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Subject: Re: Why Spinoza Had No Aesthetics
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 22 Nov 2016 09:52:44 -0500
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The response you are agreeing with is about as irrational as Spinoza
might have imagined.

Is it really so difficult for an operaphile to ponder the relevance of
aesthetics to the art and beauty of music?

As usual everybody has to gang up on GCR, but at least David Shengold
displays an artful sense of humor in doing so.

dtmk

On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 8:28 AM, robert levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I agree with Don.
>
> On Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 8:22 AM, Don <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > WHAT THE F**K???????????????
> >
> > On Mon, Nov 21, 2016 at 10:02 PM, Genevieve Castle Room <
> > [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > > James Morrison wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > >"The reasons for Spinoza's lack of interest in aesthetics are not
> solely
> > > or primarily due to a merely personal indifference to art and beauty.
> Nor
> > > does he openly express his reasons for his indifference or hostility to
> > art
> > > and beauty. Rather, his reasons are philosophical and must be inferred
> > from
> > > what he explicitly says. The general character of Spinoza's philosophy,
> > as
> > > well as some of his central doctrines, not only provide no adequate
> > > philosophical basis for an aesthetics but lead to the neglect of
> > aesthetics
> > > altogether. That is, I shall argue that Spinoza's philosophy
> represents a
> > > certain type of philosophy and "cast of mind" which is fundamentally
> > alien
> > > to, even hostile towards, art and beauty. For Spinoza, works of art do
> > not
> > > constitute a special domain of beings. He regards them merely as
> physical
> > > objects with physical predicates. Art and beauty belong to the life of
> > > imagination, sense, and passion. If the goal is to free ourselves from
> > > bondage and misery we must turn away from art and beauty, which are
> > > inseparable from them. Nevertheless, Spinoza allows that art and beauty
> > do
> > > have a limited 'medicinal' value."
> > >
> > > [....]
> > >
> > > >"The problem is not just that Spinoza's philosophy offers a 'barren
> > soil'
> > > for cultivating an aesthetics. Rather, the ground it supplies is too
> hard
> > > and intractable to motivate anyone from even attempting to sow it. In
> > other
> > > words, Spinoza's basic philosophical position, especially what I have
> > > called his naturalism and rationalism, together with their reductionist
> > > implications, provide no motivation for taking art and beauty seriously
> > as
> > > themes of philosophical aesthetics. Naturalism means that works of art
> > have
> > > no special metaphysical status (i.e., are not irreducible to physical
> > > objects) and that beauty is not a real (objective and absolute) quality
> > of
> > > things. Rationalism means that only by thought (not the imagination or
> > > senses) can we know the true nature of things. Now it can be objected
> > that
> > > none of these doctrines *logically implies* that art and beauty cannot
> be
> > > the subject-matter of a philosophical aesthetics. I am willing to grant
> > > this. But I maintain that when these metaphysical and epistemological
> > > doctrines are *combined* with *moral rationalism* the implications for
> > > aesthetics become more evident. For, as we have seen above, Spinoza's
> > moral
> > > rationalism means that the emotions, which are linked to the
> imagination
> > > and senses, are the source of unfreedom, vice, and unhappiness. This
> > > implies that the good life is possible only if the passions are
> mastered;
> > > and this, Spinoza holds, can only be done by reason and the intellect.
> > > Herein lies, I believe, the ultimate basis of Spinoza's philosophical
> > > neglect of aesthetics. For once the good life is *identified* with the
> > life
> > > of reason, and reason is *opposed* to emotion, imagination, and
> > sense.....
> > > art and beauty become suspect. They are regarded as either irrelevant
> or
> > > hostile to man's highest and deepest interests."
> > >
> > > RTWT here:
> > >
> > > https://www.jstor.org/stable/431135?...n_tab_contents
> > > <https://www.jstor.org/stable/431135?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents>
> > >
> > > ---------------
> > >
> > > I see Spinoza's rationalism and materialism favorably and I like his
> > > abstract, non-religious views of God.... But this intellectual
> > appreciation
> > > for his positions does not include subscribing to the impact that
> taking
> > > rationalism to an extreme has on aesthetics because I'm more on the
> > > Epicurean side, obviously!!
> > >
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