Art and the Intellect: Moral Values and the Experience of Art

Art and the Intellect: Moral Values and the Experience of Art

Art and the Intellect: Moral Values and the Experience of Art

Art and the Intellect: Moral Values and the Experience of Art

Excerpt

The intellect is usually defined as a separate faculty in human beings -- the ability to think about facts and ideas and to put them in order. The intellect is usually contrasted with the emotions, which are thought to distort facts and ideas, or contrasted with the imagination, which departs from facts.

As a result, it is often assumed that intellectuals are people who think, who have the facts and the ideas, and that the rest of society is composed of non- intellectuals and anti-intellectuals who don't. This is of course not the case, and it is possible to be an intellectual and not be intelligent, and to be a non- intellectual and think very well.

It is also assumed that there are basic differences between science and art, between scientists and artists; it is assumed that scientists are rational, objective, abstract, concerned with the intellect and with reducing everything to a formula, and that artists, on the other hand, are temperamental, subjective, irrational, and concerned with the expression of the emotions. But we all know temperamental, irrational scientists and abstract, cold-blooded artists. We know, too, that there is a body of knowledge in art. There . . .

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