Friday, August 29, 2008


Craft: 1. The proper study of Aesthenology. 2. The (self evident?) quality that exists when the artist chooses from among a numerable set of options when such a case means that to choose from outside this set would be to choose outside the identity of the thing being created. Autumn Rhythm does not have a numerable set of options, so it does not have craft, even though it has identity. Because lack of identity is so hard to find, I will not consider it.


Innocence: The quality of being free from things that could endanger one’s soul. Although Innocence is a good quality, it is often impossible to have both Innocence and Catharsis.


Catharsis: The flooding of the observer with a negative thing so that he may be purged of it.


Interestingness: The quality something has of holding the attention of the human mind.

Medium Vocation

Medium Vocation: (Socratic dialogue to itself?) The fulfillment of the nature of the medium. While some aspects of the nature (such as tonality in music) have a finite fulfillment (similar to virtues such as obedience), others (such as complexity in music, one or many ways of fulfilling other aspects of its nature) cannot be fulfilled finitely (similar to virtues such as Love).


Identity: The extent to which elements not of a work of art are excluded from being possible elements of an extension of the work of art. If the number of things that cannot be excluded in this manner are known, the art has perfect identity but is unfinished. If the number is zero, it has perfect identity (a classical sonata). If the number is unknown but the amount that is excluded is excluded in an unknown amount greater that what is not excluded, the art has imperfect identity. If the result of imperfect identity includes crafted elements, the art is imperfect but good (alto parts of chorales). If this included quality consists of uncrafted elements, the art is imperfect and bad (Autumn Rhythm). If the number is unknown and the above restrictions are not present, the art has no identity (The closest I have seen to this is “4:33” ).

Exemplar Form

Exemplar Form (or Exemplar): The idea of something in The Mind of God. God knows not only all things that are, but also all things that could be or could have been. Some of these things are Metapossible, some are merely possible (meaning their Exemplar exists only because God knows that they could be).


Metapossible: Refers to a work of art or a portion of a work of art that has an Exemplar Form that exists for Divine reasons besides God’s knowledge of its Exemplar form.


Unnamed: Refers to a work of art or a portion of a work of art that is infinitely extendable without repetition because of a lack of identity. Examples are the alto parts of Chorales, or “Autumn Rhythm.”


Ugliness: Definition: When something either lacks the quality of appeal, or when something seems to lack the quality of appeal because it is unfamiliar, we say it is ugly. Ugliness is not opposed to beauty. Sometimes, it is caused by an abundance of beauty, or by a kind of beauty with which the observer is unfamiliar. Because of this, the ugliness can in itself be attractive. As kinds of beauty go, appeal is merely subjective, and thus fairly unimportant.


Concretization: Definition: The process of taking what is known about Absolute Aesthetics and applying it to an artistic medium so that rules for achieving its form of beauty are formulated and so that specific works of art follow these rules. The rules of mathematics are one part of the concretization of the Absolute Aesthetics of architecture; the rules of tonality are one part of the concretization of the Absolute Aesthetics of music; et cetera


Aesthetics Definition: The Philosophy/Theology of art and beauty. Scope: Absolute Aesthetics studies what makes things, especially art, beautiful in themselves. No quarter is given to the subjective perception of beauty by the observer. Absolute Aesthetics is closely related to Ethics and Metaphysics. Key concepts in Absolute Aesthetics include the ideas of Medium Vocation, Concretization, and Identity. Aesthenosophy studies how the subjective response of the observer to a thing, especially to a work of art, can be good or bad. It is closely related to Ethics, Literature, Sociology, and Psychology. It can be made Socratic very efficiently by realizing that the betterment of the person that the Aesthenosophist seeks is akin to Socrates’ search for Wisdom and virtue. Key concepts in Aesthenosophy include Interestingness, Catharsis, and Innocence. Aesthetology studies how the artist exercises good or bad craftsmanship and how an artist goes about his creation. It is closely related to Rhetoric. The more one understands all the dimensions of an art, from Cultural Idioms to the principles of Absolute Aesthetics, the more one understands Aesthetology.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bossy Evan's Vision for this Venture

First of all, some notes on blogging for those of you new to this. After you arrive at this blog, you should see a spot at the top of the screen that says 'New Post'. This is where you write the articles, which I will get to in a minute. There is also an option under each post. If you click on 'comments' at the bottom of the post, you will be taken to a screen where you may type comments (surprise surprise) on the selected article. One last housekeeping note. If you click on where your own blogger's name appears in the comments box (after you write a comment, of course) you will be taken to your personal profile. You may tell us about yourself. Personally, I think this would be very helpful, as although I know all the people who have been invited, I don't always know which false name goes with which real person. (I think Rockstar Wannabe is Gus Henebry, but I don't know for sure, for example. And most of you probably don't know who Pulchritudo Musicae is, unless she edited her profile.)
And now for the blog itself. It is my bossy vision that this could encompass the study of aesthetics. I hope to have an Aesthetics Encyclopedia; articles on what is good, true, beautiful, artistic, et cetera; concrete ways that artists can make their art in their respective media beautiful; art criticism; original works (if you can figure out how to put in a painting or a musical piece et cetera); and other related things that I have forgotten. Of course, you may put in your random thoughts, too (cows are cool), and what you liked, didn't like, or thought especially true or false in other people's posts. God Bless!

Monday, August 25, 2008

So, Who is this Diotima?

In case you didn't already figure it out from the address, this blog is about aesthetics, the philosophy of beauty and art. Diotima is a character from Plato's "Symposium." Socrates, desiring the truth about love, visited Diotima before "Symposium" starts, and he repeats her wisdom to the other men at the feast.
According to Diotima, love is the desire that springs from the absence of the good. The good desired by love is "Birth in Beauty." Artistic beauty, furthermore, is a thing that is made by the artist for the purpose of immortalizing some goodness.
Through a profound pun on Diotima's thought, we can extend her definition of beauty by including "Agape," the love of giving one's self to others, as a form of love. The birth in beauty that is desired by agape is the birth in beauty of the thing made: the beautifier desires a thing to be good, and makes it so by a birth in beauty.