The World Explored, the World Suffered Science and tech Issue Nr. 12 November 2018(clone) - Page 21

Jonathan  Barnes  in  an  essay  entitled  Rhetoric  and  Poetics  in  the  Cambridge  Companion   to  Aristotle  argues  the  following:     "An  art  is  a  body  of  knowledge,  practical  in  aim  but  systematic  in  organisation,  in  which   particular  theorems  and  precepts  are  shown  to  follow  from  a  relatively  small  set  of   fundamental  truths."     This  may  be  an  over-­‐theoretical  account  of  a  realm  of  human  activity    which  resembles   more  the  realm  of  practical  science  than  the  realm  of  theoretical  science  but  it  has  the   advantage  of  manifesting  the  relation  of  art  to  truth  which  is  often  forgotten  in  the  hasty   retreat  to  the  realm  of  experience  which  is  a  key  concern  of  the  arts.  Aristotle  insisted   upon  a  threefold  distinction  of  sciences:  Theoretical,  Practical  and  Productive.    But  he   did  not  envisage    that  the  practical  and  the  productive  sciences  would  have  no   connection  with  the  truth.   The  human  activity  of  Art,  is  an  activity  of  mimesis  or  imitation.  Art  is  imitation  Aristotle   argues,  not  of  external  nature  but  rather  of  mans  mind,  in  particular  his    character,   emotions  and  actions.  But  why  does  one  desire  to  imitate?  Because  firstly,there  is  both   an  instinct  to  imitate  demonstrated  in  the  fact  that  humans  distinguish  themselves  from   animals  partly  in  the  fact  that  they  learn  from  other  humans  by  imitating  them  and   secondly  because  we  take  delight  in  imitations.  But  what  then  is  the  telos,  the  purpose  of   these  mimetic  productions?  The  creation  and  appreciation  of  art  must  be  related  of   course  to  the  flourishing  life  and  its  explorations  of  regions  of  our  mind  that  seek  for   understanding  with  universal  intent.  The  idea  of  the  good  object  is  obviously  of  major   significance  in  the  arena  of  artistic  activity  and  must  be  related  to  both  its  intellectual   and  emotional  aspects.  "Universal  intent"  here  obviously  refers  to  organising  our   experiences  such  that  we  connect  emotions  and  actions  that  should  be  connected  and   differentiate  between  emotions  and  actions  where  there  are  real  differences.  Such   organisation  also  entails  an  understanding  of  the  role  of  the  subject  and  the  role  of  the   object  in  this  process  of  trying  to  fathom  the  depths  of  the  mind.  If  we  are  to  believe   Psychoanalysis,  at  the  bottom  of  these  depths  lie  the  shipwrecks  of  our  experience   scattered  on  the  ocean  bed  and  the  connection  of  these  fragmented  experiences  are   often  not  real  or  as  Freud  put  it,  in  accordance  with  the  Reality  Principle.  Death  trumps   life  in  such  scenes  of  the  unreal.       According  to  Adrian  Stokes  in  his  essay  "The  Invitation  in  Art":     "Structure  is  ever  a  concern  of  art  and  must  necessarily  be  seen  as  symbolic,  symbolic  of   emotional  patterns,  of  the  psyche's  organisation  with  which  we  are  totally   involved......Patterns  and  the  making  of  wholes  are  of  immense  psychical  significance  in  a   precise  way  even  apart  from  the  drive  towards  repairing  what  we  have  damaged  or   destroyed  outside  ourselves......in  every  instance  of  art    we  receive  a  persuasive   invitation...we  experience  fully  a  correlation  between  the  inner  and  the  outer  world   which  is  manifestly  structured.  And  so  the  learned  response  to  that  invitation  is  an   aesthetic  way  of  looking  at  an  object."     The  common  element  tying  all  three  sciences  together  is  ,  according  to  Jonathan  Lear  in   his  work  on  Aristotle,  the  desire  to  understand.  Man  is  not  satisfied  by  facts  alone,   Aristotle  claims,  he  seeks  the  justifications  for  these  facts,  man  wishes  to  know  both