Where I place aesthetic values.

I place a higher value on written word as an art form than any other. I came to this realization by thinking about Kant, sensibilities, and concepts. If you remove the sensibilities of a novel, you’re left with an idea, some sort of concept that can exist solely in the mind without any sensible construct. When viewing a painting or a photograph, sculpture or architecture, you are using a sensible construct to render a positive aesthetic experience. In the written word, there are no sensibilities that are required, and often you can be left with pure reason as the textual content.

Examples would be any philosophical text, in which reason and thought alone are used to construct a coherent text; Nietzsche being the prime example of combining reason and prose to get an often bombastic point across that otherwise may not have been gotten across.

If you take a novel such as On The Road, and remove the plot, characters, and keep only the ideas that they are referencing, it is about a spiritual quest of Kierkegaardian dimensions. First Sal Paradise doesn’t want to be Sal Paradise. Then Sal Paradise wants to be Dean Moriarty. Then Sal paradise wants to be Sal Paradise. Unconscious despair, despair to be someone else, then despairing to be yourself.

If you look at a painting or a sculpture, you are relying on the senses to share an idea, where in the novel the entirety takes place in the imagination.

Film holds to the potential to rise above both as it is a combination of both sensible and ideal. It can tell a story visually, and share ideas visually with a coherent plot that exists over a time spectrum in the mind. Once a scene is over, it will never again be experienced the same way, by the same person (as you can never step into the same river twice, is it just because the river has changed, or have you also changed?).

The outlier in the formulation of this thought is music. Music does not represent strictly any ideas or sensible concepts. We don’t try to recreate nature in music, and we don’t try to convey ideas via music. It’s a building of tension and release of cathartic emotion.

Which again brings the synthesis of film to the foreground, it can incorporate music to enhance both visual and ideal concepts making film a supreme specimen of artistic expression.

Of course each of these categories can be broken down and reexamined as individual movements within each overarching category have different modus operandi, however as categories on a whole, this is how they can be viewed.

As an example, poetry uses idealism to capture nature on occasion, such as Walt Whitman. Or Jackson Pollock can use his abstract expressionism to attempt to convey an emotion via the sensibilities. These aren’t hard and fast rules, but generalized ideas that come about through a quick analysis remove each adjective used to describe any overall category of artistic expression.

Do you disagree or have a dissenting opinion? Share it with me. I’m trying to place value on things in my life based on my experience, and I would love to discuss other opinions.

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18 thoughts on “Where I place aesthetic values.”

  1. “Do you disagree or have a dissenting opinion? Share it with me. I’m trying to place value on things in my life based on my experience, and I would love to discuss other opinions.”

    I appreciate it that you are trying to understand. I would like to know what do you think truth means and what value you give to truth? Why truth and why not untruth?

    1. I think that this is possibly one of the most difficult questions that anyone could answer. Truth is most definitely the most noble of all goals, but it’s also possibly the most subjective.

      Truth isn’t easy to define, but in it’s simplest it’s nothing more than honesty, presenting or describing things as they are, rather than willfully or unwillingly presenting an untrue statement.

      The value of truth is truly invaluable, in particular to yourself. It’s the basis for all further valuations.

      If we operate from a place of truth and honesty, we can truly try to strive for philosophical goals, as we are looking for the nature of things, whether those be our own valuations, or looking for metaphysical relationships or truths.

      In addition, I’m particularly fond of Kant’s phrasing, act as though according to this maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law.

      Thus, if we attempt to maintain a policy of complete honesty, through working together and off of all other assumed honesties of the past, we can progress together.

      I hope this ramble of an answer didn’t stray too far from your question.

  2. I like your answer as you are trying to understand and are not too proud to learn.

    I will answer later about what you have written. The important thing is having a desire to understand and to question your own beliefs and convictions.

  3. What is truth? You may be baffled by what I am going to write because it is so simple:

    Aristotle said, “To say of what is, that it is and of what is not, that it is not, is true.
    I agree with this definition of truth completely.

    In my words, I put it like this:-

    If it is raining, then it is true that it is raining and if it is not raining, then it is true that it is not raining.
    And :
    If it is raining, then it is untrue that it is not raining and if it is not raining then it is untrue that is raining.

    This is a clear and air tight definition of truth and untruth.

    How to know in any particular case what is true, is a different matter.

  4. You wrote, “Yes, the desire is “true,” and I’d rather leave no stone unturned. I’m eagerly anticipating your response!”

    Do you or do you not understand Aristotle’s definition of truth? I am eagerly awaiting your response.

    1. I have actually been mulling it over. Logically it’s as sound as a definition can be. However, intuitively something seems missing. I want to say it’s subjectivity. Rain is a very clear cut story. Say that my friend says she’s oppressed by society because she’s a she. What I perceive is a boss who criticized a poor performance. Which one of us is right? Women are certainly frequently treated as second rate, but given facts as presented to each of us the truth may vary widely.

      1. I understand that one will need a lot of time, perhaps months or years to understand it if ever. Hardly anyone understands this.

        But the polite thing is to write that you are thinking about it and will reply later.

        “However, intuitively something seems missing.”

        There is nothing missing in the definition, the definition does not claim to tell anyone how to find out what is true in any particular case, as I wrote.

        “Which one of us is right?”

        Right and true are are different, you can not be true or untrue, only a statement or proposition can be true or untrue.

        There are many things to understand in this subject. A burning desire to understand and lot of honest thinking are needed. A very important thing needed is to be honest with yourself and not to deceive yourself. Understanding the starting point of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism is very important.

  5. Yes, I agree with you that different perceivers will perceive the same thing differently. But the thing is whatever it is independently of the perceptions of all the perceivers and even if nobody knows what it is.

    You wrote, “The value of truth is truly invaluable, in particular to yourself. It’s the basis for all further valuations.”

    I became interested in you after reading this statement of yours. So I think that perhaps we can investigate some philosophical questions. The question of truth and untruth being one of the most fundamental as you understand that It’s the basis for all further valuations. I agree with you on this point completely.

    This is just a beginning, the question of truth is a profound one. Up till now we have been talking about merely the definition of truth. To go further one must understand the starting point of Kant’s Transcendental Idealism. Do you understand that? Kant is extremely important to this question.

    1. Vaguely. I know of it. I understand parts of it. I am not familiar with the entirety. For example, I understand the concept of phenomenal and noumena, thing in itself, that he removed God from metaphysics. There are finer points that I am not familiar with though.

    1. If I were to venture a guess, truth may be perceived, however like the thing-in-itself, there’s almost a truth-within-itself. We can recognize the concept of truth in example, without grasping the entirety or truth within itself.

      It’s akin to the cat example. I recognize this specific cat by way of my sensibilities intuiting that it has all the properties of the conceptual cat.

  6. Please do not venture a guess. Think about it and sleep over it. Check each sentence and see if you agree with that one sentence or not and why. Critique each sentence separately. What are your reasons for agreeing or disagreeing with each sentence? This is not poetry or “mysticism” but hard headed logic. There is no place for guess work or any arbitrariness in it.

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