The World Explored, the World Suffered Science and tech Issue Nr. 12 November 2018(clone) - Page 5

The third lecture is part six of Aristotle in the Introduction to Philosophy series. The issues discussed are “aesthetic”. Art objects are imitations of the character, emotions and action of man: 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.     Aesthetic objects then seek understanding with universal intent via creations where the aim is to imitate our life as complex as it is yet at the same time including a complex relation to the ultimate incomprehensible, namely death. The structure of imitation translates into the act of appeciation which must now be construed as acts of interpretation of symbols: 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 aesthetic way of looking at an object must address in some way the shipwrecks of experience which lay deep down on the ocean bed of our experiences.