Academic Illusions in the Field of Letters and the Arts: A Survey, a Criticism, a New Approach, and a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Study of Letters and Arts

By Martin Schütze | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
SOME TYPICAL APPLICATIONS OF THE
PRINCIPLES OF INTEGRAL
VARIABLES

Linguistics and letters. "Philology" of literature. The meaning of
contribution to knowledge" in the humanities.

The discovery that the essence of letters, the arts, and culture generally, consists of irreducible variables constituting integral "closed" wholes, has given us a criterion for isolating the primary elements of that essence and freeing poetic-artistic-cultural understanding not only from the irrelevancies of nondescript notions, but particularly from the alien pretentious and intrusions of systems of constants. The two most ruinous ones among these are "philology of literature," so called, a "contradictio in adjecto"; and linguistic science in its illegitimate excursions into literary interpretation. "Philology of literature" does not "love words" in their literary relationships; it substitutes an endless train of constants for integral variables essential to letters, the arts, and culture. These constants have laid heavy hands on "content" or "ideas," i.e., essential meanings, and on "forms"; on literary history, and on the essential relations of letters, arts, and culture to all the various conditions of life, social, individual, ethnological, physical, or "natural."


LINGUISTICS AND LETTERS

Among the various branches of study concerned with language, linguistics has attained most nearly to the

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