Warum sind Blumen schön?

Im Zuge der philosophischen und Debatten der letzten 30 Jahre sind Theorien des Schönen und philosophisch inspirierte Theorien medialer Erfahrungen zunehmend in den Vordergrund gerückt.
Burkart
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Registriert: Sa 11. Jul 2020, 09:59

So 9. Jun 2024, 10:33

Jörn Budesheim hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:14
Burkart hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 09:54
Auf Blumen und "schön". Während Blumen sich als physische Objekte in der Natur finden lassen, gilt das nicht für "schön".
Wenn ich Deutsch richtig verstehe, argumentiert er für das Gegenteil.
Schönheit ist doch kein physisches Objekt, sondern nur ein Attribut.



Der Mensch als Philosophierender ist Ausgangspunkt aller Philosophie.
Die Philosophie eines Menschen kann durch Andere fahrlässig missverstanden oder gezielt diskreditiert oder gar ganz ignoriert werden, u.a. um eine eigene Meinung durchsetzen zu wollen.

Burkart
Beiträge: 2906
Registriert: Sa 11. Jul 2020, 09:59

So 9. Jun 2024, 10:37

Jörn Budesheim hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:16
Burkart hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 09:54
"Zeit haben" bezieht sich auf jede persönliche Zeit-Einteilung. Heute z.B. halte ich die Mithilfe bei der Europawahl für sinnvoller im Sinne der Allgemeinheit und unserer Demokratie; in der Woche habe ich eine anstrengende Erwerbsarbeit, du auch?
Ich habe eine ganz normale 40 Stunden Woche und durchgehend ehrenamtliche Tätigkeiten. Und so ganz nebenbei bin ich auch noch bildender Künstler.
"Ehrenamtlich" klingt nett und nach hoffentlich weniger Stress, als wie z.B. nervige Software-Fehlersuche, die nur manchmal auftritt und man so nur raten kann, was gerade mal wieder schief läuft...und vielleicht auch eigentlich andere Systeme Schuld sind als das eigene...



Der Mensch als Philosophierender ist Ausgangspunkt aller Philosophie.
Die Philosophie eines Menschen kann durch Andere fahrlässig missverstanden oder gezielt diskreditiert oder gar ganz ignoriert werden, u.a. um eine eigene Meinung durchsetzen zu wollen.

Burkart
Beiträge: 2906
Registriert: Sa 11. Jul 2020, 09:59

So 9. Jun 2024, 10:44

Jörn Budesheim hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:25
Burkart hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 09:54
PS: So, ich habe mir die ersten 5 Minuten angeschaut. Um Minute 4 sagt er was von "unabhängig von Kultur" u.ä. Das spricht für mich sehr dafür, dass es "nur" um Schönheit für Menschen geht, richtig?
Hättest Du jetzt noch 5 Minuten in den Faden hier investiert hättest du vielleicht folgendes gelesen:

"[Es gibt] zwei Typen der Eigenschaft, die wir als Schönheit bezeichnen. Der eine ist eine parochialistische Form von Anziehungskraft, beschränkt auf eine Art, eine Kultur oder ein Individuum. Der andere hat mit alldem nichts zu tun: Er ist universell und so objektiv wie die physikalischen Gesetze."

(David Deutsch, Der Anfang der Unendlichkeit)
Soll "universell" auch für alle Tiere und gar auch Pflanzen gelten? Sollen auch alle diese Lebewesen Blumen als schön ansehen?



Der Mensch als Philosophierender ist Ausgangspunkt aller Philosophie.
Die Philosophie eines Menschen kann durch Andere fahrlässig missverstanden oder gezielt diskreditiert oder gar ganz ignoriert werden, u.a. um eine eigene Meinung durchsetzen zu wollen.

Burkart
Beiträge: 2906
Registriert: Sa 11. Jul 2020, 09:59

So 9. Jun 2024, 10:46

Jörn Budesheim hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:31
Vor einigen Jahren habe ich einen Vortrag über Schönheit gehalten. Bei meinen Recherchen habe ich herausgefunden, dass in der Geschichte der Menschheit kaum jemand glaubt, dass Schönheit subjektiv ist. Die Zeitspanne, in der das geglaubt wurde, beträgt etwa ein paar hundert Jahre. Das ist nichts im Vergleich zu der Zeit, seit der es uns gibt. Das heißt natürlich nicht, dass wir falsch liegen, aber es ist interessant zu sehen, dass diese ungewöhnliche Theorie von so vielen Menschen als selbstverständlich angesehen wird, ohne auch nur zu ahnen, dass sie keineswegs selbstverständlich ist, sondern genau genommen eine Außenseiterposition einnimmt.
Das ist nur auf Menschen bezogen, wie sie Schönheit sehen, richtig?



Der Mensch als Philosophierender ist Ausgangspunkt aller Philosophie.
Die Philosophie eines Menschen kann durch Andere fahrlässig missverstanden oder gezielt diskreditiert oder gar ganz ignoriert werden, u.a. um eine eigene Meinung durchsetzen zu wollen.

Wolfgang Endemann
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So 9. Jun 2024, 10:47

@ Jörn Budesheim, @ Quk
Ihr setzt beide meines Erachtens falsch an, denn strenge Objektivität ist nicht davon abhängig, ob jemand an sie glaubt (da hat Jörn recht), und solche Objektivität ist für uns praktisch unerreichbar (da hat Quk recht), allerdings mehr oder weniger annäherbar.
"David Deutsch beschäftigt sich mit der Frage, ob es objektive Schönheit gibt und er beantwortet sie mit: Ja." (Jörn)
So habe ich auch seinen Vortrag verstanden. Aber das ist in einem grundsätzlichen philosophischen Sinn höchst problematisch, wenn auch das Gegenteil sich keineswegs besser begründen läßt. Wenn man die drei großen Kategorien der Aufklärung nimmt: das Wahre, Gute, Schöne, so handelt es sich um Werte, die einen unterschiedlichen Charakter der Notwendigkeit besitzen. Das Wahre ist das absolut Notwendige, die Naturgesetze sind das, was wir als objektiv wahr bezeichnen. Das Wahre ist nicht Freiheit, sondern Zwang, Hegel sagt auf anschlußfähige Weise: Freiheit ist die Einsicht in die Notwendigkeit, mehr Freiheit geht beim Wahren nicht. Beim Guten hat man die Wahl, der Bereich des Ethischen ist der Freiheitsraum, so zu handeln, wie es gut für uns Menschen ist, wohlgemerkt nicht für den Einzelnen, sondern für alle. Das ist der kategorische Imperativ. Er beruht auf dem Wissen, was objektiv dem Menschen nützt, ist lebensfunktional, subjektiv, aber intersubjektiv, sogar über den Bezugspunkt Mensch hinausgehend, denn die Erhaltung oder Gestaltung der Biosphäre ist selbst menschenlebensfunktional. Hier ist Freiheit die Einsicht, unmittelbar eine intuitive, gefühlte Einsicht, weil die Problematik hochkomplex ist, was aber nicht heißt, daß man sie nicht in perspektivischer Verkürzung rational zugänglich machen kann und sollte, hier ist Freiheit die Einsicht in die subjektive Notwendigkeit. Wahrheit sagt, wie wir leben müssen, Ethik sagt, wie wir vorteilhaft leben können und leben sollten. Und dann ist da noch die Ästhetik, das Schöne. Es ist kategorial zu bestimmen als das, was weder objektiv noch subjektiv notwendig ist, also weder zwingend noch nützlich, sondern seinen Wert in sich selber hat, eine selbstbegründete Notwendigkeit. Dieses kategorial bestimmte Schöne ist nicht beliebig, aber es ist auch nicht obligatorisch. Es ist so gut, wie man einen Selbstzweck begründen kann.
Natürlich braucht man dieser philosophisch-kategorialen Festlegung nicht folgen, aber dann wird Schönheit etwas Beliebiges. Was wir als schön empfinden, muß sich an diesem Maßstab messen lassen. Die Unterscheidung von Natur- und Kunstschönem beruht genau auf diesem Kriterium. Das Naturschöne ist unser intuitives Urteil über Wahrgenommenes, das wir nicht als richtig (oder falsch), also als "so und nicht anders", und auch nicht als nützlich, also als "so ist es gut für uns" beurteilen, sondern mit interesselosem Wohlgefallen. Dabei übersehen wir allerdings in der Regel, daß dieses Urteil sehr wohl implizit utilitaristische Züge enthält. Symmetrisches ist gut, Asymmetrisches mißgestaltet, das junge Mädchen ist schön, weil es viele gesunde Nachkommen verspricht, der junge Mann, weil er kräftig und geschickt ist, hier denken wir Menschen nicht anders als die Tiere, die sich Sexualpartner suchen. Das ist Attraktivität, aber kategorial von Schönheit zu unterscheiden. Dagegen entwickelt Kunst ihren autonomen Schönheitsbegriff. Und in der Tat gibt es in Wissenschaft und Mathematik eine Schönheit jenseits des Wahrheitsgehalts. Der Beweis eines mathematischen Sachverhalts kann raffiniert, elegant, einfach usw sein, er ist nicht besser, nicht wahrer als ein pedantischer, umständlicher Beweis, aber zusätzlich schön. Hier stoßen wir auf ein Kriterium der Schönheit, das nicht im "was", sondern im "wie" liegt. Auf diese Weise kann etwas, was naiv für häßlich gehalten wird, wenn man es ästhetisch verstanden hat, "schön" sein.




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Jörn Budesheim
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So 9. Jun 2024, 11:31

Burkart hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:37
"Ehrenamtlich" klingt nett..
Ändert aber nichts daran, dass es neben einem 40 Stunden Job und meinem eigentlichen Beruf viel Zeit kostet.




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Jörn Budesheim
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So 9. Jun 2024, 11:33

Wolfgang Endemann hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:47
Ihr setzt beide meines Erachtens falsch an
Das finde ich spannend, wo ich doch bisher gar nicht irgendwo angesetzt habe, sondern nur die Position von Deutsch, so wie ich sie verstehe, referiert habe.




Wolfgang Endemann
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So 9. Jun 2024, 12:52

Jörn Budesheim hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 11:33


Das finde ich spannend, wo ich doch bisher gar nicht irgendwo angesetzt habe, sondern nur die Position von Deutsch, so wie ich sie verstehe, referiert habe.
Heißt das, Du teilst die Position Deutschs nicht, Du referierst sie nur?




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Jörn Budesheim
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So 9. Jun 2024, 17:21

Ich habe bisher die Position von David Deutsch gegen die Einwände und Missverständnisse von Dir, Burkart und Quk verteidigt. Dies ist unabhängig davon, ob ich die Position teile, teilweise teile, teilweise ablehne oder vollständig ablehne.




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Jörn Budesheim
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So 9. Jun 2024, 17:25

Wolfgang Endemann hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:47
Natürlich braucht man dieser philosophisch-kategorialen Festlegung nicht folgen, aber dann wird Schönheit etwas Beliebiges.
Eine Begründung dafür hast Du leider nicht gegeben. Interessant finde ich, dass du bisher an keiner Stelle auf die Argumentation von David Deutsch eingegangen bist. Warum eigentlich nicht?

"Symmetrisches ist gut, Asymmetrisches mißgestaltet, das junge Mädchen ist schön, weil es viele gesunde Nachkommen verspricht, der junge Mann, weil er kräftig und geschickt ist, hier denken wir Menschen nicht anders als die Tiere, die sich Sexualpartner suchen." (Endemann)

Das wäre z.B eine gute Gelegenheit gewesen, auf die Argumentation von David Deutsch einzugehen, weil er über diese Form der Attraktivität ja direkt spricht und klar macht, dass er das bei der objektiven Schönheit nicht meint.




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Jörn Budesheim
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So 9. Jun 2024, 17:54

Burkart hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:44
Soll "universell" auch für alle Tiere und gar auch Pflanzen gelten? Sollen auch alle diese Lebewesen Blumen als schön ansehen?
Du hast David Deutsch doch zitiert. Schönheit gibt es gemäß ihm quasi in zwei "Ausführungen". Die eine ist "relativ" (diesen Ausdruck nutzt er nicht, ich füge ihn hier nur der Einfachheit halber ein) und bei der anderen Variante liegen die Dinge so:

"Blumen sind schön" - Punkt, Ende, Aus.

Mit anderen Worten: Es ist eine objektive, universelle Eigenschaft der Blumen, schön zu sein, und gerade nicht bloß "schön für". "Schön für" ist nur der erste Typ von Schönheit.

Meines Erachtens steht das mehr oder weniger wortwörtlich in dem Zitat und ergibt sich aus dem Video bzw dem Text in dem fraglichen Buch. Wenn jemand andere Ansicht in Bezug auf diese Deutung des Textes ist, können wir darüber gerne diskutieren.




Burkart
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Registriert: Sa 11. Jul 2020, 09:59

So 9. Jun 2024, 20:51

Jörn Budesheim hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 17:54
Burkart hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:44
Soll "universell" auch für alle Tiere und gar auch Pflanzen gelten? Sollen auch alle diese Lebewesen Blumen als schön ansehen?
Du hast David Deutsch doch zitiert. Schönheit gibt es gemäß ihm quasi in zwei "Ausführungen". Die eine ist "relativ" (diesen Ausdruck nutzt er nicht, ich füge ihn hier nur der Einfachheit halber ein) und bei der anderen Variante liegen die Dinge so:

"Blumen sind schön" - Punkt, Ende, Aus.

Mit anderen Worten: Es ist eine objektive, universelle Eigenschaft der Blumen, schön zu sein, und gerade nicht bloß "schön für". "Schön für" ist nur der erste Typ von Schönheit.

Meines Erachtens steht das mehr oder weniger wortwörtlich in dem Zitat und ergibt sich aus dem Video bzw dem Text in dem fraglichen Buch. Wenn jemand andere Ansicht in Bezug auf diese Deutung des Textes ist, können wir darüber gerne diskutieren.
Was soll das sein? Ein quasi beliebiges Axiom? Ist es irgendwie begründet?
Wer definiert, dass gerade Blumen schön sind? Darf man da auch ein beliebiges anderes Objekt anstelle der Blumen einesetzen?
...Du merkst, dass der Satz für mich als universelle Eigenschaft so einfach keinen Sinn macht.



Der Mensch als Philosophierender ist Ausgangspunkt aller Philosophie.
Die Philosophie eines Menschen kann durch Andere fahrlässig missverstanden oder gezielt diskreditiert oder gar ganz ignoriert werden, u.a. um eine eigene Meinung durchsetzen zu wollen.

Wolfgang Endemann
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So 9. Jun 2024, 21:03

Jörn Budesheim hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 17:25
Wolfgang Endemann hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 10:47
Natürlich braucht man dieser philosophisch-kategorialen Festlegung nicht folgen, aber dann wird Schönheit etwas Beliebiges.
Eine Begründung dafür hast Du leider nicht gegeben. Interessant finde ich, dass du bisher an keiner Stelle auf die Argumentation von David Deutsch eingegangen bist. Warum eigentlich nicht?
Das hast Du nur nicht verstanden. Denn meine Aussage war natürlich eine Teilbestätigung von Deutsch. Auch ich würde auf der (partiellen) Wahrheitsfähigkeit innerhalb des kategorisch Schönen bestehen. Daher habe ich hier ein Blog zur musikalischen Schönheit eingestellt. Nur kann man in der Schönheit nicht von einem subjektiven Moment abstrahieren, Schönheit ist nicht restlos zu objektivieren. Genau das aber behauptet Deutsch. Und mein zweiter Einwand war, daß er keine Ahnung hat von der Differenz selbstbegründeter Schönheit und dem biofunktionalen "Zwang", die Komplexitätsreduktion in Blumenmustern wie in einer mathematischen Formel schön zu finden, eben das "Naturschöne".




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Jörn Budesheim
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So 9. Jun 2024, 21:30

Ich sehe nach wie vor nicht, dass du dich in irgendeiner Form auf die Argumentation von Deutsch beziehst.
Wolfgang Endemann hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 21:03
Und mein zweiter Einwand war, daß er keine Ahnung hat von der Differenz selbstbegründeter Schönheit und dem biofunktionalen "Zwang", die Komplexitätsreduktion in Blumenmustern wie in einer mathematischen Formel schön zu finden, eben das "Naturschöne".
Hier (und überhaupt bisher) sehe ich keine Begründungen. Einfach nur zu behaupten, er hätte keine Ahnung, finde ich etwas mau.
Wolfgang Endemann hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 21:03
Nur kann man in der Schönheit nicht von einem subjektiven Moment abstrahieren, Schönheit ist nicht restlos zu objektivieren.
Auch hier fehlt jede Begründung.

Das einzige was ich sehe, ist dass du deine Vorstellung von"Schönheit" skizzierst, aber das ist noch keine Argumentation gegen die Argumentation von David Deutsch. Du setzt einfach deine Sicht als richtig und seine als falsch.
Wolfgang Endemann hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 21:03
Das hast Du nur nicht verstanden. Denn meine Aussage war natürlich eine Teilbestätigung von Deutsch. Auch ich würde auf der (partiellen) Wahrheitsfähigkeit innerhalb des kategorisch Schönen bestehen.
Das ist meines Erachtens keine Teilbestätigung sondern eine klare Zurückweisung seiner Position.




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Quk
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Registriert: So 23. Jul 2023, 15:35

So 9. Jun 2024, 23:57

Transkript von https://youtu.be/gT7DFCF1Fn8

David Deutsch beginnt seinen Vortrag bei 2:46
Why Are Flowers Beautiful?
David Deutsch

0:01
and thank you for coming this afternoon to the Irish Museum of Modern Art it's
0:07
with great delight that we have here today via the modern technology David
0:14
Deutsch the acclaimed quantum physicist from the Department of atomic and laser
0:20
physics at the center of quantum computation at Oxford University and I
0:25
would just kind of go through the initial starters of how we got David Deutsch kind of part of this exhibition
0:32
really and part of Philippe rnos kind of ideology of when we were discussing the show all Hawaiian entrees Lina reg a
0:40
mouthful of a title there was a two-year discussion with Philippe Renault when we
0:45
were looking at notions of reality and notions of how to redo the exhibition format and we particularly were looking
0:53
at leading practitioners of thought of artistic practice and of innovation and
1:00
how this all got started really was Philippe and I were chatting through the
1:06
night about different things and Philippe did god I've got this amazing book by this brilliant writer sorry not too much of big standing
1:13
ovations for you there David in a minute oh yeah he just said there's this book called the fabric of reality you should
1:19
read Rachel and it there's a quote from Michael Faraday about the optics of a candle and but really it's David Deutsch
1:25
notion of the fabric of reality and how that interrelates to the universe and Beyond because Philippe feels as an
1:32
artist it's really important to be like a tenant of culture that you do interpret the universe the surrounding
1:38
kind of stimulation by that the notions of light and the notions of perception so really I must say David it may be is
1:46
this kind of silent co-curator of this exhibition too and because we couldn't
1:51
physically put David in the show would it be nice yeah we actually thought it would be really kind of interesting to
1:57
do you're kind of a continuation and organism which once the show is up and running that it has a sense of energy
2:04
that we invite these leading practice practices in to kind of talk about their practice and then that in its sense is
2:11
part of the show so the show has an ongoing energy and life is kind of kept stimulated by the
2:16
exhibition now today David will be speaking with us today
2:21
about this natural extension and he'll be presenting his current research entitled why are flowers beautiful and
2:29
this is from its forthcoming book the beginning of infinity so if we could all give a great kind of warm kind of clap
2:36
to David and welcome him here today and I'm sure his lecture hall start so thank you very much David
2:46
hi everybody and I want to thank the museum for inviting me it was totally unexpected

2:53
and in fact you may be wondering how could a physicist like me have anything
3:01
possible to say about about matters of aesthetics like like why are flowers
3:06
beautiful other than something like well I knows what I likes and funnily enough
3:13
the essence of what I have to say today is more or less that that I knows what I
3:22
likes is not the essence of what aesthetics are what aesthetic judgments
3:27
are about there they are not or at least they need not be expressions of
3:33
someone's opinion someone's arbitrary tastes or some culturally determined
3:38
values or some genetic standards or biological standards I'm going to say
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that there is such a thing as aesthetic value and that it is objective
3:52
independent of culture independent of our personal preferences and tastes and
3:58
independent of our biological makeup now why how have I come to that conclusion that
4:04
well let me give an analogy between between science and art a scientist
4:12
trying to understand the world a bit better it does so by creating theories
4:21
which are ideas about how the world might actually be in
4:27
reality and then criticizes those theories and and tests them against
4:33
reality and with luck might eventually maybe after many errors come up with a
4:38
theory that does meet the test of describing reality better than the best
4:44
ideas that were known before so the method is one of conjecture and then of
4:51
criticizing conjectures against the standard of being true to reality and
4:59
also as the the the physicist Richard Feynman once remarked the only equipment
5:06
that a theoretical scientist needs is a pencil a part of paper and perhaps most
5:13
important a waste paper basket and on the face of it now many artists when
5:22
they're at work closely resemble what I've just described about science in
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almost every detail that a novelist for instance uses exactly the same equipment
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that the pencil the the pad of paper or nowadays word processor and for instance
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in music composers like Beethoven work notorious for agonizing through change
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after change after change seeking something that they knew was there to be
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found a standard that was there to be met and which could be successfully met
5:58
only with a great deal of creative effort and with a great deal of error that is a great deal of stuff going into
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the wastebasket of course in science and
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in art they're all they're also exceptions to this at least apparent exceptions the discoveries which are
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made with a single flash of insight and and say composer like Mozart who
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allegedly just created music by just writing it down we have to suspect
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though that in all such cases the the
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effort and the successive improvements were actually there but can
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sealed inside the brain of the creator so really there was an internal wastebasket I'll just turn the sound
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down a little because we're getting a bit of an echo here okay so a scientific
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discovery and artistic creation can look alike is this just a superficial
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resemblance is is Beethoven fooling himself when he thinks that he's
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reaching for something that's actually real something that's there for him to
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achieve or to fail to achieve is he fooling himself when he thinks that the sheets that are in the wastebasket
7:26
contain actual mistakes that there are actually worse than the sheets that he
7:34
ends up publishing and also is he fooling himself when he thinks that by
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struggling to create an entire new style of music a whole new standard by which music is to be judged that the standard
7:47
he's creating is actually better than the old one is it all just self referential is he just really exploring
7:55
the randomness of his own DNA or is
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there a real meaning to saying that the music of a Beethoven or Mozart is better
8:10
than that of their Stone Age ancestors knocking together bits of Mastodon bone
8:18
and also that the criteria that Mozart
8:23
and Beethoven were trying to meet were better than those that the Stone Age people were trying to meet always there
8:30
no such thing as better is there only I knows what I likes or what tradition or
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genetics or authority designate as good
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I'm going to argue that there is such a thing as better and worse in art such a
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thing as objective beauty particular focus of my work in physics
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has been on the foundations of physics and it's in the nature of foundations that the foundations of one field are
9:02
also the foundations of others that's where unifications between fields
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come from I'm not talking about ultimate foundations here I don't think there's
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there's an ultimate foundation to knowledge something which everything that's true can be derived from that's
9:20
actually an irrational notion because if that were true then there'd be no answer to the to the problem why that
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foundation and not another and I believe that problems are in fact soluble that
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there's always a rational answer to be discovered and never a super natural
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barrier to understanding saying you can understand this far but no further in
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reaching the truth and and the way that we reach many truths is by understanding
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things more deeply and thereby more broadly that that's the nature of the
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concept of a foundation so ultimately understanding more and more necessarily
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entails unifications for example just as
10:12
in architecture all all buildings all
10:18
ultimately stand on the same literal foundation namely the earth that is
10:27
until the first moon base is built at any rate so all buildings even the moon
10:34
base stand on the same theoretical foundation namely the laws of physics
10:40
and the laws of engineering and architecture and so architecture
10:50
therefore ultimately shares the same foundations via physics with such
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apparently very distant fields as pharmacology let's say which which is
11:01
indirectly based on physics via biochemistry and cam three so these two very disparate
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distant fields can share a common foundation but then architecture also
11:16
involves aesthetics does aesthetics similarly have a foundation that it
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shares with other fields well what is
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aesthetic what is a beauty certainly some things can seem to us to be
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beautiful and some to be ugly or boring and one thing we can say immediately is
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that beauty is not a matter of content but of form so for instance here's a
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boring picture and here is one with
12:04
essentially the same content and yet this one has some non-zero aesthetic
12:10
value you can see that it's likely that someone thought about this one but not
12:18
necessarily the previous one specifically you can tell that someone
12:25
thought about what it would take to improve this one aesthetically to make
12:30
it more beautiful now there are also
12:38
subjective sensations associated with beauty is what philosophers call these these subjective sensations qualia so
12:46
the qualia of beauty in this case fortunately that need not concern us here today because it will be entirely
12:54
unnecessary for me to define what beauty is that's lucky because I don't know but
13:00
I only need to consider what is in a certain sense that I will explain what
13:08
is attractive what experiences people might work to obtain more of so
13:17
so if you see a work of art that you appreciate what that means is that
13:22
you're willing to work to dwell on it to give it more of your attention in order
13:28
to appreciate more in it and what you're
13:35
appreciating in it is what you think is beautiful more centrally to this point
13:42
if you are an artist and halfway through the creative process you see something in your unfinished creation that you
13:50
want to work to bring out more of then if you're right that's beauty so beauty
13:57
in this sense is a form of attractiveness but that can't be all
14:02
there is to it because not all attractiveness has anything to do with aesthetics at all you lose your balance
14:08
and you fall off a log and that's just because we're all attracted to the
14:15
planet Earth now that may just seem like a play on the word attraction because
14:21
our attraction to the earth isn't due to any kind of aesthetic appreciation of the earth it's just a physical force it
14:28
effects artists no more than it affects aardvarks but but bear with me because
14:36
there are other ways in which the laws of physics can make us attracted to
14:41
something for example an animal can be
14:47
attracted to another animal in order to mate with it or to eat it and once the
14:53
predator has taken a bite its attracted to take another unless the bite tastes
15:00
funny in which case the animal will be repelled so there is a matter of taste
15:08
but that matter of taste is caused by a physical force not direct physical force
15:16
but nevertheless the laws of physics in the in the form of the laws of chemistry
15:21
and biochemistry and you can just trace how the presence of a particular
15:27
chemical causes the behavior of an ax more being attracted or repelled by
15:34
something so there's still no aesthetic in that animal's behavior no objective
15:40
beauty there being appreciated by anyone or anything it's just chemicals having
15:45
chemical effects and by the way his in here's another form of attraction a red traffic light a red traffic light can
15:52
induce us to stop and stare at it as long as it's red but that's not artistic
16:00
appreciation of the red light either even though it's an attraction because it's mechanical but if we were to
16:09
exclude all attractions caused by the laws of physics in any way from being
16:14
counted as as objectively aesthetic then we'd be on a very short slippery slope
16:19
to excluding absolutely everything because the laws of physics cause everything if analyzed in sufficient
16:26
detail everything is mechanical so it could be said so could one draw the
16:33
conclusion that beauty can't possibly be objective because our attractions to
16:39
anything at all are just called by the laws of physics no not at all that that
16:44
would be invalid because by the same argument science itself wouldn't be objective mathematics and even pure
16:52
logic wouldn't be objective because nothing would because what a scientist or a mathematician or a logician want to
17:00
say is equally caused by the chemicals that the physical and chemical
17:06
composition of their brain or else the probabilities are determined it makes no difference for the current argument but
17:13
it's a bad argument because it confuses prediction on the one hand that's what
17:20
the laws of physics do with explanation which is a deeper thing although the
17:25
physics the laws of physics in principle predict what a mathematician would save if one could do the impossible
17:32
calculation of working out what how his brain will behave but you can't explain
17:37
what a good mathematician does without referring to the objective truths of
17:43
mathematics the physics of the mathematicians brain but truths about abstract objects that
17:49
the a mathematician is studying that the mathematician can end up saying the words there is no largest prime number
17:55
and the real explanation of of the mathematician saying that is that there really isn't a largest prime number some
18:04
other mathematician may think that he's a beetroot and and because he's crazy
18:09
and he subjectively thinks that but in his case unlike the previous case there
18:17
is no objective explanation for his opinion other than the physical state of
18:25
his brain so the one that's discovering real mathematics the explanation goes
18:30
outside to something objective so um
18:37
the difference between sane and crazy and also the difference between
18:42
objective and purely subjective and the difference between creating something real and not is where the explanation
18:51
for what's happening is located somethings objective if it appears in true explanations of the world not just
18:59
explanations of the mind of the person who believes it and the predictive power of physical the laws of physics is not
19:08
at all relevant here because you can't the laws of physics can't predict what laws of physics are going to be
19:13
discovered next year because if you could you'd have discovered them this year that is because the discovery of
19:21
genuine objective knowledge is invariably creative you can't predict
19:27
new works of art either a new work of art like a newly discovered mathematical
19:33
theorem or law of nature brings something genuinely new into the world
19:41
it adds something and in exactly the
19:46
same way a viewer of art has to create a new understanding in order to appreciate
19:54
that art people often wax lyrical about the
20:02
alleged achievements of primitive cultures like for instance that of
20:07
ancient Easter Island with its 60-ton statues but the philosopher Jacob
20:18
Bronowski who is one of my heroes by the way dared to disagree with this
20:23
consensus he said the critical question about these statues is why were they all
20:32
made alike and he asked that question because repetition is not art merely
20:43
copying a work of art is not a creative act so these statues are not art they
20:51
are as Borowski said like frames in a
20:56
film that is running down what he meant was that in the culture that made those
21:04
statues no progress was being made artistic or any other kind and
21:10
successive statues of that dead culture were no more works of art than
21:16
successive frames of a film of one statue would be works of art now to say
21:24
that art is not empty repetition and of course nor is science is to say that
21:32
there is something inherently unpredictable about creativity because
21:37
anything that's predictable is necessarily repeating some defining
21:43
attribute of it but I have to stress because this is very often misunderstood
21:48
that unpredictable doesn't mean random at all in in fact in this case it means
21:54
almost exactly the opposite of random there's nothing random about what we discover about the laws of physics even
22:00
though that discovery is unpredictable in advance likewise the unpredictability
22:06
and the creativity of art does not make it andum or in any way arbitrary either
22:14
that creativity and that novelty are what is missing in all the examples I've
22:22
given so far of what is not objective beauty the attraction of falling to
22:29
earth or the the fascination of watching a red traffic light or the attraction of
22:35
an animal to its prey none of those are objective it's a seeking objective beauty now
22:41
does anything seek objective beauty well a big clue that there is genuine
22:46
creativity and and genuine novelty in some human tastes and some human
22:54
activities just as there is in scientific knowledge the clue that we're not just obeying our genes is that we
23:04
can act in ways which are manifestly contrary to any tastes and preferences
23:11
that might have been built into our genes we regularly eat and drink things
23:19
in order to obtain tastes which have evolved which evolved originally in
23:28
order to repel us for instance and which our tastes evolved to be repelled by for
23:35
instance the taste of of fermenting grains and one can learn and decide to
23:42
be attracted by those a similar example is that spices many of them evolved for
23:51
millions of years in order to have a taste that animals didn't like and yet
23:57
we learn to like to taste them another example is we have an inborn aversion to
24:04
Heights - - to falling off height even babies apparently have this inborn
24:10
aversion and animals certainly do and yet human beings regularly go
24:16
parachuting the sport not in spite of this inborn feeling of a
24:23
version but precisely because of it it's the very feeling of inborn fear and
24:28
aversion to Heights that a human being can interpret as part of a whole into a
24:35
bigger picture which to them is attractive which which to them is beautiful they want more of it in order
24:45
to appreciate it more deeply so the
24:50
ingredients of that attraction are not inborn they're not culturally imposed
24:58
just as the contents of a newly discovered law law of physics are not culturally imposed they are instead
25:08
reaching towards something that seems to us subjectively to be objective that is
25:18
to say we see it as having an attribute of beauty and I have to add I suppose
25:25
this is obvious but but even in physics and in mathematics the attraction of
25:31
doing those subjects which is the reason that they're done is ultimately
25:38
aesthetic we're pursuing truth our criterion is truth but we wouldn't
25:46
pursue it or even recognize it without its beauty now I think that that Keats
25:54
was there was being ironic or something in that poem where he said the truth
25:59
actually is beauty it certainly isn't any more than physics is mathematics or
26:05
all cats are dogs but beauty and scientific truth have something vital in
26:12
common namely their objectivity and what's more they are related
26:19
a world without aesthetics wouldn't be comprehensible scientifically and a
26:24
world that wasn't explicable in the scientific sense couldn't provide the
26:30
anchor in reality that objectively good art requires so
26:39
therefore if beauty is objective then it is indeed a form of truth because it is
26:46
then objectively true or false that something or other is or isn't beautiful or more beautiful than something else
26:52
it's objectively true or false that at
26:58
one page in the waste paper basket has less value or more value than the page
27:04
that eventually gets published so okay so we pursue truth and beauty and
27:14
they're connected in various ways but but we can be fooled we might see a
27:20
pretty face as beautiful because of the values and standards built into our
27:25
genes and into our culture and a praying mantis might see this as beautiful so
27:33
might some humans entomologists for instance in fact there's almost nothing
27:39
that a human can't learn to see as beautiful so you might take that as
27:47
evidence that beauty can't be objective but no because humans can learn to see
27:53
full scientific theories as as true as well they can learn to see false logic as true nevertheless
27:59
there is an objective truth accessible to science however what about this why
28:12
is this flower the shape it is well the
28:17
immediate answer is because its genes evolved over millions of years to make it attractive to insects so insects find
28:26
this attractive why do they find it attractive well on the face of it it's
28:34
for exactly the same reason as they find insects of the opposite sex attractive flowers are the shape they are because
28:41
they attract insects and insects are attracted by flowers
28:47
that's how they get food nectar and the the way this situation arose is that
28:53
there was coal evolution between genes in the flour and genes in the insect
28:59
just as there is coevolution between males and females of the same species so
29:06
there was a coevolution of criteria for what insects find attractive and means
29:16
of meeting the criteria which is how to make the shapes and patterns and the
29:22
colors of flowers so it's not surprising
29:27
that flowers contain knowledge of how to attract insects and insects contain the
29:35
desire to get closer to flowers with certain shapes and patterns to
29:41
experience more of a particular shape and pattern than of others that's not surprising but what is surprising is
29:48
that these same flowers also attract humans now this is a very familiar fact
29:58
to us so we don't see how amazing it is just look at this rather repulsive
30:05
animal and while you're at it think of all the countless different repulsively
30:13
ugly animals that there are in nature and think every one of them is naturally
30:21
found attractive by members of the opposite sex in that species and also by
30:27
their predators and therefore it's it's to be expected that we find most of them
30:34
repulsive unless we're zoologists or something by the way with with the
30:41
predators and prey that there's a similar coevolution but the other way around it's a competitive coevolution
30:46
with the Predators genes evolving to make the right prey look more attractive
30:53
to it and with the preys genes evolving to make the to become less attractive to
30:58
the predator and that's how camouflage happens and therefore it seems plausible
31:04
for that reason that the opposite of beautiful is not actually ugly but
31:09
rather boring like the camouflaged animal because ugly is distinctive and
31:15
so is only a matter of a reinterpretation away from beauty as any
31:24
zoologist in the audience would no doubt tell us and probably any chefs as well
31:31
anyway um it can happen but the local internal criteria that evolved within
31:37
the species happen to be produce something that's attractive to us as well for instance the Peacocks tail is
31:44
an example that's a rare anomaly produced by a run of a runaway arms race
31:51
in the in the coevolution between male and female
31:56
peacocks but in the elevator well mning majority of species we don't share any
32:04
of that species criteria for finding something attractive but with flowers
32:09
most flowers we do sometimes a tree can
32:15
be beautiful even over and above the cultural connotations that trees have
32:20
even a puddle of water can can be beautiful but only sometimes again such
32:26
cases are rare anomalies with flowers it's reliable so why do we find flowers
32:36
beautiful it's the title of my talk well perhaps the obvious answer which I'm
32:42
going to oppose is that it's not that flowers are objectively beautiful but
32:48
that it's merely a cultural phenomenon but I don't think that holds water
32:53
because we find flowers beautiful that we've never seen before and which haven't been known to our culture before
33:00
and quite reliably most people most cultures just think that that the same
33:08
is not at all true of the roots of a flower of a plant
33:14
nor the leaves just flower so I think there can be only one possible answer
33:20
overall that that flowers are beautiful
33:25
because the task that was faced in their
33:31
coevolution with insects was essentially one of signaling complex information
33:41
across a gap between the species species
33:47
that have nothing else in common so there's no shared genetic propensity existing before the evolution began
33:53
nothing like for instance even being able to recognize a fellow member of the same species which is needed for other
33:59
reasons before determining their attractiveness and perhaps most
34:04
important there are in the case of the flowers and insects there are no shared
34:10
existing genes for appearance and for criteria to - of attractiveness that
34:16
were inherited from the ancestor species from which that species evolved and that
34:22
such genes would only need to be modified a little for in order to work
34:28
in the new species but across the gap between distant unrelated species
34:36
they're starting from scratch and therefore my guess is and this is my
34:42
central thesis today but the easiest way to signal across such a gap is to use
34:48
objective standards of beauty not the species specific subjective standards
34:55
that are usually sufficient in the evolution of species and so flowers have
35:02
to be appealing by objective standards and insects have to be able to recognize some objective standards insects
35:09
recognize no other objective standards of anything very few other species are
35:16
attracted by flowers only the species that evolved to do it and human beings
35:24
and why just humans there's a very important reason it's
35:32
because signaling across the gap between two humans is analogous to signaling
35:39
across the gap between two entire species a human being in terms of
35:44
knowledge content and creative individuality is rather like an entire
35:51
species of any other animal it's an entire world unto itself unlike other
35:58
animals where all the animals of a particular species have the same programming and therefore use the same
36:04
criteria for what to be attracted by humans are quite unlike that the amount
36:11
of information in one human mind is greater than that in the entire genome
36:16
of any animal and overwhelmingly more than the genetic information that's
36:22
unique to one person so that means that human artists and scientists are trying
36:30
to signal across the same scale of gap as there exists between the flowers and
36:37
the insects now another possible objection to this theory is is to say
36:45
yes okay some some of what humans find attractive
36:50
in flowers or in art is indeed objective
36:56
but it is not objective beauty it's something more mundane there's something
37:01
like a liking for bright colors or for strong contrasts or symmetrical shapes
37:10
maybe humans have an inborn liking for symmetry because it helps us to classify
37:15
and order things and so organize our environment physically and conceptually which is what we evolved to do yes we we
37:26
almost certainly do have that sort of genetic trait but I think it's got nothing to do with why flowers are
37:32
beautiful because for instance some flowers are white for a start at least
37:37
they may be colored in colors that some insects but we can't but but they're white to us
37:43
and we still find them beautiful as for the contrast with the background
37:48
well yes all flowers contrast with their background they couldn't possibly perform as they're signalling function
37:55
if they didn't do that but a big hairy spider in the bath contrasts with its
38:02
background even more and yet there's no general consensus that that is beautiful
38:09
as for symmetry well yes again we like symmetry but spiders are quite
38:15
symmetrical and some flowers are very unsymmetrical and we don't find them any
38:24
less attractive for that now the mirror
38:31
image of that set of objections is another objection namely that we we also
38:38
find certain other things in nature beautiful things which all are not the
38:44
results of any artistic creativity or coevolution across a gap things like the
38:52
night sky or waterfalls or sunsets but I
38:58
think that that objection doesn't doesn't bear much closer inspection not every sunset is beautiful that they're
39:06
not all as beautiful as say this in fact not every photograph of even this sunset
39:14
was as beautiful if you were to look at the other photographs taken of this
39:19
sunset by this photographer you would find maybe dozens of others and and all
39:26
of them less good than this one because this is the one that the photographer chose to show and even this one could
39:34
easily be improved aesthetically what's more the
39:41
photographer didn't take a picture of a sunset at random or the sky at random nor with a random foreground not
39:49
randomly framed and composed and so on so many creative decisions went into
39:55
this photograph without them the image would have been far less beautiful if at
40:03
all now that's far less true of this picture
40:11
its attractiveness doesn't depend on a foreground it depends far less on composition and
40:19
so on and so with the sunset it's it's really the point of view the photograph
40:25
that's beautiful with the flowers it's each flower though undoubtedly they
40:33
can be made more beautiful by the creativity of an artist such as a photographer or a flower arranger so I
40:44
think that the only possible explanation of all these different instances that I've given of X finding Y beautiful or X
40:53
not finding Y beautiful or being attracted or not being attracted and so on at least the most plausible
40:58
explanation of all the examples taken together I think is that first of all
41:05
there do exist subjective standards of beauty which are essentially dumb animal
41:14
species specific standards of attractiveness or in the case of humans
41:21
there's also culture specific and individual specific standards but subjective and second there are also
41:30
objective standards that have nothing to do with species nothing to do with biology nothing to do with culture or
41:37
individual preferences they are as objective as the laws of physics or the
41:43
laws of mathematics so aesthetics is
41:49
objective and that tells us that when an artist creates of work of art they
41:55
really are engaging in the kind of thinking that goes into creating new
42:01
knowledge in science and in mathematics and in philosophy namely conjectures and
42:06
criticisms against improving standards we're by improving we mean objectively improving
42:15
artists have authentically artistic problems authentically aesthetic
42:24
problems and they try to solve them by conjecture and by improving both the
42:33
works of art and the criteria just like Beethoven is an artist the painting
42:38
isn't right you try to change it you try to you you improve it you and you also
42:44
change the criteria by which you're judging it and then you try to meet
42:50
those criteria and you find that you meet them imperfectly and so you improve
42:57
your guess as to what will meet them and also what they really should be and eventually if you're an artist and if
43:05
you're right then you end up with a work of art of objective value now I said
43:13
authentically artistic problems but there are two kinds of those that they're pure and applied rather like in
43:20
mathematics or in science there's there's pure as pure science such as physics and an applied related science
43:28
such as engineering same is true in art there's the applied kind of artistic
43:34
problem that's that there's the one that's faced by the flowers and insects where they have what's actually just a
43:40
practical problem but it happens to be best solved because of the logic of the
43:46
situation it's best solved by creating objective beauty rather than just
43:51
subjective standards of attractiveness and humans have those kind of problems too that the beauty of for instance the
44:00
Macintosh user interface was created essentially to promote design efficiency
44:08
and the the purpose the the beauty of a poem or a song may in some cases be a
44:17
practical the purpose may be practical two to two give cohesiveness to a culture or to
44:24
advance a certain political agenda or even to sell washing up liquid this
44:30
purpose purposes of that kind can be served either by creating objective
44:38
beauty or just by creating subjective beauty that appeals to the relatively
44:43
immutable dumb standards of genetic predisposition and the static non
44:50
creative parts of culture and then
44:56
there's the other kind of problem the pure kind which which doesn't have any analog in biological evolution that is
45:02
of creating beauty for its own sake and of advancing cultural standards cultural
45:09
aesthetic standards accordingly that is the analog of pure scientific research
45:15
of blue sky research and as I've explained the state of mind involved in
45:21
this sort of science and this sort of art is fundamentally the same both are
45:27
seeking what can perfectly justly be called objective truth by the way one
45:38
amusing corollary of of this theory is I think that it's very likely that human
45:45
appearance as selected for by human sexual selection or at least at least
45:53
the things about human faces and bodies that we find beautiful or attractive in
45:59
the sense of wanting to look at them at least in part that must satisfy
46:06
standards of objective beauty as well as species specific and cultural ones it's
46:15
just that we're not very far along that path yet because we only diverged from apes a few hundred thousand years ago so
46:23
our appearance isn't yet all that different from Apes but I would predict
46:28
that once we understand better what objective aesthetics actually is
46:35
we will find that the differences in appearance between us and apes are all
46:40
in the direction of making humans objectively more beautiful than Apes
46:51
we can't tell just by looking the same is true in science we can't tell the
46:58
difference subjectively between the motion of an aeroplane that we see going
47:04
across the sky which is objective motion and the motion of the Sun across the sky
47:11
which is purely subjective purely subjective illusion caused by our own motion and then they're there things
47:19
halfway between like the motion of the Moon which is a little bit of each so we can't tell just by appreciating a bit of
47:27
beauty whether it is subjective or objective any more than we can in science but the future objective study
47:36
of aesthetics might give us ways of telling the difference well why should
47:44
we bother to do that why not just go by we knows what we likes and and and never
47:50
mind the underlying reason because after all I've just said they feel exactly the
47:56
same because the reason the reason we
48:01
should bother is that the objective direction the direction of objective
48:07
improvement is the only one in which we can expect to make unlimited progress as
48:14
we can in science and mathematics and philosophy all the other directions the
48:21
subjective ones are inherently finite because they are circumscribed by the
48:28
finite knowledge inherent in our genes and in existing traditions that tells us
48:37
something about various theories that are going around or have gone around
48:43
about what art really is ancient art
48:50
that's objectively valuable such as that of say ancient Greece and its revival in
48:55
the Renaissance first concern themselves with things like the skill of
49:02
reproducing the exact appear of a face or human body or of a
49:08
perspective but that kind of skill though it is an objective skill and
49:15
although it facilitates real objective art is not in itself artistic precisely
49:22
because it is perfectible real art is capable of going on from
49:31
there and doing something beyond the perfection of any given skill and and
49:38
that's what the great artists of the Renaissance actually did also this idea
49:46
of objective beauty that I mean that I've been explaining or also I think explains the conventional wisdom which i
49:53
think is true that artistic appreciation can be more or less refined that is to
50:01
say there exists a sophisticated appreciation which is better than a
50:08
crude appreciation that a gourmet has a better life than someone who just
50:16
appreciates steak and chips it also tells us that the theory that art is
50:24
there to improve humankind well it does
50:29
have a grain of truth in that now we see that improving artistic values and artistic achievement is itself an
50:37
objective improvement and art like science can contribute to improving
50:44
humankind also in non aesthetic ways like like morally and politically in
50:49
whatever but that is not what art and science actually are and that's not what
50:57
artistic and scientific values actually are because you don't have a choice as
51:02
to what is or isn't an artistic improvement any more than you have a choice as to what's true and false in
51:07
mathematics and if you do try to tune your your theorems or your scientific
51:14
theories or your philosophical positions to meet a predetermined political agenda
51:20
say or a predetermined personal preference then you will automatically
51:25
be at cross-purposes with yourself even if you achieve it you you may have
51:30
advanced your cause but you won't have advanced science philosophy or in the
51:37
case of art you won't have advanced art
51:42
again the same critique also tells us that the theories of art that say that
51:49
art is about self-expression must be
51:54
wrong too because expression is about
52:00
how to convey something that is already there and objectively valuable art is
52:07
about creating something new that was not there before
52:12
also self-expression is by definition expressing something subjective while
52:19
art is inherently objective similarly
52:26
any kind of art that that consists of spontaneous acts like like throwing
52:34
paint onto canvas or or pickling sheep or and so on is unlikely to constitute
52:41
artistic progress objectively now if I'm
52:48
right in this whole picture of the relationship of art to knowledge the the
52:54
reality of artistic standards the relationship of art and science and all if I'm right about all that then one
53:02
nice implication is that the future of art is absolutely mind-boggling art of
53:09
the future it follows can create unlimited increases in beauty this may
53:18
seem fantastical but we've got quite used to assuming the same things true about technology which would have seemed
53:26
impossible during most of human history I can only speculate but we can also presumably
53:35
expect new kinds of unification for instance I've said that elegance which
53:42
is a kind of beauty is is implicated in scientific and mathematical discovery
53:49
well when we understand one day when we better understand what elegance actually
53:55
is then perhaps we will find new and better ways to seek truth using elegance
54:05
and beauty and quite likely also we'll be able to design after all our our
54:12
senses our subjective and parochial in that they all evolved for subjective
54:20
local reasons to do without the the history of our species quite likely we can once we understand better what
54:27
beauty really is we can design new senses new qualia that can encompass
54:35
beauty of new kinds which are literally inconceivable to us now what is it like
54:43
to be a bat that that's to be a bat which has which has echolocation instead
54:50
of sight as its main sense well that's a famous question in the philosophy of consciousness perhaps in future that
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will not so much be the task of philosophy to discover but the task of
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art new technological art to give us the
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experience of so that that's it thank you very much
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thank you very much David gosh that was absolutely brilliant I have one quick thank you question myself before we open
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to the floor um this is just on a personal note you talked about the
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notions of beauty with regards to the flowers like why are flowers beautiful
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and I was thinking that notion of beauty linking back to someone like shop and how Lucretius it's had to do with
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notions of cruelty so why flowers are beautiful actually quite cruel no concept the notion of survival with
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nature yes that there's some truth in that because I said that beauty and
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ugliness are only a matter of interpretation away from each other whereas beauty and boredom are not there
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there is a much bigger gap there however I don't think it's true that evolution
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is inherently savage or ugly I mean that that is true of biological evolution of
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animals and it's certainly true of the flowers and the insects which don't necessarily benefit each other with this
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signaling but humans have a choice to to create beauty in other ways which aren't
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cruel and so our progress and progress presumably is always here in progress is
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always more creative than destructive so we can eventually hope to make to find
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wheat well we can eventually hope that the objective standards of beauty will not be destructive thank you
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now I'm going to open out to the floor does anybody have any questions don't be
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shy the idea of objective beauty in
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flowers it seems to me that nature sometimes gets it wrong and flowers can
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be very very Kitsch not so a little over-the-top so that and I
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would imagine that that you couldn't get anyone to agree on the beauty value
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across the spectrum of flowers so I don't say yes it's I agree but I don't
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think that's an objection to this view because exactly the same thing is true in in science you know there's there's
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there's the famous poem which which the philosopher Karl Popper quotes two plus
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two is for tis true but too empty and too trite I would rather seek a clue to some
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matters not so light and that is saying that although there's no dispute about
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whether two plus two is four is true or not there is a dispute about what kinds
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of truth we ought to be seeking and the difference between kitsch and deeply
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beautiful is something that we can't expect to always agree on when we're
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making a lot of progress we can create more agreement about this and again exactly the same thing happens in
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science and in mathematics and philosophy so you know that the difference between a Kitsch flower and a
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beautiful flower is perhaps not that great by the standards of what humans
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can achieve in terms of beauty but then I'm not saying that the flowers are that
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great by human standards the mystery is why do we appreciate flowers at all when
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we don't appreciate almost anything else in nature that has evolved to be attractive I answered your question
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Pierson oh no it's your mom anything
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else well yes I'm saying that the other things that we appreciate in nature are
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either a coincidence like the Peacocks tail where we can see that the vast
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majority of things that evolved for those kinds of reasons are not attractive to us or things like the
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night sky and that sort of thing that they are beautiful because of their cultural connotations if you were to
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take a take just a piece of paper and put dots on it in the pit in the places where stars are then people wouldn't be
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very awed by looking at that picture that they are ordered by the night sky for cultural reasons so that there are
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all sorts of reasons that we subjectively find things including things in nature beautiful but some of
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them are cultural some of them are in our genes but you can't explain the flowers that way thank you any more
1:00:00
questions knowing that no in fact how about
1:00:08
crystal structures which I think all of us find I'm extremely attractive and
1:00:15
kind of all I'm in fact in fact and in all of their structures kind of in fact
1:00:22
our crystal structures all across in fact the possibility of yes and I did
1:00:29
mention that we almost certainly have an inborn appreciation of symmetry and
1:00:35
crystals explore all the different kinds of symmetry that can exist in
1:00:40
three-dimensional shapes and the if if
1:00:45
you have a crystal though if you have a rock that doesn't display a symmetry
1:00:52
then it is very rare for it to be beautiful at least not by consensus I
1:00:59
should also add but that a crystal garden or something like that is more
1:01:04
beautiful than a rigid honest but than an individual crystal unless the crystal has cultural connotations like a famous
1:01:11
diamond or whatever in that case those may help us to find it to find it
1:01:16
beautiful but again the with the flowers it's different the unsymmetrical ones are no less
1:01:23
beautiful than the symmetrical ones to the jhen our general appreciation unlike crystals okay you have one last
1:01:31
question please I think we had one up there
1:01:36
I'm interested in in what you've been saying you the whole talk has been fascinating and oh thank you and in
1:01:45
general I'm wondering because of the way the world is changing because of Technology because of I suppose our
1:01:52
collective consciousness and individual consciousness with our notions of beauty
1:01:58
change do you think does that is that something that you consider or think about it if I'm right at all then that
1:02:05
is bound to happen I not only our notions of beauty we I think our notions
1:02:12
of beauty probably have changed over a period of centuries anyway I mean if you look at let's say how which people are
1:02:21
regarded as beautiful in say the Renaissance they're not quite the same features as we would regard as beautiful
1:02:27
today and it's also different in different cultures even even currently but but I one would expect if this whole
1:02:37
picture is true one would expect standards of beauty and also different kinds of Beauty to
1:02:44
change rapidly once art has the same attitude towards creating knowledge as
1:02:50
science mathematics and philosophy do and I suppose that's what I'm calling for can I ask you something in relation
1:02:56
to that the role of yours especially in line with artists such as Giotto was to
1:03:01
support religion and therefore can religion was there but art was a kind of gesticulation of the Word of God do you
1:03:09
feel that maybe in the future that art replaces religion that doesn't support religion actually has its own concept within that well like I said anything
1:03:17
that arts supports I mean this is a legitimate role for art like for science to support things physics is used to
1:03:25
build bridges but that's not what physics is physics is an understanding
1:03:30
of the objective world and similarly art can be used to support all sorts of things and I think it's
1:03:36
great that art is used to support washing up liquid sales but but that's
1:03:42
not what art is either so Giotto and
1:03:48
and the conception of art as supporting religion is inherently finite and
1:03:53
therefore inherently not objectively artistic a thing like that runs out and
1:03:59
has to eventually be replaced by pursuing art for its own sake and yes
1:04:05
art could replace religion I mean science could replace really in in general open-ended creation can replace
1:04:13
religion and other closed systems thank you very much any more questions
1:04:20
one more a new standard of objective
1:04:30
beauty would be like a signpost to consciousness or do you think that you need to be a conscious observer to see
1:04:38
objective beauty which you think goes first yeah that's that's a great
1:04:43
question um I don't know is the answer I said at the beginning today that I won't have to actually say what beauty is the
1:04:51
the cuale of beauty it could be that understanding how Beauty works and
1:04:59
understanding how to create it and so on better would help us to understand the qualia of beauty in which case it would
1:05:06
definitely tell us something about consciousness but just because you have
1:05:12
to be conscious to appreciate beauty doesn't mean that once we understand Beauty we understand consciousness you
1:05:19
you have to be you have to be conscious to create knowledge and yet we created a
1:05:26
vast amount of knowledge in science and mathematics and so on without ever understanding what consciousness is so
1:05:33
it may help or it may not well David thank you very very much on
1:05:39
behalf of the Irish Museum of Modern Art the brilliant talk today so thank you very very much thank you
1:05:52
hello the audience thanks for coming I'm just to tell everybody that Luna
1:05:58
reggae continues until the 18th and we also have two shows opening Alex Katz
1:06:04
and Thomas demand and that's coming so do look to our program for that thank you very much thank you David thanks
1:06:13
thank you hi everyone hi David we'll be in touch
1:06:20
as well okay I'm Sophie it's good you
1:06:30

END




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Quk
Beiträge: 2198
Registriert: So 23. Jul 2023, 15:35

Mo 10. Jun 2024, 00:28

David sagte, dass Attraktivität nichts ästhetisches sein müsse. Das sehe ich auch so, denn etwas hässliches zu erkennen und aus Neugier näher zu betrachten, kann lebensnotwendig sein. Die Attraktion wird von unserem Lernwillen erzeugt. David nannte dann auch buchstäblich die Attraktion der Gravitation -- und dies nicht als Metapher. Die Anziehungskraft sei physikalisch etc. und damit objektiv. Danach sagte er folgendes:
David Deutsch hat geschrieben : anything at all are just called by the laws of physics no not at all that that
16:44
would be invalid because by the same argument science itself wouldn't be objective mathematics and even pure
16:52
logic wouldn't be objective because nothing would because what a scientist or a mathematician or a logician want to
17:00
say is equally caused by the chemicals that the physical and chemical
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composition of their brain or else the probabilities are determined it makes no difference for the current argument but
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it's a bad argument because it confuses prediction on the one hand that's what
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the laws of physics do with explanation which is a deeper thing although the
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physics the laws of physics in principle predict what a mathematician would save if one could do the impossible
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calculation of working out what how his brain will behave but you can't explain
Diese Begründung kann ich nicht nachvollziehen. Ich denke, der Mathematiker und die Mathematik sind zwei verschiedene Sachen. Ja, die persönlichen Absichten des Mathematikers mögen aus biochemischen Mechanismen herrühren. Jedoch ist die Mathematik an sich, mit der er seine Absichten formuliert, kein biochemischer Mechanismus. Die Mathematik ist objektiv. Die Absicht ist subjektiv. David scheint das zu vermischen, wenn ich ihn richtig verstehe. Wenn er dies als eine Prämisse nimmt für den restlichen Vortrag, wirds spannend ...




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Jörn Budesheim
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Mo 10. Jun 2024, 07:39

Hier meine superkurze Zusammenfassung nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen.

Nach David Deutsch gibt es zwei Arten von Eigenschaften, die wir Schönheit nennen können:
  1. Die parochialistische* Form von Attraktivität: Diese ist auf eine Spezies, eine Kultur oder ein Individuum beschränkt. Spezies-spezifische Schönheit hat es schon immer gegeben, wobei Mitglieder einer Spezies sich gegenseitig attraktiv finden können.
  2. Die universelle Schönheit: Diese hat mit der parochialistischen Form nichts zu tun und ist so objektiv wie die Gesetze der Physik. (Wie) ist sie evolutionär entstanden? Blumen standen vor der "evolutionären Herausforderung" [meine Metapher], für Mitglieder anderer Arten attraktiv zu sein, nämlich für bestäubende Insekten. Die auf eine Spezies, eine Kultur oder ein Individuum beschränkte Schönheit reicht nicht aus, andere Spezies zu erreichen. Durch Koevolution entwickelten Blumen Merkmale, um Insekten anzulocken. Das führte zur Entstehung von Schönheit, die über Artgrenzen hinweg erkannt werden kann und sich gemäß David Deutsch nicht auf andere Kriterien wie Symmetrie oder Ähnliches reduzieren lässt. Dadurch entstand eine andere Form als die parochialistische Form der Schönheit, die im Unterschied zur ersten universell und objektiv ist. In der eigenen Zusammenfassung schreibt er: Die Tatsache, dass Blumen dem Menschen verlässlich schön erscheinen, obwohl sich ihre Designs evolutionär zu einem anscheinend nicht verwandten Zweck entwickelt haben, ist Tatsachenmaterial dafür, dass Schönheit objektiv ist.
Hier ist diese Zusammenfassung:

Es gibt in der Ästhetik objektive Wahrheiten. Das Standardargument, dass es keine geben könne, ist ein Überbleibsel des Empirismus [den er an anderer Stelle scharf kritisiert]. Ästhetische Wahrheiten sind durch Erklärungen mit faktischen Wahrheiten verbunden, auch deshalb, weil künstlerische Probleme aus physikalischen Fakten und Situationen heraus entstehen können. Die Tatsache, dass Blumen dem Menschen verlässlich schön erscheinen, obwohl sich ihre Designs evolutionär zu einem anscheinend nicht verwandten Zweck entwickelt haben, ist Tatsachenmaterial dafür, dass Schönheit objektiv ist. Diese sich aneinander annähernden Schönheitskriterien lösen das Problem, schwer zu fälschende Signale zu schaffen, wenn vorheriges gemeinsames Wissen nicht ausreicht, um sie zu liefern.

Aus dem Vorwort des Übersetzers:

*Zu guter Letzt wäre da noch das Wort »parochialistisch«. Im Deutschen wird das verwandte Wort »parochial« üblicherweise nur für kirchenbezogene Angelegenheiten verwendet. Im vorliegenden Text hat der Begriff »parochialistisch« jedoch eine umfassendere Bedeutung: Er geht auf den englischen Begriff parochial zurück, der sowohl die kirchenbezogene Bedeutung hat als auch - für unsere Zwecke hier relevant - so viel wie »einen engen Horizont haben« oder »provinzlerisch« bedeutet. Wer beispielsweise glaubt, dass sich der Nachthimmel und die Sterne um die Erde drehen, weil das aus seiner beschränkten Perspektive so aussieht, begeht einen parochialistischen Fehler, verschreibt sich damit dem Parochialismus. An dieser Stelle besten Dank an einen anonymen Helfer‘* aus dem Internet, dessen Namen ich leider nicht herausfinden konnte, der >»parochialistisch« als Übersetzung vorgeschlagen und »Parochialismus« recherchiert hat, sowie an Kevin Schawinski, der dieses Wortpaar überprüft hat.




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Jörn Budesheim
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Mo 10. Jun 2024, 08:06

Bin ich mit dieser Argumentation einverstanden? Ich kann es nicht sagen. Immerhin kommt sie zum richtigen Ergebnis: "Es gibt objektive Wahrheiten in der Ästhetik". Daran habe ich nicht den geringsten Zweifel. Die Argumentation ist atemberaubend einfach, wenn ich sie überhaupt richtig verstehe ... Aber kann es wirklich so einfach sein? Ja, vielleicht. Ich habe dazu keine abschließende Meinung. Deswegen hatte ich auf diesen Thread gehofft :-)




Wolfgang Endemann
Beiträge: 253
Registriert: Di 23. Apr 2024, 14:30

Mo 10. Jun 2024, 09:42

Jörn Budesheim hat geschrieben :
So 9. Jun 2024, 21:30
Ich sehe nach wie vor nicht, dass du dich in irgendeiner Form auf die Argumentation von Deutsch beziehst.
....
Dann argumentiere ich mal vom anderen Ende her.
Wenn es eine unbezweifelbare objektive Schönheit gäbe, dh ich gezwungen wäre, etwas als "schön" zu empfinden, dann wäre die Schönheit eine empirisch nachweisbare Eigenschaft mancher Dinge, wie die Oberflächenstruktur, wenn es ein festes Objekt ist, oder wie seine Geschwindigkeit, wenn es sich bewegt. Und diese Eigenschaft der Dinge wäre mit einer unvermeidlichen angeborenen Empfindung verbunden. Der optischen Sinneswahrnehmung wäre ein Schönheitssinn integriert, dessen Erfassung zur ganzen Wahrheit über das Verhältnis von Innen und Außen des Menschen dazugehörte. Hiermit habe ich negativ formuliert, was ich vorher positiv artikuliert habe. Nicht näher begründet habe ich es, weil ich es für selbstverständlich hielt.
Von mangelnder Ahnung, was Schönheit ist, habe ich bei David Deutsch geschrieben, weil er nicht einmal den Unterschied vom sogenannten Naturschönen zum Kunstschönen verstanden hat, und daher etwas völlig verschiedenes mit dem gleichen Begriff "Schönheit" belegt, von Dir als Künstler habe ich erwartet, daß Du das verstehst. Und von Dir als philosophierendem Künstler habe ich erwartet, daß Du weißt, daß dieser rein objektive Begriff von Schönheit allenfalls dem Naturschönen zugesprochen werden kann.
Wie kann man eine Sinfonie oder Suite von Schreker oder eine Collage von Max Ernst als objektiv schön behaupten? Als etwas, das von allen Menschen als schön empfunden werden muß? Eine Minderheit erkennt deren Schönheit, sind die meisten geistesgestört, weil sie das, was schön gefunden werden muß, nicht so wahrnehmen können? Oder sind sie nicht vielmehr nicht hinreichend gebildet, haben nicht den Schönheitssinn ausgebildet, weil der eben nicht von Natur aus in uns liegt?




Wolfgang Endemann
Beiträge: 253
Registriert: Di 23. Apr 2024, 14:30

Mo 10. Jun 2024, 09:55

PS. Ich mache mir nicht die Mühe, minutiös, oder besser sekundiös nachzuweisen, wo Deutsch falsch liegt. Nicht in allem, aber in vielem Wesentlichen. Wenn man meiner integralen Einschätzung widerspricht, könnte ich ins Detail gehen..




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