IN his first consideration of "Ideas of Beauty" Ruskin made the proposition that beauty is instinctive. He had explained that impressions of beauty are neither intellectual nor sensual in their essence; but that "Ideas of Beauty" arise out of sensual experience to be received and apprehended by a higher faculty, distinct from, yet related to the intellect. When, in the second volume, Ruskin recalls these earlier definitions he considers the problem of sensation. He asks, "what difference of dignity may exist between different kinds of aesthetic or sensual pleasure, properly so called?" It is an important question, but no serious obstacles delay the answer.
First of all, he observes that the senses themselves divide into those of touch and taste, which are merely necessary for existence, and those of sight and sound, which are higher, in that they can provide pleasures that are good in themselves. Aristotle perceives this distinction in his Ethics ( iii, 10, 2-4) and he is right, Ruskin thinks, in excluding from his description of "Intemperance" an excessive indulgence in the higher pleasures of sense. He is right because, though reason may become a slave to the pursuit of these pleasures, it is not essentially destroyed, whereas, an inordinate indulgence in the pleasures of touch and taste not only incapacitates reason but destroys the acuteness of these sensibilities themselves. Indeed, having quoted Aristotle to his pur-