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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A matter of taste Day, Alan John 1985

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A MATTER OF TASTE By ALAN JOHN DAY B.A., Simon F r a s e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1978 SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f p h i l o s o p h y ) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THESIS THE THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 1985 © A l a n John Day, 1985 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representatives. I t i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s t h e s i s for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of 1 h) Lc? Sc'ph^ The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date A%\fdt 7-5 i i ABSTRACT The development of i n t e r p r e t i v e c r i t i c i s m i n the a r t s has r a i s e d doubts concerning the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r e x p l a i n i n g the a f f e c t i v e power of works of a r t w i t h i n the same t h e o r e t i c a l framework. Works of a r t p r o v i d e p l e a s u r e ; however, they a l s o possess meritous p r o p e r t i e s that can be a c c u r a t e l y assessed in terms of o b j e c t i v e c r i t e r i a . The o b j e c t of t h i s t h e s i s i s to i n v e s t i g a t e the i n s t i t u t i o n a l dimensions of a r t i s t i c e x c e l l e n c e and m e r i t i n order to o u t l i n e the r e l a t i o n between a e s t h e t i c f e e l i n g , a e s t h e t i c value and a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . Modern a e s t h e t i c s has i t s o r i g i n s i n the 18th century B r i t i s h Enlightenment, s p e c i f i c a l l y the works of Joseph Addison, F r a n c i s Hutcheson and David Hume. A d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s of these p h i l o s o p h e r s ' works on t a s t e i s undertaken in order to o u t l i n e the h i s t o r i c a l foundation and o r i g i n a l l o g i c of a e s t h e t i c theory and the r o l e that a e s t h e t i c t a s t e p l a y s w i t h i n i t . The main theme of t h i s a n a l y s i s i s that the "middle-ground" view of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e (between reason and the passions) developed by these p h i l o s o p h e r s i s , i n f a c t , untenable i n the face of modern c r i t i c a l p r a c t i c e s and theory. Two contemporary views of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e are then assessed in order to show that even with the a d d i t i o n a l c l a r i t y provided by p h i l o s o p h i c a l a n a l y s i s , the middle-ground view i s s t i l l flawed. The g e n e r a l a r c h i t e c t u r e of t h i s c r i t i c i s m i s provided by an i n s t i t u t i o n a l view of a r t . A g e n e r a l a p p r a i s a l of t h i s view i s undertaken with s p e c i a l emphasis on the r o l e of a r t i n s t i t u t i o n s as generators of standards and t h e o r i e s of c r i t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n s . L a s t l y , two m e t a - c r i t i c a l t h e o r i e s are analysed to determine whether v a l i d , n o n - a f f e c t i v e t h e o r i e s of a e s t h e t i c e v a l u a t i o n are a v a i l a b l e . I t i s concluded that t h i s approach to a r t i s a v a l i d development, in one d i r e c t i o n , from the no t i o n of t a s t e developed in the 18th century, and that t h i s approach i s l o g i c a l l y independent of that which seeks to e x p l a i n the p s y c h o l o g i c a l dimensions of a e s t h e t i c p e r c e p t i o n . i v CONTENTS P a g e A b s t r a c t i i T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s i v A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s v I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 CHAPTER ONE A e s t h e t i c T a s t e and t h e E i g h t e e n t h C e n t u r y B r i t i s h E n l i g h t e n m e n t 5 1.1 J o s e p h A d d i s o n 7 1.2 F r a n c i s H u t c h e s o n 10 1.3 D a v i d Hume 12 CHAPTER TWO The C o n t e m p o r a r y V i e w o f T a s t e 21 2 . 1 F r a n k S i b l e y 21 2 . 2 I s a b e l H u n g e r l a n d 27 2 . 3 P r o b l e m s w i t h t h e C o n t e m p o r a r y A c c o u n t 32 CHAPTER THREE The I n s t i t u t i o n a l T h e o r y o f A r t 42 3 . 1 The A r t w o r l d 44 3 . 2 G e o r g e D i c k i e 46 3 . 3 A r t h u r D a n t o 48 3 . 4 C r i t i c i s m o f t h e A r t w o r l d V i e w 53 CHAPTER FOUR I n t e r p r e t a t i o n 59 4 . 1 P e r f o r m a t i v i s m 62 4 . 2 P r e s c r i p t i v i s m 67 4 . 3 D e s c r i p t i v i s m 70 4 . 4 C o n c l u d i n g R e m a r k s 75 B I B L I O G R A P H Y 80 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to thank P r o f e s s o r E. Winkler of the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia f o r advice and c r i t i c i s m i n v a l u a b l e in the p r e p a r a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s . 1 INTRODUCTION The o b j e c t of t h i s t h e s i s i s to i n v e s t i g a t e the i n s t i t u t i o n a l dimensions of a r t i s t i c e x c e l l e n c e and merit in order to o u t l i n e the r e l a t i o n between a e s t h e t i c f e e l i n g , a e s t h e t i c value and a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . The c e n t r a l theme developed i s t h a t , i n order to adequately e x p l a i n t h i s r e l a t i o n , one must gi v e up the idea that s e n t i m e n t a l f e e l i n g i s e s s e n t i a l to a u t h e n t i c a e s t h e t i c judgement. A e s t h e t i c t a s t e and a e s t h e t i c p l e a s u r e , i t i s argued, a r e ' q u i t e d i s t i n c t . In Chapter One the genesis of the notion of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e i s tra c e d through the works on t a s t e of three 18th century p h i l o s o p h e r s - Joseph Addison, F r a n c i s Hutcheson and David Hume. Addison's c o n t r i b u t i o n to t h i s movement l i e s i n h i s suggestion that t a s t e should be con s i d e r e d a f a c u l t y , a f a c u l t y through which one can o b j e c t i v e l y d i s c e r n with ple a s u r e or d i s p l e a s u r e , the p e r f e c t i o n s and i m p e r f e c t i o n s of works of a r t . Thus the problem that emerges f o r a e s t h e t i c s i s how to combine judgement and p l e a s u r e i n t o a s i n g l e explanatory schema. Hutcheson, working with the e a r l y e m p i r i c i s t s ' somewhat mechanical ca u s a l theory of p e r c e p t i o n , argues that "beauty", "el e g a n t " , e t c . , should be taken as the names, not of o b j e c t i v e p r o p e r t i e s , but of ideas, r a i s e d in the mind 2 through the p e r c e p t i o n of c e r t a i n n o n - a e s t h e t i c , o b j e c t i v e p r o p e r t i e s . T h i s p r o c e s s, however, does not proceed i n the same way as the p e r c e p t i o n of other o b j e c t i v e items. The f a c u l t y of t a s t e , a c cording to Hutcheson, has i t s own inner sense, in which judgement and sentiment come to p l a y independently of the other " e x t e r i o r " senses. T h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , however, leads to a number of d i f f i c u l t i e s , not l e a s t of which i s the f a c t t h a t there seems to be no standard f o r determining whether one has tas t e or not, and c e r t a i n l y no method of a c q u i r i n g i t i f the l a t t e r i s the case. Hume, although g r a n t i n g l i k e Hutcheson that beauty and other a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s e x i s t merely i n the mind, notes, that d e s p i t e t h i s f a c t , there i s a s u r p r i s i n g amount of unanimity i n the a r t s . And t h i s unanimity, he argues, must be founded on something; there must be some standards f o r e v a l u a t i n g e x p r e s s i o n s of t a s t e . As long as c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s are observed, he f e e l s , anyone should be able to have a t a s t e f u l e x p e r i e n c e . I t i s merely a matter of proper p r e p a r a t i o n ( a e s t h e t i c education) and proper a t t i t u d e towards the a r t o b j e c t ( a e s t h e t i c a t t i t u d e ) . For Hume, ta s t e i s the e x e r c i s e of educated p e r c e p t u a l discernments, w i t h i n the sentiment, f o r which general r u l e s of success or f a i l u r e can be formulated. The major problem with t h i s view l i e s i n the attempt to 3 marry judgement t o s e n t i m e n t . By i n c l u d i n g s e n t i m e n t i n t h e i r a c c o u n t s , these p h i l o s o p h e r s were a l s o c o m p e l l e d t o i n c l u d e some account of the mental p r o c e s s e s i n v o l v e d . As a r e s u l t , the o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s of the work o f a r t i s brought i n t o q u e s t i o n , as i s the s t a t u s and l o c a t i o n o f i t s a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s . Are these t h i n g s p h y s i c a l o b j e c t s , o r are they mental o b j e c t s ? Or are they somewhere i n between? There seems to be no way to answer these q u e s t i o n s . In Chapter Two, I loo k a t two contemporary a t t e m p t s to c l a r i f y these i s s u e s . Frank S i b l e y and I s a b e l Hungerland both d i s c a r d the p s y c h o l o g i c a l account of t a s t e i n f a v o u r of an a n a l y s i s of the e x p r e s s i o n s of t a s t e . The d i s c u s s i o n i s now at the l e v e l of language, c r i t e r i a , and t r u t h c o n d i t i o n s . Hungerland argues t h a t a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s are apprehended i n an o b j e c t on the b a s i s of c e r t a i n non-a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s observed from a p e r t i n e n t p e r s p e c t i v e . E x p r e s s i o n s of t a s t e ( t h a t i s , u t t e r a n c e s a s c r i b i n g some a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y ) do not have c r i t e r i a on t h i s v i e w , as t h e r e are no p h y s i c a l p r o p e r t i e s t o which one can i n v a r i a b l y p o i n t as d e t e r m i n a t e grounds. The p r o p o s i t i o n s e x p r e s s e d , however, do have t r u t h c o n d i t i o n s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , these c o n d i t i o n s are n e a r l y always i n d e t e r m i n a b l e as they a re embedded i n the s n o b b e r i e s and f a s h i o n s endemic i n the a r t s . H u n g e r l and, t h e n , d e s p i t e n o t i n g t h a t p e r c e p t u a l v i e w p o i n t s are r o u g h l y e s t a b l i s h e d and o r g a n i z e d i n what she c a l l s 4 " c o t e r i e s " , r e t u r n s e v e n t u a l l y to something l i k e Hume's p o s i t i o n . In Chapter Three, the i n s t i t u t i o n a l theory of a r t i s analyzed i n order to assess i t s proponent's c l a i m that works of a r t can be c l a s s i f i e d i n ways that minimize the dependence on t r a d i t i o n a l a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s . George D i c k i e ' s and A r t h u r Danto's views are both assessed i n depth. And, although i t i s allowed that a e s t h e t i c c l a s s i f i c a t i o n cannot be as c l e a r l y separated from e v a l u a t i o n as D i c k i e and Danto would l i k e , i t does not appear to r e q u i r e any form of a p p r e c i a t i o n , which i s an improvement. In a l l o w i n g a p p r e c i a t i o n to f a l l out of the p i c t u r e , however, a s u b s t i t u t e must be found to support the p r a c t i c e of e v a l u a t i o n , and t h i s s u b s t i t u t e i s i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n . In Chapter Four then, a number of m e t a - c r i t i c a l t h e o r i e s are assessed i n order to f i n d a s u i t a b l e t h e o r e t i c a l foundation f o r a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . Of the t h e o r i e s i n v e s t i g a t e d , the d e s c r i p t i v i s m of Monroe Beardsley and Joseph M a r g o l i s r e c e i v e s the most a t t e n t i o n . And, based on t h i s , t a s t e i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d as an a b i l i t y to employ d e s c r i p t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i v e t h e o r i e s i n the p r a c t i c e of making e v a l u a t i v e a e s t h e t i c judgements. 5 CHAPTER ONE AESTHETIC TASTE AND THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY BRITISH ENLIGHTENMENT p h i l o s o p h i c a l i n t e r e s t i n the beauty of o b j e c t s i s a t l e a s t as o l d as p h i l o s o p h y i t s e l f . P l a t o ' s account of the form of Beauty o c c u p i e s a c o n s i d e r a b l e p o r t i o n of the Symposium, and A r i s t o t l e ' s pronouncements on the o r i g i n s , n a t u r e and v a l u e of t r a g e d y , comedy and e p i c r e q u i r e a whole volume to t h e m s e l v e s . The d i s c i p l i n e o f modern a e s t h e t i c s , however, has a l e s s a n c i e n t h i s t o r y , a l t h o u g h , as w i t h many p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n s , i t s o r i g i n s can be t r a c e d back to more a n c i e n t t i m e s . P r i o r t o the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , much of what i s now c a l l e d " a e s t h e t i c s " was m o s t l y concerned w i t h Beauty, a p r o p e r t y a s s o c i a t e d i n some way w i t h o b j e c t s , which i n t u r n , i t was thought, gave r i s e t o p l e a s u r e i n p e r s o n s . For P l a t o n i s t s , of c o u r s e , the beauty i n or of an o b j e c t would be but a p a l e c o u s i n of the r e a l t h i n g , the form o f Beauty. For A r i s t o t e l i a n s , on the o t h e r hand, the beauty would be i n the o b j e c t i t s e l f , and as such c o u l d be apprehended through the p r o c e s s of p e r c e p t i o n o r i n t e l l e c t i o n . In both these d i v e r s e t r a d i t i o n s , however, the f o c u s of e n q u i r y was on a s i n g l e , i d e n t i f y i n g p r o p e r t y — beauty. And i t was t h i s p r o p e r t y , by and l a r g e , t h a t 6 determined whether an o b j e c t was s u i t a b l e f o r a p p r e c i a t i o n or not. By the beginning of the e i g h t e e n t h century, however, the noti o n of beauty as a s i n g l e and d e f i n i n g o b j e c t i v e p r o p e r t y of c e r t a i n ( b e a u t i f u l ) o b j e c t s was beginning to break down. Aided perhaps by t h e o r i z i n g i n such d i v e r s e areas as p i c t o r i a l a r t , a r c h i t e c t u r e and l i t e r a t u r e , c o r r e l a t i v e n o t i o n s such as the sublime and proper p r o p o r t i o n began to emerge as a d d i t i o n a l a p p r e c i a t i v e p r o p e r t i e s . G r a d u a l l y , the notion of a s i n g l e d e f i n i t i v e property of b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t s became f r a c t u r e d . T h i s s p l i t i n the p r o p e r t y - c e n t e r e d view l e d to many d i f f i c u l t i e s f o r t r a d i t i o n a l p h ilosophy of a r t , and, with the advent of C a r t e s i a n mentalism and the e m p i r i c i s t methods of B r i t i s h p h i l o s o p h e r s such as Locke, Hutcheson and Hume, the emphasis s h i f t e d from the b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t and i t s p r o p e r t i e s to the mental a c t i v i t i e s of the p e r c e i v e r of such o b j e c t s . In s h o r t , the p e r c e p t i o n o f , and judgement on, b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t s , r a t h e r than the nature of the o b j e c t s themselves became the c e n t r a l focus of i n t e r e s t . And t h i s gave r i s e , i n t u r n , to the v a r i o u s t h e o r i e s of a e s t h e t i c s and a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . The view that genuine a p p r e c i a t i o n and a p p r a i s a l of works of a r t r e q u i r e s good t a s t e was, and s t i l l i s , a p e r v a s i v e one. I t i s a view that has i t s o r i g i n i n the 7 B r i t i s h Enlightenment, when i n t e r e s t s h i f t e d from the simple, o b j e c t i v e p r o p e r t y beauty, to the a c t s of p e r c e i v i n g and e v a l u a t i n g b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t s , e s p e c i a l l y a r t o b j e c t s . The e v a l u a t i o n , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of works of a r t , however, was, and s t i l l i s , frought with d i s p u t a t i o n . The f a c u l t y of t a s t e (whatever a f a c u l t y may be) does not appear to act l i k e i t s c o g n i t i v e c o u s i n s , such as r a t i o n a l i t y . 1.1 Joseph Addison According to Joseph Addison ( w r i t i n g i n 1712), t a s t e i s : " . . . t h a t f a c u l t y of the soul which d i s c e r n s the beauty of an author with p l e a s u r e and the i m p e r f e c t i o n s with d i s -l i k e . " ! Taste, on t h i s view then, i s to be a s s o c i a t e d with the a c t i v i t y of discernment; i t i s no longer a matter of simply e x p e r i e n c i n g pleasure in the presence of b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t s . Furthermore, beauty too has changed. Addison c o n t r a s t s i t here, not with u g l i n e s s as the a n c i e n t s might have done, but with i m p e r f e c t i o n , which seems to i n v o l v e the notion of value r a t h e r than the notion of a p r o p e r t y . More important, however, i s the f a c t that d i s c e r n i n g i s something we do, something we do w e l l or badly, with success or f a i l u r e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , Addison's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of t a s t e does not t e l l us very much about how to succeed i n t h i s 8 e n t e r p r i s e . How can I t e l l a e s t h e t i c p l e a s u r e from f a l s e p l e a s u r e ? Indeed, how can I know i f I even have t h i s f a c u l t y ? I c o u l d be a p h i l l i s t i n e , t a k i n g p l e a s u r e in a l l k inds o f i m p e r f e c t a r t i f a c t s . A d d i s o n , as might be e x p e c t e d , has an answer to t h i s s o r t of c r i t i c i s m : I f a man would know whether he i s possessed of t h i s f a c u l t y , I would have him read over the c e l e b r a t e d works of a n t i q u i t y , which have stood the t e s t of so many d i f f e r e n t ages and c o u n t r i e s , or those works among the moderns which have the s a n c t i o n of the p o l i t e r p a r t of our c o n t e m p o r a r i e s . 2 Only c e r t a i n o b j e c t s g i v e r i s e to a u t h e n t i c a e s t h e t i c p l e a s u r e , then; s u i t a b l e o b j e c t s f o r a t a s t e f u l e x p e r i e n c e are those o b j e c t s which have stood the t e s t of time or those s a n c t i o n e d by some form of accepted a e s t h e t i c a u t h o r i t y . T h i s , on the s u r f a c e , might seem to be a l r i g h t , but u n f o r t u n a t e l y , w i thout m o d i f i c a t i o n i t w i l l l e a d to an i n f i n i t e r e g r e s s . I f i t i s a l lowed that the t e s t of time r e d u c e s , e v e n t u a l l y , to ( a e s t h e t i c ) a u t h o r i t y , then t h i s view i s open to the q u e s t i o n of how a u t h o r i t a t i v e f i g u r e s determine whether they themselves have good t a s t e or n o t . The answer i s tha t they must check themselves a g a i n s t o t h e r a u t h o r i t a t i v e f i g u r e s , which then se t s the r e g r e s s o f f . Pe ter K i v y has suggested that Addison does have a p o s s i b l e way out here by way of an appeal to the n o t i o n of an i d e a l 9 observer, 3 T h i s i s perhaps a r a t h e r modern and t h e o r e t i c a l n o t i o n of a u t h o r i t y , but, nonetheless, i t might be made to work. By way of analogy, we might think of the o p t o m e t r i s t who checks out eyes a g a i n s t a u t h o r i t a t i v e data drawn from the experiences of persons taken to be normal. Even i f we allow t h i s , however, (and there c e r t a i n l y w i l l be problems with i t ) two f u r t h e r and more important problems remain. F i r s t , what are the i d e n t i f y i n g p r o p e r t i e s of the pleasure that the c e l e b r a t e d works cause i n us? How do we d i s t i n g u i s h a e s t h e t i c p l e a s u r e from more baser s o r t s ? Ad-dison c h a r a c t e r i z e s a e s t h e t i c p l e a s u r e simply as a " c e r t a i n inward joy",4 which i s not much of a d e s c r i p t i o n . Neverthe-l e s s , i t i s a d e s c r i p t i o n , so perhaps t h i s w i l l do f o r the moment. Second, j u s t what are those p r o p e r t i e s i n / o f a r t -o b j e c t s which, when t a s t e i s e x e r c i s e d , g i v e r i s e t o , or  cause, the experience of "inward joy"? T h i s i s a d i f f i c u l t problem which w i l l recur again l a t e r . However, f o r the moment, I s h a l l again f o l l o w Peter KivyS a n C j assume here that Addison b e l i e v e d that there are o b j e c t i v e a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s ( d i s t i n c t from other s o r t s ) and that they adhere in some way to the o b j e c t s of t a s t e , and simply leave i t the r e . To summarize then, Addison's view i s that ( a e s t h e t i c ) t a s t e i s an a b i l i t y that some of us have, to experience a c e r t a i n "inward j o y " when in observing o b j e c t s p o s s e s s i n g a 10 d i s c e r n i b l e non-ordinary ( a e s t h e t i c ) p r o p e r t y , say, of beauty. There are, of course, many problems with a view such as t h i s . For example, what does i t mean to have an a b i l i t y to have an experience (caused) of "inward joy"? J o y f u l n e s s i s not o r d i n a r i l y taken as an a b i l i t y , something we can "do". Taste, f o r Addison, i t w i l l be remembered, i s the discernment of beauty ( o b j e c t i v e non-ordinary property) with p l e a s u r e . So perhaps what i s meant here i s merely that the discernment i s the a b i l i t y and the p l e a s u r e simply a c o r r e l a t i v e c a u s a l p r o p e n s i t y . Be t h i s as i t may, I do not intend to do a d e t a i l e d c r i t i q u e of Addison's views; I merely i n c l u d e them here as an a i d to understanding the h i s t o r y of the n o t i o n of t a s t e , a n o t i o n , which as we w i l l see, i s s t i l l very much with us today. 1.2 F r a n c i s Hutcheson Following Addison, we have perhaps two of the b e t t e r known B r i t i s h e m p i r i c i s t p h i l o s p h e r s : F r a n c i s Hutcheson and David Hume. According to Hutcheson: "the word 'beauty' i s taken f o r the idea r a i s ' d i n us."6 Beauty, then, on t h i s view has become i n t e r n a l i z e d ; i t i s no longer an o b j e c t i v e p r o p e r t y but an i d e a , a mental e n t i t y . However, i t i s r e l a t e d to the p r o p e r t i e s of o b j e c t s . As Hutcheson puts i t : 11 What we c a l l ' b e a u t i f u l ' in o b j e c t s , to speak i n the mathemat ica l s t y l e , seems to be in a compound r a t i o of u n i f o r m i t y and v a r i e t y . Thus , where the u n i f o r m i t y of bodies i s e q u a l , the beauty i s as the v a r i e t y , and where the v a r i e t y i s equa l , the beauty i s as the u n i f o r m -i t y . 7 Now, f o r Hutcheson , as wi th some of the o t h e r e m p i r i -c i s t s , ideas are r a i s e d (caused) in us by the i m p r e s s i o n o f o b j e c t s upon our senses . In t h i s proces s we are e s s e n t i a l l y p a s s i v e . The i m p r e s s i o n of o b j e c t s on us and the r a i s i n g o f ideas w i t h i n us i s p e r c e p t i o n . And p e r c e p t i o n s vary a c c o r d -ing to the senses and the ideas r a i s e d . In t h i s way, the idea of beauty ( r a i s e d in us by the p e r c e p t i o n of the ob-j e c t i v e p r o p e r t i e s c o m p r i s i n g u n i f o r m i t y and v a r i e t y ) i s a s s o c i a t e d wi th i t s own sense . T h i s sense , f o r Hutcheson , i s d i f f e r e n t from the o t h e r " e x t e r i o r " senses of s e e i n g , h e a r i n g , e t c . , tha t we a l l s h a r e ; i t i s , he c l a i m s , an i n - t e r n a l sense . But t h i s i s not a l l : t h i s sense — the sense of beauty wherein we r e c e i v e the ideas of t a s t e — i s not a u n i v e r s a l sense possessed by a l l "normal" p e r s o n s . There are those that have i t (presumably A d d i s o n ' s " p o l i t e r " p a r t of s o c i e t y ) and those tha t do n o t . F u r t h e r m o r e , says Hutcheson: "a man n a t u r a l l y v o i d of t a s t e c o u l d by no e d u c a t i o n r e c e i v e the ideas of t a s t e . " 8 The p o l i t e r p a r t of s o c i e t y then , a c c o r d i n g to Hutcheson , c o n s t i t u t e a d i s t i n c t and permanent a e s t h e t i c e l i t e . They are the on ly persons capab le o f 12 d i s c e r n i n g beauty i n o b j e c t s ; t h e y are the s o l e possessors of that p a r t i c u l a r i d e a . Hutcheson's views then, d e s p i t e a c e r t a i n constant theme, d i f f e r i n fundamental and important ways from Addison's. For Hutcheson, beauty i s an idea r a i s e d i n c e r t a i n persons, v i a a s p e c i a l , i n t e r n a l sense of t a s t e , by the impression on the common e x t e r n a l senses, of o b j e c t s po s s e s s i n g the p r o p e r t y ( s ) comprising u n i f o r m i t y and v a r i e t y . The main d i f f i c u l t y with t h i s i s that there seems to be no standard f o r determining whether one has t a s t e or not (and c e r t a i n l y no method of a c q u i r i n g i t i f the l a t t e r i s the c a s e ) . For Addison, as we saw, there i s at l e a s t the p o s s i b i l i t y of an appeal to the notion of an i d e a l o b s e r v e r . But Hutcheson's theory provides no c r i t e r i a f o r measuring success or f a i l u r e i n the c a u s a l , i n t e r a c t i v e a e s t h e t i c procedure of t a s t e . And t h i s , notwithstanding other p o s s i b l e c r i t i c i s m s , seems to be q u i t e a s e r i o u s flaw. 1.3 David Hume Turning then to Hume, we f i n d one of the c l e a r e s t t h e o r i e s of t a s t e from the B r i t i s h enlightenment p e r i o d . Hume's essay "Of The Standard of Taste" appeared i n 1757, and so i s at the end of a n a t u r a l p r o g r e s s i o n s t a r t i n g with Addison and proceeding through Hutcheson. (Hutcheson's Enquiry f i r s t appeared i n 1725). Hume was a c u t e l y aware of 13 the d i v e r s i t y of o p i n i o n s regarding beauty in the a r t s , a f a c t that f u e l s the s c e p t i c s ' argument t h a t r a t i o n a l d i s p u t a t i o n i n t h i s area i s q u i t e p o i n t l e s s . As Hume him s e l f notes: The d i f f e r e n c e , i t i s s a i d , i s very wide between judgement and (the) s e n t i -ment (of t a s t e ) . A l l sentiment i s r i g h t ; because sentiment has a r e f e r -ence to nothing beyond i t s e l f , and i s always r e a l , whenever a man i s con-s c i o u s of i t . 9 Sentiment, then, i t would seem, i s the medium of (among o t h -er things) a e s t h e t i c p e r c e p t i o n . I t d i f f e r s from judgement i n s o f a r as i t does not represent what i s r e a l l y i n the ob-j e c t . So, i t would seem that Hume i s noting here that a e s t h e t i c or other sentimental claims are not o b j e c t i v e statements at a l l (they r e f e r to nothing beyond themselves), but i n s t e a d the e v i n c i n g (or some s i m i l a r form of expression) of some f e e l i n g or ot h e r , and, as a consequence, beyond or above d i s p u t e . T h i s c o n c l u s i o n seems to be supported by the f o l l o w i n g c l a i m : Beauty i s no q u a l i t y i n things them-s e l v e s : i t e x i s t s merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind p e r c e i v e s a d i f f e r e n t beauty....To seek the r e a l beauty or r e a l d eformity (of an o b j e c t i v e something), i s as f r u i t -l e s s an enquiry, as to pretend to a s c e r t a i n the r e a l sweet or r e a l b i t -t e r . According to the d i s p o s i t i o n of the organs, the same o b j e c t may be both.10 14 Hume appears to gi v e the s c e p t i c s t h e i r argument here, but i s , nonetheless, s t i l l convinced that there must be some ba s i s f o r a standard of t a s t e . He notes t h a t , from the view-p o i n t of common sense at l e a s t , the maintenance of Bunyan and Addison or Og i l b y and M i l t o n as equals appears e x t r a v -agant at best, and i s r e a l l y q u i t e untenable. So, i t seems, there i s some unanimity in the a r t s , d e s p i t e the f a c t that the p e r c e p t i o n of beauty i s b a s i c a l l y s e n t i m e n t a l . But, what is t h i s unanimity founded on? I t i s founded, says Hume, on c e r t a i n g e n e r a l r u l e s of composition and c r i t i c i s m gener-ated, in t u r n , from e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n . These r u l e s then, coupled with p l a i n reason and the common c r i t e r i a f o r the a p p l i c a t i o n of c e r t a i n terms i n the language, serve as the foundation f o r a standard of t a s t e . The problem f o r t a s t e , as Hume sees i t , a r i s e s from an incomplete c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the p a r t i c u l a r o c c a s i o n s of a e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e , f o r i t i s here that the v a r i a t i o n s i n sentiment that the s c e p t i c s r e f e r to occur . And i t i s t h i s v a r i a t i o n that makes e m p i r i c i s t i n v e s t i g a t i o n on t h i s t o p i c so d i f f i c u l t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , claims Hume, success i n t h i s e n t e r p r i s e i s p o s s i b l e . Hume argues that the generation of u n i v e r s a l r u l e s of ta s t e r e q u i r e s e m p i r i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n based on c e r t a i n r i g -15 orous c o n d i t i o n s , c o n d i t i o n s ignored by the s c e p t i c s . Not j u s t any a e s t h e t i c experience w i l l do: the time and place must be r i g h t ; the s u b j e c t must have a c e r t a i n " s e r e n i t y of mind"; and he must pay due a t t e n t i o n to the o b j e c t . F u r t h e r -more, not j u s t any subj e c t w i l l do. Only those persons with an a b i l i t y to f i n e l y d i s c r i m i n a t e are to be employed i n the experiments. (Here again i t seems, we must r e l y on the p o l i t e r p a r t of s o c i e t y . ) If we attend to the above c o n d i -t i o n s , c laims Hume, we w i l l f i n d t h a t , d e s p i t e the f a c t that beauty i s some form of f e e l i n g in our sentiment, such f e e l i n g i s l i n k e d , i n s u i t a b l e s u b j e c t s , on s u i t a b l e o c c a s i o n s , u n e r r i n g l y to c e r t a i n " o r d i n a r y " p r o p e r t i e s in b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t s . In t h i s way i t i s p o s s i b l e to make true or f a l s e a e s t h e t i c judgements, i n s o f a r as such judgements w i l l be, or ought to be, u n i v e r s a l l y agreed upon. It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note at t h i s p o i n t that Hume p l a c -es tremendous weight on the notion of what we have a l r e a d y c a l l e d an " i d e a l o b server". It i s a l s o important to note that whereas Hume r e t a i n s Addison's " f e e l i n g " view, he r e -j e c t s , l i k e Hutcheson, the d i r e c t attachment of a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s to the things that provoke t h i s a e s t h e t i c f e e l i n g . Furthermore, although he seems to agree with Hutcheson on t h i s l a s t p o i n t , he does d i s a g r e e with him with r e s p e c t to the i d e a l a e s t h e t i c observer. Hutcheson, i t w i l l be remembered, thought that some people are simply born with 16 t a s t e ( t h a t i s the a b i l i t y to have c e r t a i n ideas r a i s e d i n them); whereas others are not. Hume d i s c o u n t s t h i s view and seems to hold that anyone can have a true a e s t h e t i c experience, p r o v i d i n g the c o n d i t i o n s and the s u b j e c t ' s mental p r e p a r a t i o n are c o r r e c t . I t i s very easy, of course, to c r i t i c i z e t h e o r i e s from the vantage p o i n t of 250 years. However, Addison, Hutcheson and Hume had a seminal i n f l u e n c e on the no t i o n of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e and much of t h e i r views, I s h a l l argue, remain i n t h i s n o t i o n today. I f we take Hume as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t h i s p e r i o d , we f i n d a view of almost modern dimensions. A e s t h e t i c experience i s e s s e n t i a l l y a s s o c i a t e d with c e r t a i n f e e l i n g s of p l e a s u r e . We can a l l , by and l a r g e , have these s o r t s of expe r i e n c e s , p r o v i d i n g we prepare o u r s e l v e s a p p r o p r i a t e l y ( a e s t h e t i c e d u c a t i o n ) , and p r o v i d i n g we are i n the a p p r o p r i a t e p o s i t i o n and ap p r o p r i a t e frame of mind (the a e s t h e t i c a t t i t u d e ) . The p r o p e r t i e s of o b j e c t s which provoke these a e s t h e t i c experiences are not i n themselves a e s t h e t i c ; they are the normal everyday p r o p e r t i e s of which we are a l l aware. However, they are u n e r r i n g l y connected with a e s t h e t i c f e e l i n g , under the r i g h t c o n d i t i o n s , in people with good t a s t e . Taste, then, on Hume's model, i s the e x e r c i s e of educated p e r c e p t u a l discernment w i t h i n the sentiment f o r which ge n e r a l r u l e s of success or f a i l u r e can be formulated. 17 T h i s i s important, because, with the a v a i l a b i l i t y of a standard of t a s t e , the c a u s a l accounts of Addison and Hutcheson become somewhat redundant.lt i s no longer simply a matter of e x p l a i n i n g a process, which would be true or f a l s e as a matter of f a c t . It i s , i n s t e a d , a matter of f o r m u l a t i n g a formal b a s i s f o r the p r a c t i c e of p r o v i d i n g reasons or j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r a e s t h e t i c u t t e r a n c e s by a n a l y s i n g c e r t a i n s p e c i f i a b l e a c t i v i t i e s . And t h i s i s a c o n s i d e r a b l e improve-ment over the e a r l i e r views. Now, i t has been claimed that Hume, l i k e Addison, has a f a t a l flaw i n h i s theory, s p e c i f i c a l l y v i c i o u s c i r c u l a r i t y . I t appears that beauty i s being e x p l a i n e d here i n terms of the i d e a l o b s e r v e r , and the i d e a l o b s e r v e r , i n t u r n , i n terms of h i s / h e r a b i l i t y to recognize beauty. As Peter Kivy has argued, however, t h i s can be shown not to be s o . H A l -though Hume does d e f i n e beauty i n terms of the i d e a l observ-e r , he does not d e f i n e the i d e a l observer s o l e l y in terms of beauty. Ideal o b s e r v e r s , or good c r i t i c s , r e q u i r e a number of q u a l i t i e s , v i z . d e l i c a c y , lack of p r e j u d i c e , good sense, e t c . And these q u a l i t i e s are not l i m i t e d s o l e l y to Hume's i d e a l a e s t h e t i c o b s e r v e r s ; they are to a c e r t a i n extent found i n a l l persons. In t h i s way, i t i s claimed, the c i r c l e can be broken. A major d i f f i c u l t y with Hume's view i s the r e l a t i o n between the no n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s of o b j e c t s and 18 a e s t h e t i c p e r c e p t i o n . Or, to t r a n s l a t e t h i s i n t o a more modern i d i o m : what i s the r e l a t i o n between the n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s of an o b j e c t and the a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s ( e i t h e r " r e a l " o r s i m p l y p e r c e i v e d ) t h a t are a s s i g n e d to i t on the b a s i s of a e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e ? To answer t h i s q u e s t i o n , however, or a t l e a s t to e x p r e s s i t more i n t e l l i g e n t l y , i t w i l l be n e c e s s a r y to l o o k a t a more contemporary view of t a s t e . T h i s I s h a l l do i n the next c h a p t e r . B e f o r e I p r o c e e d , however, i t i s i m p o r t a n t to note t h a t the t h e o r y of the a e s t h e t i c t h a t o r i g i n a t e s i n t h i s e r a c o n t a i n s t h r e e major components. F i r s t , a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t s are c a p a b l e of p r o d u c i n g a s p e c i a l k i n d o f p l e a s u r a b l e f e e l i n g i n us. Second, t h i s f e e l i n g i s e x p e r i e n c e d through our s e n t i m e n t and i s produced by the d i s c e r n m e n t of a s p e c i a l c l a s s of p r o p e r t i e s , a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , which are not a c t u a l l y " p a r t " of the o b j e c t . T h i r d , to have a genuine a e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e , one must assume a s u i t a b l e a t t i t u d e towards a b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t , the a e s t h e t i c a t t i t u d e . In what f o l l o w s I s h a l l m o s t l y be concerned w i t h a e s t h e t i c f e e l i n g and how i t r e l a t e s to the a s c r i p t i o n of a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s to o b j e c t s . A e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , however, are a lmost i n v a r i a b l y e v a l u a t i v e . Thus, i t w i l l be a c e n t r a l theme of t h i s t h e s i s t h a t i n o r d e r to a d e q u a t e l y e x p l a i n a e s t h e t i c e v a l u a t i o n , one must g i v e up the i d e a t h a t s e n t i m e n t a l f e e l i n g i s e s s e n t i a l to a e s t h e t i c 19 p e r c e p t i o n . A e s t h e t i c p l e a s u r e and a e s t h e t i c t a s t e , i t w i l l be argued, are q u i t e d i s t i n c t . 20 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER ONE 1 Joseph A d d i s o n , "On the P l e a s u r e s of the Imagina-t i o n , " i n The S p e c t a t o r , ed. A l e x a n d e r Chalmers (New York: D. A p p l e t o n , 1879), V, 20. 2 A d d i s o n , op. c i t . p. 21. 3 P e t e r K i v y , "Recent S c h o l a r s h i p and the B r i t i s h T r a d i t i o n : A L o g i c of Ta s t e - The F i r s t F i f t y Y e a r s , " i n A e s t h e t i c s , eds., George D i c k i e and R i c h a r d S c l a f a n i (New York: S t . M a r t i n ' s P r e s s , 1975), p. 631. 4 A d d i s o n , op. c i t . p. 36. 5 K i v y , op. c i t . p. 630. 6 F r a n c i s Hutcheson, An I n q u i r y I n t o The O r i g i n a l Of  Our Ideas Of Beauty And V i r t u e (London: For D. M i d w i n t e r , e t a l , 1738) p. 7. ^ Hutcheson, op. c i t . p. 17. 8 Hutcheson, op. c i t . p. 88. 9 David Hume, E s s a y s , M o r a l , P o l i t i c a l and L i t e r a r y (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1963), p. 234. 1 0 Hume, op. c i t . pp. 234, 235. 11 P e t e r K i v y , "Hume's Standard o f T a s t e : B r e a k i n g the C i r c l e " , i n B r i t i s h J o u r n a l of A e s t h e t i c s , V I I (1967). 21 CHAPTER TWO THE CONTEMPORARY VIEW OF AESTHETIC TASTE I argued i n Chapter One t h a t the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y i d e a o f t a s t e s u f f e r e d from two d i s t i n c t d i f f i c u l t i e s . The f i r s t has to do w i t h an inadequate account of the r e l a t i o n between the o r d i n a r y p r o p e r t i e s o f b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t s and a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s . The second has t o do w i t h the e a r l y e m p i r i c i s t s ' somewhat m e c h a n i c a l c a u s a l t h e o r y of p e r c e p t i o n and mental a c t i v i t y . A f t e r a l l , i t does seem a t l e a s t p l a u s i b l e t o suppose t h a t a person might p r e p a r e h i m s e l f a p p r o p r i a t e l y , and address h i m s e l f t o a s u i t a b l e work of a r t t h a t he h i m s e l f f e e l s i s exemplary, and s t i l l y e t not e x p e r i e n c e t h a t "inward j o y " of a p p r e c i a t i o n t h a t i s supposed t o be "caused" i n the s e n t i m e n t . 2.1 Frank S i b l e y One p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n t o these d i f f i c u l t i e s i s to p r o v i d e some a c c e p t a b l e account o f the p u r p o r t e d a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y / a r t - o b j e c t r e l a t i o n , and t h e n , s i m p l y , t o s k i r t around the problems of m e n t a l i s m by f o r m u l a t i n g a t h e o r y of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e p r i m a r i l y i n terms of c o n c e p t s , language and 22 l i n g u i s t i c b e h a v i o u r . T h i s i s e x a c t l y what Frank S i b l e y attempted i n h i s s e m i n a l a r t i c l e , " A e s t h e t i c Concepts." A c c o r d i n g t o S i b l e y , among the many s o r t s of remarks t h a t i t i s p o s s i b l e t o make about a work of a r t , t h e r e are two broad groups t h a t are of p a r t i c u l a r i m p o r t a n c e . The f i r s t group i n v o l v e s the use o f s i m p l e d e c l a r a t i v e sentences i n which " o r d i n a r y " p h y s i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n s a re g i v e n . As S i b -l e y e x p l a i n s : "We say a n o v e l has a g r e a t number of c h a r a c -t e r s and d e a l s w i t h l i f e i n a m a n u f a c t u r i n g town; t h a t a p a i n t i n g uses p a l e c o l o u r s ; t h a t a fugue i s i n v e r t e d . " ! These s o r t s of remarks do not r e q u i r e any s p e c i a l s k i l l s and may be made by anyone w i t h normal sense and i n t e l l i g e n c e . In c o n t r a s t to these s o r t s of remarks, S i b l e y d e s c r i b e s a sec-ond group of e x p r e s s i o n s , the making o f wh i c h , he c l a i m s , does r e q u i r e something more than s i m p l e i n t e l l i g e n c e and normal s e n s e s . These e x p r e s s i o n s r e q u i r e the e x e r c i s e of t a s t e o r s e n s i t i v i t y of a e s t h e t i c d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . A g a i n , a c c o r d i n g t o S i b l e y : We say t h a t a poem i s t i g h t l y k n i t . . . ; t h a t a p i c t u r e l a c k s b a l a n c e ; . . . t h a t c h a r a c t e r s i n a n o v e l r e a l l y come t o l i f e . 2 The d i s t i n c t i o n between these two groups of remarks i s im-p o r t a n t , a c c o r d i n g t o S i b l e y , not o n l y because the l a t t e r i n c l u d e s a e s t h e t i c terms whereas the former do n o t , but a l s o 23 because the former s o r t can be made by anyone w i t h normal senses and i n t e l l i g e n c e , whereas the l a t t e r s o r t can o n l y be made by peopl e w i t h t a s t e . T a s t e t h e n , i s , i n some way, l i n k e d w i t h an a b i l i t y t o p r o p e r l y use c e r t a i n terms and ex-p r e s s i o n s i n a language; i t i s , i t seems, a p r e c o n d i t i o n f o r the s u c c e s s f u l e x e c u t i o n o f a e s t h e t i c u t t e r a n c e s . S i b l e y proceeds by n o t i n g t h a t we o f t e n s u p p o r t our use of a e s t h e t i c terms by r e f e r r i n g t o f e a t u r e s i n an o b j e c t which are not themselves a e s t h e t i c . For example, we might say of a vase t h a t i t i s g r a c e f u l ( a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y ) be-cause of i t s curved neck ( n o n - a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e o r p r o p e r -t y ) . I t i s a c e n t r a l t e n e t of S i b l e y ' s view t h a t a e s t h e t i c terms ( t h e ones t h a t r e q u i r e t a s t e f o r t h e i r p r o p e r employment) a p p l y , u l t i m a t e l y , because of the presence of n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , p r o p e r t i e s which can.be d i s c e r n e d by anyone w i t h normal senses and i n t e l l i g e n c e . However, i t must not be supposed t h a t S i b l e y i s c l a i m -i n g t h a t a e s t h e t i c and n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s a r e , i n some way, i s o m o r p h i c . Q u i t e the c o n t r a r y . A c c o r d i n g t o S i b l e y : There are no n o n - a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s which s e r v e as c o n d i t i o n s f o r a p p l y i n g a e s t h e t i c terms. A e s t h e t i c o r t a s t e c o n c e p t s are not i n t h i s r e s p e c t con-d i t i o n governed a t a l l . 3 What i s the r e l a t i o n t h e n , between a e s t h e t i c and non-aes-t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s ? How do we l e a r n t o i d e n t i f y a e s t h e t i c 24 p r o p e r t i e s i n the absence o f such c o n d i t i o n s as S i b l e y c i t e s ? How do we determine whether an a e s t h e t i c judgement i s t r u e o r f a l s e ? For S i b l e y , t h e r e i s a c e r t a i n i n e f f a b i l i t y about the phenomena these q u e s t i o n s a d d r e s s . There a r e , and can be, no d e f i n i t e c r i t e r i a f o r e v a l u a t i n g p r o p o s i t i o n s c o n t a i n i n g a e s t h e t i c terms because, i f t h e r e were, they would a l s o l a y out the correspondence c o n d i t i o n s f o r the p r o p e r use of the terms t h e m s e l v e s . And t h i s would c o n t r a d i c t the e a r l i e r c l a i m . T h i s i s a s t r o n g p o i n t and S i b l e y i s q u i t e u n e q u i v o c a l on i t . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , he does tend to argue by f i a t , and, as a consequence, t h e r e i s l i t t l e i n the way o f s u p p o r t i n g argument. C o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g c l a i m : A man who f a i l e d t o r e a l i z e the n a t u r e of t a s t e c o n c e p t s , o r someone who, knowing he l a c k e d s e n s i t i v i t y i n aes-t h e t i c m a t t e r s , d i d not want to r e v e a l t h i s l a c k , m i g h t , by a s s i d u o u s a p p l i c a -t i o n and shrewd o b s e r v a t i o n p r o v i d e h i m s e l f w i t h some r u l e s and g e n e r a l i z a -t i o n s ; and by i n d u c t i v e p r o c e d u r e s and i n t e l l i g e n t g u e s s i n g , he might f r e -q u e n t l y say the r i g h t t h i n g s . But he c o u l d have no g r e a t c o n f i d e n c e o r c e r -t a i n t y ; a s l i g h t change i n an o b j e c t might a t any time u n p r e d i c t a b l y r u i n h i s c a l c u l a t i o n s . . . . W i t h c o n c e p t s l i k e l a z y , i n t e l l i g e n t o r c o n t r a c t someone who i n t e l l i g e n t l y f o r m u l a t e d r u l e s t h a t l e d him a r i g h t a p p r e c i a b l y o f t e n would t h e r e b y show the b e g i n n i n g of a g r a s p of those c o n c e p t s , but the person we are c o n s i d e r i n g i s not even b e g i n n i n g to show an awareness of what (say) d e l -i c a c y i s . 4 25 S i b l e y ' s p o i n t i s t h a t a l t h o u g h t h e r e i s some l o o s e c o n n e c t i o n between the n o n - a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s of an a r t -o b j e c t and i t s a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , these n o n - a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s cannot be c o n s i d e r e d t o be c o n d i t i o n s , i n a s t r i c t  s ense, f o r the a s c r i p t i o n o f a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s . The r e a s -on f o r t h i s i s the f a c t t h a t a l t h o u g h c e r t a i n n o n - a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s i n an a r t - o b j e c t might be connected t o a c e r t a i n a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y i n t h a t o b j e c t , i n some o t h e r o b j e c t , i d e n t i c a l n o n - a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s might be connected to q u i t e a n o ther and perhaps d i s s i m i l a r a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y . I t i s t h i s f a c t , S i b l e y a r g u e s , t h a t r e n d e r s the attempt to formu-l a t e the s o r t s of r u l e s t h a t Hume e n v i s a g e d r a t h e r u s e l e s s . Now, i t might be thought a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t S i b l e y ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of t h i s problem j u s t d i v i d e s p r o p e r t i e s i n t o two groups i n much the same way as Locke and Hume d i d ( i . e . , p r i m a r y and s e c o n d a r y ) . But, t h i s i s not the c a s e . A e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s are not secondary p r o p e r t i e s , a t l e a s t not s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d l y s o . S i b l e y ' s p o s i t i o n i s t h a t a e s t h e t -i c p r o p e r t i e s are d i f f e r e n t from the s o - c a l l e d secondary p r o p e r t i e s o f c o l o u r o r t e x t u r e , e t c . , i n t h a t t h e r e are no p r i m a r y p r o p e r t i e s ( i . e . , shape, l o c a t i o n , s i z e , s t r u c t u r e , e t c . ) e i t h e r s i n g l y o r i n s e t s t o which they a r e , o r can be, i n v a r i a b l y r e l a t e d . As a consequence o f t h i s , i t i s not pos-s i b l e t o f o r m u l a t e s t r i c t r u l e s f o r the c o r r e c t a p p l i c a t i o n 26 of a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y terms which c i t e the presence of such p r o p e r t i e s as d e t e r m i n a t e grounds. A e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y terms can be p r o p e r l y a p p l i e d , however, and those persons who can p e r f o r m t h i s f e a t are the people w i t h t a s t e . T a ste t h e n , f o r S i b l e y , i s a s e n s i t i v i t y of a e s t h e t i c d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and a p p r e c i a t i o n , the a b i l i t y t o c o r r e c t l y d i s c e r n ( o r perhaps we s h o u l d say " a s s i g n " ) a e s t h e t i c prop-e r t i e s . A e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s are not p a r t of an o b j e c t i n the same way as i t s s i z e , l o c a t i o n , or s t r u c t u r e a r e ; they are more l i k e the s o - c a l l e d secondary p r o p e r t i e s of c o l o u r , t e x t u r e , s m e l l , e t c . , t h a t are p e r c e i v e d of an o b j e c t by anyone w i t h normal senses under s t a n d a r d c o n d i t i o n s . As s i m i l a r as they are to secondary p r o p e r t i e s , however, they are not the same. F o r , whereas the secondary p r o p e r t i e s w i l l be p e r c e i v e d by anyone w i t h normal s e n s e s , the a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s can o n l y be d i s c e r n e d by those persons s e n s i t i v e enough to n o t i c e c e r t a i n but non-determinate n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s i n whatever c o m b i n a t i o n and r e l a t i o n t h a t s u p p o r t s the a p p l i c a t i o n of an a e s t h e t i c term f o r t h a t o c c a s i o n . T h i s p o s i t i o n , however, seems to be p a t e n t l y c i r c u l a r . A e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y terms, on t h i s v i e w , can o n l y be p r o p e r l y , o r c o r r e c t l y , a p p l i e d by p ersons w i t h t a s t e . But, " c o r r e c t n e s s " i s then d e f i n e d i n terms of what persons w i t h t a s t e do. And I r e a l l y cannot see how S i b l e y can break out of t h i s c i r c l e . 27 I t seems t h e n , d e s p i t e the emphasis on language and c o n c e p t s , t h a t S i b l e y has r e t u r n e d to something l i k e Hutcheson's p o s i t i o n h e r e . I f t h e r e are no r u l e s f o r a c q u i r i n g o r d e v e l o p i n g a e s t h e t i c t a s t e , how do we know when we have i t ? How do we check out what people say? Must we always be s u b s e r v i e n t to the " p o l i t e r " p a r t o f s o c i e t y ? In the absence of any s u b s t a n t i v e argument from S i b l e y , these q u e s t i o n s remain unanswered, and the whole problem o f a e s t h e t i c / n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s seems h o p e l e s s l y muddled. However, b e f o r e d i s p e n s i n g w i t h t h i s problem a l t o g e t h e r i t i s n e c e s s a r y to l o o k a t one more contemporary a n a l y s i s of t h i s problem so as to get as c l e a r a statement as p o s s i b l e on the n a t u r e of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . Let us t u r n to I s a b e l Hungerland. 2.2 I s a b e l Hungerland A c c o r d i n g to I s a b e l Hungerland, S i b l e y ' s views on t a s t e are not so much wrong o r m i s t a k e n as they are i n need of s u p p l e m e n t a t i o n and c l a r i f i c a t i o n . Hungerland, however, does agree w i t h S i b l e y ' s o v e r a l l view of a e s t h e t i c e x p r e s s i o n s : The f e a t u r e s c o r r e s p o n d i n g to terms l i k e " g a r i s h " , " g r a c e f u l " , " b a l a n c e d " , seem to r e q u i r e f o r t h e i r a p p r e h e n s i o n a s p e c i a l s e n s i t i v i t y o r t r a i n i n g on our p a r t and t h e i r presence or absence does not appear t o be d e t e r m i n a b l e . . . . 28 The f e a t u r e s c o r r e s p o n d i n g to terms l i k e " r e d " , " r e c t a n g u l a r " , " c o n t i n u o u s t o " , seem, i n c o n t r a s t , t o r e q u i r e f o r t h e i r a p p r e h e n s i o n no s p e c i a l s e n s i t i v -i t y o r t r a i n i n g beyond the o r d i n a r y and t h e i r p resence o r absence appears to be d e t e r m i n a b l e by i n t e r s u b j e c t i v e t e s t s o r c h e c k s , whether these c o n s i s t i n a s i m p l e l o o k i n g a t an o b j e c t by people w i t h normal e y e s i g h t o r i n p r o c e d u r e s of measuring and the l i k e . 5 Hungerland d i s a g r e e s w i t h S i b l e y , however, when he c l a i m s t h a t a e s t h e t i c judgements are never c o n d i t i o n a l l y governed ( e x c e p t perhaps n e g a t i v e l y ) . I t i s Hungerland's c o n t e n t i o n t h a t S i b l e y ' s use o f " c o n d i t i o n s " i s s i m p l y too vague. He uses t h i s term, she a r g u e s , to co v e r both j u s t i f y -ing c o n d i t i o n s , o r c r i t e r i a , f o r speech a c t s and t r u t h c o n d i t i o n s f o r p r o p o s i t i o n s ( o r s t a t e m e n t s ) . "Talk about c r i t e r i a , " says Hungerland, "belongs i n the c o n t e x t o f t a l k about a c t s of s t a t i n g , not s t a t e m e n t s ( p r o p o s i t i o n s ) . " 6 Once t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s o b s e r v e d , i t i s argued, i t can be r e a d i l y seen t h a t , a l t h o u g h t h e r e are no c r i t e r i a f o r the speech a c t s i n which a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s are a s c r i b e d , t h e r e a r e , o r can be, some form o f t r u t h c o n d i t i o n s f o r the p r o p o s i t i o n s (or st a t e m e n t s ) t h a t a s c r i b e the a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s . The d i s t i n c t i o n between speech a c t c r i t e r i a and p r o p o s i t i o n a l t r u t h c o n d i t i o n s , of c o u r s e , i s r e l a t i v e l y s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d . I t needs l i t t l e e x p l a n a t i o n . So l e t us l o o k f i r s t a t the ( l a c k o f ) c r i t e r i a f o r a e s t h e t i c speech a c t s . I t i s Hungerland's c o n t e n t i o n t h a t t h e r e i s an im p o r t -29 ant c o n t r a s t between n o n - a e s t h e t i c a s c r i p t i o n s ( N - a s c r i p -t i o n s ) and the use of e x p r e s s i o n s such as: "X l o o k s N (non-a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y ) " t h a t has no d i r e c t analogue w i t h aes-t h e t i c a s c r i p t i o n s ( A - a s c r i p t i o n s ) and c o r r e s p o n d i n g ex-p r e s s i o n s such a s : "X l o o k s A ( a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y ) " . I t i s t h i s r e l a t i o n ( o r l a c k of i t ) t h e n , t h a t s e r v e s to d i s t i n -g u i s h a e s t h e t i c e x p r e s s i o n s from n o n - a e s t h e t i c e x p r e s s i o n s . By way of example, we might t h i n k o f the c o n t r a s t between l o o k i n g i l l o r s t r o n g and b e i n g i l l o r s t r o n g . I t i s pos-s i b l e t o l o o k i l l w h i l e a c t u a l l y b e i n g q u i t e h e a l t h y (and, of c o u r s e , v i c e v e r s a ) . T h i s , i t i s c l a i m e d , i n d i c a t e s t h a t l o o k i n g i s not the p r i m a r y way o f j u s t i f y i n g a c h a l l e n g e d n o n - a e s t h e t i c speech a c t . But, f o r c h a l l e n g e d a e s t h e t i c speech a c t s , Hungerland c l a i m s , l o o k i n g i s the o n l y r e s o r t , the s u p p o r t i n g argument bei n g s i m p l y : "The 'A's i n q u e s t i o n were i n v e n t e d j u s t f o r the purpose of d e s c r i b i n g how t h i n g s l o o k . " 7 Hungerland notes t h a t t h e r e i s a s u b - s e t of N-terms which were a l s o i n v e n t e d t o d e s c r i b e how t h i n g s l o o k . These are the c o l o u r and o t h e r s e n s o r y terms. There i s a n o t h e r c o n t r a s t t h a t w i l l s e r v e t o d i s t i n g u i s h these from A-terms, however, and t h a t i s the c o n t r a s t between l o o k i n g a c e r t a i n c o l o u r t o normal o b s e r v e r s under normal c o n d i t i o n s and s i m p l y l o o k i n g , say, red o r b l u e , under some s p e c i a l c o n d i -t i o n s . Such a c o n t r a s t though, c l a i m s Hungerland, i s not 30 a v a i l a b l e to A-terms, e x c e p t perhaps by m e t a p h o r i c a l e x t e n -s i o n . T h i s i s because whereas the ' r e d 1 / ' l o o k s r e d ' c o n t r a s t p o i n t s to a p h y s i c a l d e f e c t i n a se n s o r y organ o r t o some n a t u r a l e f f e c t on t h a t o r g a n , the ' b e a u t i f u l ' / ' l o o k s b e a u t i f u l ' c o n t r a s t m e r e l y p o i n t s t o d i f f e r e n c e s i n sy m p a t h i e s , s n o b b e r i e s , o u t l o o k s , o r t r a i n i n g i n a r t . A c c o r d i n g t o Hungerland, what d i s t i n g u i s h e s the A's i s the f a c t t h a t : ...the norm of c i r c u m s t a n c e s , when we are concerned w i t h A's, cannot be s t a t e d i n terms of p h y s i c a l v i e w p o i n t , l i g h t i n g arrangements, and so on, but i n terms of what we c o n c e n t r a t e on, what we d i s r e g a r d , our movement o f a t t e n t i o n , what might be c a l l e d "our whole mental s t a n c e " . I s h a l l c a l l the v i e w p o i n t r e l e v a n t t o the appr e h e n s i o n of A's " p e r c e p t u a l " t o d i s t i n g u i s h i t from the p h y s i c a l v i e w p o i n t r e l e v a n t t o N' S . 8 Taking a "normal" p h y s i c a l v i e w p o i n t then does not guarantee the " s e e i n g " o f any d e t e r m i n a b l e a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s . To do t h i s one must loo k a t c e r t a i n n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , con-c e n t r a t e on c e r t a i n o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n s , be pos s e s s e d of a c e r t a i n s e n s i b i l i t y and have an adequate t r a i n i n g i n the a r t s . Now, Hungerland does admit t h a t a e s t h e t i c ways o f l o o k i n g a t t h i n g s , s e n s i t i v i t y , a e s t h e t i c t r a i n i n g , e t c . , are to some e x t e n t o r g a n i z e d and w i d e s p r e a d . There are 31 c o t e r i e s , she n o t e s , wherein norms f o r p e r c e i v e r s and p e r c e p t u a l v i e w p o i n t a re r o u g h l y e s t a b l i s h e d . C o t e r i e s , however, do not stand i n the same r e l a t i o n t o A's as normal p h y s i c a l v i e w p o i n t s do to N's, and t h i s i s because, " c o t e r i e s a re not determined by the s t r u c t u r e o f our organs and of our p h y s i c a l environment." 9 Hungerland's c o n c l u s i o n i s t h a t t h e r e are no t e s t s f o r the presence of A's n o n - m e t a p h o r i c a l l y analogous to the t e s t s a v a i l a b l e f o r N's, and t h e r e f o r e no s t r i c t c r i t e r i a f o r a e s t h e t i c speech a c t s as t h e r e are or can be f o r n o n - a e s t h e t i c speech a c t s . D e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t t h e r e can be no ( s t r i c t ) speech a c t c r i t e r i a f o r A's, Hungerland does a l l o w t h a t a e s t h e t i c terms ("A" 1s) a r e , o f t e n , r o u g h l y d e f i n e d , which does e s t a b l i s h some s o r t of t r u t h c o n d i t i o n s f o r the p r o p o s i t i o n s i n which they o c c u r . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , these c o n d i t i o n s are always e s t a b l i s h e d w i t h r e s p e c t t o s t a n d a r d s p r e v a l e n t i n some c o t e r i e o r o t h e r , so the p o s s i b i l i t y f o r these s o r t o f c o n d i t i o n s i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l . Thus, she c o n c l u d e s , the r e l a t i o n between N's and A's w i l l always remain f o r m a l l y i n d e t e r m i n a b l e . Hungerland c l a i m s t h a t A's, the a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , a r e , i n f a c t , t e r t i a r y p r o p e r t i e s . ! 0 Thus, i t i s not pos-s i b l e t o g i v e , by way of d e f i n i t i o n , some synonymous "N" ( o r s e t o f "N"'s) f o r e v e r y "A" as some would l i k e . In r e l a t i n g A's to N's, the most one can do, she c l a i m s , i s to g i v e an 32 account of some "A" as the term a p p l y i n g t o some e f f e c t s t h a t c e r t a i n N's have f o r some persons w i t h r e s p e c t to some c o t e r i e o r p e r s p e c t i v e . And w i t h t h i s i t seems we have come f u l l c i r c l e w i t h the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . A e s t h e t i c c o t e r i e s , w h i c h , f o r Hungerland, can o n l y m e t a p h o r i c a l l y ground a e s t h e t i c speech a c t s , seem t o be l i t t l e more than an i n f o r m a l r e v i v a l of Hume's s t a n d a r d s and p r a c t i c e s f o r a c c e p t a b l e (and a u t h o r i t a t i v e ) a e s t h e t i c p e r c e p t i o n s . Hungerland h e r s e l f even seems to be aware of t h i s . F o r , she c o n c l u d e s her address by n o t i n g t h a t her main t h e s i s i s t h a t : "the c o n c e p t s of S e n s i b i l i t y s h o u l d not be absorbed e i t h e r t o those of Sense o r to those o f S e n s a t i o n ( f e e l i n g ) . "11 Hutcheson and Hume would c e r t a i n l y agree w i t h t h i s . 2.3 Problems w i t h the Contemporary Account Good t a s t e , t h e n , a c c o r d i n g t o t h i s contemporary v i e w , i s the a b i l i t y t o c o r r e c t l y apprehend a e s t h e t i c ( o r t e r t i a r y ) p r o p e r t i e s i n an o b j e c t on the b a s i s o f c e r t a i n n o n - a e s t h e t i c f e a t u r e s observed from a p e r t i n e n t p e r s p e c t i v e . We cannot s t r i c t l y j u s t i f y our pronouncements (speech a c t s ) on a r t o b j e c t s because t h e r e are no s t r i c t c r i t e r i a a v a i l a b l e t o us to which we might a p p e a l i f c h a l l e n g e d . There are no s t r i c t c r i t e r i a a v a i l a b l e because, 33 although a e s t h e t i c terms are l i k e c o l o u r terms in that they stand f o r p e r c e i v e d p r o p e r t i e s or r e l a t i o n s , they are not r e l a t a b l e to o b j e c t s on the b a s i s of p h y s i c a l laws, p h y s i c a l c o n s t i t u t i o n , e t c . We see the red of a t h i n g because of our l o c a t i o n , the s t a t e of our eyes and the a v a i l a b l e l i g h t ; whereas we see the elegance of a thing because of our e d u c a t i o n , c u l t u r a l p r e j u d i c e s , p o i n t s of view, h a b i t s and the l i k e . Anyone with normal sense and i n t e l l i g e n c e can see the redness of a thing ( i f i t i s r e d ) , and can make an a s s e r t i o n to the f a c t which w i l l be a c c e p t a b l e or non-acceptable, depending on whether the c r i t e r i a f o r making such an a s s e r t i o n are met or not. No such r e s o r t , however, i s a v a i l a b l e to the p e r c e i v e r of the a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s of a thing ( i f indeed i t has any). A e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s on t h i s view then are apprehended by way of taking a non-determinable p e r s p e c t i v e . They vary according to p e r s p e c t i v e and are thus on l y l o o s e l y attached to o b j e c t s . I t i s p o s s i b l e f o r a set of n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s to determine ( i n a loose sense) a s p e c i f i c a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t y from one p e r s p e c t i v e and an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t a e s t h e t i c property from another, even though the p h y s i c a l c o n d i t i o n s ( i n c l u d i n g l o c a t i o n of observer) are i d e n t i c a l . I t i s my i n t e n t i o n to show, in what f o l l o w s , that the contemporary view of t a s t e , as c h a r a c t e r i z e d by S i b l e y ' s and 34 Hungerland's a c c o u n t s , does not e n t i r e l y escape the problems t h a t t r o u b l e d the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y views d i s c u s s e d a t the o u t s e t . A l t h o u g h , o b v i o u s l y , i t i s a tremendous improvement. These d i f f i c u l t i e s n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g , however, the contempor-a r y view a l s o s u f f e r s from a n o t h e r f l a w , i n t h a t i t p l a c e s too much emphases on the o b j e c t / p r o p e r t y r e l a t i o n t h a t i s n o t , i n f a c t , r e q u i r e d . Once these problems are e x p l a i n e d i t w i l l be argued t h a t t h e r e i s no o b v i o u s and t e n a b l e d i s t i n c t i o n between a e s t h e t i c and n o n - a e s t h e t i c t e r t i a r y p r o p e r t i e s , and t h a t an account can be g i v e n of the i n s t i t u t i o n a l n a t u r e of the v a r i o u s a r t s such t h a t s u f f i c i e n t s u b s t a n c e can be g i v e n to Hungerland's n o t i o n of a c o t e r i e , t h a t w i l l , i n t u r n , found the c r i t e r i a n e c e s s a r y to j u s t i f y the use of a e s t h e t i c terms and c o n c e p t s . Now, as d i s c u s s e d i n the f i r s t c h a p t e r , one of the sho r t c o m i n g s o f Addi s o n ' s and Hutcheson's views l i e s i n t h e i r r e l i a n c e on an o v e r l y m e c h a n i c a l c a u s a l account of p e r c e p t i o n ^ A c c o r d i n g to the c a u s a l a c c o u n t , e i t h e r a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s i n the o b j e c t ( A d d i s o n ) , o r non-a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s (Hutcheson) cause us t o have an a e s t h e t i c response to i t . For Ad d i s o n t h i s response was a c e r t a i n inward j o y , whereas f o r Hutcheson i t was the r a i s i n g of an i d e a ( v i a an i n n e r a e s t h e t i c s e n s e ) . The main problem w i t h t h i s s o r t o f approach i s t h a t n o n - r e g r e s s i v e o r non-c i r c u l a r a c c o u n t s of how s u c c e s s i n the a e s t h e t i c e n t e r p r i s e 35 i s t o be e s t a b l i s h e d a re v e r y d i f f i c u l t t o f o r m u l a t e . F u r t h e r m o r e , when a e s t h e t i c t a s t e i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n the way suggested by Hutcheson, i t seems to l e a d t o a v e r y q u e s t i o n a b l e form o f a e s t h e t i c e l i t i s m t h a t , these days, we (ought t o ) f i n d u n a c c e p t a b l e . Now, i f we want t o a v o i d the s o r t of e l i t i s m t h a t Hutcheson espoused, then t a s t e w i l l have to be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as the s o r t o f a b i l i t y t h a t we can a l l , by and l a r g e , l e a r n to e x e r c i s e ( e i t h e r w e l l o r b a d l y ) . But, i f a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s are always a s c r i b e d on the b a s i s of n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s (whether from a c e r t a i n p e r s p e c t i v e as Hungerland c l a i m s o r n o t ) , and i f t h e r e a r e , and can be, no c o t e r i e -n e u t r a l r u l e s f o r the r e l a t i n g of n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s to a e s t h e t i c ones, how i s i t p o s s i b l e to l e a r n how to d i s c e r n the a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s i n a t h i n g i n d e p e n d e n t l y of some c o t e r i e ? I t would, of c o u r s e , be r a t h e r p u e r i l e t o c l a i m t h a t l e a r n i n g c o n s i s t s e n t i r e l y of apprehending and f o l l o w i n g g e n e r a l r u l e s , e s p e c i a l l y w i t h complex s u b j e c t s such as a e s t h e t i c s . However, these s o r t s of r u l e s a re i n some sense a t l e a s t a n e c e s s a r y component o f the p r o c e s s . Thus, i f we a l l o w t h a t people do, i n d e e d , have t a s t e and a l s o t h a t a l l p ersons can, i n p r i n c i p l e , l e a r n and develop t h i s a b i l i t y i n t h e m s e l v e s , i n d e p e n d e n t l y of any c o t e r i e , then e i t h e r we must admit t h a t t h e r e a r e , a f t e r a l l , a t l e a s t some c o t e r i e - n e u t r a l r u l e s f o r the s u c c e s s f u l 36 execution of t h i s a b i l i t y (as Hume cl a i m e d ) , or e l s e that t h i s a b i l i t y r i s e s i n us through some i n e f f a b l e process over which we have l i t t l e or no c o n t r o l . J u s t what t h i s other process might be I have no idea, but some form of the c a u s a l t h e s i s seems to be more than j u s t a l i k e l y c a n d i d a t e . Another flaw i n the contemporary view of t a s t e has to do with the way p r o p e r t i e s are c h a r a c t e r i z e d . Ms. Hungerland s t a t e s , q u i t e u n e q u i v o c a l l y , that a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s are in f a c t t e r t i a r y p r o p e r t i e s . 1 2 ( S i b l e y i s not so c l e a r on the s u b j e c t , but I s h a l l assume that he would more or l e s s agree). The view that supports t h i s c o n t e n t i o n appears to be that there are three c l a s s e s of p r o p e r t i e s attached to, or a s s o c i a t e d with, o b j e c t s , v i z . primary, secondary and t e r t i a r y . The primary p r o p e r t i e s of an o b j e c t are, i n a sense, p h y s i c a l , p a r t of the o b j e c t i t s e l f ; s i z e , l o c a t i o n , weight, composition would be examples. Secondary p r o p e r t i e s , on the other hand, are not a t t a c h a b l e so d i r e c t l y to o b j e c t s ; the s o - c a l l e d "sensory" p r o p e r t i e s of c o l o u r , t a s t e , smell and touch are t y p i c a l examples. T e r t i a r y p r o p e r t i e s , by c o n t r a s t , are even more remote from the things to which they get attached. T e r t i a r y p r o p e r t i e s (of which the a e s t h e t i c ones are, presumably, a subset) are a t -tachable to o b j e c t s only on the b a s i s of primary and second-ary p r o p e r t i e s "seen" from a p a r t i c u l a r p e r s p e c t i v e (Note that " p e r s p e c t i v e " here i s a t e c h n i c a l term drawn from 37 G e s t a l t p s y c h o l o g y ) . These d i s t i n c t i o n s ( a t l e a s t the one between p r i m a r y and secondary p r o p e r t i e s ) o r i g i n a t e w i t h D e m o c r i t u s , but f i n d t h e i r c l a s s i c e x p o s i t i o n i n Locke's "Essay", (and c e r t a i n l y were a c c e p t e d by Hume). The themes t h a t c o n s t i t u t e the problem of t a s t e c e r t a i n l y have a c l o s e h i s t o r i c a l a f f i n i t y . The t h r e e s tage p r o p e r t y model proposed here can ap-p e a r , i n some ways, q u i t e a p p e a l i n g . P r i m a r y p r o p e r t i e s are p h y s i c a l p r o p e r t i e s , secondary p r o p e r t i e s a re se n s o r y prop-e r t i e s , and t e r t i a r y p r o p e r t i e s are a s c r i b e d p r o p e r t i e s c o n d i t i o n e d by a c e r t a i n p e r s p e c t i v e . C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , p r i m a r y p r o p e r t i e s , i t might be c l a i m e d , are " i n the w o r l d " ; they have independent e x i s t e n c e . Secondary p r o p e r t i e s , on the o t h e r hand, a l t h o u g h s t i l l o b j e c t i v e , depend to some e x t e n t on our s e n s e s , a l t h o u g h , l u c k i l y , because of the c a u s a l l i n k s c o n s t i t u t i n g our se n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e , they w i l l always be the same f o r a l l people ( p r o v i d i n g the c o n d i t i o n s are the same and they have normal s e n s e s ) . T e r t i a r y p r o p e r t i e s , by c o n t r a s t , cannot be "seen" a t a l l , o r a t most, o n l y m e t a p h o r i c a l l y ; they are our own c o n t r i b u t i o n s c r e a t e d from c e r t a i n v a r i a b l e p e r s p e c t i v e s . As a c o n c e p t u a l model t h i s view c e r t a i n l y has s i m p l i -c i t y . However, i t does seem t o r e q u i r e a s p e c i a l s o r t of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l p e r c e p t i o n t h e o r y t o s u p p o r t i t , which might e x p l a i n why, w i t h the e x c e p t i o n of c e r t a i n contempor-38 a r y p h i l o s o p h e r s , 1 3 i t has r e c e i v e d l i t t l e s u p p o r t and c o n s i d e r a b l e c r i t i c i s m s i n c e the time of Locke. These days, as p h i l o s o p h e r s , we tend to t h i n k o f p r o p e r t i e s as e i t h e r . e s s e n t i a l or n o n - e s s e n t i a l ( n e c e s s a r y or c o n t i n g e n t ) , t h a t i s i n terms of v a r i o u s p o s s i b l e - w o r l d models. The problems of m e t a p h y s i c s and o n t o l o g y have been exchanged f o r those of s e m a n t i c s and language. My p r i n c i p a l c o ncern w i t h S i b l e y ' s and Hungerland's views t h e n , l i e s i n t h e i r r e l i a n c e on the p r i m a r y / s e c o n d a r y p r o p e r t y model to s u p p o r t t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e , s e n t i m e n t a l t h e o r i e s of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . The n o t i o n of the A e s t h e t i c , i t w i l l be remembered, arose i n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y i n o r d e r to e x p l a i n the e ver more complex c h a r a c t e r of a s p e c i a l c l a s s of b e a u t i f u l o b j e c t s — a r t o b j e c t s . Nobody wished to deny these o b j e c t s t h e i r beauty. However, t h e i r e v er more complex c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , r e q u i r e d a c o r r e s p o n d i n g change i n the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of t h e i r ( t h e o b j e c t s ' ) e f f e c t s on p e r s o n s . Simple a r t i s t i c p l e a s u r e was no l o n g e r s u f f i c i e n t . A new account was r e q u i r e d . The p r e v a i l i n g o c u l a r model of the mind and m ental a c t i v i t y , drawn from D e s c a r t e s and Locke, c o u l d not be employed i n t h i s e n t e r p r i s e w i t h o u t some m o d i f i c a t i o n . So, an e x t r a , i n n e r sense was proposed (by H u t c h e s o n ) , which a l l o w e d f o r a s e p a r a t i o n of a e s t h e t i c p e r c e p t i o n from the p h y s i c a l senses (and thus reason) w i t h o u t a c o l l a p s e i n t o the p i t of s e n s i t i v i t y and p a s s i o n . 39 The a e s t h e t i c f a c u l t y (whatever a f a c u l t y may be) was to s t a n d somewhere i n between. The "middle ground" view of a e s t h e t i c p e r c e p t i o n has p e r s i s t e d . And today we f i n d p h i l o s o p h e r s such as S i b l e y and Hungerland p r o p o s i n g a second d i s t i n c t i o n between p r o p e r -t i e s , i n a d d i t i o n to the a l r e a d y q u e s t i o n a b l e d i s t i n c t i o n between p r i m a r y and secondary ones, i n o r d e r to s u p p o r t t h i s v iew. These d i s t i n c t i o n s , however, even i f they can be drawn, are s i m p l y not r e q u i r e d . There i s n o t h i n g s t r a n g e or " t e r t i a r y " about a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s : they a r e , s i m p l y , j u s t a n o t h e r type of a s c r i b e d p r o p e r t y . And, even i f we do a l l o w such a c l a s s of p r o p e r t i e s , what i s to s t o p us from d e v e l o p i n g t h e o r e t i c a l c r i t e r i a f o r the p e r s p e c t i v e s t h a t g e n e r a t e them? I see no l o g i c a l b a r r i e r to t h i s e n t e r p r i s e . We do not have much d i f f i c u l t y w i t h the unseeable p r o p e r t i e s d e r i v e d from the t h e o r i e s of s c i e n c e , nor w i t h the d i v e r s e c h a r a c t e r o r p e r s o n a l i t y p r o p e r t i e s drawn from the t h e o r i e s of p s y c h o l o g y . So, what i s the d i f f i c u l t y w i t h a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s ? The answer l i e s , I b e l i e v e , i n the i n c o m p l e t e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of what Hungerland c a l l s " a e s t h e t i c c o t e r i e s " . Once we c l a r i f y the f u n c t i o n and s t r u c t u r e of t hese i n s t i t u t i o n s , we w i l l see t h a t , a l t h o u g h a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s can be f o r m a l l y r e l a t e d t o n o n - a e s t h e t i c ones, our c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of a e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e does become q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . For a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , i t w i l l be 40 a r g u e d , a p p l y not so much on the b a s i s of p e r c e p t i o n i n our s e n t i m e n t as on c e r t a i n t h e o r e t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . And t o un d e r s t a n d j u s t what these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a r e , i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o loo k a t the a r t i n s t i t u t i o n s t h a t g e n e r a t e them. To c o n c l u d e t h e n , I do not w i s h t o deny t h a t a r t and p l e a s u r e are r e l a t e d ; o n l y t h a t the e x p l a n a t i o n of the mental p r o c e s s e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p l e a s u r e must be i n c l u d e d i n an account of a e s t h e t i c judgement. Hungerland's account of a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s i s a tremendous improvement over the 18th c e n t u r y view. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , h a v i n g r a i s e d the d i s c u s s i o n t o the l e v e l of speech a c t c r i t e r i a , l o g i c and s e m a n t i c s , she i n s i s t s on goi n g back to the l e v e l of s e n t i m e n t . T h i s i s , I b e l i e v e , an e r r o r . I t i s c l e a r t h a t a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s are a s c r i b e d on the b a s i s of c e r t a i n n o n - a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s p e r c e i v e d from some p e r s p e c t i v e ( j u s t as l a z i n e s s o r i n t e l l i g e n c e might b e ) . But, a more i m p o r t a n t f a c t i s t h a t t h e i r a s c r i p t i o n r e s u l t s from a judgement. And i t i s to the b a s i s f o r t h i s s o r t of judgement t h a t I now wi s h t o t u r n . 41 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER TWO 1 Frank S i b l e y , " A e s t h e t i c Concepts", i n The P h i l o s - o p h i c a l Review, L X V I I I , No 4.(1959), 421. 2 S i b l e y , op. c i t . p. 421. 3 S i b l e y , op. c i t . p. 424. 4 S i b l e y , op. c i t . p. 432. 5 I s a b e l H ungerland, "The L o g i c of A e s t h e t i c C oncepts", i n P r o c e e d i n g s o f The American P h i l o s o p h i c a l A s s o c i a t i o n ( 1962) , p.43. 6 Hungerland, op. c i t . p. 47. 7 Hungerland, op. c i t . p. 51. 8 Hungerland, op. c i t . p. 53. 9 Hungerland, op. c i y . p. 53. 10 Hungerland, op. c i t . p. 64. 11 Hungerland, op. c i t . p. 65. 12 Hungerland, op. c i t . p. 64. 13 Jonathan B e n n e t t , Locke, B e r k e l y , Hume: C e n t r a l  Themes ( O x f o r d : C larendon P r e s s , 1971), p. 96, and: John Macki e , Problems From Locke ( O x f o r d : C larendon P r e s s , 1976), Ch. 1. 42 CHAPTER THREE THE INSTITUTIONAL THEORY OF ART In the l a s t c h a p t e r , I argued t h a t a c e r t a i n contempor-ar y view of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e (namely t h a t espoused by Frank S i b l e y and I s a b e l Hungerland) was m i s t a k e n i n two i m p o r t a n t ways. F i r s t , too g r e a t an emphasis i s p l a c e d on the p u r p o r t -ed d i f f e r e n c e s between the a e s t h e t i c ( o r t e r t i a r y ) p r o p e r -t i e s of a r t o b j e c t s and t h e i r o t h e r ( p r i m a r y and secondary) p r o p e r t i e s which l e a d s one to suppose, m i s t a k e n l y , t h a t t h e r e i s a l s o a s e t of p r e d i c a t e s f o r which no s t r i c t ( c o t e r i e - n e u t r a l ) c o n d i t i o n s f o r a p p l i c a t i o n can be g i v e n . Second, a e s t h e t i c b e h a v i o u r ( i . e . , the e x e r c i s e of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e ) i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d as o n l y q u a s i - r a t i o n a l , i n the sense t h a t the di s c e r n m e n t of a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s and the c r i t i c a l u t t e r a n c e s made on the b a s i s of such d i s c e r n m e n t s are i n f u s e d w i t h s e n t i m e n t a l i t y , and thus f a i l t o p r o v i d e a sec u r e o r s u i t a b l e base f o r a e s t h e t i c e v a l u a t i o n o r judgement. In t h i s c h a p t e r , I i n t e n d t o a t t a c k these two p o s i t i o n s by way o f an e x a m i n a t i o n o f the o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e s t h a t c o n s t i t u t e the v a r i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s o f a r t , o r , t o put i t i n the idi o m o f the c u r r e n t a e s t h e t i c l i t e r a t u r e , I i n t e n d t o lo o k a t what has come t o be known as The A r t w o r l d . 43 Now, i t might be o b j e c t e d a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s are not the s o l e p r e s e r v e of a r t - o b j e c t s , and t h a t what we might d i s c o v e r about them w i t h r e s p e c t t o a r t may not n e c e s s a r i l y be t r u e f o r o t h e r a r e a s i n which a e s t h e t i c t a s t e might be i n v o l v e d . Sunsets can be l i v e l y w i t h v i v i d c o l o u r s ; s h i p s can be g r a c e f u l . But, however we d e f i n e a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s and a e s t h e t i c t a s t e , i n g e n e r a l , t h e i r r o l e i n i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , a p p r e c i a t i o n and e v a l u a t i o n of l i t e r a t u r e , p a i n t i n g , p o e t r y , e t c . , w i l l c e r t a i n l y be c e n t r a l . Thus, I t h i n k t h i s move to a more r e s t r i c t e d a r e a of a e s t h e t i c s i s j u s t i f i e d , e s p e c i a l l y i f i t can more r e a d i l y shed l i g h t on the i s s u e s a l r e a d y r a i s e d . But, over and above t h i s p o i n t , t h e r e i s another reason f o r l o o k i n g a t the i n s t i t u t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s of the a r t s and a r t o r l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m . The v a r i o u s d i s c i p l i n a r y debates t h a t c o n s t i t u t e the academic e n t e r p r i s e have become so o r g a n i z e d o f l a t e t h a t many o f the t o p i c s t h a t p r e s e n t l y occupy us i n our s e a r c h f o r knowledge and u n d e r s t a n d i n g cannot now be i n t e l l i g e n t l y d i s c u s s e d o u t s i d e o f t h i s i n s t i t u t i o n a l framework. Laymen i n bar s and t a v e r n s may d i s c u s s i n t h e i r way the n a t u r e o f r e a l i t y o r the o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s o f v a r i o u s items i n t h e i r v i c i n i t y , but o n l y p r o f e s s i o n a l p h i l o s o p h e r s can debate i n f o r m a t i v e l y the i s s u e s o f p h i l o s o p h y , so, t o o , w i t h the a r t s . L i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m i s now a d i s c i p l i n e i n i t s own 44 r i g h t ; so too i s a r t - c r i t i c i s m and m u s i c o l o g y . They are o r g a n i z e d s u b j e c t s w i t h t h e i r own c o n c e p t s , t e c h n i c a l l a n g u a g e s , and s t a n d a r d s o f e x p l a n a t o r y o r c r i t i c a l adequacy. And i t i s h e r e , I b e l i e v e , t h a t we w i l l f i n d the s t a n d a r d s of t a s t e t h a t , f o r Hume and h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s , were the s o l e p r e s e r v e o f the p o l i t e r p a r t o f s o c i e t y . 3.1 The A r t w o r l d The n o t i o n of an A r t w o r l d o r i g i n a t e d w i t h A r t h u r Danto,! 5 u t i t has been e x t e n s i v e l y adapted i n r e c e n t times by, among o t h e r s , George D i c k i e . Danto's and D i c k i e ' s v i e w s , however, d i f f e r i n i m p o r t a n t and fundamental ways, a l t h o u g h both seek, u l t i m a t e l y , t o e x p l a i n how n o v e l and somewhat b i z a r r e o b j e c t s can become works of a r t . Danto's views f i r s t appeared i n the mid 1960's, d u r i n g a p e r i o d o f c o n s i d e r a b l e upheaval i n the f i n e a r t s . A l l manner of o b j e c t s were bei n g p r e s e n t e d by a r t i s t s as worthy of a e s t h e t i c a p p r e c i a t i o n . M a r c e l Duchamp's famous F o u n t a i n , o f c o u r s e , appeared much e a r l i e r d u r i n g the h e i g h t of the D a d a i s t y e a r s , but i t was never a c c e p t e d as a r t by the wo r l d a t l a r g e . During the 1950's and 1960's, however, t r a d i t i o n a l i d e a s on the work of a r t were q u i t e l i t e r a l l y smashed by the p r e s e n t a t i o n and a c c e p t a n c e , as a r t , o f such d i v e r s e o b j e c t s as Warhol's B r i l l o Box, P i c a s s o ' s N e c k t i e and Rauschenberg's Bed. That 45 which had h i t h e r t o f o r e been s i m p l e and e v e r y d a y , had become e l e v a t e d to the s t a t u s of work of a r t . The o f f b e a t , uncom-f o r t a b l e i d e a s of Dada had become c e n t r a l t e n e t s of modern-ism. The o b j e c t s p r e s e n t e d by these new Midases had not changed p h y s i c a l l y d u r i n g t h e i r t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n , e xcept perhaps to be c l e a n e d up, touched up here and t h e r e w i t h a few daubs of p a i n t , and hung on a w a l l . Y e t , now they were works of a r t , s u i t a b l e o b j e c t s f o r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , e v a l u a -t i o n and a p p r e c i a t i o n , and, presumably, p o s s e s s i n g c e r t a i n a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s t h a t they d i d not have b e f o r e . A s t r a n g e phenomenon i n d e e d . Danto and D i c k i e both begin by a g r e e i n g t h a t i t cannot be the p h y s i c a l or c o m p o s i t i o n a l p r o p e r t i e s t h a t make a t h i n g a work of a r t . Duchamp's p i e c e of p o r c e l a i n d i d not change p h y s i c a l l y when i t became F o u n t a i n . Thus, the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t both are drawn to i s t h a t the p r o p e r t i e s t h a t make something a work of a r t must be of a r e l a t i o n a l k i n d , r e l a t i o n a l , t h a t i s , w i t h r e s p e c t to the a r t e n vironment, which i n t u r n e x p l a i n s why these p r o p e r t i e s are not i m m e d i a t e l y p e r c e p t i b l e . Here, however, the agreement d i s a p p e a r s . Danto proposes t h a t the r e l a t i o n a l p r o p e r t i e s be d e f i n e d i n terms of the o b j e c t ' s s u b s u m a b i l i t y under some a c c e p t a b l e a e s t h e t i c t h e o r y . D i c k i e , on the o t h e r hand, sees such p r o p e r t i e s as c o n s t i t u t e d when c e r t a i n a g e n t s , i n a s u i t a b l e i n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t e x t , c o n f e r the s t a t u s of 46 a r t - o b j e c t on some t h i n g o r o t h e r . I t s h o u l d be noted a g a i n here t h a t both Danto and D i c k i e are a t t e m p t i n g , i n p a r t , t o e x p l a i n a contemporary movement i n the p l a s t i c a r t s which sees the a c c e p t a n c e , as a r t , of ever new and n o v e l i t e m s . We are fo c u s e d here p r i m a r i l y on a c l a s s i f a c t o r y sense o f " a r t " , not an e v a l u a t i v e sense. The g o a l i s to f i n d the c o n d i t i o n s f o r a r t h o o d , t h a t i s the c r i t e r i a f o r the a p p l i c a t i o n o f a c l a s s p r e d i c a t e . Thus, f o r Danto, new a r t o b j e c t s w i l l be those o b j e c t s t h a t can be r e l a t e d t o p r e s e n t l y a c c e p t e d a r t o b j e c t s by means of an a c c e p t a b l e t h e o r y about the n a t u r e , essence and v a l u e of a r t . On D i c k i e ' s v i e w , by c o n t r a s t , the f o u n d a t i o n f o r i n c l u d i n g some new o b j e c t r e s t s s o l e l y on some agent's a u t h o r i t a t i v e p o s i t i o n w i t h i n some a r t i n s t i t u t i o n or. o t h e r . I f the agent's p o s i t i o n i s o f a s u i t a b l e s o r t ( a r t i s t , c r i t i c , o r museum c u r a t o r , f o r example), then the a c t of i n c l u s i o n comes o f f ; and i f the agent i s an i m p o s t e r , then the a c t presumably m i s f i r e s . 3.2 George D i c k i e Looking f i r s t a t D i c k i e ' s v i e w , the s t a t u s of a work of a r t i s t o t a l l y d etermined by the see m i n g l y a r b i t r a r y d e c i s i o n s of i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y d e f i n e d a g e n t s . D i c k i e ' s a r t -w o r l d i s c o n s t i t u t e d s o l e l y by these agents and thus i t has 47 l o g i c a l p r i o r i t y w i t h r e s p e c t to the a r t o b j e c t s t h emselves, which seems t o imply ( o r a t l e a s t i n t i m a t e ) t h a t a r t - o b j e c t s need n o t , i n f a c t , p ossess any a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s , a t l e a s t not i n the t r a d i t i o n a l sense. A major d i f f i c u l t y w i t h t h i s v i e w , however, i s t h a t i t appears to make i t uncomfort-a b l y easy f o r something t o become a work of a r t . What i s t o s t o p some a n a r c h i c a l , but l e g i t i m a t e , a r t - c o n f e r e r from d e s i g n a t i n g e v e r y t h i n g he sees a work of a r t ? D i c k i e ' s account of the a r t c o n f e r r i n g p r a c t i c e seems to be somewhat analogous to A u s t i n ' s account o f i l l o c u t i o n -a r y a c t s ( a l t h o u g h D i c k i e h i m s e l f never e x p l i c i t l y says t h i s ) . And t h i s l e a d s to c e r t a i n problems. C o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g passage: "Now, what I have been s a y i n g may sound l i k e s a y i n g 'a work of a r t i s an o b j e c t of which someone has s a i d , " I c h r i s t e n t h i s o b j e c t a work of a r t . " ' And I t h i n k i t i s r a t h e r l i k e t h a t . " 2 A n i t a S i l v e r s , among o t h e r s , has r o u n d l y c r i t i c i z e d t h i s a s p e c t of D i c k i e ' s v i e w . 3 she p o i n t s out t h a t the a n a l o g y r e a l l y i s not a v e r y good one, because whereas the purpose of c a l l i n g something "a work of a r t " i s to c l a s s i f y i t , the purpose o f c a l l i n g something "Rover" o r " F i d o " , o r whatever, i s t o name i t . One must not confuse naming w i t h c l a s s i f y i n g ; they are two d i s t i n c t a c t s . L andseer's a c t of c a l l i n g Stag a t Bay "Stag a t Bay" 48 c o u l d not p o s s i b l y have m i s f i r e d . He c o u l d have c a l l e d i t , t h a t i s named i t , a n y t h i n g he chose, i n c l u d i n g " F i d o " . But i t would be a r b i t r a r y i f L a n d s e e r , on the b a s i s of t h i s p r e r o g a t i v e c o u l d move u n r e s t r a i n e d from here i n t o the l a r g e r w o r l d of a r t - c a t e g o r i z i n g . I f the p r a c t i c e o f a r t c o n f e r r i n g , w i t h i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s o f a r t , were c o m p l e t e l y u n r e s t r a i n e d , then the c a t e g o r y of work of a r t c o u l d q u i t e p o s s i b l y c o l l a p s e , and i f i t d i d , i t would p r o b a b l y take the whole i n s t i t u t i o n of a r t w i t h i t , o r a t l e a s t the " f a s h i o n a b l e " p a r t . The p o i n t i s t h a t i n s t i t u t i o n s are governed i n t e r n a l l y , a t l e a s t i n p a r t , by r u l e s . The a r t w o r l d needs more than the s i m p l e r u l e s g o v e r n i n g the s t a t u s of i t s human c o n s t i t u a n t s ; i t needs r u l e s g o v e r n i n g what they can and cannot do as w e l l . D i c k i e ' s t h e o r y t h e n , a l t h o u g h i n broad o u t l i n e q u i t e a p p e a l i n g , i s s e r i o u s l y weakened by the l a c k o f c r i t e r i a c o n s t r a i n i n g the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n p r o c e d u r e . 3.3 A r t h u r Danto In c o n t r a s t t o the above, A r t h u r Danto's t h e o r y i s i n t e n d e d t o c l a r i f y and l e g i t i m i z e the v e r y a c t i v i t y o f c o n f e r r i n g a r t h o o d on something. A c c o r d i n g t o Danto: 49 "What i n the end makes the d i f f e r e n c e between a B r i l l o Box and a work of a r t c o n s i s t i n g o f a B r i l l o Box i s a c e r t a i n t h e o r y o f a r t . I t i s the t h e o r y t h a t t a k e s i t up i n t o the w o r l d o f a r t , and keeps i t from c o l l a p s i n g i n t o the r e a l o b j e c t which i t i s ( i n a sense of _i_s o t h e r than t h a t o f a r t i s t i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ) . " 4 To say something i s a r t , i n t h i s s o r t o f c o n t e x t , a c c o r d i n g to Danto, i s to use the " i s " e x p r e s s i o n a s c r i p t i v e l y , r a t h e r than d e s c r i p t i v e l y . And " a s c r i p t i v i t y " i s d e f i n e d i n the f o l l o w i n g way: "a p r o p e r t y of p r e d i c a t e s when they a t t a c h to o b j e c t s i n the l i g h t o f c e r t a i n c o n v e n t i o n s , and which a p p l y l e s s on the b a s i s of c e r t a i n n e c e s s a r y and s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n s than on c e r t a i n d e f e a t i n g c o n d i t i o n s not h o l d i n g " ^ Now, the s o r t of d e f e a t i n g c o n d i t i o n t h a t Danto has i n mind here would be of the s o r t t h a t shows t h a t the o b j e c t under c o n s i d e r a t i o n i s u n d e n i a b l y a f a k e . And p r o v i d i n g t h i s c o n d i t i o n does not h o l d , then the o b j e c t becomes a c a n d i d a t e f o r t r e a t m e n t w i t h r e s p e c t to any a c c e p t a b l e a e s t h e t i c t h e o r y . The s o r t of t h e o r y t h a t Danto has i n mind, however, i s not of the s o r t t h a t would s i m p l y v a l i d a t e the c h r i s t e n i n g use o f an e x p r e s s i o n such as " t h i s i s a work of a r t " . T h i s would be too f a c i l e . Danto i s a c u t e l y aware of the f a c t t h a t a l t h o u g h the e n t e r p r i s e on which he i s engaged proceeds from a d i s t i n c t i o n between the e v a l u a t i v e and c l a s s i f a c t o r y sense of "work of a r t " , i t i s by no means c e r t a i n t h a t such a 50 d i s t i n c t i o n c a n , u n e r r i n g l y , be m a i n t a i n e d . T h i s p o i n t has a l s o been made by A n i t a S i l v e r s , i n her d e t a i l e d c r i t i c i s m of the A r t w o r l d view: When we f i n d o u r s e l v e s wanting to c l a s s i f y new o b j e c t s as " a r t " , we t y p i c a l l y j u s t i f y our c l a s s i -f a c t o r y use o f " a r t " by a r g u i n g t h a t , a c c o r d i n g t o the newly f o r m u l a t e d t h e o r y , the o b j e c t , odd as i t may be, can be shown to p o s s e s s a e s t h e t i c v a l u e and t h e r e f o r e s h o u l d be honoured by being c a l l e d a r t . " 6 We might want t o s t a r t w i t h the d i s i n t e r e s t e d p r a c t i c e of s i m p l y i d e n t i f y i n g a work of a r t , but t h i s p r a c t i c e i s , as noted p r e v i o u s l y , t r a d i t i o n a l l y connected w i t h c e r t a i n complementary p r a c t i c e s , the p r a c t i c e s o f e v a l u a t i o n , and a p p r e c i a t i o n (and now i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ) . C l a s s i f i c a t i o n , on t h i s model, i s not a c l o s e d o p e r a t i o n . Danto, however, seems to t h i n k d i f f e r e n t l y : "The moment something i s c o n s i d e r e d an a r t w o r k , i t becomes s u b j e c t to an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . I t owes i t s e x i s t e n c e as an a r t w o r k to t h i s , and when i t s c l a i m t o a r t i s d e f e a t e d , i t l o s e s i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and becomes a mere t h i n g . " 7 For Danto, t h e n , o b j e c t s come to be works of a r t i n much the same way as sounds, o r marks on a paper come to be words and s e n t e n c e s . And the r o l e of an a e s t h e t i c t h e o r y , on t h i s v i e w , i s to p r o v i d e a s o r t o f i n f o r m a l s e m a n t i c s f o r t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Without such a t h e o r y , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s i m p o s s i b l e , and s o , presumably, i s t r u e e v a l u a t i o n : 51 ( A p p r e c i a t i o n , on t h i s model, seems to be d r o p p i n g out of s i g h t ) . Without some form of semantic d i r e c t i o n , the mere o b j e c t remains a mere o b j e c t ; i t i s n o t , and cannot be, a work of a r t . The purpose o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t h e n , i s to s u b s t a n t i a t e c e r t a i n o n t o l o g i c a l c l a i m s . Now, i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o r e a l i z e , t h a t Danto and D i c k i e are both r e a c t i n g t o a contemporary movement i n a n a l y t i c a l a e s t h e t i c s which sought, a p p a r e n t l y i n v a i n , f o r the ne c e s s a r y and s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n s f o r something be i n g an a r t w o r k . T h i s e n t e r p r i s e had a long and chequered h i s t o r y . But, d u r i n g the 1950's, i t r e c e i v e d a tremendous amount of c r i t i c i s m , e s p e c i a l l y from such p h i l o s o p h e r s as M o r r i s W e i t z , S t u a r t Hampshire and John Passmore. 8 The g e n e r a l t h r u s t of t h i s c r i t i c i s m came from the i d e a s o f W i t t g e n s t e i n and i n v a r i a b l y l e d to the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t our concept o f a r t i s s i m p l y too open t e x t u r e d t o a l l o w the f o r m u l a t i o n o f n e c e s s a r y and s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n s f o r something be i n g a work of a r t . With t h i s c r i t i c a l movement as a background, t h e n , Danto and D i c k i e both seek to d e s c r i b e the p r o c e s s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , d e s c r i p t i o n and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i n the a r t s i n ways t h a t a v o i d t h i s k i n d of d i f f i c u l t y . A r t o b j e c t s can o n l y be i d e n t i f i e d as such, a c c o r d i n g t o D i c k i e , by bona f i d e members o f some a r t i n s t i t u t i o n . And, a c c o r d i n g t o Danto, these i n d i v i d u a l s must employ some ac c e p t e d i n t e r -p r e t i v e t h e o r y , ( o r a t l e a s t some o r g a n i z e d t r a d i t i o n of 5 2 c o n v e n t i o n s and c r i t i c a l p r a c t i c e ) o r e l s e t h e i r c l a s s i -f a c t o r y a c t i v i t i e s w i l l be m e a n i n g l e s s . Danto would appear to b e l i e v e , t h e n , t h a t the s o l e purpose of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s to found o n t o l o g i c a l c l a i m s about works of a r t ( t h i s i s the p o i n t w i t h which S i l v e r s so s t r o n g l y d i s a g r e e s ) . B u t , t h e r e seems to be no reason why S i l v e r s s h o u l d not be a l l o w e d her p o i n t . We do not have t o c o n s c i o u s l y d e c i d e t h a t something i s or s h o u l d be a work of a r t b e f o r e we i n t e r p r e t i t . And, hav i n g i n t e r p r e t e d i t ( r e g a r d l e s s of i t s o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s ) , t h e r e i s n o t h i n g t o st o p us from then employing t h a t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n an e v a l u a t i o n . I t thus remains .to be seen t h e n , i f such i n t e r p r e t i v e , v a l u e - o r i e n t e d t h e o r i e s ( o r o r g a n i z e d p r a c t i c e s ) a r e , i n d e e d , a v a i l a b l e . I f they are a v a i l a b l e , then the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and c r i t i c a l pronouncements o f , and on, works of a r t can be j u s t i f i e d , a l b e i t i n a somewhat r e l a t i v i s t i c f a s h i o n . And, i f i t can be shown t h a t sound i n t e r p r e t a t i o n r e q u i r e s , i n q u i t e a s t r i c t s e nse, the a v a i l a b i l i t y of some v a l i d d e s c r i p t i o n which must i n c l u d e a t l e a s t some theory-dependent a e s t h e t i c terms, then the e x e r c i s e of t a s t e might be e s t a b l i s h e d as hav i n g a c e n t r a l r o l e i n t h i s e n t e r p r i s e , d e s p i t e the apparent change i n the concept o f the A e s t h e t i c . 53 3.4 C r i t i c i s m o f the A r t w o r l d View As I noted a t the end o f the l a s t c h a p t e r , i t i s my i n t e n t i o n to show here t h a t the i n s t i t u t i o n s o f a r t , o r " c o t e r i e s " as I s a b e l Hungerland has c a l l e d them, are f a r more o r g a n i z e d , both c o n c e p t u a l l y and p r a c t i c a l l y , than i s o f t e n supposed. And i f t h i s c l a i m can be defended, then I t h i n k we can f o r m u l a t e c r i t e r i a f o r a e s t h e t i c e v a l u a t i o n and judgement, even though i t does i n v o l v e c h a r a c t e r i z i n g t r a d i t i o n a l a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s and p e r c e p t i o n as t h e o r y dependent. However, b e f o r e I can proceed on t h i s , i t i s n e c e s s a r y to d e a l w i t h a number of c r i t i c i s m s of the views o u t l i n e d above. Ted Cohen has c l a i m e d t h a t Danto's and D i c k i e ' s views are both f l a w e d i n two i m p o r t a n t ways. 9 F i r s t , as a m a t t e r of f a c t , e a r l y a r t i s t s c r e a t e d a r t o b j e c t s l o n g b e f o r e anyone f o r m u l a t e d an a r t - t h e o r y . Second, the t r a n s m i g r a t i o n t h e s i s , the view t h a t a d j u s t m e n t s must be c o n t i n u o u s l y made to the b o u n d a r i e s d e l i m i t i n g the c l a s s o f a r t o b j e c t s so as to always i n c l u d e n o v e l a r t o b j e c t s as they emerge, i s t o t a l l y m i s t a k e n . Now, I do not i n t e n d t o spend a g r e a t d e a l of time on the f i r s t o f these two c r i t i c i s m s f o r the f o l l o w i n g r e a s o n s . F i r s t , i t i s by no means c e r t a i n , and p r o b a b l y w i l l always remain so, t h a t any of the o b j e c t s produced by our e a r l y 54 a n c e s t o r s were ever i n t e n d e d to be a r t o b j e c t s . They may have had any number of purposes o r f u n c t i o n s , none o f which had a n y t h i n g to do w i t h a r t . Indeed, those e a r l y people may not even have had the concept o f a r t : we s i m p l y do not know. Second, by the time those e a r l y a n c e s t o r s o f ours were p a i n t i n g on the w a l l s o f t h e i r communal c a v e s , some form o f language was almost c e r t a i n l y i n e x i s t e n c e . I f those p a i n t i n g s s i g n i f i e d o r s y m b o l i z e d a n y t h i n g , the cavemen must have been a b l e to g i v e an a c c o u n t , no m a t t e r how rudiment-a r y , of what they s i g n i f i e d o r s y m b o l i z e d . C o n c e p t i o n s o f a r t do not have t o be h i g h l e v e l t h e o r i e s . The second of Cohen's c r i t i c i s m s , however, t h a t which a t t a c k s the t r a n s m i g r a t i o n t h e s i s , i s l e s s e a s i l y d i s m i s s e d . Cohen c l a i m s t h a t the whole e n t e r p r i s e embarked on by Danto and D i c k i e i s m i s g u i d e d because both m i s u n d e r s t a n d the purpose o r f u n c t i o n of such works as F o u n t a i n o r B r i l l o  Box. Cohen r e a d i l y admits t h a t our concept of the work o f a r t r e l i e s on t h e r e b e i n g a t l e a s t some s o r t of border between a r t works and n o n - a r t w o r k s . However, t h i s does not mean, he c l a i m s , t h a t the bor d e r must be r i g o r o u s l y and c l e a r l y d e f i n e d (and r e d e f i n e d ) . When F o u n t a i n f i r s t appeared i t c e r t a i n l y c r e a t e d a c e r t a i n c o n c e p t u a l t e n s i o n . But t h i s , c l a i m s Cohen, f i s s i m p l y because i t i s so o b v i o u s l y a b o r d e r l i n e case of a work of a r t . B o r d e r l i n e cases are q u i t e common, he c l a i m s , and because they are no more than 55 t h a t -- t h a t i s , b o r d e r l i n e — they may be s a f e l y i g n o r e d by anyone s e e k i n g t o f o r m u l a t e a t h e o r y t h a t d e f i n e s the work of a r t . They are not p e r t i n e n t . Now, I t h i n k Cohen has missed the p o i n t here to some e x t e n t . When an a r t i s t c r e a t e s something t h a t he c l a i m s i s a r t , i t c o u l d be viewed as n o n - a r t , o r a t b e s t b o r d e r l i n e by many o t h e r p e o p l e . But t h i s w i l l depend on the na t u r e of the o b j e c t and the s t a t u s o f the a r t i s t w i t h i n the A r t w o r l d . A B r i l l o box by Warhol would be (and of cour s e was) accepte d as a r t ; whereas a t the o t h e r end of the spectrum, a noted p h i l l i s t i n e would p r o b a b l y have to produce something more i n the mainstream of a c c e p t e d a r t t o a c h i e v e the same end. The noted p h i l l i s t i n e , however, c o u l d produce something t h a t c o u l d be a c c e p t e d l i k e B r i l l o Box. But, he would a l s o have to produce c o n s i d e r a b l e argument i n sup p o r t of h i s c l a i m s . Warhol does not have t o p r o v i d e such argument because we assume, g i v e n h i s s t a t u s , t h a t such arguments ( o r a t l e a s t some reasons) are a v a i l a b l e . Even i f Warhol h i m s e l f c o u l d not p r o v i d e a t h e o r e t i c a l ground f o r a c c e p t i n g B r i l l o Box, we assume, I t h i n k , t h a t t h e r e i s a c r i t i c o r t h e o r i s t somewhere who c o u l d . I f n o t , we would be a c t i n g l i k e sheep, a c c e p t i n g as a r t a n y t h i n g an avant-garde a r t i s t produced s i m p l y because he was an a r t i s t . So, t o r e t u r n , the c o n d i t i o n s t h a t are supposed to govern the a r t - c l a s s i f i c a t i o n t h e o r i e s are of two s o r t s . 56 F i r s t , a t h e o r y must enable us to i d e n t i f y e v e r new and n o v e l o b j e c t s as works of a r t ( t h i s c o n d i t i o n I s h a l l now i g n o r e ) . Second, i t must p r o v i d e some r u l e s , o r s e m a n t i c a l d i r e c t i o n s f o r i d e n t i f y i n g , and, most i m p o r t a n t , i n t e r p r e t i n g and e v e n t u a l l y c r i t i c a l l y e v a l u a t i n g the v a r i o u s works o f a r t t h a t i t c o v e r s . T h i s second c o n d i t i o n i s i m p o r t a n t because i t i s by no means c e r t a i n t h a t such t h e o r i e s can be i n t e l l i g i b l y f o r m u l a t e d . J u s t what i s the s u b j e c t of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n here? What are i t s p r o p e r t i e s ? And i n d e e d , what i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ? These are v e r y d i f f i c u l t q u e s t i o n s . A t h e o r y t h a t concerned o n l y the p h y s i c a l o r f o r m a l p r o p e r t i e s o f works of a r t , of c o u r s e , would r e a l l y be q u i t e i n a d e q u a t e . Thus, an adequate t h e o r y must co v e r not o n l y the p h y s i c a l p r o p e r t i e s o f an a r t w o r k , but the a e s t h e t i c ones t o o , and connect them to an o v e r a l l account of the work's s i g n i f i c a n c e as a whole. And i f t h i s i s p o s s i b l e , a s u i t a b l e t h e o r e t i c a l f o u n d a t i o n f o r a e s t h e t i c t a s t e can thus be g i v e n . T aste can then be d e f i n e d as an a b i l i t y t o use o r even f o r m u l a t e such t h e o r i e s , and s u c c e s s ( o r f a i l u r e ) can then be e v a l u a t e d . To c o n c l u d e t h e n , D i c k i e and e s p e c i a l l y Danto p r o v i d e us w i t h a way o f c l a s s i f y i n g works of a r t t h a t appears t o m i n i m i z e the dependance on t r a d i t i o n a l a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s . As A n i t a S i l v e r s n o t e d , however, i t seems d o u b t f u l t h a t the p r a c t i c e o f c l a s s i f i c a t i o n can be e n t i r e l y 57 separated from other complementary a e s t h e t i c p r a c t i c e s . T h i s i n i t s e l f i s not too much of a d i f f i c u l t y , however. What i s important i s the order i n which such a c t i v i t i e s may proceed. On the t r a d i t i o n a l model, c l a s s i f i c a t i o n would appear to be dependant on appreciation', which has l o g i c a l p r i o r i t y . For Danto, on the other hand, i n t e r p r e t a t i o n preceeds c l a s s i f i c a t i o n . But, having an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , there appears to be no b a r r i e r to proceeding d i r e c t l y to e v a l u a t i o n and judgement (even i f the p r i n c i p a l purpose was to c l a s s i f y something). These could be concommitant, but separate, p r a c t i c e s . 58 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER THREE 1 A r t h u r Danto, "The A r t w o r l d , " J o u r n a l o f P h i l o s o p h y , 61 (1964) pp. 571-584. 2 George D i c k i e , " D e f i n i n g A r t , " American P h i l o s o p h i c a l  Q u a r t e r l y , 6 (1969) p. 256. 3 A n i t a S i l v e r s , "The Artwork D i s c a r d e d , " J o u r n a l o f  A e s t h e t i c s and A r t C r i t i c i s m , 34 (1976) p. 445. 4 Danto, op. c i t . p. 581. 5 A r t h u r Danto, "Artworks and Real T h i n g s , " T h e o r i a 39 (1973) p. 11. 6 S i l v e r s , p. c i t . p. 444. 7 Danto, "Artworks and Re a l T h i n g s , " p. 15. 8 M o s s i s W e i t z , "The Role of Theory i n A e s t h e t i c s , " J o u r n a l o f A e s t h e t i c s and A r t C r i t i c i s m , 15 (1956). S t u a r t Hampshire, " L o g i c and A p p r e c i a t i o n " i n W. E l t o n (ed.) Essays i n A e s t h e t i c s and Language. O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l (1959) . John Passmore, "The D r e a r i n e s s o f A e s t h e t i c s , " i n E l t o n , op. c i t . 9 Ted Cohen, "The P o s s i b i l i t y o f A r t : Remarks on a P r o p o s a l by D i c k i e , " The P h i l o s o p h i c a l Review, LXXII (1973) pp. 69-82. 59 CHAPTER FOUR INTERPRETATION In the l a s t c h a p t e r I o u t l i n e d two v e r s i o n s o f the i n s t i t u t i o n a l t h e o r y of a r t , those proposed by A r t h u r Danto and George D i c k i e . The avowed purpose of these two t h e o r i e s i s t o account f o r a p e r p l e x i n g phenomenon i n which a p a r t i c -u l a r o b j e c t can l a c k a e s t h e t i c s t a t u s i n one c o n t e x t , but y e t p o s s e s s i t i n a n o t h e r . The emphasis i n both these views i s on the q u e s t i o n of what p r o c e s s e s c o n f e r the s t a t u s of "work of a r t " on c e r t a i n o b j e c t s . Now, I t h i n k t h i s i s , to some e x t e n t , an e r r o r . I n s t i t u t i o n s can have many pu r p o s e s , of c o u r s e , and the i n s t i t u t i o n s of a r t are no e x c e p t i o n . However, to c h a r a c t e r i z e these i n s t i t u t i o n s p r i m a r i l y i n terms of t h e i r r o l e i n d e t e r m i n i n g what i s and what i s not a r t seems to d i r e c t a t t e n t i o n away from t h e i r more fundamental a s p e c t s . There are a few persons i n these i n s t i t u t i o n s whose s o l e t a s k i s to address these q u e s t i o n s , of c o u r s e : m u n i c i p a l a r t - g a l l e r y c u r a t o r s and c r i t i c s whose main audi e n c e i s the uneducated masses are perhaps examples. But by f a r the g r e a t e s t number of persons i n v o l v e d i n these i n s t i t u t i o n s w i l l be a r t i s t s , t e a c h e r s , t h e o r e t i c i a n s and s c h o l a r s . And I r e a l l y doubt whether any o f these people e v e r s e r i o u s l y e n t e r t a i n the m e t a p h y s i c a l problems t h a t Danto and D i c k i e r a i s e . I t i s not t h a t I f e e l Danto's and 60 D i c k i e ' s views are wrong; i t i s more a m a t t e r of m i s d i r e c t e d f o c u s . A r t o b j e c t s may be the hard c u r r e n c y o f a r t , but i t i s the d i a l o g u e i n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , c r i t i c i s m and t h e o r y t h a t forms the main commerce of these i n s t i t u t i o n s . In t h i s c h a p t e r I i n t e n d t o loo k a t v a r i o u s t h e o r i e s of c r i t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n the hope of f i n d i n g some s o l i d ground f o r e v a l u a t i n g a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . The views I s h a l l l o o k a t m o s t l y stem from l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m ; whereas the main fo c u s of Danto's and D i c k i e ' s v i e w s , i t w i l l be remembered, were the o b j e c t s of the p l a s t i c a r t s , t h a t i s p a i n t i n g s , s c u l p t u r e s , e t c . And t h i s d i v e r g a n c e p o i n t s to one of the p r i n c i p a l d i f f i c u l t i e s i n a n a l y t i c a l a e s t h e t i c s . Many a e s t h e t i c t h e o r i e s , i n c l u d i n g those aimed a t d e f i n i n g the a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t , attempt to i n c l u d e a l l o f the v a r i o u s a r t s w i t h i n t h e i r scope. And I t h i n k t h i s i s f r e q u e n t l y a m i s t a k e . In the p l a s t i c a r t s , i n g e n e r a l , each o r i g i n a l p a i n t i n g o r s c u l p t u r e i s ( o r can be) a bona f i d e member of the c l a s s o f a r t o b j e c t s : c o p i e s are f a k e s , f a c s i m i l e s , o r whatever, but not members of the c l a s s . T h i s , of c o u r s e , does not a p p l y t o the t e x t u a l a r t s o f l i t e r a t u r e , p r o s e and p o e t r y , i n which the members c o n s i s t of many i d e n t i c a l o r s i m i l a r o b j e c t s . F u r t h e r m o r e , one might a l s o c o n s i d e r the p e r f o r m i n g a r t s , w herein the o b j e c t s are performances and e v e n t s , w i t h a l l the a t t e n d a n t i d e n t i t y 61 problems t h a t these items p r o v i d e . I do not wish t o c l a i m t h a t a t h e o r y c o v e r i n g a l l these d i v e r s e a r t s cannot be f o r m u l a t e d . However, such t h e o r i e s are f a r more d i f f i c u l t t o f o r m u l a t e than we have i n the p a s t a l l o w e d . With t h i s i n mind, t h e n , I i n t e n d , i n what f o l l o w s , to c o v e r no more than the i n s t i t u t i o n s and p r a c t i c e s of l i t e r a t u r e and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m ( o r , more s p e c i f i c a l l y , m e t a - c r i t i c i s m ) , and I s h a l l not a c t i v e l y c o n s i d e r whether the i n t e r p r e t i v e t h e o r i e s from t h i s area are r e a d i l y e x t e n d i b l e to o t h e r a r e a s i n the a r t s . The i d e a t h a t p e r c e p t i o n i s t h e o r y - l a d e n i s f a r more a c c e p t a b l e now, p h i l o s o p h i c a l l y s p e a k i n g , than i t was i n the p a s t . P l a t o ' s l e g a c y , however, i s s t i l l v e r y much w i t h us, and even though we no l o n g e r c o m p l e t e l y a c c e p t the m i m e t i c view of a r t , we are s t i l l somewhat s k e p t i c a l t h a t our p e r c e p t i o n s and knowledge of a r t can weigh up a g a i n s t our p e r c e p t i o n s and knowledge of more o r d i n a r y o b j e c t s . G r a n t i n g , t h e n , p l a u s i b i l i t y t o Danto's view on the p r i o r i t y of c r i t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , j u s t what manner of t h e o r y c o u l d g u i d e and shape a e s t h e t i c p e r c e p t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y i n the l i t e r a r y a r t s ? In a t t e m p t i n g to answer t h i s q u e s t i o n , I w i l l f o l l o w a r e c e n t essay by R i c h a r d Shustermanl and l o o k a t i n t e r p r e t i v e c r i t i c a l t h e o r i e s as b e l o n g i n g t o t h r e e d i s t i n c t g r oups: p e r f o r m a t i v e t h e o r i e s , p r e s c r i p t i v e t h e o r i e s , and d e s c r i p t i v e t h e o r i e s . I do not w i s h to i m p l y , 62 though, t h a t these c a t e g o r i e s are e x c l u s i v e , o r indeed even e x h a u s t i v e . However, they do p r o v i d e a handy way o f ap p r o a c h i n g the problems of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and t h i s w i l l j u s t i f y t h e i r use. 4.1 P e r f o r m a t i v i s m A c c o r d i n g t o the p e r f o r m a t i v e view o f c r i t i c i s m , the r o l e of the c r i t i c i s somewhat analogous t o t h a t o f the m u s i c i a n o r dan c e r . In music o r dance, n o t e s , s t e p s , i n s t r u c t i o n s , e t c . , are w r i t t e n down by the composer o r cho r e o g r a p h e r f o r subsequent i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and e x e c u t i o n by the p e r f o r m e r . I t i s v e r y d i f f i c u l t i n most c a s e s , i f not i m p o s s i b l e , t o c l e a v e one from the o t h e r i n such a way as to d e f i n e the work as e i t h e r a p a r t i c u l a r performance o r the s c o r e . Thus, on the p e r f o r m a t i v e view, i d e n t i f i a b l e works do not e x i s t a p a r t from t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n and c r i t i c i s m i s a c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s i n i t s own r i g h t w h i c h , as time goes by, becomes fu s e d w i t h i t s o b j e c t s . C o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g passage from Margaret Macdonald: " I t i s o f t e n s a i d t h a t a g r e a t a r t i s t i s r e i n t e r p r e t e d i n e v e r y age and no doubt by some of these i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s he would be much a s t o n i s h e d . Yet even the a p p a r e n t l y b i z a r r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s are o f t e n i l l u m i n -a t i n g . . . C e r t a i n l y the c r i t i c c l a i m s t o be i n t e r p r e t i n g the work, not s u p p l y i n g h i s own f a n c i e s . But the work i s what i t i s i n t e r -63 p r e t e d t o be, though some i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s may be r e j e c t e d . There seems to be no work a p a r t from some i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . ' ^ Now, on the s u r f a c e , t h i s view would seem to be v e r y s i m i l a r t o what Danto had i n mind when he c l a i m e d t h a t a t h i n g ' s i d e n t i t y , as a work o f a r t , i s e n t i r e l y dependent on i t s c r i t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , d e s p i t e t h i s a pparent s i m i l a r i t y , i t i s not v e r y h e l p f u l f o r the p r e s e n t e n t e r p r i s e . We wi s h to e s t a b l i s h a e s t h e t i c t a s t e as an a b i l i t y t o use c e r t a i n i n t e r p r e t i v e t h e o r i e s employing a t l e a s t some s o r t of d e s c r i p t i o n of a work. Macdonald notes however t h a t , whereas the p r i n c i p l e s of d e d u c t i v e i n f e r e n c e and s c i e n t i f i c method ( d e s c r i p t i o n ) can be employed i n the s c h o l a r s h i p and h i s t o r y of a r t , they have no r o l e t o p l a y i n her view of c r i t i c i s m . 3 i t i s the r o l e of the s c h o l a r o r a r t h i s t o r i a n , she c l a i m s , t o p r o v i d e d e s c r i p t i o n s o r f a c t s , t h a t i s d a t e s about a work o r an a r t i s t , and o t h e r b i o g r a p h -i c a l and s o c i a l i n f o r m a t i o n , which can be a s s e s s e d as e i t h e r t r u e o r f a l s e . But, even knowing e v e r y v e r i f i a b l e f a c t about a work o f a r t , one i s s t i l l l e f t w i t h the q u e s t i o n r e g a r d i n g the v a l u e of the work. And t h i s i s where the c r i t i c comes i n . He adds to t h i s p r o c e s s but i s not a p a r t of i t . C r i t i c i s m , f o r Macdonald, i s a p r o c e s s o f i n f e r r i n g a v a l u e judgement based on an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . What the c r i t i c says cannot be a s s e s s e d w i t h r e s p e c t t o t r u t h o r f a l s i t y . However: 64 " C r i t i c s do not f o r m u l a t e g e n e r a l s t a n d a r d s and a p p l y these m e c h a n i c a l l y to a l l , o r t o c l a s s e s o f , works of a r t . . . . Throughout the h i s t o r y o f an a r t t h e r e have accumulated a number of r u l e s , p r e s c r i p t i o n s , p r o h i b i -t i o n s , c a l l e d 'canons of the a r t . 1 A wise c r i t i c r e l a t e s h i s spontaneous judgements to the wisdom d i s t i l l e d i n these f o r m u l a e , though n e i t h e r a r t i s t nor c r i t i c r e g a r d s them as a b s o l u t e norms."4 Now, on the s u r f a c e t h e r e would seem t o be some k i n d of d i f f i c u l t y h e r e . A f t e r a l l , i f canons i n c l u d e r u l e s , why c a n ' t they be taken as a b s o l u t e ? U n f o r t u n a t e l y , Macdonald i s not t e r r i b l y c l e a r on t h i s p o i n t , a l t h o u g h she does note t h a t canons c o u l d be a s p e c i e s o f r u l e , a l b e i t a v e r y s p e c i a l one: " C r i t i c a l canons are more l i k e r u l e s o f e t i q u e t t e than m o r a l s and v e r y u n l i k e s c i e n t i f i c laws o r l o g i c a l p r i n c i p l e s . They may be i n f r i n g e d and do not form a c l o s e d system."5 Here we can see, I t h i n k , t h a t c e r t a i n i n e f f a b i l i t y so f r e q u e n t l y found i n t h i s a r e a c r e e p i n g back i n t o v i e w . A f t e r a l l , most r u l e s may be i n f r i n g e d , as l o n g as t h e r e i s some good r e a s o n . I t i s Macdonald's c o n t e n t i o n , however, t h a t the l o g i c a l c h a r a c t e r of a e s t h e t i c v a l u e judgements p r e c l u d e s c r i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n from b e i n g c h a r a c t e r i z e d as argument d e s i g n e d to e s t a b l i s h , i n any f i n a l s ense, t r u e o r f a l s e p r o p o s i t i o n s , which i s c l e a r enough, I suppose. 65 U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h i s s t r o n g p o i n t does get propounded more by s u g g e s t i o n than by s u b s t a n t i v e argument: " I suggest t h a t the task of the c r i t i c r esembles those o f the a c t o r and e x e c u t a n t r a t h e r than those of the s c i e n t i s t and l o g i c i a n . . . . O f c o u r s e , he i s not t o be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h an a c t o r o r e x e c u t a n t . He d i f f e r s from these i n one v e r y i m p o r t a n t r e s p e c t i n b e i n g a l s o a judge of what he p r e s e n t s . " 6 To c l a i m t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r work i s good o r bad, t h e n , i s to commend o r condemn i t . No p r o p o s i t i o n s are e x p r e s s e d ; we are d e a l i n g w i t h a d i f f e r e n t s o r t of language game. When a c r i t i c a t t e m p t s to j u s t i f y some judgement, he does not p r o v i d e c r i t e r i a of e v a l u a t i o n , o r r e a s o n s . I n s t e a d , he "conveys" the work i n much the same way a m u s i c i a n might show how good a p i e c e of music i s , s i m p l y by p l a y i n g i t . I t i s v e r y d i f f i c u l t to p r o v i d e s u b s t a n t i v e c r i t i c i s m of t h i s view because, as noted b e f o r e , i t i s p r e s e n t e d more by way of s u g g e s t i o n than by argument. However, one p o i n t on which Macdonald can be c r i t i c i z e d l i e s i n her r e l i a n c e on a q u e s t i o n a b l e form of d e n i a l o f Helen K n i g h t ' s c l a i m t h a t t h e r e must be c r i t e r i a f o r g o o d . n o v e l s , 7 a d e n i a l t h a t Macdonald seems t o take as e q u i v a l e n t to an argument t h a t such c r i t e r i a are not p o s s i b l e . Macdonald argues t h a t , a l t h o u g h i t i s c o n c e i v a b l e t h a t t h e r e c o u l d be two p r i z e c a t s , i n the sense t h a t they c o u l d 66 e q u a l l y e x h i b i t the c r i t e r i a q u a l i t i e s f o r a s i n g l e p r i z e , i t i s not p o s s i b l e i n t h i s f a s h i o n f o r t h e r e to be two m a s t e r p i e c e s i n a r t . The reason f o r t h i s , she c l a i m s , i s t h a t a r t w o r k s are e s s e n t i a l l y u n i q u e , and t h u s , presumably i n c o m p a r a b l e . There are no g e n e r a l c r i t e r i a o f e v a l u a t i o n . To s u b s t a n t i a t e t h i s p o s i t i o n , Macdonald notes t h a t the p r o c e s s of i n t e r p r e t i n g a work of a r t seems t o be e n d l e s s ( j u s t t h i n k of the corpus of c r i t i c i s m r e l a t i n g to the works of S h a k e s p e a r e ) , a f a c t t h a t p o i n t s , she c l a i m s , t o the i n e x h a u s t i b l e f e a t u r e s of an a r t w o r k . The problem w i t h t h i s argument, however, i s t h a t i t appears to be c i r c u l a r . Macdonald e x p l a i n s the p r o c e s s of c r i t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n i n terms of the supposed uniqueness of the work of a r t . And t h i s u niqueness i s e x p l a i n e d , i n t u r n , i n terms of the i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o c e s s . A c c o r d i n g to Macdonald, works of a r t are i n s e p a r a b l e from t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . Thus, the fund of f e a t u r e s o f a work i s always i n e x h a u s t i b l e , because each new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n adds to i t . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n can never seek to e s t a b l i s h p r o p o s i t i o n s about a work; i t m e r e l y seeks t o add t o the work e v e r new and n o v e l i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o p e r t i e s . And t h i s h y p o t h e s i s ( t h a t works are i n s e p a r a b l e from t h e i r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ) masquerading as a f a c t i s supposed to demon-s t r a t e the "uniqueness" of each work of a r t , w h ich, i n t u r n , i s supposed to s u p p o r t the c l a i m t h a t g e n e r a l e v a l u a t i v e c r i t e r i a are not p o s s i b l e . T h i s "argument" i s , I b e l i e v e , 67 d e m o n s t r a t i v e l y unsound, so I s h a l l l e a v e t h i s view f o r the moment and loo k a t p r e s c r i p t i v i s m i n s t e a d . 4.2 P r e s c r i p t i v i s m L i t e r a r y p r e s c r i p t i v i s m i s s i m i l a r t o the view o u t l i n e d above i n a t l e a s t one r e g a r d : both deny the c l a i m t h a t i n t e r p r e t i v e s t a t e m e n t s e x p r e s s t r u e o r f a l s e p r o p o s i t i o n s (o r even the l e s s e r c l a i m t h a t they e x p r e s s p l a u s i b l e o r i m p l a u s i b l e h y p o t h e s e s ) . A c c o r d i n g t o p r e s c r i p t i v i s t a n a l y s i s , i n t e r p r e t i v e s t a t e m e n t s e x p r e s s d i r e c t i o n s o r recommendations on how to view a work of l i t e r a t u r e , on what p e r s p e c t i v e t o t a k e , r a t h e r than c l a i m i n g what v a l u e the work i t s e l f has. Thus, on t h i s v i e w , when a c r i t i c p r o v i d e s s u p p o r t i n g reasons f o r some i n t e r p r e t i v e s t a t e m e n t , he seeks t o persuade us to a c c e p t h i s recommendation o r to f o l l o w h i s example and take h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , r a t h e r than g a i n our a p p r o v a l f o r a p r o p o s i t i o n t h a t i s e i t h e r t r u e o r f a l s e . In t h i s way he does not need to c l a i m t h a t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e i s the o n l y one to t a k e , which thus a l l o w s f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of competing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s ( p e r s p e c t i v e s ) , which i s , i n some sense, an advantage. One of the c l e a r e s t a c c o u n t s o f t h i s view can be found i n the works o f A r n o l d I s o n b e r g . A c c o r d i n g t o i s o n b e r g : 68 "...the c r i t i c ' s meaning i s ' f i l l e d i n ' , 'rounded o u t ' , or 'completed' by the a c t o f p e r c e p t i o n , which i s performed not to judge the t r u t h o f h i s d e s c r i p t i o n , but i n a c e r t a i n sense to understand i t . And i f communication i s a p r o c e s s by which a mental c o n t e n t i s t r a n s m i t t e d by symbols from one person to a n o t h e r , then we can say t h a t i t i s a f u n c t i o n of c r i t i c i s m t o b r i n g about communication a t the l e v e l o f the s e n s e s ; t h a t i s to induce a sameness of v i s i o n o f e x p e r i e n c e d c o n t e n t . " 8 I t i s worth n o t i n g a t t h i s p o i n t , I t h i n k , t h a t the p r e s c r i p t i v e and p e r f o r m a t i v e views o f l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m b oth c l a i m to d e s c r i b e the a c t u a l p r a c t i c e of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and c r i t i c i s m , i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e " d e s c r i p t i o n s " o f these p r a c t i c e s , both p l a c e g r e a t importance on the e x i s t e n c e of i n c o m p a t i b l e o r even competing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f p a r t i c u l a r works. I t i s the r e s o l u t i o n o r d i f f u s i o n of t h i s problem, t h a t i s o f t e n f e l t to be the g r e a t e s t a s s e t of these r e s p e c t i v e v i e w s . I do not wish t o deny t h a t p r e s c r i p t i v e o r p e r f o r m a t i v e c r i t i c i s m does i n f a c t o c c u r ; f a r from i t . However, t h e r e i s an i m p o r t a n t d i v i s i o n i n c r i t i c i s m which proponants o f these two views do not seem t o a c t i v e l y a p p r e c i a t e . L e t us r e t u r n f o r a moment to the n o t i o n of an a r t i n s t i t u t i o n o u t l i n e d i n the l a s t c h a p t e r . I t i s f a i r t o say t h a t t h e r e i s a g r e a t d i f f e r e n c e between i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and c r i t i c i s m i n t e r n a l to an i n s t i t u t i o n ( t h a t i s i n t e n d e d f o r the members of the i n s t i t u t i o n ) and t h a t i n t e n d e d f o r 69 e x t e r n a l consumption. The d i s t i n c t i o n I have i n mind here i s r a t h e r l i k e that between the a c t i v i t i e s and p r a c t i c e s of C h r i s t i a n churches at "home", and the execution of t h e i r m i s s i o n a r y work abroad. Following t h i s v e i n , there are o f t e n c e r t a i n a c t i v i t i e s p r a c t i s e d abroad which members of a church would f i n d i n a p p r o p r i a t e at home. The p o i n t i s that these p r a c t i c e s can be e x p l a i n e d , i n the r e l i g i o u s s e t t i n g , by the prevalance, among the f o r e i g n -e r s , of pagan ignorance, or some other d e f i c i e n c y i n need of r e c t i f i c a t i o n . As with r e l i g i o n , so too with a r t . For most people, l i t e r a r y and other forms of a r t c r i t i c i s m , are mostly found i n the pages of newspapers and popular magazines. And t h i s s o r t of "missionary" c r i t i c i s m o f t e n f o l l o w s the accounts given by t h e o r i s t s such as Macdonald and Isonberg. But, and t h i s i s where the analogy with r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t y i s important, when the audience of a c r i t i c i s aware of the purposes or f u n c t i o n s of the methods employed, (as the s o p h i s t i c a t e d b e l i e v e r i s presumably aware that the r i t u a l and custom of the church i s intended to sway the simple) then a d i f f e r e n t approach must be made, i t i s the i n t e r p r e t i v e t h e o r i e s employed w i t h i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s of l i t e r a t u r e and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m with which we are mainly concerned here. And these t h e o r i e s are, by and l a r g e , d e s c r i p t i v e , and are supported by coherent m e t a - c r i t i c a l t h e o r i e s , i t i s to two forms of d e s c r i p t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n 70 t h e o r y t h a t I now t u r n . 4.3 D e s c r i p t i v i s m L i t e r a r y d e s c r i p t i v i s m comes i n two s o r t s , v i s : s u b j e c t i v i s t and n o n - s u b j e c t i v i s t . Both views h o l d , however, t h a t c r i t i c a l i n t e r p r e t i v e s t a t e m e n t s can be t r u e o r f a l s e ( o r , a t l e a s t , p l a u s i b l e o r i m p l a u s i b l e ) . The s u b j e c t i v i s t view i s the s i m p l e s t and h o l d s t h a t i n t e r p r e t i v e s t a t e m e n t s e x p r e s s p r o p o s i t i o n s about the p e r c e p t i o n s of the c r i t i c r e v i e w i n g a p a r t i c u l a r work. On t h i s view, "X i s Y" (where X i s the name of a work and Y i s the name of some i n t e r p r e t i v e p r e d i c a t e ) means "X i s Y to me". The n o n - s u b j e c t i v i s t , on the o t h e r hand, i n t e r p r e t s "X i s Y" as a statement of the s i m p l e s u b j e c t - p r e d i c a t e form which thus e x p r e s s e s a propos-i t i o n which i s e i t h e r t r u e o r f a l s e ( o r p l a u s i b l e o r i m p l a u s i b l e ) . The s u b j e c t i v i s t view has, a p p a r e n t l y , had i t s a d h e r e n t s (Oscar Wilde i s perhaps i t most famous p r o p o n e n t ) , and t h i s i s because, l i k e p r e s c r i p t i v i s m and p e r f o r m i t i v i s m , i t does a l l o w a l o t of t o l e r a n c e between competing and c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . However, I s h a l l not i n v e s t i -g a t e t h i s view h e r e , as i t i s the work o f a r t and i t s p r o p e r t i e s t h a t i s of i n t e r e s t , not the p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a t e s o f some c r i t i c . N o n - s u b j e c t i v i s t d e s c r i p t i v i s m i t s e l f has two main 71 v e r s i o n s , a s t r o n g one and a weak one, and each has i t s champion. Monroe B e a r d s l e y ( s t r o n g d e s c r i p t i v i s m ) h o l d s t h a t the judgements made by c r i t i c s are no d i f f e r e n t , i n l o g i c a l c h a r a c t e r , than any o t h e r form o f judgement: t o w h i t they can be su p p o r t e d i n some way by o t h e r p r o p o s i t i o n s . These o t h e r p r o p o s i t i o n s , however, are not of a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d s o r t . They must be r e a s o n s , i n the sense t h a t they must e x p r e s s some d e s c r i p t i v e o r i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n about the work w i t h which the c r i t i c i s concerned. When a c r i t i c c i t e s a reason to s u p p o r t some judgement t h a t he has made, h i s reason must r e f e r t o some f e a t u r e of the work, and t h i s f e a t u r e , c l a i m s B e a r d s l e y , i s employed as a c r i t e r i o n o f  v a l u e . In t h i s way, c i t e d c r i t e r i a are e i t h e r m e r i t s o r d e f e c t s , depending on the t h r u s t of the c r i t i c i s m . Now, i t i s B e a r d s l e y ' s c o n t e n t i o n t h a t i f the reason f o r a c c e p t i n g some i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n as t r u e i s some o t h e r d e s c r i p t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n a l r e a d y a c c e p t e d , then i t must be a l l o w e d t h a t t h e r e i s a l o g i c a l c o n n e c t i o n between them. And t h i s l o g i c a l c o n n e c t i o n i n d i c a t e s t h a t some g e n e r a l t h e o r e t i c a l c o n c e p t s a r e , i n some way, a p p l i c a b l e . As B e a r d s l e y p u t s i t : "The problem then i s t h i s : Do c r i t i c a l r e a sons have a k i n d of g e n e r a l i t y of a p p l i c a t i o n so t h a t i t makes sense to t r y to f o r m u l a t e p r i n c i p l e s of c r i t i c i s m ? I b e l i e v e they do."9 72 T h i s then i s the g o a l of B e a r d s l e y ' s G e n e r a l C r i t e r i a Theory, i . e . , t o v a l i d a t e g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s o f c r i t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , and to p l a c e the whole a c t i v i t y of c r i t i c i s m on a r a t i o n a l f o o t i n g . B e a r d s l e y a c c e p t s t h a t c r i t i c s o f t e n make v a l u e judge-ments, about works of a r t . Indeed, t h i s appears to be t h e i r main f u n c t i o n . However, i n making these judgements, he c l a i m s , they must, i f c h a l l e n g e d , p r o v i d e as s u p p o r t some d e s c r i p t i v e and i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n . And t h i s , of c o u r s e , i s where Macdonald and Isonberg would m a i n l y d i s a g r e e . B u t , g o i n g back on the a t t a c k a g a i n f o r a moment, even i f p e r f o r m i t i v i s m and p r e s c r i p t i v i s m are c o h e r e n t t h e o r i e s , and even i f i t i s t r u e t h a t they a d e q u a t e l y d e s c r i b e some of the a c t i v i t i e s o f some c r i t i c s , i t w i l l s t i l l be the case t h a t d e s c r i p t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n s are n e c e s s a r y to c o n j o i n a c r i t i c a l u t t e r a n c e t o a work o f a r t . The G e n e r a l C r i t e r a Theory, of c o u r s e , has i t s c r i t i c s , not the l e a s t o f which i s W i l l i a m K e n n i c k . Kennick has arguedl° t h a t i t seems a t l e a s t p l a u s i b l e t o doubt the e x i s t e n c e of g e n e r a l c r i t i c a l c r i t e r i a , because o f the f a c t t h a t c e r t a i n f e a t u r e s can be m e r i t s i n one artwor k and y e t not i n o t h e r s . Or, even worse, m e r i t o r i o u s f e a t u r e s i n one art w o r k can a c t u a l l y be d e f e c t s i n o t h e r s . In t h i s way, he i s l e d to c o n c l u d e t h a t B e a r d s l e y i s s i m p l y wrong, and t h a t t h e r e a r e , i n f a c t , no g e n e r a l c r i t e r i a , o r r u l e s , o r what-73 e v e r , t h a t can a d e q u a t e l y s u p p o r t c r i t i c a l judgements i n a l l c a s e s . I t h i n k t h i s s o r t of o b j e c t i o n can be d i f f u s e d , and B e a r d s l e y h i m s e l f has argued s t r e n u o u s l y a g a i n s t i t . For example, c o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g : "There are f e a t u r e s of poems, and t h e r e are p a i r s and c l u s t e r s of f e a t u r e s . And some c o n t r i b u t e v a l u e , so to speak, on t h e i r own, w h i l e o t h e r s do so o n l y i n combinat ion."11 K e n n i c k ' s view of m e r i t o r i o u s f e a t u r e s , c l a i m s B e a r d s e l y , i s j u s t too s i m p l e . However, the g e n e r a l t e n o r o f K e n n i c k ' s v i e w , t h a t B e a r d s l e y ' s p o s i t i o n i s too s t r o n g , does appear to have i t s m e r i t s . And i t i s i n answer to t h i s s o r t of c r i t i c i s m , I t h i n k , t h a t Joseph M a r g o l i s has developed a weaker form of d e s c r i p t i v i s m . A c c o r d i n g t o M a r g o l i s , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n may s t a r t w i t h d e s c r i p t i o n , but i t soon becomes enveloped by the e x t r a n e o u s s t r u c t u r e s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . These e x t r a n e o u s s t r u c t u r e s are t h e o r i e s , p e r v a s i v e myths, o r schema of i m a g i n a t i o n (each o f w h i c h , i t s h o u l d be n o t e d , i n c l u d e g e n e r a l c r i t e r i a ) t h a t the c r i t i c i s more o r l e s s f r e e to employ. I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , on t h i s v i e w , i s r a t h e r l i k e W i t t g e n s t e i n ' s (and Hungerland's) p e r c e p t u a l aspects. 1 2 However, t h e r e i s a d i f f e r e n c e , as M a r g o l i s n o t e s : " W i t t g e n s t e i n i s s p e a k i n g about g e t t i n g someone to see something i n a c e r t a i n way 74 ( i n the d u c k / r a b b i t example); w h i l e h e r e , the emphasis i s r a t h e r on whether a c e r t a i n way of s e e i n g something i s c r i t i c a l l y a d m i s s a b l e . " 1 3 I t i s M a r g o l i s 1 c o n t e n t i o n t h e n , t h a t c r i t i c a l i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n proceeds w i t h r e s p e c t t o some a d m i s s a b l e t h e o r y , myth o r schema of i m a g i n a t i o n . Such c r i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e s might c o n s i s t of F r e u d i a n t h e o r y , the s o - c a l l e d C a t h o l i c V i s i o n , o r even M a r x i s t i d e o l o g y . C r i t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s come i n many g u i s e s , and t h e i r a d m i s s a b i l i t y o r i n a d m i s s a b i l i t y i s by and l a r g e a m a t t e r of c o n v e n t i o n . In t h i s way, i t i s p o s s i b l e (and a c c e p t a b l e ) t o d e v e l o p , say, a F r e u d i a n a n a l y s i s of A l i c e i n Wonderland, as W i l l i a m Empsom has done, even though Lewis C a r r o l l c o u l d not p o s s i b l e have been aware of the t h e o r y , and even though the t h e o r y i t s e l f may be f a l s e . As l o n g as F r e u d i a n t h e o r y i s a c c e p t a b l e as a schema of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , c l a i m s M a r g o l i s , any i n t e r p r e t a t i o n can be a s s e s s e d w i t h r e s p e c t t o i t , t o g e t h e r w i t h the d e s c r i p -t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n s t h a t are p e r t i n e n t . D e t e r m i n i n g the t r u t h o r f a l s i t y o f d e s c r i p t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n s , of c o u r s e , i s a s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d m a t t e r , and thus p r e s e n t s no d i f f i c u l t y . However, the assessment of i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n s proceeds q u i t e d i f f e r e n t l y . On t h i s v i e w , i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o p o s i t i o n s a re not t r u e o r f a l s e , as B e a r d s l e y would have i t , but p l a u s i b l e o r i m p l a u s i b l e . As M a r g o l i s p u t s i t : 75 "Statements are judged p l a u s i b l e o r im p l a u s -i b l e i n v i r t u e of t h e i r use o f p r e f e r r e d e x p l a n a t o r y models i n any g i v e n domain. Where such models may be weighted f o r p r e f e r a b i l i t y and the f e a t u r e s of what i s to be accounted f o r a l s o weighted f o r p r i o r i t y and importance i n e x p l a n a t i o n , the p l a u s -i b i l i t y of the c o r r e s p o n d i n g s t a t e m e n t s may a l s o be graded. In s c i e n c e , f o r example, we may be asked to account f o r the o r i g i n o f the moon w i t h o u t assuming the g r a v i t a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y o f any body o u t s i d e o f our p r e s e n t s o l a r system; but i n a c c o r d w i t h the d e n s i t y , s i z e , and c o m p o s i t i o n of the moon i t s e l f . C o r r e s p o n d i n g l y , i n c r i t i c i s m , we may be asked to i n t e r p r e t a work o f a r t i n acc o r d w i t h some w e l l - d e f i n e d myth and i n a way t h a t g i v e s due prominance to p r e f e r r e d f e a t u r e s o f the work."! 4 Would-be i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of a work, on t h i s v i e w , must be c o n s i s t e n t w i t h both the work's d e s c r i p t i o n and the e x p l a n -a t o r y schema, to be p l a u s i b l e . F u r t h e r m o r e , they must a l s o be c o n s i s t e n t w i t h any c r i t e r i a of v a l u e e i t h e r i n c l u d e d i n the schema o r i m p l i e d by i t . As l o n g as these c o n d i t i o n s are met, an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n can be judged as p l a u s i b l e , w h i c h , a l t h o u g h not as c o m p e l l i n g as the a p p e l l a t i o n o f " t r u t h " i s , n o n e t h e l e s s , a p o s i t i v e f e a t u r e . 4.4 C o n c l u d i n g Remarks Now, I t h i n k i t i s becoming o b v i o u s a t t h i s p o i n t t h a t p e r f o r m a t i v i s m and p r e s c r i p t i v i s m a r e , i n a sense, combined i n t h e i r c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h d e s c r i p t i v i s m . And t h i s i s borne 76 o u t , r e t u r n i n g a g a i n to the n o t i o n of a l i t e r a r y i n s t i t u -t i o n , by the corpus of c r i t i c i s m and l i t e r a r y a n a l y s i s . Macdonald and Isonberg both r e p r e s e n t a f a i r l y t r a d i t i o n a l v iew o f l i t e r a r y - a n a l y s i s o r t e x t u a l e x p l o r a t i o n , a view t h a t i s opposed i n many ways to modern i n t e r p r e t i v e c r i t i c i s m . The p r a c t i c e s they d e s c r i b e a r e , I b e l i e v e , q u i t e common, e s p e c i a l l y i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s i n which l i t e r a t u r e s i m p l i c i t e r i s t a u g h t . T h i s i s not to say, however, t h a t c r i t i c i s m , as a d i s c i p l i n e , i s not pursue d . Far from i t . Both compete w i t h i n the l i t e r a r y a r t w o r l d . L i t e r a t u r e and l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m a r e both bona f i d e members. The debate r e g a r d i n g the r e l a t i v e m e r i t s of each approach, however, i s one t h a t I do not f e e l q u a l i f i e d t o approach. And, f o r the purposes o f t h i s work, i t i s not n e c e s s a r y t h a t I do so. That c r i t i c i s m can be o r g a n i z e d both c o n c e p t u a l l y and i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y so as to c o u n t e r Hungerland's s k e p t i c i s m r e g a r d i n g the power of a e s t h e t i c c o t e r i e s t o ground a e s t h e t i c judgement i s a l l t h a t i s r e q u i r e d . And the f o r c e of B e a r d s l e y ' s and e s p e c i a l l y M a r g o l i s ' arguments, I b e l i e v e , a c h i e v e s t h i s t a s k . C r i t i c a l a e s t h e t i c judgements on works of a r t , t h a t i s e x p r e s s i o n s o f t a s t e , can be made by laymen and p r o f e s s i o n a l c r i t i c s a l i k e . B ut, i n g e n e r a l , i t i s the judgements made by p r o f e s s i o n a l c r i t i c s t h a t are r e a l l y i n f o r m a t i v e . And i t i s from these persons t h a t o t h e r s g e n e r a l l y take t h e i r cue. The 77 p o l i t e r p a r t of s o c i e t y , however, are more o r g a n i z e d now than i n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y . They too must study t h e i r c r a f t . And t h i s has l e d , w i t h i n an i n s t i t u t i o n a l framework, to the development o f t h e o r i e s of i n t e r p r e t i v e c r i t i c i s m t h a t l e a v e l i t t l e o r no room f o r the f e e l i n g s t h a t were once a s s o c i a t e d w i t h beauty. T h i s development has a l s o seen a r e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the p r o p e r t i e s once a s s o c i a t e d w i t h these f e e l i n g s . So t h a t now, one i s l e d t o wonder i f such p r o p e r t i e s are a e s t h e t i c a t a l l , a t l e a s t i n the t r a d i t i o n a l s ense; perhaps " i n t e l l e c t u a l " might be a b e t t e r a d j e c t i v e . The p o i n t i s t h a t a e s t h e t i c s i s as f o r m a l i z e d now as the o t h e r branches of l e a r n i n g and s c h o l a r s h i p . And, as we have no d i f f i c u l t y w i t h d i s s o c i a t i n g the j o y we n a t u r a l l y have when v i e w i n g good s c h o l a r s h i p from our assessment and judge-ment of i t s m e r i t s , t h e r e i s no reason why such d i s s o c i a t i o n s h o u l d not be a l l o w e d i n a e s t h e t i c s and the e x e r c i s e of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e . The main problem w i t h the t r a d i t i o n a l n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c t a s t e t h e n , stems from the c o n t i n u e d acceptance of the c o n c e p t u a l framework o r i g i n a t i n g i n the 18th c e n t u r y . A r t o b j e c t s are l i k e many o t h e r o b j e c t s ; they e x i s t i n the r e a l w o r l d . They can be e v e n t s such as performances of o v e r t u r e s , or t r a g e d i e s , or c o n c r e t e l i k e s t a t u e s and p a i n t i n g s . As I s a b e l Hungerland has shown, we can o r g a n i z e and t r a i n o u r s e l v e s to view these o b j e c t s i n c e r t a i n ways, 78 r e g a r d l e s s of t h e i r o n t o l o g i c a l s t a t u s . And, i n doing so, we can p e r c e i v e . c e r t a i n p r o p e r t i e s which they possess. "Possess" here, however, i s used i n a r a t h e r s p e c i a l way, somewhat m e t a p h o r i c a l l y . In any case, as i t does not r e q u i r e any obscure t r a i n i n g to "see" the l a z i n e s s or i n t e l l i g e n c e of a person, there appears to be no reason why " s e e i n g " t h e i r charm or elegance should r e q u i r e i t . The only reason we continue to think t h i s way i s because we s t i l l r e t a i n the somewhat incoherent mentalism of the 18th century. Once we separate the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l and metaphysical q u e s t i o n s , we can see that there i s no necessary connection between pl e a s u r e (or sentiment) and the a s c r i p t i o n of a e s t h e t i c p r o p e r t i e s . We do not r e q u i r e any s p e c i a l or 6th sense to a c c u r a t e l y e v a l u a t e works of a r t , merely a r a t h e r s p e c i a l -i z e d form of t r a i n i n g . 79 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER FOUR 1 R i c h a r d Shusterman, "The L o g i c o f I n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " The P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , 28 (1978). 2 Margaret Macdonald, "Some D i s t i n c t i v e F e a t u r e s o f Arguments Used i n C r i t i c i s m of the A r t s , " i n W. E t t o n (ed.) Essays i n A e s t h e t i c s and Language, O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l (1959), p. 126. 3 Macdonald, op. c i t . P. 115. 4 Macdonald , op. c i t . P. 118. 5 Macdonald, op. c i t . P. 119. 6 Macdonald, op. c i t . P. 127. 7 Helen K n i g h t , "The Use o f 'Good' i n A e s t h e t i c Judgements," i n W. E l t o n , op. c i t . pp. 147-160. 8 A r n o l d I s o n b e r g , " C r i t i c a l Communication," i n W. E l t o n , op. c i t . p. 137. 9 Monroe B e a r d s l e y , "On the G e n e r a l i t y o f C r i t i c a l Reasons," The J o u r n a l of P h i l o s o p h y , V o l . L I X , 18 (1962) p. 480. 10 W i l l i a m K e n n i c k , "Does T r a d i t i o n a l A e s t h e t i c s Rest On A M i s t a k e ? " Mind, 67 (1958) pp. 317-334. 11 B e a r d s l e y , op. c i t . p. 484. 12 Ludwig W i t t g e n s t e i n , P h i l o s o p h i c a l I n v e s t i g a t i o n s , t r a n s . G.E.M. Anscombe ( O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l , 1958) I I , x i . 13 Joseph M a r g o l i s , The Language o f A r t and A r t  C r i t i c i s m , D e t r o i t : Wayne U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s (1965) p. 86. 14 M a r g o l i s , op. c i t . p. 93. 80 BIBLIOGRAPHY A d d i s o n , Joseph. "On the p l e a s u r e s o f the I m a g i n a t i o n . " In The S p e c t a t o r , ed. A l e x a n d e r Chalmers. New York: D. A p p l e t o n , 1879, v. 20. B e a r d s l e y , Monroe. A e s t h e t i c s . New York: H a r c o u r t , 1958. . The P o s s i b i l i t y o f C r i t i c i s m . D e t r o i t : Wayne Uni v . P r e s s , 1970. . "On the G e n e r a l i t y of C r i t i c a l Reasons." In The J o u r n a l o f P h i l o s o p h y , v o l . LIX 18 (1962). . The A e s t h e t i c P o i n t o f View, ed. M i c h a e l Wreen and Donald C a l l e n . I t h a c a , N.Y.: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1982. . A r t and P h i l o s o p h y . New York: New York U n i v . P r e s s , 1966. B e n n e t t , J o n a t h a n . Locke, B e r k l e y , Hume: C e n t r a l Themes. O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1971. Cohen, Ted. " A e s t h e t i c / N o n - A e s t h e t i c and the Concept o f T a s t e . " In T h e o r i a , 39, 1973. . "The P o s s i b i l i t y o f A r t : Remarks on a P r o p o s a l by D i c k i e . " In The P h i l o s o p h i c a l Review, 82, 1973. Danto, A r t h u r . "The A r t w o r l d . " In The J o u r n a l o f P h i l o s o p h y , 61, 1964. . "Artworks and Real T h i n g s . " In T h e o r i a , 39, 1973. D i c k i e , George. A e s t h e t i c s , an I n t r o d u c t i o n . New York: B o b b s - M e r r i l l , 1971. . " D e f i n i n g A r t . " In American P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , 6, 1969. . . "The Myth o f the A e s t h e t i c A t t i t u d e . " In American P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , 1, 1964. Hampshire, S t u a r t . " L o g i c and A p p r e c i a t i o n . " In Essays i n A e s t h e t i c s and Language, ed. W i l l i a m E l t o n . O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l , 1959. 81 Hospers, John. U n d e r s t a n d i n g the A r t s . New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e H a l l , 1982. Hume, D a v i d . E s s a y s : M o r a l , P o l i t i c a l and L i t e r a r y . London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1963. Hungerland, I s a b e l . "The L o g i c of A e s t h e t i c Concepts." In P r o c e e d i n g s and Ad d r e s s e s o f the American P h i l o s o p h i c a l  A s s o c i a t i o n , 36, 1963. Hutcheson, F r a n c i s . An E n q u i r y I n t o the O r i g i n a l o f Our Ideas o f Beauty and v i r t u e . London: For D. M i d w i n t e r e t . a l . , 1738. I s e n b e r g , A r n o l d . " C r i t i c a l Communication." i n The P h i l o s o p h i c a l Review, 58, 1949. Kant, immanual. C r i t i q u e o f A e s t h e t i c Judgement, t r a n s . J.C. M e r e d i t h . O x f o r d : Oxford Univ. P r e s s , 1928. Ke n n i c k , W i l l i a m . "Does T r a d i t i o n a l A e s t h e t i c s Rest on a M i s t a k e ? " In Mind, 67, 1958. __. " T h e o r i e s of A r t and the A r t w o r l d . " In The J o u r n a l o f P h i l o s o p h y , 61, 1964. K i v y , P e t e r . "Hume's Standard of T a s t e : B r e a k i n g the C i r c l e . " In B r i t i s h j o u r n a l o f A e s t h e t i c s , V I I , 1967. . "Recent S c h o l a r s h i p and the B r i t i s h T r a d i t i o n : A L o g i c o f Taste - The F i r s t F i f t y Y e ars." In A e s t h e t i c s , eds. George D i c k i e and R i c h a r d S c l a f a n i . New York: S t . M a r t i n ' s P r e s s . 1982. K n i g h t , H e l e n . "The use of 'Good' i n A e s t h e t i c Judgements." In E s s ays i n A e s t h e t i c s and Language, ed. W i l l i a m E l t o n . O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l , 1959. Macdonald, M a r g a r e t . "Some D i s t i n c t i v e F e a t u r e s of Arguments Used i n C r i t i c i s m of the A r t s . " In Essays i n A e s t h e t i c s  and Language, ed. W i l l i a m E l t o n . O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l , 1959. M a c k i e , John. Problems from Locke. O x f o r d : Clarendon P r e s s , 1976. ; M a r g o l i s , J o s e p h . The Language o f A r t and A r t C r i t i c i s m . D e t r o i t : Wayne U n i v . P r e s s , 1965. 82 M i t i a s , M i c h a e l . "The I n s t i t u t i o n Theory of the A e s t h e t i c O b j e c t . " In The P e r s o n a l i s t , 58, 1977. M o r r i s , B e r t r a m . "The P h i l o s o p h y of C r i t i c i s m . " The  P h i l o s o p h i c a l Review, 55, 1946. Osborne, H a r o l d . "Reasons and D e s c r i p t i o n s i n C r i t i c i s m . " In M o n i s t , 50, 1966. Passmore, John. "The D r e a r i n e s s of A e s t h e t i c s . " In Essays i n  A e s t h e t i c s and Language, ed. W i l l i a m E l t o n . O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l , 1959. S c l a f a n i , R i c h a r d . " A r t as a S o c i a l I n s t i t u t i o n : D i c k i e ' s New D e f i n i t i o n s . " In J o u r n a l of A e s t h e t i c s and A r t  C r i t i c i s m , 32, 1973. S c r u t o n , Roger. A r t and I m a g i n a t i o n . London: Methuen, 1974. Shusterman, R i c h a r d . "The L o g i c of I n t e r p r e t a t i o n . " In P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , 28, 1978 . "The L o g i c o f E v a l u a t i o n . " In P h i l o s o p h i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , 30, 1980. S i b l e y , Frank. " A e s t h e t i c Concepts." In The P h i l o s o p h i c a l  Review, 68, 1959. S i l v e r s , A n i t a . "The A r t w o r l d D i s c a r d e d . " In J o u r n a l of  A e s t h e t i c s and A r t C r i t i c i s m , 34, 1975. Strawson, P e t e r . " A e s t h e t i c A p p r a i s a l and Works o f A r t . " In Freedom and Resentment and Other E s s a y s . London: Methuen, 1974. W e i t z , M o r r i s . "The Role of Theory on A e s t h e t i c s . " In J o u r n a l o f A e s t h e t i c s and A r t C r i t i c i s m , 15, 1955. W i t t g e n s t e i n , Ludwig. P h i l o s o p h i c a l I n v e s t i g a t i o n s , t r a n s . G.E.M. Anscombe. O x f o r d : B l a c k w e l l , 1958. W o l f e , Tom. The P a i n t e d Word. New York: F a r r a r , S t r a u s and G i r o u x , 1975. Y a n a l , R o b e r t . "The I n s t i t u t i o n a l Theory of the A e s t h e t i c O b j e c t : A Reply t o M i c h a e l M i t i a s . " In The P e r s o n a l i s t , 58, 1977. 

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