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By Paradigm
#14637323
I find it interesting how we judge aesthetic tastes to be "authentic" when uninfluenced by the opinions of others, whereas we think someone is faking it if they jump on some bandwagon. This is essentially rooted in a Cartesian view of the self and a non-cognitive view of taste and desire. We basically think that we just like what we like and that's that. From such a perspective, it must seem strange that colleges have classes on "art appreciation" or "music appreciation." The fact is that aesthetic judgments, like emotions in general, are evaluative in nature, and can be changed by introducing new information. When someone points out how much attention to detail Stanley Kubrick puts into all his films, it makes it more enjoyable to watch. Your aesthetic enjoyment of it is influenced by that information, because you know what to look for.

Incidentally, this also means that aesthetic judgments can be more or less informed and therefore of greater or lesser value, which is why the "eye of the beholder" argument doesn't really get much traction in the philosophical study of aesthetics. This doesn't mean that one piece of art can be objectively considered "good" and another "bad," but it does mean that some people can have more finely developed tastes than others, and those people can make more competent judgments about these works of art than others. And while this may sound elitist, remember that this is also instructive when it comes to cross-cultural analysis of art. A person brought up in a particular culture may not "get" the artistic conventions of another culture and be too quick to dismiss it, while someone who is familiar with that culture's conventions can judge it with the standards by which it was meant to be judged, and thus have a finer aesthetic appreciation of it.

In the end, aesthetics may not have the kind of "objective" truth-value that scientific inquiry seeks after, but it is not pure whim either. A person with a well-informed sense of aesthetics will be able to articulate why a given piece of art or music is good or bad, and can have meaningful debates with others who disagree with their assessment. Aesthetics, then, is not merely a matter of unconscious drives, but is in fact a cultivated form of intelligence.
By mikema63
#14637331
I find it interesting how we judge aesthetic tastes to be "authentic" when uninfluenced by the opinions of others, whereas we think someone is faking it if they jump on some bandwagon. This is essentially rooted in a Cartesian view of the self and a non-cognitive view of taste and desire. We basically think that we just like what we like and that's that.


I thinks peoples obsession with being authentic has perverted them into not being authentic at all. People are paralyzed to enjoy something that they think too many other people like and end up adopting a persona of being alienated from the popular culture. To me that seems incredibly inauthentic.

Incidentally, this also means that aesthetic judgments can be more or less informed and therefore of greater or lesser value, which is why the "eye of the beholder" argument doesn't really get much traction in the philosophical study of aesthetics. This doesn't mean that one piece of art can be objectively considered "good" and another "bad," but it does mean that some people can have more finely developed tastes than others, and those people can make more competent judgments about these works of art than others. And while this may sound elitist, remember that this is also instructive when it comes to cross-cultural analysis of art. A person brought up in a particular culture may not "get" the artistic conventions of another culture and be too quick to dismiss it, while someone who is familiar with that culture's conventions can judge it with the standards by which it was meant to be judged, and thus have a finer aesthetic appreciation of it.

In the end, aesthetics may have the kind of "objective" truth-value that scientific inquiry seeks after, but it is not pure whim either. A person with a well-informed sense of aesthetics will be able to articulate why a given piece of art or music is good or bad, and can have meaningful debates with others who disagree with their assessment. Aesthetics, then, is not merely a matter of unconscious drives, but is in fact a cultivated form of intelligence.


I've never really thought about it to be perfectly honest, but it would seem to me that you could judge something from a variety of different perspectives with a variety of different biases and viewpoints which will effect your appreciation of something.

Probably the only thing I still sort of agree with Ayn Rand about is that what you say about some piece of art says as much about you as it does about it. Though knowing Ayn Rand she probably stole this from someone else and claimed it as her own original idea.
#14637387
Art is "objective" in a particular sense. It is propagated through a noosphere that extends beyond the individual consciousness in time and space. Aesthetic judgements cannot be strictly subjective, if only because every work of art requires a creator and an audience.
#14637411
The experience of art is participatory. It's an act of shared cultural communication between the creator and the viewer, and what you "get out" of it depends very much on what you "put into" it, i.e., the cultural, sociopolitical, religious, and philosophical expectations and (dare I say) prejudices that you bring to the table.

In other words, relativity applies here, just as it does to every other non-essential function (such as breathing) that humans indulge in.
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By Wellsy
#15027658
Indeed, it is an illusion that so thoroughly seperate the individual from culture as if what is essentially the individuals pre-exists their development within culture. There could be no consciousness said to be human in a person who grew up independent of human society, such a person would be human only in biology but not in mind.
It is a metaphysical view that treats our views as somehow purely the individuals. Generally the most individualistic are those who are at the epitome, the frontiers of an area of culture/knowledge.
Spoiler: show
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/10867/1/VWills_ETD_2011.pdf
Marx's second argument against Kantian morality is that its focus on the free will belies the extent to which the will is itself determined by material conditions and material interests. The abstraction of the “free will” is illegitimate according to Marx because it attempts to prize apart the intellectual life of individuals from their economic, social, and historical context. A person with a will that is “wholly independent of foreign causes determining it,” to adopt Kant's phrase, simply does not exist in reality, and therefore such a subject makes a rather poor starting point for moral theory. (Later, in 1853, Marx writes, there critiquing Hegel, “Is it not a delusion to substitute for the individual with his real motives, with multifarious social circumstances pressing upon him, the abstraction of “free-will” — one among the many qualities of man for man himself”74!)

https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/en/jordan2.htm
In the opinion of Marx, it is an error to assume that the primary psychological constitution of the individual can be distinguished from his socially acquired characteristics and that the latter, being a product of social existence, are in a sense artificial and secondary, since they are derivable from the former. The differentiation between what man owes to society and to his primary, true, and unchanging nature, can be disregarded as a pseudo-problem or a mere figment of speculation.

https://scholarcommons.scu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1048&context=phi
We cannot, then, explain action simply by intention. To retreat too far into the inner life is not only to try to elude responsibility for consequences, as Pippin puts it, but it is also to strip 107 action of any meaning. Kenneth Westphal makes a point that is worth noting in this context. Practical reason is inseparable from social practice. It is true that actions are carried out by individuals, but such actions are possible and only have meaning in so far as they participate in sociocultural practices. There are two important questions here, Westphal suggests: (1) are individuals the only bearers of psychological states, and (2) can psychological states be understood in individual terms? Individualists answer both questions in the armative, and most holists answer both questions in the negative. Hegel, however, answers the first question affirmatively and the second negatively. In other words, it is only individuals who act, have 108 intentions, construct facts, and so forth. Nevertheless, such acts, intentions, and facts cannot be understood apart from sociocultural practices—their meaning can only be understood as interpreted in a sociocultural context


And it is the case that one does develop one's tastes through culture, and it is in this sense one could speak of some cultures and ways of thought not being equal to one another.
Our human sesnses are essentially cultural and cannot be anything else, otherwise human nature would be aptly summarized by a description of our biology. But our nature is based within the same physiology but changed by material culture and the activity that sets limits for us within it.
http://www.kafu-academic-journal.info/journal/6/164/
The historical materialism of Marx, as Ilyenkov stated, differs from other forms of materialism by the idea that all abilities of an individual, including the five main senses, are understood as a product of history, not as a gift from Mother Nature. Thus human eyesight and hearing differ from the eyesight and hearing of animals, and they do so because they are formed on the basis of communication with things made by a man for a man.

But a man differs from an animal above all by the presence of spiritual senses to which artistic taste and moral sense (conscience), the sense of the sublime, pride and love in its human spiritual meaning pertain. On the other hand, from the point of view of historical materialism, the highest spiritual senses do not presuppose additional physical organs, but rather transform and instill the highest ideal meaning into the activity of the natural senses, all the vital functions of a human organism.

The basis of vexation of mind is nothing but pain. Its essence differs, however, from a sudden heart attack. Thirst for justice differs from mere physical thirst. Someone who listens to symphonic music hears it with his ears, but he does not hear just a collection of sounds. Human senses are physically always the same. This means that the highest spiritual qualities do not presuppose different organs but different abilities of an individual which form a richer content of human life and behaviour.

The human eye is not simply the eye of a biological human, it is human when such an eye can see things in a human way which requires a sense of things that allows one to grasp the nature of a thing. The person deprived of such a development can see very little in an art work, may hear very little in music other than sound, it doesn't evoke much from them because they cannot see or hear things to such a degree as human possibly can.

And our aesthetic reaction to things, like experience itself isn't just emotion, or intellect and so on, it is a unity of things which the distinction of such aspects are important but they are part of a broader whole. Our reaction isn't just a feeling, or just a thought and in fact our thoughts mediate our feelings towards a thing. And our ability to experience a feeling towards an art work is based in our conceptual development that we can grasp the nuances of something. How can one see the greatness in say a film without some idea of what it takes to make it, to notice the tricks of editing, the theory behind it. It may well be left at an unconscious level as merely a positive feeling towards the experience one had watching something. But this would be because one hasn't yet cultivated their taste consciously but have had it already socially determined by society for them.

And in fact the truth of things in art cannot be considered within formal logic which aspires to erase the subjectivity of it.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259742845_Reality_of_the_Ideal
The very concept of truth is diferent in dialectics and formal logic. The latter demands to eliminate subjectivity – this ideal is clearly pronounced in the title of the report by Popper: ‘Epistemology without a knowing subject’. By contrast, in dialectics truth is understood as a process of transformation of the subjective into the objective, and vice versa. And the ideal is an objective form of a subject’s activity.

There are standards by which any practice asserts itself which can be criticized.
And as such I do agree that there is shared grounds on which people can argue that their view is more true about a work than another.
One interrogate the basis and means on which certain tastes are cultivated and their conclusions. What people assert about art isn't meaningless and incontestable and there is plenty to draw upon to articulate one's views and challenge those of others.
But that requires us to cultivate our own sense of things, where aesthetics doesn't seem to be just a matter confined to art but necessarily draws on questions of morality, truth and beauty which arise not from some eternal reason and ideas above us but within our differing modes of life.
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