George Santayana

The Sense of Beauty

XVII In all products of...a faculty.

XVII Absolute curiosity...or practical use.

He says that what is mainly written about aesthetics is either a footnote from philosophers' metaphysical systems or artists and critics who create and describe and generalize from these, but there have been few who reflected on aesthetic experience directly and theoretically. He says that the study has suffered because it is subjective and there is a bias against the purely subjective. However, ethics and aesthetics are partly objective, so they haven't been totally ignored.

XVIII We still have to...make four.

XIX A judgement is not trivial...enriching of life.

Three distinct elements of ethics and aesthetics: 1) the faculty itself, the actual pronouncing of judgement based on the subject's characteristics. 2) seeks the conditions and historical explanation of conduct or of art. 3) is psychological, judgements as phenomena of mind and the origin and conditions of them.

He is interested in the third explaining and understanding why, in a theoretical inquiry (kept close to the facts of our feeling about beauty and human sensibility itself) into the nature, elements, and basis of our aesthetic judgements, which he already speaks as being subjective XX

XXI We may hope that...inherent in it.

Metaphysical derivations of aesthetics are important because they express and sometimes constitute later appreciations (gives good example on XXII)

XXII When a man tells...believe it.

He says what we designate as omnipotence and creation is the unity of God's will and His vision, between the impulses of his nature and the events of His life. And he says the same goes for our contemplation of beauty, in our experience of beauty and happiness it is the occassional harmony between our nature and our environment.

XXIII But it is easier...profound knowledge.

He says those that dwell on such analogies aren't the ones that care to ask how we perceive beauty at all, what the conditions and varities of that perfection of function.

There are two demands: 1) for comprehension; a theory of human function covering all possible cases of its exercise 2) for inspiration

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