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By Stephen David Ross
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Extra resources for A theory of art: inexhaustibility by contrast
1975. for a striking criticism of Kant's reconciliation of taste and genius. Page 2 It seems to me that despite such efforts toward reconciliation, there is a fundamental divergence, a temperamental opposition, in the polarity of rightness and richness. I would include under tightness, truth and being, aptness and utility, pleasure and harmony. Beauty in works of art has been and may be regarded as an achievement of what is right and true, pleasurable and fulfilling. Alternatively, beauty may be found in wealth of imagination, richness of development, range of attention.
Much twentieth-century art is not obviously mimetic: but where it is, of what value is reproduction? Alternatively, art has been held to be emotionally expressive. Again, some works of art are not emotional and are far from obviously expressive. But even worse, what value has expression? Are everyday emotions worth repeating? And if the emotions are not common, are they supreme? There have been theories which assign to art a major value, but these have often been of limited scope, based on implausible assumptions.
It is also manifested in the principle that reference admits of increasing levels of complexity, symbolization upon symbolization. Yet even this richness is not sufficient: we need an inexhaustible richness of the being of works of art manifested in the changing relations of these works to human experience and the surrounding world. The ordinal theory provides a metaphysical theory in which works of art (certain kinds of orders) function differently and possess different properties in different contexts and locations.
A theory of art: inexhaustibility by contrast by Stephen David Ross