Introspection is infallible


1Two obstacles block the gates to a science of the beautiful: that Subjective and the Qualitative. Both have more or less succeeded in depriving them of any method to this day. The spirit of science has always been based on the elimination of the personal moment. It is also part of the rule of science that the qualitative has to give way to the quantitative. This is where the fundamental paradox of every aesthetic consists: it must be a science, of course a science of quality; a scientific discipline of taste judgment, of course arising from subjective evaluations. Its very nature is aporetic and makes its existence a problem. The aesthetics may be a chimera in the sense of Spinoza.

2These are by no means pseudo obstacles, and it is certainly appropriate to address them emphatically. As the science of quality, aesthetics is, in a sense, inherently opposed to any law. It is qualitative in both senses of the word quality: in its broader meaning as a distinguishing property, and in its narrower meaning as value. Their objects are therefore by no means based on the anonymity of the classes and within the norm; rather, they can only exist, secure and recognized, through emphasis. So this astonishing science always only takes into account that which breaks out of the standard, that which always destroys the traditional. Their subject is the original and the successful - not just what can be distinguished, but what is outstanding. The uniformity of the constants and the generalizing of average values ​​contradict their nature: recognizing them as a science of quality means that it is at the same time a sharpened perception of the different and, as contradicting as it may sound, a science of the unique.

3Furthermore, to assume that the taste judgment can emerge solely from the fluctuating evaluations of the subjects does not mean, however, to rely exclusively on a relativity of the opinions without consequences. Rather, it introduces the uniqueness of every person, it is truly postulated that each judgment each The subject is actually perceived as such, subjectively experienced that it is by no means ascribed to pure idiosyncrasy, but has the undeniable value of testimony. It would be absurd to think that the variations in taste represented the universality of the immutable mind, just adjusted for the whims of chance. This requires authenticity. But precisely this authenticity is a dead end. Each subject remains here in a certain way the measure of all things. The discipline of the beautiful is thus the science of the moving and records the uniqueness of the multiple testimonies. Subjectivity and quality: these are the necessary prerequisites and aporetic conditions of aesthetics. From the totality of all properties one can now form one δόξα not yet the distinguishing feature of one έπιστήμη derive.

4There is an even more serious problem. The normal aesthetic judgment is not index sui.

5 One could imagine a criterion that could be used to correct the uncertainty of the method. For this purpose, it would be sufficient, for example, to find out the real and valid evaluation from the subjective evaluations on the basis of certain indications. The principle of a hierarchy of judgments would thus result from the characteristic features of the corresponding opinion. But how can one recognize the true judgment? Could a particularly careful psychological procedure be used to prove an additional indicator for the valid judgment? Every spontaneous statement of the aesthetic consciousness carries with it at least the illusion of its validity. “Le bon goût, c’est le mien. - Good taste is what I like, "Emile Faguet used to say. The normality of a judgment is apparently initially not ascertainable. For the aesthetic orthos logos no criterion is available before the test.

6So if we understand properly subjectivity and quality, the enemy is among us. The method encounters threefold resistance on all sides: First against the irreducible character of the individual taste, then against the linguistically incomprehensible intuition, and finally against the heterogeneity of the qualitative. Just as little reducible as the individual taste itself, the aesthetic experience bears the unmistakable characteristics of an idiosyncrasy, with its unique sensitivities and peculiar aversions. Embarrassed through and through, she is essentially a mirror and a display of temperament. That means that they won't do without a change of perspective generalizable is. As an authentic appearance, it derives its value exclusively from its intuitive and thus linguistically inconceivable power. But only what is linguistically communicable is also demonstrable - so the aesthetic experience is in no way verifiable. Due to its differentiating character, its basic substance itself constitutes the heterogeneous quality: the complete heterogeneity of which it consists seems to forbid it from making comparative judgments. Now only the homogeneous is conceptual and comprehensible. The aesthetic experience is actually not at all conceivable.

7 Where does aesthetic subjectivism end at all if one sticks to an anomic investigation? With a certain judgment? Is one particular aesthetic experience superior to another? And which characteristics should I use to make my selection if neither the content nor the form of my judgment provide a criterion for its value? Should my century be above it, or should it be another? Has my generation established a more reliable rule that makes their style the standard, is their experience of the beautiful possibly more reliable? To put the question even more narrowly: is my taste decisive at this moment or that of others? Where is the division between right temperament and dissenting constitutions among my contemporaries and my kind, and what authority could I appeal to in order to elevate my preferences or those of another to the correct conviction? If I only start from myself, solely from my witnessed experience, whose fought waves collide - should I then refer to my impression of yesterday or to today's? Should I attribute more distanced clarity to my sober contemplation, more sympathetic acumen to my enthusiasm? The aesthetic judgment seems to be in eternal flux without finding its dimensionally stable structure at any point. Let us leave aside the question of the justification of judgment and take it as a given fact. Can introspective research lead us out of this impasse? In the analytical introspection, through some successful effort, does at least the material of the evaluation with its truthful content become apparent to us in an intuitive, immediate way? But who does not know how sketchy, fragmentary, broken everything is that penetrates our clear consciousness? Every judgment of an individual places one and the same aesthetic predicate under its very own and changeable light, just as every individual has his own subjective understanding of this predicate. The actual content of a lived concept can never coincide with the entire content of the potential concept. And just as the judgment differs from judge to judge depending on the scope, strength, inherited or acquired security of a particular educational knowledge, so also the topicality of the judicial spirit. Accordingly, in the conscious fragment that carries the entire judgment, the current momentum of imagination, breadth and richness of memory, precision and security of associations are at work - and this only once. As is well known, association is subject to its own system of generative forces; if only she were at work at the moment, the entire field of consciousness would still be changeable: depending on the momentary alignment of inclinations, elasticity of inner energy, mobility of the mind, both the value and the nature of the consciousness change. Any description attempted in introspective analysis would only inadequately cover the predicate of the aesthetic, never agree with its contours. But if no description is authentic and the self-observation of subjects is not reliable, then any analysis loses its validity. To establish that the content of my judgments gives no indication of their truthfulness ultimately means that we none Be able to trust content more; everything comes down to an aesthetic pyrrhonism, without our ever being able to justify: "Here I pause." Due to methodological consistency and in view of the uncertainty of the axes of reference, we have to come to a "not even like that", which is the indescribable in the Includes quality. The correct aesthetic judgment is not index sui - and so we have to methodically reject what is not self-evident.

8All this is therefore aporetic. We can only start at one point: with the word itself. This incomprehensible predicate, seemingly like a pseudo-concept, nevertheless manages to tacitly unite the minds on one word. We want to draw back to this very first phenomenon: the word phenomenon. The linguistic existence and the aesthetic reality of the categories are facts which as such must be taken into account. This work is beautiful, that work is sublime, this work is in turn Baroque, that dramatic. Creating terms is problematic in itself: defining an aesthetic category ultimately always means lifting a bundle of subjective impressions into the general; means to arrive at concepts based on qualities. Here, as in other cases, the word proves to be replacement for an immediate experience that is denied to us: "It becomes a substitute, is equivalent to it." 1Under the predicate, on the level of the changing contents ascertained in self-observation, the analysis only yielded a fragmentary result. The thought is no longer denied that in the end we could de jure delimit the connection so precisely and tie it so closely that "no quality may appear or be missing in things without the designation appearing or missing in our minds" 2. The only obstacle is the ambiguity of the aesthetic ideas and the related aspects. So on the one hand we have a mutability of judgments that seems irreducible for the time being and on the other an aesthetic one quid proprium, a quality that can actually become a word. This first consideration of the qualities should in any case have shown us that aesthetic qualities never belong exclusively to pure heterogeneity: this is obvious, since we ultimately ascribe qualities.

9Now we have something in hand with it. There is one word that has something similar and, in a certain sense, constant: surfaces for analysis. We observe the idea that we cannot get at by means of the words that we get at. The experiment based on categories provides us with a narrow but consistent starting area. Because the verdict was motivated: the spoken word or the predicate given had their motives. The judgmental expression is laden with all the confused contents tending towards its own expression and reflects the implicit and impenetrable aspects of the idea. A very unique, unconscious dialectic, which is just as interrelated as things are to one another, and which links the words with the same repulsive and attractive stimuli as the qualities hidden in these words, presses on the conscious and guides its decisions unnoticed, or expands them narrow it down. We showed to the utmost conscientiousness of introspective analysis that, given the incompleteness of the presentation, the judge does not currently see all that he feels. But what the subject feels and what it feels in the broadest sense White, is at least effective under the word and offers resistance, is still recognizable from the enigmatic directions that it impresses on the actual spirit: It is in the Determination of the vocabulary involved.

A fitting predicate thus schematizes a complete knowledge content without any distorting effect: the knowledge becomes manifest in it. The word is enriched with experience that it rolls around with it. The process stands in strong analogy to what Ach says takes place in conscious action: The forgotten world of motives and motives is reflected in the decision, but it is no longer clearly recognizable; Even the word is in a certain way nothing other than the actual presence of an image-free content of knowledge. If one has the word, one has, in a certain sense, full judgment. However, one has access to it without the bias of an interpretive process and also not in the fragmentary form of a content of consciousness which, as is well known, can only be inappropriate. The word preserves the judgment in its provisional and methodical neutrality and, to a certain extent, in its strict nakedness. Our first methodological rule should therefore be: The aesthetic judgment is to be withdrawn from the influence of the person and separated from the judge, as soon as it separates from itself, that is, as soon as it falls into the world of language and expresses itself.

11Attention is thus made Union, a Merger of the qualitative. The word is a spontaneous witness of a merging and as such preserves the quality of a heterogeneous universe. One fact is given: the nature of the aesthetic world lends itself to generalization of thought. Because every word has dark edges around its luminous core, but points in a clear direction, sanctioning fixed orientations of the mind. It's not messy in any way. With the aesthetic categories, we are still in the realm of what is linguistically comprehensible. The problem with language is basically that the changeability of the content is superimposed on the changeability of the sign. It preserves quality under the melt of a word. It protects the colored, unanalysed masses of the world. Let us boldly dare to take the next step, it has to be: In the linguistic constitution of the beautiful it behaves no differently than in the sensually perceptible world with the relative homogeneity of matter, which mathematical physics gave rise to and made use of the instrument of calculation. The fact that quality can be grasped with the net of the word not only indicates that similar and identical pairs can be identified in it and that quality naturally has associations, but also that the similarity is approximate identity is to be considered, precisely in the sense of the approximation as understood by physics. And just as the third or fourth place after the decimal point is left out of a conscious decision, for the sake of simplification, but not for lack of accuracy, the word reduces the heterogeneous from a certain degree of proximity or similarity, by virtue of the will of the thinking mind, to something identical. The vocabulary accomplishes that successful overlay which - out of practical necessity and depending on the structure of the psychological state - neglects the finest timbres and the innermost contents by means of a radical, but nonetheless legitimate abstraction. The unique character of my judgment and even the peculiarity of my current experience do not hinder the development of a vocabulary any more than the so-called principium identiatis indiscernibilum is not an obstacle to science: Or better - just like the leaves of a tree are clearly recognizable individually present and yet in their entirety leaves are, all sublime works are all sublime in spite of their respective characteristic imprint. At the level of the aesthetic categories we are not yet in the sphere of the irreducible. Quality and quantity remain the two main aspects of a conceptual structure of the mind: The quality belongs to the general.

12The unique is a persistent illusion in art. One can even go so far as to say that the conception of a linguistically incomprehensible qualitative heterogeneity is basically nothing other than an "aesthetic" teaching of quality. The abstractions dealt with here, however, belong to the aesthetic experience itself. What a work evokes in us is never actually a matter of feeling in the true sense of the word, with all its shimmering material.Some categories seem to work exclusively on the level of feeling: Let us just think of the example of the drama that builds up between tension and relaxation. But in any case we are at least witnesses to a certain one abstraction of feeling. If one again examines the masterpieces of art in order to uncover the mechanism of our feeling, one has to realize that they in no way affect us through empathic fusion. In the intuitive grasp of a Japanese color woodcut in the immediate recognition of a masterful drawing, a kind of visual congruence is inevitably produced in us. A certain attitude of the object comes into us, inscribes itself in us: a certain "growth", and in addition the elements of a deliberate and controlled abstraction. Our in-depth, yet limited, reaction to the beautiful arises from an encounter mediated through writing, which is far more formal than the doctrine of the Empathy3 suggests. Intueri is to look. The aesthetic experience, which is synoptic, encompasses but also dominates our moods working in it.

The shock caused by the beautiful is just as schematic as the qualitative experience. Because without some function of bundling images, there would be no quality. Identity is a work of the mind. Ultimately, my quality experiences are like the resurgence of memories. The memory, whenever it is evoked, is never the same, but it becomes held for it. To consider qualities only from the point of view of complete heterogeneity means to only describe half of the phenomenon. Whether we like it or not, involuntarily or consciously, we continually set limits to the distinction: and this limitation is a fact. It constitutes the essence of the qualitative. One should rather emphasize which promoting - and not necessarily distorting - abstraction the word represents for inner experience. It describes the quality. With the diversity of content we aim at the object of the judgment, we condense our experience into predicates: The unity of quality is that bundling of similar objects under the unity we are aiming for. In physics you create Indicators for quantities that cannot be measured, such as a thermometer column for temperature. Language is an indicator of the qualitative: If you want to summarize quality in a positive term: Basically, it is nothing other than that which has sufficient homogeneity, which offers enough legitimate similarity to find its place in one and the same word.

14This means that the judgment is about to take a radical turn. As a valuation it is questionable, but as a reality it is absolute.

Let us visualize the methodological level at which we are still at. If the aesthetic judgment is actually not index sui is, the loses value of the verdict, since it can be challenged by nature, the methodological foundations: Only that remains unchallenged Fact the testimony. For the statements "this work is sublime", "this work is baroque", etc. I can no longer recognize as the indisputable "matter of fact" that anything on the object in question anyone looked sublime or baroque. Since we cannot assign a priori validity to any judgment, we cannot do anything either a priori to dismiss.

16Where is error hidden in such a world of factual truths? At my word. The immediate sensation from which the judgment proceeds cannot as such be untrue; to deny it is impossible. Only on the way from the impression to the expression and through the linguistic expressions does the error creep in. Certainly every judgment is a fact that I cannot ignore as such. But in the form in which it is expressed, the judgment is sometimes imprecise, sometimes incorrect. The judge uses obscure and confused terms. I confuse one word with another, take it literally, mean to say something and thus express my feeling and do not know what I am talking about. Since one can hardly set up an aristocracy of judges whose judgment may a priori apply as the only right one, the question of the decisive content of the concepts has not been resolved, but merely shifts to the level of the word phenomenon.

17For this word, initially our only tool, we can rightly claim the properties of a precision instrument. For the judgment to be considered a fact, it is necessary and sufficient that there is no language error and that there is certainty that the judge knew how to name his feelings.

The methodological level at which we are at gives us a solid foundation. The old consensus optimi cujusque becomes the consensus of the most precise.

19The most accurate are the critics. In their vocabulary there is that perfection of the word. You give us a more reliable tool. What would be important here is art criticism as the laboratory of aesthetics Terms consider. Their concern for determination and objectivity is threefold. First, it obliges the aesthetician to refer to undisputed masters and a few works. Second, she limits his field of research to clearly defined epochs in which the term is binding and significantly guides the mind. Finally, with the infallible accuracy of the word, she supplies him with the corresponding purism of language. The investigation of the term is limited to clear cases.

One should not be mistaken, however: history in its concreteness strengthens the unity of the word and also determines the various meanings it can assume. In this respect the critical method is superior to the psychological one. It is clear that introspection reveals only a vague, always endangered and uncertain quality. The psychological analysis of the subject can at most Moodn distinguish, saveursas the French say. Art can use the term with its historical references illuminate. Above all, however, proves the limited and narrow focus of the concept, which has been successfully outlined by art criticism ambitus notionisthat the term tends to sediment on its own, without further tricks. Thus the agreement of knowledgeable judgments precedes a definition. The existence of a personal semantics, which is unique to each of us and which is composed of associated images or first hints of images, is opposed to the experience of the critic, contrasts with the common use of the word, which removes the manifold and eccentric and consolidates the permanent .

There is no doubt that in our method a certain subjective conceptual faculty has a privileged position, namely that of the experimental aesthetician. Compared to others, he must make as few errors as possible; it has to be unsurpassable. In addition to the clear cases that the aesthetician takes from the critical tradition and that he collects, there are all other, more opaque specimens or new samples that arise before his eyes, which the aesthetician tries to analyze again and again, the explanation of which he owes himself. Even if he only had the clear and thoroughly classic cases, he would still have to interpret them with the authenticity of the experience, clothe the special coloring of his impression in the appropriate accuracy of the choice of words. Now the aesthetician has only this instrument at his disposal: the richness of an experience, namely his, the imperfect content. It is guided by everything that is implicit in opaque judgments, and it is formulated and explained accordingly. The value and degree of accuracy of his conclusions are tied to the degree of accuracy of this experience. The more precise this is, the more precise they are. The aesthetician uses his own perception as a steady, continuously operated tool.

22 Correction and, in the most extreme case, correctness of the tool can only be derived from the reference to the most precise consensus surrender. Number and frequency of comparing my previous ratings with those of the experts, for which n It has been found that these - at least partially - coincide, which gives my current assessment n + 1 qua inductive derivation, as it were, a higher probability and reliability. The elimination of mistakes and the resolution of the personal equation takes place through progressive integration. When I describe an object as beautiful or graceful or sublime or baroque, I do so by virtue of a subjective content. Saying the same thing about a thousand objects does not increase the likelihood that my judgment will be correct. This only occurs when I am unconsciously seduced by upbringing to orient myself to experts, when my subjective content is purified and thus freed from its subjectivity and, in the extreme case, makes this my subjective conceptual content coincide with the decisive conceptual content. Here we have the phenomenon of an education, and the ultimate verification of the contents through practice - and that means literally training yourself to be an expert, for the peritus. The aesthetician grasps the distinguishing features of the aesthetic objects of this world progressively more precisely and formulates progressively more precisely about the world of qualities - his area of ​​expertise. In the extreme case, its refractive index becomes 0.

We should turn briefly to the paradox of artists and critics. Aesthetists and creators are related and yet fundamentally different. The artist lives only from his subjective decisions. His work is the display of temperament, his inspiration a "pleading of the nerves". These limitations, which are energies, make him creative, profound, innovative. The benchmark of the aesthetician - as well as the critic - is sharpness of the mind and therefore mental agility. The acumen of the aesthetician consists in clarity and spiritual breadth. It has to resonate empathetically with the enthusiasm of the artist, the artist. This protean effort is the prerequisite for his lucidity. Only in his mind is that curved reference called relativity, an appropriate system of coordinates and tightly meshed networks. His attitude, in clear contrast to the equanimity of the dilettante, is rather a spontaneous and diverse bundling of his enthusiasm and stands for generosity of intelligence, for a certain passionate power of critical taste. From this he ties the net in which the work is caught. Only previous conscious restriction bears fruit; intelligence alone is appropriate. The primary goal and consummation of his method consist in this, that his inner waves calm down and smooth out. In the mirror of eclecticism, he cancels himself. In this way, its subjective content merges with the decisive content. This comprehensive amalgamation, which, down to the last move, is precisely the work velut in speculo reflected in its shape and details, works the miracle: that one can ignore the psychological content of the judgment for a time and only retain its critical and verbalized accuracy. The right of the word is enough. Linguistic asceticism leads to that degree of preliminary purity at which the subjective moment is methodically abstracted, extinguished, but can always be revived.

From here on everything is objectified.

At the beginning we alone have the word, at the end there is a full analysis of the subject. Likewise the well-founded description of the terms. Later I will show to what extent the method gives us access to the subjects and ultimately enables us to penetrate to every single judge.

26For no sooner has the word achieved precision, achieved purity, than the aesthetician is involved on the level of things. He who turns to the works only has to set up hypotheses and then successfully complete the development of the comparative method.

The investigation of the unambiguous cases, their systematic selection, the abstractions that bring about their uniqueness, the tactics of their evidence and their arrangement to one another follow strict Bacon's method. It's about creating qualitative homogeneity. From similarity to similarity, everything aims at a methodical increase in the union of the specimens to be analyzed: In other words, this hunt of the Pan is aimed at eliminating variables on the basis of reduction, variation, presence and absence - no different in aesthetics than in the Natural sciences.

28 Here is a first way. There are critical Epochs in which all recognized and traditional technology is attacked, destroyed, and rebuilt at the same time. All problems are resumed on other bases and thus transferred to other modes. One only has to grasp these transcriptions, to put oneself in the shoes of this age of transition between two phases of stylistic order. When the new century is heralded towards the end of the reign of Louis XIV, the realm of art is arming itself with a new style. A new aesthetic category emerges. Everything is radically different, the world of art changes due to a conscious selection of a certain physiognomy, certain dominating forms, unitary dimensions. It finds its expression in the architecture of Robert de Cottes, in the decoration of Bérains and Gillot, in the outstanding painting of Watteau, in the opera model of Campras. A good hundred years of grace emerged from it. The canons are revised in accordance with one another. Consequently, within the confines of this well-defined critical epoch, when the solidified, firmly established and homogeneous classical style draws to a close, only the features of reform and a clear sense of novelty need to be uncovered. In other words, history presents a certain number of constants: it is now up to us to grasp the movement and outline of this limited set of variations which we are free to arrange systematically. The methodological recourse to critical ages proves to be extremely fruitful.

29Here now a second way: He brings the qualitative union more consistently into play. Methodological focus is a single one school. The constants emerge more clearly from master to student, the heterogeneity disappears, is limited: It is only expressed in the temperaments and the differently trained dexterity. This method is like an enlargement, a microscopic examination. The increased emergence of the craftsmanship as well as the implementation of the motifs in work steps for the most docile and conscientious students, in whom the catalysis of genius hardly plays a role, enables a meaningful study on the basis of specimens that are certainly of little aesthetic value, but therefore no less informative. Differences and contradictions of inspiration and procedures germinate on common ground. What the master barely formulates, secondary artists insist on with particular care. Her working method and his are broken down into antitheses, such as fixed and becoming, like measure and trace. If you want to keep the circle closer and closer, to concentrate only more on the working method of the master, the highlights of his art and his lesser works come to mind, that is, that which comes to the fore again in terms of craftsmanship and becomes more visible under his clumsy, careless or aged hand . Dropouts and the moments of silence of inspiration are also revealing. And yet we can see aesthetic variations everywhere, too.

So here the procedures and working methods and their broad field of objectivity - there the back and forth, ups and downs of a quality. Certainly, if you go from the unpredictable down to the visible, you run the risk of not getting hold of the causes. In the highest degree of his success, the artist is one with his craft, translates almost completely into it, his working method is so successful that his design is almost completely implemented in the work. The masters - and in the case of the masters, in turn, their masterpieces - seem to be the least suitable for a meaningful application of the method. The gift of a Boucher is easier to describe than that of a Watteau; Henner is easy to understand, Prud’hon much less; let's imagine them Antiope Correggios: The imponderables culminate, here everything is exquisite and yet merging. What can one say about the greatest - about the exquisite elegance of Leonardo, about the chiaroscuro of a Rembrandt, the highly distinctive manner of a Velasquez ’? Haydn's self-imitations show the obvious characteristics of a definable being of grace; but what does that consist of Magic Flute? One could conclude that the method becomes less reliable the higher the aesthetic value of an object; or that, in other words, experimenting with art as cosa mental is clothed in the very disappointment that every experimental procedure leaves behind in the analysis of spiritual things - namely that it sheds the clearest light on what we care little about, and that the accuracy of the results is in inverse proportion to their significance.

31But here, in the light of magnified facts and more clearly recognizable events, we pave the way for an understanding of the less describable. We work our way up to the peaks in constant rapprochement, since with the analysis or the differentials we have both the elements of synthesis and the principle of integration at our disposal. From here on everything takes us to these peaks. Dragons and emulators work for us, magnifying our specimens like a magnifying glass. The caricature gives access to the portrait: the style is revealed through the »manners« and the perceptible intermediate steps of the process. For as inferior as the obvious may be, it still retains some properties of the hidden. And in the work of the master, in which nothing is left to a perceptible extent, where nothing appears that could still be called a work process, the aesthetician who examines the work can with certainty from the memory of the process on the unknown traces close, through which the catalysis took place in the factory.

The method takes a third route: the determination, establishment, investigation of Series. The world of the beautiful is by its nature and entirely suitable for this. The classical epochs maintain the legacy. The history of art is organic. Like the French tragedy, like the Greek one. So the form of the symphony or the sonata, so the series of sculpture. Within a clearly delimited tradition, the new master provides proof of his renewing power by imitating his predecessor. The established motif is by no means exposed to an iconoclastic revolution, but rather changes step by step and in the smallest of elements. Because what is special about originality in art is that it is all the more haunting and authentic the more a restriction is imposed on it, the more it is in a certain sense immobile. Greek sculpture is renewed there: the entire 6th century of the Koren experienced the variations of a smile. The decision in favor of new proportions and the introduction of a canon brought glory first to a polyclet, then to a Lysippus; the exposure of the hip, which breaks with the frontality, gives Praxiteles, or a master of a lesser name, its reputation. In this way motivic constants are formed, while the dominants of a style change slowly and gradually. The religious origin of art also determines the forms, even freezes them by placing taboos on them. So there were whole epochs, whole cultures, such as in the pictorial art of Egypt, in which the fate of genius - technique and inspiration - takes place in such an atmosphere of the sacred, in the midst of the stereotypical acts of the rite that elevate style to dogma and accuse the innovation of heresy. "We are amazed," writes Anatole France at some point, "about the many modest, crouching statues of Venus - and in doing so we completely forget that these statues were sacred." Driving force inherent in the masters. From this spontaneous structure that art adopts, the aesthetician derives a well thought-out method. It surrounds the innovative heuristic with all unchangeable references and multiple copies that the continuing tradition makes available. The Expectantwhich limits its becoming, lets its change character emerge in the strictest and particularly clearly visible form: Here it is now possible to grasp the revolution, which is taking place without any complexity, as an isolated line and in its pure state.

This is how the qualitative homogeneity of the cycles is written in iconography. It is at least characteristic that the aesthetic phenomena immediately lose their moodiness under a patient and inquiring gaze and the unpredictable that they had about them evaporates. The successive isolation of certain factors leads to surprising cohesions. The deceptive appearance of the irregularities breaks open. When examining the proportions of statues from our Middle Ages, a Jean Laran succeeded in methodically eliminating stylistic variables through the targeted and fractional abstraction of various elements of the "historical moment". The cohesion of modular numbers is thus based on an immutable law. One receives more and more narrowly limited groups of body measurements n Statues
- across from an artist n Statues by various artists;
- across from a school n Statues of various schools;
- which fulfill the same iconographic role opposite n Statues that fulfill various roles;
- which fulfill the same monumental role opposite n Statues that fulfill various roles;
- opposite to the same scale n Statues of different scales.

34 "Everything behaves as if the mathematical cohesion of a group were in a direct causal relationship to the original homogeneity of the same." Using series, the esthetician can use and vary any historical, geographical, technical factors in order to influence their influence on the most imperceptible variations To investigate a stylistic feature: And so within phenomena in which a completely abstract emergence is evoked in a completely natural way, the precise means of a reducing strategy and the tactics linked to an analytical method, which consists of the elements of the work to isolate one after the other, as suitable to record the play of the variations in spite of its mutability.

A fourth way that the historical structure of art and the fixed nature and relative coherence of iconographic or stylistic data make possible is application large numbers. For the purpose of a precise demonstration, the methods of statistics and comparison are combined. From the Heraion of Olympia to the Temple of Nemea, the aesthetics of the Doric capital offers the analysis an abundance of specimens and clear paradigms: the measured profiles change imperceptibly, precisely and steadily, in finely dosed nuances, from archaic profile to specimen to the most daring daring. The examination of high Gothic pillars with their individual ribs also offers clear, rich, graduated, obvious examples. The incomparable flowering of rose windows in the entire French Gothic allows a methodical investigation of elements of a circular aesthetic, right up to the decisive highlights of the beautiful, which are characterized by indifference and an equanimity that is above all preference in the design of the tracery. The height of traditions and the constant revision of programs are two characteristics of art which, even by its very nature, make it available for large numbers of the statistical method as well as for the informative comparison of different samples.

Let us turn to another way: A fifth method offers the determination of the Decisive. A Element retains its evidence: to be present or not to be present. Gillot, the master, and Watteau, the pupil, each perform a decoration for Gersaint's harpsichord: two or three "effects" can be observed in isolation on two copies of clear stylistic unity. A gigue by Le Roux, which has a characteristic rhythmic element, is taken up again as a theme by Bach in the prelude of an English suite and changed: the aesthetics here follow the design of a ternary element. If Saltarello and Pavane sound with the melting warmth of bow lines or in a thin tone of plucked strings, their aesthetics change fundamentally: The relevant aspect here is the instrumentation. Wagner reshapes his Weltenhort motif: he draws it from the ringwhere he was already using it in four-four time; but he takes it up again, hardly changed, as the theme of his Siegfried Idyll. Now the transposed motif takes on a different color. The change from two-quarter to triple time, a shift in note values ​​that tilts the balance of the original structure and now, lengthened, passes over to the unstressed beats: these two variables of a common theme are instantly recognizable. And the heroic gives way to childlike grace. In this way you get insight into the prehistory one Impression. The close relationship between a technique and its effects becomes apparent in a flash. The bridges to the methodical explanation cannot be broken off, in the world of art there is no aesthetic quality without its cause.

37These are just the broad lines of a program. One understands, however, where the richness of the paths indicated by qualitative homogeneity lies: their only means is to let the methodological trick speak. Variables appear before our eyes and fall silent. In other words, stylistic parameters and a finite number of constants create steady clarity where the number of data was previously nothing but confusion and puzzles. If works are subjected to a comparative study, it is important to make an otherness visible and to simplify it, to retain the rest as a similarity and, if possible, as an established identity. So the construction of an apparatus for detection and control. But it is the very essence of art, renewal, and heritage that makes it available for such articulated analysis. Sometimes comparative research combines the external factors of an era, a school, a country, a style into a single unit. The stylistic peculiarities and formal dominants can even be examined in the outline of the artistic career of a single master. Sometimes one goes further and traces the basic factors of the object back to revealing similarities and examines a certain element on the basis of abstraction and the specific arrangement of specimens and series by isolating a certain aspect of a work that is considered to be particularly meaningful. And the optimal conditions for the demonstration are established when the order of the external factors dissolves and one can initiate the second cycle within the circle of the constants arranged in this way in order to bring the various stylistic factors of the work itself into play one after the other: in a flash and revealed for brief moments in their revealing resemblance, objects of art suddenly become in their quality comparable.

Thus, with the same resolute determination, if not with the same enthusiasm of the physicist, the variables are tackled and the constants established. Gradually the cases gain greater clarity, and methodological abstraction drives them out of their mystery. And even if Aesthetics works on constructed cases: As long as this is done strictly according to Bacon's discipline, it is no different here than in all other sciences. The chimera of the incomparable, the existence of which remains open, should in no way be confused with the precise knowledge of the unique. The union, on the other hand, is a positive quantity of everything qualitative. It allows a methodical way. And the methodical way, once introduced, has the tangible and sure effect of providing us with three kinds of benefits in three steps: It brings them hypothesis out, leads the verification a, converts the extension of aesthetic terms into Intension around. As soon as one works on pure material, as soon as it is possible to consider aspects freed from mixtures and peelings on the clearest specimens, the hypothesis is the natural result of an almost instantaneous observation. Now observable, the phenomena find themselves moved into the circle of consciousness like in front of the lens of a telescope, isolated in a limited field. Then, suddenly or slowly, emerging from the overlapping and contrast of the cases, the effect of the interplay and conflict of aspects and images is that type of clairvoyant hypnosis, without which no discovery can be made. Just think of the meteorologist who, day after day, sometimes for weeks, studies the movements and superimpositions of winds and low pressure areas on maps, and who from this comparative synthesis suddenly reveals the law of the thunderstorm. The esthetician is no different. Of course, unlike the meteorologist, who lacks them, he is supported by the assessments of the inner sense and the strength of his intuition in clarifying the leading idea. To a certain extent, the aesthetician experiences his hypotheses before he clearly recognizes and formulates them. It cannot be emphasized enough how much insight and instinct contribute to the success of his discipline - and the empathy that enables him to fully engage with the work. But the expert's intuition no longer depends on the vagaries of a first glance or the coincidences of introspection. In order for a singular intuition to be used as a scientific principle, it must verifiable be: One such testable intuition is, to put it by its name, the hypothesis.

The second benefit of this company is verification: wherever it occurs, the qualitative association provides evidence. Hence the importance of the experimentum crucis for the method; hence the equally fundamental importance of those arranged in gradations and variations Series. There the quality is dealt with according to its presence or absence, the aspect according to visible appearance or darkening. Here the quality is classified directly according to the order of the associations - and the aspects contained therein are observed with regard to their decline or emergence.

In poetry, the proof of the hypothesis can emerge from the treasure of imitation. Ariostus imitates and transposes Virgil: Cloridan and Medor, before that Nisus and Euryalus, have identical bases, a common treasure trove of themes that extends into the reproduction of details, but in a different atmosphere and in different tones. Some of the odes of anacreon were translated again and again by our French poets of the 16th century: the aesthetician appropriates this processed material and lets one attractive color emerge from the shades of color against a homogeneous background, in a more or less experimental way. The proof can be provided in the fine arts with even greater certainty and in an even more isolated state: Using the cartouches Oppenort, the aesthetics of the Capriccio can be understood and analyzed element by element in its full range; the aesthetics of the balance can be felt and defined in the Flambeau series Germains. The hypotheses find revealing confirmation in some unambiguous cases of the movement arts: in the beauty of a sport, in the aesthetics of a dance step. The repetition makes the problem easier here - and, with one exception, allows the conditions to be varied. A French dance class will practice déboulés in turn. You create a series of their perfect forms in descending order - Maud> Frieda> Carmen> Fanchette - and after repeating this single step you notice that the closer the knees are held together, the more beautiful it becomes, the more it loses its beauty diverge, so that the security of the step can be fixed at one point. The aesthetic evidence can also be the result of an authentic experience, an experimental and decisive intervention: a successful observation can also be triggered - in the narrower sense of the word. I interview a sculptor using a guide that I have created. He scratches his neck and answers vaguely: "The proportions are beautiful"; »A good shape«. Let us leave his statements aside and proceed with a certain severity by questioning him more urgently until we can almost squeeze the answer out of him. Our artist gets embarrassed, he wants to be useful to us. He is a sensitive person, indulges in verbose explanations: This is exactly where we lie in wait for him, the gesture is not far. And indeed, the artist already picks up a pencil and, because of his incoherent words, puts a few lines on the paper with enthusiasm. His explanations do not get us any further, but his sketch is an answer.While working on the Adagio, the ballet master Ricaux criticizes the lack of grace in a poorly guided arm. I immediately ask him: What would grace consist of here? Ricaux is precise, he proceeds methodically: he reviles the word and is silent. But his arm rises in one swing in the air; and a single uninterrupted curve flows from the shoulder to the tip of the index finger: the piecework of the individual limbs of our human arm merges into a single flowing line. A few days later I leafed through the relevant work of the great theorist Noverre and found the hypothesis there formulated almost literally and technically confirmed: The desired aesthetic consists in the clear aspect of unexpectedly merging the limbs of the arm into a single one.

41 In this way, the analysis not only produces the hypothesis, but also underpins it. The method of qualitative reduction achieves results that are completely based on facts - and this is precisely what is characteristic of the sciences. The sequences are checked against the associations of the similar. Now, in a science of quality, the privilege of proving resides precisely in the similar - not in the identical, which would make the examination an illusion: In order for the hypotheses of aesthetics to be correctly found to be true, it is necessary and sufficient that all conditions in the closest neighborhood are related to each other - with one exception: the qualitative result must be clear differ from them. The foundations of aesthetic methodology are based on a different basis: imprecise from a quantitative point of view, the method remains rigorous from a qualitative point of view.

42Herein consists the perfection and, in a sense, the greatest gain of the method: in the transformation of extension into intension. The method enables definition.

In the more and more perfect mixing of the examples, the term forms before our eyes and becomes ever clearer. By adding large numbers, based on topical examples, of privileged cases, the category is freed of its limits, the deviations can be reduced, anomalies can be singled out, while the term builds up layer by layer, element by element and thereby sub-aspects, summaries Designations and provisional examples as inadequate denotations that connote too little in one place and something completely different in another.

44 Now here is an extremely remarkable phenomenon that must be formulated as a law: A constancy of structures and aspects is given under a defined aesthetic category. Let's consider what an aspect is. The aesthetic object differs from the sensually perceptible object, its substrate; he is a more constructed Object, scientific matter, pure sequence or combination of aspects: complex entity made up of those simple entities. The aesthetician starts out concretely from this composite object. But viewed in isolation, in their abstractness, the aspects are, in comparison to the category, that which underlies and justifies the choice of words. The intuitive grasp of the given aspects of a work is sufficient to produce the aesthetic concept, to validate the judgment of its existence, to justify its translation into the word. First, an abstracting process takes place from the work of art to structures and aspects; then a second process with the value of a causal connection leads from the aspect to the category and from the category to the associated designation. Our entire artistic impression and our critical judgment arise from these aspects and are based on them. The aesthetic work as quality is nothing other than the product of these very aspects. The category we keep as impression is the effect of these causal aspects. Similar to how physical geography reconstructs its object and bases the interpretation of landscapes on the connection of perceived aspects, the things of art are interpreted by means of the intuitive processing of aspects and can become the object of science. Now this objective reality is a fact and the constancy of the structures is a law. It owes the regularity of the phenomena. One always encounters the same aspects under one category. But in this way, beyond the aesthetic description of the works, de jure each category and each term is defined. If the aspects actually represent that continuously underlying from which the choice of words results, the conversion of the extension, the scope of the aesthetic concepts, into their intention, the conceptual content, necessarily follows. A successful denotation on the basis of clear cases first shows us that A, B, C etc. named the one in question and named quality have in common. In a second step, when we compare A, B, C, etc., we notice one aspect X, with which they all overlap in one point for all the clear contrasts they are looking for, which they otherwise have. The aesthetic quality and that aspect are in a relationship of effect and cause. If you perceive one thing, you feel the other. If one eliminates one, the other disappears with it. We have taken a step forward in understanding the term and have identified an element of its future definition. A certain aspect shows up and the word follows. The aesthetician, who was initially concerned with grasping the scope of the concept, now arrives at the deeper content of the concept. Aspects form the positive and visible content of the term - and the aspect, the visible, structured, objective side of the qualitative homogeneity, is also related to the subjective element of the word, with its justification as a general designation and with its full right as a word.

In this way the categories gain their place among the realities of the sensually perceptible world. There are reasoned Qualities. Normative science can only be regarded as science if the word is misused, because every science is based on statements of fact. The substance of the findings here consists in the clarification of those aspects which determine the categories and which form the subject of the description. The presence of aesthetic terms also indicates that the world of the beautiful consists of both reality and value judgments; Within a general regulative activity a small part of the fundamental sinks down to the category and becomes established in it. This fraction of the fundamentals contained in the taste judgment and uncovered by the structural analysis is salvaged by aesthetics as a positive science in the first place. The term is no longer a taste: through the aspects it lives in the sensually perceptible world and shimmers prismatically depending on the lighting.

46If this is the case, however, the judgment can be classified: It follows the reliability of its predicate. If it was just a fact before, it now has a value. Because the aesthetic object presents itself to us here as a mole: it is the solid and non-deformable rock of the method. The world of judgments, with its relative, continuous, fragmentary interpretations, is now arranged around this rock and lashes at the object like chasing waves. The aesthetic object is nothing other than the common one Limitation of all the judgments we can make about him. The relationship between word and aspects prepares us for a last step - and, since we are now able to explain it, it places us at the center of the relativity of judgments.

Their changing world is arranged according to various degrees of stability and constancy. The judgment follows the more or less brief and fluctuating appearance of the work aspects in the consciousness. Their highly fleeting connection emerges from the alignment of that one moment. It is an extremely fragmentary sample that contains only one or two aspects of the object caught in a snapshot. The naturally inconsistent and fluctuating attention, sometimes also captured by hypnosis, creates changeable images of the object and forces judgment on the emptiness of its gaps, the sharpness of its selection. So this is the instantly given moment in its volatility. A chance sight of the work is like the work, masks and at the same time reveals to me - to a certain extent - its true structure. A certain aspect occupies me and another disappears: In this arbitrary connection the verdict of an evening comes to light. From the immediate encounter of the object and my mind, a spontaneous judgment, composed according to the fleeting orientations of a consciousness, emerges: the impression, Result of a mood.

Thus a first level of relativity is established for judgmental thinking. But let's go up one degree. From the samples that have already been systematically taken, a more stable and less capricious picture of the work emerges: a combination of the aspects, which depends on the further-reaching persistence of an idiosyncrasy - this is the real equation. An unchangeable refractive index emerges from the uncertain fluctuations in consciousness. The temperaments that are deeply rooted in our person highlight certain obvious aspects with praise, while in others they suffer a kind of aesthetic anaphylaxis. I am more receptive to the baroque, or to the graceful or the sublime; conversely, even in front of my fellow viewers and almost in the sketchiness of the object, I notice the ugliness or the ridiculous about it. The respective aspects are more or less visible to me: I like them or arouse a vague, dark dislike in me. Sometimes I recognize it in infinitely small doses, by means of a foreknowledge antipathy and with the painful certainty of a neuropath. The artistic temperament has a false look and a bias that eludes understanding: it transforms the aspects into something peculiar and singular. But a certain constancy gives this systematic aberration its own stability. And that aesthetic phenomenon, mine temperament, that highly arbitrary and, to put it clearly, absurd phenomenon, may be elevated to doctrine and canonized by me.

There is a third level of relativity. Place and epoch offer a broader, if not definitive basis for the changeability of the aspects, for the development of their combinations. The revolutions of taste, the slow amplitude of which extends beyond the short lifespan of an individual's consciousness, are such collective but temporary phenomena of partial selection and selected excerpts. By certain links and certain Accents of aspects, the category appears in a sequence of different historical illuminations: each individual forms one style. One recognizes a Hellenistic ideal of grace that emerges from the emphasis on certain aspects; a Florentine ideal of grace that combines other aspects; an ideal of the French 18th century; a Japanese complex of grace. It is obvious that the Romanesque Baroque, a precipitate of a different kind, is in no way a Baroque outgrowth of the late Gothic, which in turn is not the classical Baroque. The specific concentration of aspects results in the concrete definition of a style and the physiognomy of golden ages. Such preliminary decisions also determine the range of receptivity and force certain dislikes and deaf or blind spots on it. The term only penetrates it fragmentarily. As contemporaries of a certain current taste, permeated by the criticism of a generation, we are there partially, always too partisan. It is therefore still true that the judgment - from one level to the next - goes hand in hand with the aspect samples temporarily taken from the work by our attentive consciousness, that it follows the exclusion of other aspects that are temporarily neglected by our consciousness and that it documents these. These conjunctions determine our judgments. The different images that we make of the work make us rethink our assessment of the work. The statement of the judgment equals the view of the work.

50 Such gradations within the preliminary lead us to consider a definitive link as a legitimate endpoint. But it would only be definitive if it was complete. This exhaustive test has a name: it would be the work itself. In the relative stability of the judgments, the constancy of a higher judgment can be sensed. Their presence provides evidence of a possible, more faithful judgment, which in the extreme case, in its critical and final translation, can be called Reversing image and mirror of the work must present. At this point we can perhaps better understand the importance of the two phenomena of education and exercise for aesthetic judgment. The aesthetic education of the layman or the practice of the connoisseur ultimately only aim at the Look for the work to train. Let's go to a concert hall: who of us hears the work? When we hear a symphony over and over again, that Odyssey or Antigone Reading over and over again, we strive towards the work in a confused way. When we study a masterpiece thoroughly, eagerly return to it, and yet it leaves us with an increasingly completely satisfactory picture, these efforts are aimed at an exhaustive grasp of all aspects, a legitimate understanding of all technical requirements and the inspiration that went with its creation . Thus, in the extreme case, a compliant, to a certain extent, a perfect judgment can be made about the object. The aesthetic object allows the judge to reorient himself again and again.

51 If so, our judgments are by no means alikesignificant. The instrument developed by the aesthetician is reversed and now throws its light retrospectively on the relativity of judgments. The explanation for its part now penetrates the universe of subjective reactions. The judgments are initially in principle and equivalent as facts, as matters of fact, recognized and treated accordingly, but then learn at the highest level of the method what their interpretation is based on and what value they are in each case. In the light that falls on them, their respective authorization becomes visible, their position in the hierarchy, their higher or lower validity. The factual establishment of the judgment gives way to its lawful admissibility. For the less fleeting, biased, and blind the aspect connections on which it is based, the more the judgment goes connection with the aesthetic whole of the object from which it derives its validity. If its worth and truthfulness is in its conformity to the work, it means that now this plant, in fact a posteriori, provides the judgment with its criterion: the criterion that it has previously lacked. The true aesthetic judgment is also shown by the fact that it is a truthful one adaequatio mentis et rei forms. And the sentence that should summarize what objectivity is in the field of aesthetics would then consist of that obvious fact that we are well aware of, but whose loss threatens us again and again in the concrete case and which the demon of the philosopher or the dogmatist is obviously ours Seeks to erase memory: My judgment is not about the work, rather it is about myself.

52 (University of Caen, April 1940)

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