The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

What is art? What is beauty?

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tbieter
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The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by tbieter » Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:57 am

Today I finished reading The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson.

The product description is accurate:

"Product Description
With his usual lucidity, Etienne Gilson addresses the idea that "art is the making of beauty for beauty's sake." By distinguishing between aesthetics, which promotes art as a form of knowledge, and philosophy, which focuses on the presence of the artist's own talent or genius, Gilson maintains that art belongs to a different category entirely, the category of "making." Gilson's intellectually stimulating meditation on the relation of beauty and art is indispensible to philosophers and artists alike."
http://www.amazon.com/Arts-Beautiful-Et ... 836&sr=1-1

In the introduction (p. 9), Gilson states his controversial contention which he expands upon in many contexts in the book:

"In the Encyclopedie francaise we find this quotation by the historian Lucien Febvre: "Assuredly, art is a kind of knowledge."1 The present book rests upon the firm and considered conviction that art is not a kind of knowledge or, in other words, that it is not a manner of knowing. On the contrary, art belongs in an order other than that of knowledge, namely, in the order of making or, as they say, in that of "factivity." From beginning to end, art is bent upon making; this book says nothing else."

The final paragraph of the book is a beautiful summation:

"Art creates beauty. The beautiful is a transcendental of being, and to approach being as such is always to reach the threshhold of the sacred. In this sense, all pure art, and all the pure arts as such, are related to the religious sphere in the same way as are the other great human activities, such as science, philosophy and ethics. The pure true, sought and embraced for its own sake only; the pure good, willed as unconditionally desirable, because it is good; unity and order pursued and observed in all domains for their own sake - these are, so to speak, so many ontological modalities. The beautiful is another one. It is the most modest of all those modalities of being, since it is merely the good of sensible apperception of being, when there is conformity between the object of sense and the sensibility of an intelligible subject. Such is the kind of beauty the fine arts are about. It is merely that. The "beautiful" is neither the "true" nor the "good," it can substitute for neither one, but both need it in order to win access to the hearts of men. So also, religion mobilizes all the arts to press them into the service of the deity. Only, they themselves are not religion, and they first have to be art in order to serve any conceivable cause. And art should be at its best when the cause to be served is religion."

Comments anyone?

tbieter
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by tbieter » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:00 am

Slavoj Zizek is a well-known professor of philosophy/cultural critic. http://www.iep.utm.edu/zizek/

During my reading of The Arts of the Beautiful, I happened upon the following remarkable video entitled "Slavoj Zizek explains why the Sound of Music is racist."

Listen carefully to the conceptual metaphors* that Zizek uses in his analysis. In analyzing the movie, not surprisingly, Zizek advises the consumer of beauty to "leave out all the singing"!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiTum8eQ51E

I suggest that Zizek is incapable of experiencing the beauty, qua beauty, manifested in the scenery, acting, music and story contained in the movie!

On my contention about Professor Zizek's incapacity regarding the Sound of Music as art, Gilson is instructive at page 15:

"As to the consumer of beauty, he is perfectly free to give his preference to the kind of art he likes, with this reservation, however - the more he delights in art for the sake of information, documentation, demonstration, or contemplation, the less he is likely to enjoy beauty for its own sake. If there is in this world a single man knowing all that is useful to know in order fully to understand the historical, philosophical and theological meaning of the Divine Comedy, that man is highly privileged indeed, but it is not impossible to imagine a man possessed of that thorough knowledge of the meaning of the poem and yet incapable of experiencing it as the thing of beauty it essentially is."

The learned Zizek analyzes the movie relative to his favored political theories; but it is likely that he cannot enjoy it as beautiful art.

Comments anyone?
_______________________
* "Lakoff and Jacobs both devote a significant amount of time to current events and political theory, suggesting that respected linguists and theorists of conceptual metaphor may tend to channel their theories into political activism. Indeed, if conceptual metaphors are as basic as Lakoff argues, they may literally have no choice in doing so."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual ... d_politics

ala1993
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by ala1993 » Tue May 17, 2011 12:46 am

How can anyone make the claim that anyone else 'cannot experience beauty'? What a ridiculous thing to claim! How can you or anyone else tell Zizek (or anyone, for that matter) what beauty is and how it is to be experienced?

tbieter
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by tbieter » Tue May 17, 2011 9:41 pm

ala1993 wrote:How can anyone make the claim that anyone else 'cannot experience beauty'? What a ridiculous thing to claim! How can you or anyone else tell Zizek (or anyone, for that matter) what beauty is and how it is to be experienced?
I'm reading THE SECRET POWER OF BEAUTY http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Power-Beau ... 366&sr=1-1 by the philosopher John Armstrong. http://philosophybites.com/2009/09/john ... sophy.html

In agreement with Gilson, here is a paragraph on page 66:

"Lynch sees the statue of Venus symbolically. The statue stands for sex; just as someone might see the Karl Marx Allee as standing for political oppression. Symbolic seeing, of this kind, makes the appreciation of beauty impossible. An object has the symbolic character it does irrespective of the particular visual details. Change a detail here and there and the symbolism stays the same. And yet it is precisely changing such details that makes a difference to the visual character of the object. It is precisely on such details that beauty depends. So an eye given over exclusively to the symbolism of a building or a statue cannot engage with whatever beauty there may be on offer."

Zizek is a Marxist and an atheist. He experiences, thinks, and appreciates events and things in Marxist and atheistic concepts and symbols. That such concepts and symbols can prevent an authentic appreciation of beauty is obviously possible.

ala1993
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by ala1993 » Tue May 17, 2011 10:04 pm

Zizek is a Marxist and an atheist. He experiences, thinks, and appreciates events and things in Marxist and atheistic concepts and symbols. That such concepts and symbols can prevent an authentic appreciation of beauty is obviously possible.
Zizek combines Lacan, Hegel and Marx. Of the three, it is Hegel and Lacan that most influence his thought. It is mistaken to claim that the influence of even one thinker can somehow 'prevent' an experience. Secondly, as 'experience of beauty' is not a thing per se we cannot make the claim that it either does or does not exist. Thirdly (and following from this) we cannot claim 'authenticity' as being anything other than adherence to a pre-established set of principles as we are not in possession of 'the truth'. Lastly, this is a philosophy board, so please don't use the word 'obviously'!

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Notvacka
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by Notvacka » Tue May 17, 2011 10:07 pm

There are many ways to appreciate a work of art, and in my experience they complement each other, rather than cancel each other out. I find the notion that knowledge and analysis would somehow hinder "pure" appreciation of beauty quite ridiculous.

tbieter
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by tbieter » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:10 pm

Notvacka wrote:There are many ways to appreciate a work of art, and in my experience they complement each other, rather than cancel each other out. I find the notion that knowledge and analysis would somehow hinder "pure" appreciation of beauty quite ridiculous.
I'm currently reading Forms and Substances in the Arts, http://www.amazon.com/Forms-Substances- ... y_b_text_b , the companion volume to Gilson's book The Arts of the Beautiful.

I recently decided that, since I'm now in my twilight years, I should spend less time on politics and current affairs and more time on literature and the arts. In reading these two books and and some others recently, and rereading what I've written in this thread (and your criticisms of what I've written), I have concluded that I am very ignorant and uneducated. Rather than posting so much in this forum I should perhaps heed Mr. Lincoln's advice:

" 'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), (attributed)

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)"
http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/silence/

It is exciting, however, to discover and to experience a world - the world of art - of which I am an ignoramus.

tbieter
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by tbieter » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:19 pm

tbieter wrote:Slavoj Zizek is a well-known professor of philosophy/cultural critic. http://www.iep.utm.edu/zizek/

During my reading of The Arts of the Beautiful, I happened upon the following remarkable video entitled "Slavoj Zizek explains why the Sound of Music is racist."

Listen carefully to the conceptual metaphors* that Zizek uses in his analysis. In analyzing the movie, not surprisingly, Zizek advises the consumer of beauty to "leave out all the singing"!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiTum8eQ51E

I suggest that Zizek is incapable of experiencing the beauty, qua beauty, manifested in the scenery, acting, music and story contained in the movie!

On my contention about Professor Zizek's incapacity regarding the Sound of Music as art, Gilson is instructive at page 15:

"As to the consumer of beauty, he is perfectly free to give his preference to the kind of art he likes, with this reservation, however - the more he delights in art for the sake of information, documentation, demonstration, or contemplation, the less he is likely to enjoy beauty for its own sake. If there is in this world a single man knowing all that is useful to know in order fully to understand the historical, philosophical and theological meaning of the Divine Comedy, that man is highly privileged indeed, but it is not impossible to imagine a man possessed of that thorough knowledge of the meaning of the poem and yet incapable of experiencing it as the thing of beauty it essentially is."

The learned Zizek analyzes the movie relative to his favored political theories; but it is likely that he cannot enjoy it as beautiful art.

Comments anyone?
_______________________
* "Lakoff and Jacobs both devote a significant amount of time to current events and political theory, suggesting that respected linguists and theorists of conceptual metaphor may tend to channel their theories into political activism. Indeed, if conceptual metaphors are as basic as Lakoff argues, they may literally have no choice in doing so."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual ... d_politics
RE: "The learned Zizek analyzes the movie relative to his favored political theories; but it is likely that he cannot enjoy it as beautiful art."

An update: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8588&p=99954#p99954

EmilyBaker
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by EmilyBaker » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:31 pm

hey guys!

There are a few fascinating talks on art and aesthetics on The Institute of Art and Ideas website, amongst which 'The New Beautiful' that specifically charts today's new aesthetics:

http://iai.tv/video/the-new-beautiful

I hope you will enjoy it!

Raissa,

kaylee1988
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by kaylee1988 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:12 pm

EmilyBaker wrote:hey guys!

There are a few fascinating talks on art and aesthetics on The Institute of Art and Ideas website, amongst which 'The New Beautiful' that specifically charts today's new aesthetics:

http://iai.tv/video/the-new-beautiful

I hope you will enjoy it!

Raissa,
Hello,

I am reading The Arts of the Beautiful for my philosophy class. I will be writing a paper at the end of the course so I am starting to research. I would like to watch the video above, but it is not working for me. It says access denied. I am just wondering if the problem is on my end or theirs? Is this video on youtube also? My teacher (who is also a lawyer) told us this video will really help us throughout our lives!
Last edited by kaylee1988 on Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

tbieter
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by tbieter » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:40 pm

kaylee1988 wrote:
EmilyBaker wrote:hey guys!

There are a few fascinating talks on art and aesthetics on The Institute of Art and Ideas website, amongst which 'The New Beautiful' that specifically charts today's new aesthetics:

http://iai.tv/video/the-new-beautiful

I hope you will enjoy it!

Raissa,
Hello,

I am reading The Arts of the Beautiful for my philosophy class. I will be writing a paper at the end of the course so I am starting to research. I would like to watch the video above, but it is not working for me. It says access denied. I am just wondering if the problem is on my end or theirs? Is this video on youtube also?
This link works for me: http://iai.tv/video/the-new-beautiful

Dalek Prime
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Location: Living in a tree with Polly.

Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:47 am

kaylee1988 wrote:
EmilyBaker wrote:hey guys!

There are a few fascinating talks on art and aesthetics on The Institute of Art and Ideas website, amongst which 'The New Beautiful' that specifically charts today's new aesthetics:

http://iai.tv/video/the-new-beautiful

I hope you will enjoy it!

Raissa,
Hello,

I am reading The Arts of the Beautiful for my philosophy class. I will be writing a paper at the end of the course so I am starting to research. I would like to watch the video above, but it is not working for me. It says access denied. I am just wondering if the problem is on my end or theirs? Is this video on youtube also? My teacher (who is also a lawyer) told us this video will really help us throughout our lives!
Quit advertising for your teacher.

Dalek Prime
Posts: 4802
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:48 am
Location: Living in a tree with Polly.

Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:53 am

tbieter wrote:
tbieter wrote:Slavoj Zizek is a well-known professor of philosophy/cultural critic. http://www.iep.utm.edu/zizek/

During my reading of The Arts of the Beautiful, I happened upon the following remarkable video entitled "Slavoj Zizek explains why the Sound of Music is racist."

Listen carefully to the conceptual metaphors* that Zizek uses in his analysis. In analyzing the movie, not surprisingly, Zizek advises the consumer of beauty to "leave out all the singing"!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiTum8eQ51E

I suggest that Zizek is incapable of experiencing the beauty, qua beauty, manifested in the scenery, acting, music and story contained in the movie!

On my contention about Professor Zizek's incapacity regarding the Sound of Music as art, Gilson is instructive at page 15:

"As to the consumer of beauty, he is perfectly free to give his preference to the kind of art he likes, with this reservation, however - the more he delights in art for the sake of information, documentation, demonstration, or contemplation, the less he is likely to enjoy beauty for its own sake. If there is in this world a single man knowing all that is useful to know in order fully to understand the historical, philosophical and theological meaning of the Divine Comedy, that man is highly privileged indeed, but it is not impossible to imagine a man possessed of that thorough knowledge of the meaning of the poem and yet incapable of experiencing it as the thing of beauty it essentially is."

The learned Zizek analyzes the movie relative to his favored political theories; but it is likely that he cannot enjoy it as beautiful art.

Comments anyone?
_______________________
* "Lakoff and Jacobs both devote a significant amount of time to current events and political theory, suggesting that respected linguists and theorists of conceptual metaphor may tend to channel their theories into political activism. Indeed, if conceptual metaphors are as basic as Lakoff argues, they may literally have no choice in doing so."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual ... d_politics
RE: "The learned Zizek analyzes the movie relative to his favored political theories; but it is likely that he cannot enjoy it as beautiful art."

An update: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8588&p=99954#p99954
Funny, because in a Q&A, he says watching "The Sound of Music" is one of his guilty pleasures. So I'm not so sure he can't enjoy it, as you claim.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... avoj.zizek

tbieter
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by tbieter » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:29 pm

Dalek Prime wrote:
tbieter wrote:
tbieter wrote:Slavoj Zizek is a well-known professor of philosophy/cultural critic. http://www.iep.utm.edu/zizek/

During my reading of The Arts of the Beautiful, I happened upon the following remarkable video Ientitled "Slavoj Zizek explains why the Sound of Music is racist."

Listen carefully to the conceptual metaphors* that Zizek uses in his analysis. In analyzing the movie, not surprisingly, Zizek advises the consumer of beauty to "leave out all the singing"!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiTum8eQ51E

I suggest that Zizek is incapable of experiencing the beauty, qua beauty, manifested in the scenery, acting, music and story contained in the movie!

On my contention about Professor Zizek's incapacity regarding the Sound of Music as art, Gilson is instructive at page 15:

"As to the consumer of beauty, he is perfectly free to give his preference to the kind of art he likes, with this reservation, however - the more he delights in art for the sake of information, documentation, demonstration, or contemplation, the less he is likely to enjoy beauty for its own sake. If there is in this world a single man knowing all that is useful to know in order fully to understand the historical, philosophical and theological meaning of the Divine Comedy, that man is highly privileged indeed, but it is not impossible to imagine a man possessed of that thorough knowledge of the meaning of the poem and yet incapable of experiencing it as the thing of beauty it essentially is."

The learned Zizek analyzes the movie relative to his favored political theories; but it is likely that he cannot enjoy it as beautiful art.

Comments anyone?
_______________________
* "Lakoff and Jacobs both devote a significant amount of time to current events and political theory, suggesting that respected linguists and theorists of conceptual metaphor may tend to channel their theories into political activism. Indeed, if conceptual metaphors are as basic as Lakoff argues, they may literally have no choice in doing so."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual ... d_politics
RE: "The learned Zizek analyzes the movie relative to his favored political theories; but it is likely that he cannot enjoy it as beautif
An : http:forum.philosophynow.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8588&p=99954#p99954
Funny, because in a Q&A, he says watching "The Sound of Music" is one of his guilty pleasures. So I'm not so sure he can't enjoy it, as yom. I read the interview. I'm not an admierer. He hates students. Did not mourn his patente. patente. Is a nihilist. I Still dout that he can really Enjoy The sound of Music.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... avoj.zizek

Dalek Prime
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Re: The Arts of the Beautiful by Etienne Gilson

Post by Dalek Prime » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:33 pm

He may be an antinatalist and pessimist, but he's certainly not a nihilist. He cares too much about the world. Nihilists don't care about anything.

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