Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic

By Benedetto Croce; Douglas Ainslie | Go to book overview

XVIII
CONCLUSION: IDENTITY OF LINGUISTIC AND æsthetic

A GLANCE over the path traversed will show that we have completed the entire programme of our treatise. We have studied the nature of intuitive or expressive knowledge, which is the æsthetic or artistic fact (I. and II.), and described the other form of knowledge, the intellectual, and the successive complications of these forms (III.); it thus became possible for us to criticize all erroneous æsthetic theories arising from the confusion between the various forms and from the illicit transference of the characteristics of one form to another (IV.), noting at the same time the opposite errors to be found in the theory of intellectual knowledge and of historiography (V.). Passing on to examine the relations between the æsthetic activity and the other activities of the spirit, no longer theoretic but practical, we indicated the true character of the practical activity and the place which it occupies in respect to the theoretic activity: hence the criticism of the intrusion into æsthetic theory of practical concepts (VI.); we have distinguished the two forms of the practical activity, as economic and ethical (VII.), reaching the conclusion that there are no other forms of the spirit beyond the four which we have analyzed; hence (VIII.) the criticism of every mystical or imaginative æsthetic. And since there are no other spiritual forms co-ordinate with these, so there are no original subdivisions of the four established, and in particular of Æthetic. From this arises the impossi-


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