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advise the critics to leave the artists in peace, for they can only derive inspiration from what has moved their soul. They should rather direct their attention towards effecting changes in surrounding nature and society, that such impressions and states of soul should not recur. If ugliness were to vanish from the world, if universal virtue and felicity were established there, perhaps artists would no longer represent perverse or pessimistic feelings, but calm, innocent and joyous feelings, Arcadians of a real Arcady. But so long as ugliness and turpitude exist in nature and impose themselves upon the artist, to prevent the expression of these things also is impossible ; and when it has arisen, factum infectum fieri nequit. We speak thus entirely from the aesthetic point of view, and of pure criticism of art. We are not concerned to estimate the damage which the criticism of “choice ’ does to artistic production, with the prejudices which it produces or maintains among the artists themselves, and with the conflict to which it gives rise between artistic impulse and critical demands. It is true that sometimes it seems also to do some good, by aiding artists to discover themselves, that is, their own impressions and their own inspiration, and to acquire consciousness of the task which is, as it were, imposed upon them by the historical moment in which they live, and by their individual temperament. In these cases, criticism of “choice,” while believing that it generates, merely recognizes and aids the expressions which are already being formed. It believes itself to be the mother, |where, at most, it is only the midwife. The independ. The impossibility of choice of content completes the *** theorem of the independence of art, and is also the only legitimate meaning of the expression : art for art's sake. ~~ Art is independent both of science and of the useful and the moral. There should be no fear lest frivolous or cold art should thus be justified, since what is truly frivolous or cold is so because it has not been raised to expression ; or in other words, frivolity and frigidity come always from the form of the aesthetic treatment, from failure to
grasp a content, not from the material qualities of the content itself. The saying: the style is the man, can also not be com- criticism of the pletely criticized, save by starting from the distinction ...i.a. between the theoretic and the practical, and from the theoretic character of the aesthetic activity. Man is not simply knowledge and contemplation: he is will, which contains the cognitive moment in itself. Hence the saying is either altogether void, as when it is taken to mean that the style is the man qua style—is the man, that is, but only so far as he is expressive activity; or it is erroneous, as when the attempt is made to deduce what a man has done and willed from what he has seen and expressed, thereby asserting that there is a logical connexion between knowing and willing. Many legends in the biographies of artists have sprung from this erroneous identification, since it seemed impossible that a man who gives expression to generous feelings should not be a noble and generous man in practical life ; or that the dramatist whose plays are full of stabbing, should not himself have done a little stabbing in real life. Artists protest vainly : “Lasciva est nobis pagina, vita proba.” They are merely taxed in addition with lying and hypocrisy. How far more prudent you were, poor women of Verona, when you founded your belief that Dante had really descended to hell upon his blackened countenance Yours was at any rate a historical conjecture. Finally, sincerity imposed as a duty upon the artist Criticism of (a law of ethics also said to be a law of esthetic) rests ...”.” upon another double meaning. For by sincerity may art. be meant, in the first place, the moral duty not to deceive one's neighbour; and in that case it is foreign to the artist. For indeed he deceives no one, since he gives form to what is already in his soul. He would only deceive if he were to betray his duty as an artist by failing to execute his task in its essential nature. If lies and deceit are in his soul, then the form which he gives to these things cannot be deceit or lies, precisely because it is aesthetic. If the artist be a charlatan, a
liar, or a miscreant, he purifies his other self by reflecting
it in art. If by sincerity be meant, in the second place, fulness and truth of expression, it is clear that this second sense has no relation to the ethical concept. The law, called both ethical and aesthetic, reveals itself here as nothing but a word used both by Ethics and AEsthetic.
ANALOGY BETWEEN THE THEORETIC AND
THE double degree of the theoretical activity, aesthetic The two forms and logical, has an important parallel in the practical so." activity, which has not yet been placed in due relief. The practical activity is also divided into a first and second degree, the second implying the first. The first practical degree is the simply useful or economical activity; the second the moral activity.
Economy is, as it were, the AEsthetic of practical life; Morality its Logic.
If this has not been clearly seen by philosophers; the economic. if the correct place in the system of the spirit has not *** been given to the economic activity, if it has been left to wander about in the prolegomena to treatises on political economy, often vague and but little developed, this is due, among other reasons, to the fact that the useful or economic has been confused, sometimes with the concept of the technical, sometimes with that of the egoistical.
Technique is certainly not a special activity of the Distinction spirit. Technique is knowledge; or rather, it is know- #on. ledge itself in general which takes this name when it serves technical. as basis, as we have seen it does, for practical action. Knowledge which is not followed, or is supposed not to be easily followed by practical action, is called “pure " : the same knowledge, if effectively followed by action, is called “applied ”; if it is supposed that it can be easily followed by a particular action, it is called “applicable "
Distinction of the useful from the egoistic.
or “technical.” This word, then, indicates a situation in