Origins of Art: A Psychological & Sociological Inquiry

By Yrjö J. Hirn | Go to book overview
Save to active project


By explaining the art-impulse as a form of social expression we have accounted for art-creation and art-enjoyment as activities which have their end in themselves. The emotionalistic interpretation supplied us with a principle, which we were able to apply to all stages, the lower as well as the higher, of art-development. Without committing ourselves to any definite statements as to the purely æsthetic and autotelic character of the individual works of art, we felt ourselves to be right in assuming that a desire of "expression for its own sake," or rather for the sake of its immediately enhancing or relieving effects on feeling, may have operated as an art-factor on all stages of culture, and thus have given an autotelic value even to the lowest manifestations of art. The driving force in art-creation became comprehensible by this assumption; and the most distinctive features of the creation itself could be deduced from this psychological principle. In attempting, however, to explain the refinement of artistic attention, we could no longer proceed with purely psychical factors. We were compelled to appeal to the influence exercised by the concrete work of art. The psychological demonstration proving inadequate, it was necessary to supplement it by an historical argument.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Origins of Art: A Psychological & Sociological Inquiry


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 331

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?