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By R. W. Beardsmore (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1349009520

ISBN-13: 9781349009527

ISBN-10: 1349009547

ISBN-13: 9781349009541

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Extra resources for Art and Morality

Sample text

At a certain point, without rhyme or reason, it makes a man see a barrier he cannot pass; he can only say that he does not consider himselffree to improve the situation in just that way. 1 For the man of whom Stocks speaks, it is morality which creates his problem. It is because he feels scruples about certain actions that he faces the difficulties he does. For his partner who feels no such scruples, no problem exists. He will simply act in the manner most likely to secure him the greatest gains.

1 In its implication that the enjoyment of natural objects differs from that of works of art only in intensity, this passage brings to mind L. A. Reid's claim that 'the difference between the appreciation of a wild rose and of Bach's complete Goldberg variations is just one of degree'. 2 And Urmson's subsequent remarks do nothing to destroy the comparison. J 1 J. 0. ', Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, supp. vol. XXXI (1957) p. 76. A. Reid, A Study in Aesthetics (1931) p. , p. 87. ART AND SOCIETY But Urmson's remarks, like those of Reid, are confusing; for by concentrating attention upon the beauty of a rose or an orchid one is ignoring precisely what is important in the appreciation of Hamlet or the Goldberg variations, namely a grasp of the traditions within which Shakespeare or Bach worked.

At a certain point, without rhyme or reason, it makes a man see a barrier he cannot pass; he can only say that he does not consider himselffree to improve the situation in just that way. 1 For the man of whom Stocks speaks, it is morality which creates his problem. It is because he feels scruples about certain actions that he faces the difficulties he does. For his partner who feels no such scruples, no problem exists. He will simply act in the manner most likely to secure him the greatest gains.

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Art and Morality by R. W. Beardsmore (auth.)


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