, ed. C y r i l Barrett (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967), p. 10, my emphasis; for a somewhat different reading of Wittgenstein, see Micheal Tanner, "Wittgenstein and Aesthetics," The Oxford Review, No. 3 (Michealmas, 1966), pp. 15-16. 75 Isenberg, p. 139.  Psychology and  118  and  then went on somewhat g i n g e r l y to s p e c u l a t e  that  the meaning of [even] a word l i k e 'assonance'. . . i s in c r i t i c a l usage never twice the same. . . g 7  I may be stretching usages by the senses I am about to assign to certain words, but i t seems that the c r i t i c ' s meaning i s ' f i l l e d i n ' , 'rounded out', or 'completed' by the act of perception, which i s performed not to judge the truth of his description, but i n a certain sense to understand ^-JJ These s p e c u l a t i o n s seem i n a way  natural.  But  taken l i t e r a l l y they l e a d to the i m p l a u s i b l e p o s i t i o n t h a t t h e r e are no a e s t h e t i c c o n c e p t s , that d e s c r i p t i o n i s impossible t h i s the N o n - D e s c r i p t i v e ,  or ND  or (what i s the same t h i n g ) in art c r i t i c i s m .  ( I ' l l call  thesis, for short).  A con-  c e p t , by i t s n a t u r e , must be m u l t i p l y i n s t a n t i a b l e . But  to  d e s c r i b e something i s to b r i n g i t under a u n i v e r s a l , to  say  t h a t i t i n s t a n t i a t e s a concept.  Therefore  the use  of a  term as d e s c r i p t i v e r e q u i r e s t h a t i t be p o s s i b l e to the term t r u l y and w i t h o u t of c a s e s .  T h i s may  change i n meaning i n a p l u r a l i t y  be put i n terms of p r o p e r t i e s :  c r i b e a t h i n g as h a v i n g  Thus i f one  term t r u l y  change i n meaning i n a p l u r a l i t y of c a s e s ,  p. .140.  Ibid.  p.  137.  that  is logically  i n an area of d i s c o u r s e , from a p p l y i n g any  Ibid.  to des-  a c e r t a i n property requires  the p r o p e r t y be s h a r e a b l e .  without  apply  barred and  then t h a t  119  area  involves  logically  excludes  The for  no c o n c e p t s , no s h a r e a b l e p r o p e r t i e s ,  not  logically  procedures  cally  excludes  description,  sensitivity  number o f c o l o r are  could  no a e s t h e t i c  thetic  color  sensitivity  seems  that  such  decision  the analogous  deci-  procedures.  But i f t h e r e  construal  o f aes-  blocked.  However, i t is p r i m a facie  implausible  t o suppose a  whole a r e a o f d i s c o u r s e ,  even a r t c r i t i c i s m ,  to exclude  cription.  there  concepts,  there so  I t seems t h a t  are several  on.  gaudy t h i n g s ,  such t h a t  qualitatively property be  several  ellipses  two o b j e c t s  as f o l l o w s :  position  that  things,  and  arise?  respect  two o b j e c t s  qualitatively  A, B, and C  A determinate  w h i c h have i t a r e i n t h a t  indistinguishable.  i s such that  i n that  graceful  des-  us d i s t i n g u i s h between d e t e r m i n a t e and ( s u b - )  determinable properties is  are a e s t h e t i c  How does s u c h an i m p l a u s i b l e Let  logi-  as a measure o f t h e  a t one's command.  concepts,  t o be d e c i -  i n an a r e a w h i c h  i t i s unlikely  may be u n d e r s t o o d  Though i t i s  f o r there  disputes  be much l i k e  concepts  consequences  i n aesthetics.  impossible  for settling  sion procedures Color  w o u l d have u n f o r t u n a t e  of o b j e c t i v i t y  p r i m a facie  sion  description.  ND t h e s i s  my p u r s u i t  and  A  property respect  (sub-)determinable  w h i c h have i t n e e d n o t . indistinguishable.  Thus  120  B  A  c  share the d e t e r m i n a b l e p r o p e r t y o f b e i n g shaped (non amorphous) and the s u b - d e t e r m i n a b l e p r o p e r t y o f b e i n g tical,  ellip-  w h i l e A and B share a d e t e r m i n a t e p r o p e r t y d i f f e r e n t  from t h a t had by C.  Thus a l s o b l u e n e s s i s a s u b - d e t e r m i n a b l e  p r o p e r t y shared by a number o f t h i n g s :  a sub-set o f the t h i n g s which share the d e t e r m i n a b l e p r o p e r t y o f b e i n g c o l o r e d , and each o f which has a d e t e r m i n a t e c o l o r shared o n l y by t h i n g s from which i t cannot be 78 g u i s h e d by c o l o r . An o b j e c t ' s d e t e r m i n a t e c o l o r  distin-  (even i f the o b j e c t  can be d i s t i n g u i s h e d by c o l o r from e v e r y t h i n g e l s e i n the universe) i s shareable. describes  Thus i n c o l o r a t t r i b u t i o n ,  one  an o b j e c t whether one i s t a l k i n g about i t s sub-  I am following the usage of C.W.K. Mundle i n his Perception: Facts and Theories, (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), p, 133. The difference between determinable and sub-determinable properties (both on the same side of the main d i s t i n c t i o n ) , may be construed i n a number of ways, but i t involves at least a difference i n level of generality.  121  or  determinable  its  and  sub-determinable seems art  to  be  reason  criticism.  object's  determinate determinate to  determinate  seems  to  be  aesthetic  able.  Isenberg  believes  claims  that  meaning  of  full  stop.  minate cepts. thetic  There  one  not  to  the  tion in  might  minate be  for  the  case  in  suppose that  an  might  not  "assonance" is  same", of  not  follow  that  all  of  be  there  are  no  sharehe in  moves  aesthetic  aesthetic  from  when  apparently  determinate  there  that  he  But  be  like  the  there  properties  being  no  aesthetic  sub-determinable  detercon-  aes-  concepts.  held point  is  perhaps  that out  the  to  art  and  if  properties  aesthetic  between  the held  were all  non  this was  objects but  properties  by  one  for  criticism  properties,  extent  re-interpret  sub-determinable  of  aesthetic  an  criticism),  inclined  goal  explanation  aesthetic  to  aesthetic  an  similarities  determinate  supported  art  does  to  be  a word  twice  concepts  sub-determinable out  reason  non-shareability  it  aesthetic  There If  But  not  But  much.  assumed n o n - s h a r e a b i l i t y the  might  both  this  from  to  are  least  usage  properties  there  concepts.  properties  critical the  "never  at  and  color  suppose t h i s  There  the  color;  specifically which  rather  of  each  proliferation in  addition  properties  as  to part  an of  share  to  point  (a  supposir  of  metaphor  that  non-shareable, reference  sequitur.  one  determight  object's a  necesr  122  sarily  round-about  way  of  i n d i c a t i n g what  the  object's  non-  79 shareable one  determinate  cannot  conclude  cism  excludes  part  of  description,  non-shareable  finds  oneself  It  should  implausible, not,  as  trenched  it  for  would  possible change  art  it  be n o t i c e d so  far  as  involve  employ  I  and  can  see,  say  criti-  that  as an  properties,  its  shareable  So  be m e a n i n g f u l It  is  to  talk  and  art  art  criticial  criticism if  one  it  held  it en-  essentially  might  seem  conventional) have  truly  cases.  somewhat  are  would  is  foundation,  (i.e.  expression  sound p a r a d o x i c a l  of  It  communication  concepts.  ND t h e s i s  without  conventional.  a critical  the  incoherent.  a p l u r a l i t y of  in  of  though  in  meaning  art  indicating  aesthetic  i n meaning  of  of  terms  that,  think,  therefore  to  in  of  well  way  However  i  c r i t i c i s m to  have to  determinate  are.  logic  one m i g h t  round-about  a l l meaning  and  the  ones.  some m i g h t  that  linguistic that  and  properties  that  for  describing  sub-determinable  is  from t h i s  the n e c e s s a r i l y  object's one  aesthetic  So  to  and it  be  without would  communication that  there  were  79 I am n o t t e r r i b l y c o n c e r n e d t o second guess I s e n b e r g ' s t r a i n o f thought. Nevertheless there i s evidence to support t h i s reading o f him: eg. h i s t r e a t m e n t o f G o l d s c h i e d e r ' s c r i t i c a l remarks on The Burial of Count Orgaz, " C r i t i c a l C o m m u n i c a t i o n , " p. 137; C f , Hampshire, " L o g i c and A p p r e c i a t i o n , " p. 166; John Wisdom, " T h i n g s and P e r s o n s , " i n Philosophy and Psychoanalysis, ( O x f o r d : B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1 9 5 3 ) , p. 222; J . A . Passmore, "The D r e a r i n e s s o f A e s t h e t i c s , " Mind, 60 (1951), 318^335.  123  no a e s t h e t i c c o n c e p t s .  One would want t o know how a r t c r i t i -  c i s m can be w r i t t e n , r e a d , and u n d e r s t o o d i f o b j e c t s cannot be d e s c r i b e d  aesthetically.  The e x p l a n a t i o n , i f i t i s t o be had, r e q u i r e s a r a t h e r l e n g t h y e x c u r s i o n t h r o u g h the t h e o r y o f meaning, which cannot be u n d e r t a k e n here.  I will  o n l y s k e t c h the l i n e s a l o n g  w h i c h an e x p l a n a t i o n might be pursued. A first 80 strategy"  ,  s t e p would be t o adopt a " m e a n i n g - n o m i n a l i s t i ) i n which meaning i n language, which i s con-  v e n t i o n a l , i s t r e a t e d as a s p e c i e s o f meaning i n g e n e r a l , ii) and  i n which i t i s taken t h a t n o t all meaning i s c o n v e n t i o n a l , i i i ) i n w h i c h an account o f the n o t i o n o f meaning i n  g e n e r a l i s sought w i t h o u t appeal t o e i t h e r the concepts o f language o r c o n v e n t i o n , b u t r a t h e r as a f u n c t i o n o f t h e 81 utterer's intentions.  The s t r a t e g y , i f s u c c e s s f u l , enables  us to r e g a r d c e r t a i n e x t r a - l i n g u i s t i c p e r f o r m a n c e s , and even c e r t a i n performances which have no c o n v e n t i o n a l b a s i s as meaningful. A term taken from Jonathan Bennett, "The MeaningrNominalist Strategy," foundations of Language, 10 (May, 1973), 141-168. There are of course reasons independent of my current predicament for adopting such an approach to meaning. The approach i s attractive for example i n that i t can deal with a problem faced by more conventional theories of meaning: how to explain the origin of meaning conventions. o u  81  See H.P. Grice, "Meaning," The Philosophical Review, 66 (1957), 377-388, reprinted i n Philosophical Logic, ed. P.F. Strawson (London: Oxford University Press, 1967), pp. 39-48.  124  Cases of meaning need not in any way involve conventional meaning: someone who utters something giving i t a certain meaning need not be conforming to any convention for utterances of that kind, nor need he be flouting or extending or launching or trying to conform to a convention.g^ The next stage would i n v o l v e arguing that not a l l l i n g u i s t i c meaning need be through and through  linguistic,  more p r e c i s e l y , that not a l l meaning i n language need through and through c o n v e n t i o n a l :  someone may  be  u t t e r words,  g i v i n g them a c e r t a i n meaning, yet he need not be  conforming  to or l a u n c h i n g or t r y i n g to conform to any conventions f o r those words. The t h e s i s that i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r an e x p r e s s i o n i n a language  to be used on an o c c a s i o n n o n - c o n v e n t i o n a l l y yet  m e a n i n g f u l l y i s connected with a defense a g a i n s t a c e r t a i n w e l l known o b j e c t i o n to meaning-nominalism,  to the e f f e c t  that meaning i n language cannot be a f u n c t i o n of u t t e r e r s ' intentions.  The o b j e c t i o n :  I f the u t t e r e r ' s  intentions  determined meaning, then an u t t e r e r c o u l d mean anything by any e x p r e s s i o n i n any set o f circumstances, which  i s absurd.  In other words, i t i s c o n t e s t e d that meaning-nominalism  vio-  l a t e s a c e r t a i n r e g u l a r i t y - g u a r a n t e e i n g p r i n c i p l e of meaning in  language.  82 Bennett, "The Meaning-Nominalist Strategy," p. 141; "utterance" i s here construed broadly a la Grice, loo. ait. I shall follow this usage.  125  [T]he principle. . . i s that the conventions of one's language dictate the meaning of one's words, and intentions are powerless to intervene. . . [T]heories of meaning that take the intentions of speakers as primitive. . . must either deny the principle or show how they avoid running afoul of i t . g j The mean  defense:  The o b j e c t i o n takes  j u s t a n y t h i n g by any e x p r e s s i o n i n any set o f  cumstances,  and o f course t h i s i s t r u e .  language becomes f o r c e f u l if  i t t h a t one cannot  one c a n , by c o n t r a s t ,  But t h i s f a c t  a g a i n s t meaning-nominalism  cirabout only  to mean j u s t a n y t h i n g by  intend  any e x p r e s s i o n i n any set o f c i r c u m s t a n c e s . But t h i s too 84 is impossible, because language is c o n v e n t i o n a l , because of what a c o n v e n t i o n i s (a b e h a v i o r a l r e g u l a r i t y founded on 85 a network o f mutual knowledge  ) , and because o f the  i n g c o n n e c t i o n between i n t e n t i o n s and b e l i e f s :  follow-  In o r d e r  for  a man to i n t e n d to X he must b e l i e v e i t to be p o s s i b l e f o r him to X .  Specifically,  i n the m e a n i n g - n o m i n a l i s t program,  i n o r d e r f o r a man to i n t e n d to mean by S t h a t P , he would have to b e l i e v e i t t o be p o s s i b l e f o r him to produce i n h i s a u d i e n c e , through the G r i c e a n mechanism, the a c q u i s i t i o n  Keith S. Donnellan, "Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again," Review, 77 (1968), p. 203.  The Philosophical  p. 166.  Op. cit., p. 212; Bennett, "The Meaning-Nominalist Strategy,"  Steven R. Schiffer, Meaning, 1972), pp. 30-32.  (London; Oxford University Press,  126  of the b e l i e f t h a t P by u t t e r i n g S.  But s i n c e one cannot  g e n e r a l l y b e l i e v e c o n t r a r y t o what one knows, i t w i l l no more be p o s s i b l e f o r a man (who knows the r e l e v a n t meaning c o n v e n t i o n s ) t o s i m p l y i n t e n d t o mean "condominium" by t h e word " s t o v e " than i t w i l l be f o r a man (who knows about the b i r d s and t h e bees) t o i n t e n d t o metamorphose  into a  butterfly. T h i s then i s how t h e g e n e r a l guage i s  compatible  i n t r a c t a b i l i t y of lan-  w i t h meaning-nominalism.  n o m i n a l i s t program i s not t r i v i a l i z e d  But t h e meaning-  by v i r t u e o f t h i s com-  p a t i b i l i t y , because the f a c t t h a t what one can i n t e n d t o mean i s p a r t l y a f u n c t i o n o f what meaning c o n v e n t i o n s  there  are does not e n t a i l t h a t one cannot on an o c c a s i o n use an expression f u l way.  i n a language i n a n o n - c o n v e n t i o n a l ,  y e t meaning-  One has t o b e l i e v e i t t o be p o s s i b l e f o r t h e ex-r  p r e s s i o n t o mean what i t does not c o n v e n t i o n a l l y mean, b u t t h i s r e q u i r e s o n l y t h a t one make i t p o s s i b l e f o r an audience to a c q u i r e , through the u t t e r a n c e  of the expression, a  b e l i e f not c o n v e n t i o n a l l y associated with i t . [0]ne cannot simply choose to mean by S that P, yet that does not imply that there i s any S and P such that one could not mean by S that P i n some circumstances. That any sentence could carry any meaning, i f the conditions .were r i g h t , i s essential to the service that convention renders; for what a meaning convention does i s just to make the conditions right f o r S to mean that P. One might make the general point by saying that f o r any given S and P i s would be possible,  127  after suitable 'stage-setting' to utter S and mean by i t that P.gg There might be a number o f ways of c l e a r i n g away otherwise o p e r a t i v e meaning conventions. s e l v e s be c o n v e n t i o n a l :  one might j u s t  Some might themsay that i n what  he i s about to say, c e r t a i n normal meaning conventions are to be d i s r e g a r d e d .  Other i n d i c a t o r s , g e s t u r e s , winks,  v o c a l i n t o n a t i o n s , might be employed suspend conventions. c o n v e n t i o n a l too,) can make way  i n a Gricean way to  (Of course, g e s t u r e s , e t c . can be  The suspension of a meaning convention  e i t h e r f o r the s u b s t i t u t i o n of another con-  v e n t i o n or f o r a Gricean a c t of communication. I see nothing l o g i c a l l y  incoherent i n the i d e a o f a  whole area o f d i s c o u r s e , i n which every p r e d i c a t e , say, had to be understood by Gricean means.  This i s a p p a r e n t l y what  would be i n v o l v e d i n a r t c r i t i c i s m , on the ND t h e s i s . though i t doesn't seem to me logically  But  impossible to suspend  meaning conventions on such a grand s c a l e , the s t a g e - s e t t i n g process which would be necessary would be a gargantuan undert a k i n g , an o b s t a c l e to a r t c r i t i c a l  communication which, f o r  a l l p r a c t i c a l purposes, might as w e l l be insurmountable. Thus a second way  8  i n which the ND t h e s i s i s i m p l a u s i b l e .  ^ Bennett, "The Meaning-Nominalist Strategy," p. 167.  128  The  more r e s t r i c t e d  properties  claim, that determinate  are not shareable,  or that  there  aesthetic  a r e no  deter-  minate a e s t h e t i c concepts, i s f r e e o f a l l the l i a b i l i t i e s I h a v e c h a r g e d t o t h e ND t h e s i s , a n d m e a n i n g n o m i n a l i s m may w e l l i l l u m i n a t e t h e r o l e o f d e s c r i b i n g an o b j e c t ' s shareable cating is  sub-determinable aesthetic properties  i n indi-  i t s non-shareable determinate ones, i f i n f a c t  how a r t c r i t i c i s m p r o c e e d s .  that  However, e v e n t h e r e s t r i c -  t e d c l a i m stands i n need o f d e f e n s e .  A d e f e n s e m i g h t be  b a s e d on t h e s u p p o s e d r a d i c a l u n i q u e n e s s o f i n d i v i d u a l w o r k s o f a r t , b u t we w o u l d n e e d t o s a t i s f y a c o m p l a i n t  like  Strawson's. [R]emarks. . . by w r i t e r s who s t r e s s the i n d i v i d u a l i t y o f the work o f a r t , and the non-conceptual character o f aest h e t i c a p p r e c i a t i o n , have t h i s i n common: that they seem true but mysterious. One wants t o ask why we can have no general p r i n c i p l e s o f a r t . . . One wants a l s o t o ask i n what s p e c i a l sense the work o f a r t i s unique, i n d i v i d u a l , unrepeatable.g 7  It  may be p o s s i b l e t o h o l d  the an  ( p e r h a p s as an e x p l a n a t i o n f o r  emergence o f a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s ) what c o u l d "organic  the  theory  e f f e c t roughly  be c a l l e d  of determinate a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s " , to t h a t any d e t e r m i n a t e a e s t h e t i c  property  o f a t h i n g d e p e n d s on t h e t o t a l i t y o f i t s a e s t h e t i c a l l y relevant  nonaesthetic  p r o p e r t i e s , s o t h a t a change i n any  of the a e s t h e t i c a l l y relevant nonaesthetic 87  properties  would  P.F. Strawson, "Aesthetic A p p r a i s a l and Works o f A r t " The No. 3, (Michealmas, 1966), pp. 8-9. y  Oxford  Review,  129  necessarily result property.  i n a change i n the determinate a e s t h e t i c  Then i f the c r i t e r i a f o r i d e n t i t y among aes-  t h e t i c o b j e c t s were t i e d d i r e c t l y to the t o t a l i t y o f the a e s t h e t i c a l l y relevant non-aesthetic  properties of a thing,  i t would f o l l o w that no two a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t s c o u l d have the same determinate a e s t h e t i c  property:  1.  Suppose two a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t s have the same determinate a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y .  2.  They would, on the organic theory, have exa c t l y the same bunch o f a e s t h e t i c a l l y r e l e vant n o n a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s .  3.  But then they would meet the c r i t e r i a f o r i d e n t i t y among a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t s .  4.  They would t h e r e f o r e be one and the same aesthetic object.  5.  Therefore we may not, on p a i n of c o n t r a d i c t i o n , suppose two a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t s to have the same determinate a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y . We may not, i n other words, suppose determinate a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s to be shareable.  Whether t h i s defense w i l l theory,  stand up depends upon the  viability  o f the organic  and a l s o on the b a s i s o f  numerical  i d e n t i t y among a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t s .  The connec-  t i o n , supposed i n the above argument, between i d e n t i t y and the t o t a l i t y o f a e s t h e t i c a l l y r e l e v a n t n o n a e s t h e t i c  proper-  ties  on the  i s a t t r a c t i v e mainly f o r seeming to shed l i g h t  idea of a special ^  Ibid.  88  uniqueness had by a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t s .  130  But  it  least as  a  and  has of  certain  which  seperate to  being  is  the  cases  "associated with"  since  I  are  have  cluding  chapter.  analogy  against  volves  what  that  the  note  that  the  are  tion,  that  no  thesis:  to  where  both  an  item  from  is  will  out  to  of  the  the  view  aesthetic  ND t h e s i s  it  is  one  objects'  of  of  and  relativism.  in-  argued  above,  concepts,  aesthetic  con-  which  enough f o r  me  its  w i t h what  to  that  concepts,  c o l o r s / a e s t h e t i c s analogy of  however,  this  Having  outlined  not,  object,  colors/aesthetics  aesthetic was  object  further  goal  ND t h e s i s .  implausible,  account  aesthetic  modest  the  object.  explore  objection,  the  physical  physical  defend  determinate  the  the  not  aesthetic  aesthetic not  the  restricted  are  the  multiple  single I  kinds  determinate  that  a  called  more  there  compatible,  answer  have  detach  reached set  two  ND t h e s i s  there  suggests  I  I  to  of  matters  already  c o n s e q u e n c e s as w e l l ,  need  ontological  countenance  These  my  awkward  negaare  has  been  plausibly  sensitivity  and  an  131  BIBLIOGRAPHY OF WORKS CITED  A l d r i c h , V i r g i l C.  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