By José María Valverde Pacheco
Este libro, nacido de los angeles enseñanza, pero con esperanzas de interesar también a lectores libres de cursos y exámenes, sólo pretende ofrecer una mínima síntesis del desarrollo histórico de los angeles estética, sobre todo en su núcleo conceptual. En lo que se llama "ideas estéticas" se reúnen varias perspectivas, en cada momento: así, lo que dijeron los grandes filósofos sobre los angeles belleza y el arte -cuando no callaron sobre tal tema-, y lo que opinaron los propios hacedores o sus críticos inmediatos sin ambición filosófica; todo ello en el contexto de los angeles mentalidad de cada época y, claro está, teniendo como interés supremo los angeles realidad misma de lo estético, es decir, los hechos de las artes y de las letras. Sabemos que sobre estos hechos singulares se puede hablar interminablemente sin llegar a conclusiones fijas, pero se hacen aún más interesantes cuanto más los vemos sobre el trasfondo de las rules y l. a. sociedad en que se insertaron. Cada capítulo lleva, tras su sucinta exposición, una antología de textos típicos, cuyas traducciones -a veces más adaptadas que literales- son de nuestra propia responsabilidad si no se indica otra cosa. Acaso el designio principalmente informativo que ha movido esta obra no l. a. haya librado de sectarismos de diversa índole: querríamos que el más importante de ellos fuera los angeles oposición a los angeles tendencia contemporánea -ya señalada y fomentada por Hegel- a dar más valor a las rules generales que a los hechos y obras singulares.
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Finally, there is a third way in which the ethical argument against the post-modern approach to nature appreciation can be developed. This is as the charge that an ‘anything goes’ approach to appreciating nature stultifies the use of aesthetic value in environmental decision making. In particular, it stymies what is sometimes called ‘Aesthetic Preservation’: the appeal to the aesthetic merit of natural areas as a reason for preserving them from exploitation or development. Think back to Sagoff’s idea, discussed earlier in this chapter, that we should see natural things as symbols of certain basic values, seeing, for example, the eagle as a symbol of freedom.
It may seem a matter of ‘just looking’ (or listening) and nothing more, leaving no role for thinking. But although the experiencing of immediate or raw sensations is not itself a form of thought, it is, of course, not incompatible with thinking. Most of the looking and listening that we do involves the experience of sensations in close conjunction with all sorts of thinking. 3 Hepburn gives the example of what he calls ‘a paradigm aesthetic experience of nature – the fall of an autumn leaf’. He writes: If we simply watch it fall, without any thought, it may or may not be a moving or exciting aesthetic object, but it must be robbed of its poignancy, its mute message of summer gone, its symbolizing all falling, our own included.
Penny, Sam and Fred all enjoy the stars aesthetically, but each brings a different thought component to his or her appreciation. Penny ruminates on the tales of mythology, Sam sees the stars as elements in larger astronomical structures and Fred enjoys the night sky simply for the pleasing pattern formed by the innumerable spots of light. The formalist’s view is that Fred’s appreciation is the more appropriate or correct one, for Fred delights in the stars simply as pleasing visual patterns – arrays of line, shape and colour – and nothing more.