The Artist as Creator is an essay of human freedom in the arts and in the fine arts. As a systematic examination of originality and intelligibility, it is the obverse side of the coin of aesthetic experience, a fact which has permitted me to refer occasionally to the argument of Aesthetic Experience and Its Presuppositions.1 Milton C. Nahm, Aesthetic Experience and Its Presuppositions ( New York, 1946). After the completion of the latter study, it was clear that the tacit assumption of my thinking in aesthetic is human freedom and that its basic problems are encountered in analyses of aesthetic experience, of the judgment and evaluation of art and fine art, and of the activity of the artisan or the fine artist. As will be evident to the reader, I believe that this has been the principal unexamined presupposition of the majority of aesthetic theories and that the specification of the problem since the middle of the eighteenth century has merely made explicit an assumption present to philosophy of art from its beginnings. I believe, also, that human freedom has remained a largely unexamined assumption of aesthetic theory because such problems as the ugly and ugliness have been obscured by a methodology and terminology which are not necessarily unique to philosophy of art or even integrated to this field.
My first effort to specify this problem, "The Theological Background of the Theory of the Artist as Creator," was read before the American Society for Aesthetics, revised for a meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division, and published in 1946 in The Journal of the History of Ideas. In the intervening years, I have enjoyed the task of elaborating upon the central argument of that paper and testing its validity in more specific ranges of the field of aesthetic.
In writing this essay, I have been interested not only in the