IV
*ART AND KNOWLEDGE*

INTRODUCTION

The positivists and logical empiricists have applied the most devastating corrosive to the idea that art is a means of acquiring knowledge, different from that of science but equally valid in its own way. Totally negative critics of the heuristic value of art, such as Carnap, may be "throwing out the baby with the bathwater." Their position, in general, has been that only verifiable statements of specific empirical sciences can be legitimately conceived as knowledge of the "states of nature" or of "matters of fact." The logical sciences offer knowledge of a different order, since they make statements not about matters of fact but only about the definition of terms in their internal "games." When the abstract forms of mathematics or logic are "filled in" by references to the realm of nature we are able to arrive at more accurate knowledge than ever before, but why this is so, even the Vienna Circle and its followers have not been able to answer convincingly. Nevertheless, they do not hesitate to state in unqualified terms that no object in any mode of art can be of any value in acquiring new knowledge. Whatever we take to be the knowledge derived from a work of art is knowable independent of the art object. The new pattern or over-all unit that such discrete elements of knowledge constitute in an art work does not in itself contribute anything that can be said to yield knowledge.

Art is expressive; science is representative. The empirical sciences make assertions that can be verified or disconfirmed. Art objects do not assert, they express (feelings, moods, dispositions, characters, preferences, etc.), and such expressions are never either true or false. That which cannot be true cannot be knowledge. It may offer emotional or formal pleasure, but it cannot offer intellectual meaning of an original kind. It cannot discover.

This question of what the relations are between art and the concept of knowledge has stimulated some of the most interesting writing during recent years. The issue is by no means resolved to any general agreement. Trilling, Maritain, and Aiken represent three of the most important positions in the debate.

Lionel Trilling asks what is The Meaning of a Literary Idea? He answers that the meaning is not rational; it is "rhetorical." He may not actually use the word "rhetoric,"

-209-

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Aesthetics Today
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 480

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.