The Structure of Value and Judgment
The sublime (or comic, tragic, humourous, etc.) is everything that is or shall be called by those who have employed or shall employ these words.
Croce's assertion that an aesthetic classification of the arts is absurd is not a denial of the feasibility of such classifications as are implicit in the Poetics or are explicitly presented in Hegel The Philosophy of Fine Art. Aristotle's analysis proceeds from the genus, imitation, to the species and differentiae. Hegel's classification presents the various arts, music, poetry, painting, sculpture, and architecture within the stages of the romantic, classical, and symbolic. But Croce contends that such classifications are science rather than aesthetic. If we take into account his denial to the artist of aim, end, or intention, it may with equal accuracy be inferred that for him the proposition, the work of art as a concrete significant form, would likewise be a scientific or technical judgment and, therefore, irrelevant to the aesthetic problem.
It is notable that this denial limits the aesthetic problem to the work of art sui generis, not as a limit, as is the ugly for Croce,1 but as the product of unconditioned free creativity. It is perhaps more significant that the absurdity of classifying or relating the aesthetic arts is presumed to arise in consequence of the assumption that in the "lyric or the music of spirit . . . there is nothing philosophically contradictory because the philosophical problem has not yet arisen."2 This statement means precisely what it says, with all of its implications, as is evident____________________