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have been altogether failures, but would have anticipated
representing an equilibrium between idea and form, a
works which one epoch produces in respect to another. Thus it may be said that there was aesthetic progress, an artistic awakening in Italy, at the end of the thirteenth or of the fifteenth century. Finally, aesthetic progress is talked of in a third sense, with an eye to the refinement and complications of soul-states exhibited in the works of art of the most civilized peoples, as compared with those of less civilized peoples, barbarians and savages. But in this case the progress is of the comprehensive psycho-social conditions, not of the artistic activity, to which the material is indifferent. These are the most important points to note concerning the method of artistic and literary history.
Summary of A GLANCE over the path traversed will show that we
have completed the entire programme of our treatise. We have studied the nature of intuitive or expressive knowledge, which is the aesthetic or artistic fact (I. and II.), and described the other form of knowledge, the intellectual, and the successive complications of these forms (III.); it thus became possible for us to criticize all erroneous aesthetic theories arising from the confusion between the various forms and from the illicit transference of the characteristics of one form to another (IV.), noting at the same time the opposite errors to be found in the theory of intellectual knowledge and of historiography (V.). Passing on to examine the relations between the aesthetic activity and the other activities of the spirit, no longer theoretic but practical, we indicated the true character of the practical activity and the place which it occupies in respect to the theoretic activity: hence the criticism of the intrusion into aesthetic theory of practical concepts (VI.); we have distinguished the two forms of the practical activity, as economic and ethical (VII.), reaching the conclusion that there are no other forms of the spirit beyond the four which we have analyzed ; hence (VIII.) the criticism of every mystical or imaginative AEsthetic. And since there are no other spiritual forms co-ordinate with these, so there are no original subdivisions of the four established, and in particular of AEsthetic. From this arises the impossibility of classes of expressions and the criticism of Rhetoric, that is, of ornate expression distinct from simple expression, and of other similar distinctions and subdistinctions (IX.). But by the law of the unity of the spirit, the aesthetic fact is also a practical fact, and as such, occasions pleasure and pain. This led us to study the feelings of value in general, and those of aesthetic value or of the beautiful in particular (X.), to criticize aesthetic hedonism in all its various manifestations and complications (XI.), and to expel from the system of AEsthetic the long series of psychological concepts which had been introduced into it (XII.). Proceeding from aesthetic production to the facts of reproduction, we began by investigating the external fixing of the aesthetic expression, for the purpose of reproduction. This is called the physically beautiful, whether natural or artificial (XIII.). We derived from this distinction the criticism of the errors which arise from confounding the physical with the aesthetic side of facts (XIV.). We determined the meaning of artistic technique, or that technique which is at the service of reproduction, thus criticizing the divisions, limits and classifications of the individual arts, and establishing the relations of art, economy and morality (XV.). Since the existence of physical objects does not suffice to stimulate aesthetic reproduction to the full, and since, in order to obtain it, we must recall the conditions in which the stimulus first operated, we have also studied the function of historical erudition, directed toward reestablishing the communication between the imagination and the works of the past, and to serve as the basis of the aesthetic judgement (XVI.). We have concluded our treatise by showing how the reproduction thus obtained is afterwards elaborated by the categories of thought, that is to say, by an examination of the method of literary and artistic history (XVII.). The aesthetic fact has in short been considered both in itself and in its relations with the other spiritual activities, with the feelings of pleasure and pain, with what are called