8 Structure and the Judgment of Art: Concrete Significant Form and the Freedom of Making

A tremendous effort is necessary in order to work towards it [the goal]; not merely a technical effort, but a moral effort, too,--the effort to subject all considerations of technique, style, and purpose of this one ideal: congruence.

PAUL HINDEMITH, A Composer's World

We have argued in the preceding chapter that the three principal theories formulated in the history of the philosophy of art to describe the structure of the work of art, and, possibly, the real object of judgment, do in fact complement each other. We shall now proceed to inquire whether from what is as yet largely an aggregate of three hypotheses there may be formulated a single theory relating to the morphology of art. In this inquiry, we shall have recourse to the contributions of the three theories taken together and, if the undertaking prove successful, the resulting analysis of the artist as maker should prove valuable as a ground for our understanding of the artist as creator. If this, in turn, informs us concerning the nature of the freedom with which aesthetic theory has endowed the artist, we may expect to show how judgments upon works of art are meaningful and that judgments upon fine art are evaluative and objective, not merely generic and nominal.

The work of art is, in morphological or structural terms, a "concrete significant form." As concrete, it is made by means of technique directed upon material; as significant, it embodies a sign; and, as form, it is expressed. Symbolization brings into

-241-

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The Artist as Creator
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iv
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • I - The Great Analogy"" 1
  • 1 - Creativity and Freedom 3
  • 2 - The Great Analogy"" 63
  • 3 - The Ugly 84
  • 4 - The Genius 125
  • 5 - The Genius and the Prophet 153
  • 6 - Genius, Its Philosophical Signifi­ Cance: The Sublime and the Beautiful 177
  • II - The Structure of Art and Fine Art 211
  • 7 - The Structure of the Work of Art 213
  • 8 - Structure and the Judgment of Art: Concrete Significant Form and the Free­ Dom of Making 241
  • 9 - The Aesthetic Relation of the Arts: 270
  • 10 281
  • 11 - The Structure of Fine Art: 292
  • 12 - Conclusion: The Freedom Of The Fine Artist 328
  • Bibliography 331
  • Index 345
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