The World Explored, the World Suffered Science and tech Issue Nr. 12 November 2018(clone) - Page 22

what  and  why.  The  Why  could  be  the  principle  which  would  be  revealed  by  the  four   kinds  of  explanation  outlined  in  the  Metaphysics.     Hylomorphic  theory  has  been  haunting  aesthetics  from  the  time  of  Aristotle  up  to  and   including  the  Critical  writings  of  Adrian  Stokes.  In  this  theory  we  have  a  theory  of  how   the  complex  human  being  is  teleologically  driven  in  a  process  of   actualisation/development  where  powers  build  upon  and  integrate  with  other  powers   beginning  from  the  level  of  the  biological  moving  to  the  level  of  self  consciousness    via   perception,  memory  and  language  and  terminating  in  the  telos  of  the  actualisation  of  the   potential  of  rationality  in  the  spheres  of  practical  and  theoretical  reasoning.  This  process   will  obviously  involve  the  holistic  organisation  of  the  sensible  and  intellectual  parts  of   the  mind  that  occurs  in  symbolic  aesthetic  encounters  with  symbolic  aesthetic  objects.   The  Desire  to  understand  these  parts  of  the  mind  is  for  Aristotle    part  of  the  idea  of  the   flourishing  life.  In  a  discussion  of  the  representation  or  imitation  of  terrible  events  like   death  Aristotle  points  to  the  interesting  fact  that  even  if  pity  and  fear  may  be  involved   this  occurs  under  an  all  encompassing  attitude  of  the  desire  to  learn  something  from   these  represented  events.  Indeed  this  may  be  the  "mechanism"  of  the  famous   Aristotelian  "catharsis"  where  it  is  insisted  that  pity  and  fear  are  purged  or  purified.  The   suggestion  here  is  that  the  situation  of  these  negative  emotions  in  a  positive  context   transforms  them  into  positive  elements  of  the  experience.        The  Arts  are  divided  by  Aristotle  into  two  categories:  those  associated  with  material   such  as  paint,  stone  etc    and  those  associated  with  "voice":  the  former  being  spatial   objects  and  the  latter  temporal  objects  which,  include  the  use  of  music  which  is   suggestive  of  various  uses  of  language.  The  use  of  language  however  is  not   demonstrative  as  is  the  case  with  the  theoretical  sciences  but  rather  the  artistic  use  of   language  is  in  accordance  with    a  technical  process  designed  to  instrumentally  bring   about  an  effect  which  given  our  instinctive  delight  in  imitations  must  be  related  to  the   experience  of  pleasure.  The  pleasure  involved  would  seem,  however,  to  be  a   contemplative  reflective  pleasure    and  presumably  not  the  kind  of  pleasure  that  we   might  get  at  the  technical  creation  of  a  table  for  a  particular  use.  Such  an  act  of  creating  a   table  will  not  require  the  kind  of  systematic  knowledge  required  for  the  production  of   an  art  object.  This  is  connected  to  the  fact  that  tables  are  generic  objects  whereas  art-­‐ objects  have  a  uniqueness  condition  tied  to  their  creation.  A  table  can  be  an  imitation  of   another  table  but  an  imitation  of  another  art  object  merely  encourages  a  negative   judgment  and  a  loss  of  interest  in  the  object.  Also  a  table  is  not  symbolic  of  anything  else   as  is  a  classical  image  of  a  man  in  a  classical  pose  of  serenity.  Such  classical  images   symbolise  the  importance  of  the  contemplative  or  reflective  life  as  well  as  the   importance  of  the  independent  self  sufficiency  of  ideal  humans  in  an  ideal  world.  Both  of   these  aspects  are  so  important  to  the  Aristotelian  ideal  of  the  flourishing  life.  One   imagines  obviously  a  connection  to  Philosophy  and  a  reflective  use  of  language  in   accordance  with  the  slow  measured  music  of  self  sufficient  independent  argument.   Contrast  this  with  our  modern  art  which  Stokes  claims  issues  from  a  depressive  anxiety   reaction  to  the  loss  of  good  objects  in  an  environment  dominated  by    gasometers  and   towers.  All  one  can  aesthetically  do  in  such  an  environment  is  to  ignore  or  accept  the   offending  objects.  The  invitation  of  such  objects  is  very  different  to  that  of  the   environment  containing  the  Parthenon.  Stokes  ,  in  this  context,  quotes  the  writings  of   Renoir's  son: