Erkenntnis 12 (1):119 - 128 (1978)

Goodman's analytical treatment of art is most subtle as it unites the comprehending of a general theory of symbolic systems with doing justice to the peculiar characteristics of art symbolics. My only two reservations about his argumentation concern: a) the cognitive status of art and b) the cultural aspects as the exclusive framework of aesthetic experience. Goodman states that art's primary purpose is cognition but does not differentiate the meanings of the cognitive status of a work of art. I find that he neglected the para-Philosophical kind of cognition and entirely left out of his scheme the empathic experiences and hermeneutic proceedings. My conclusion is then that the arts differ among themselves as to symbolic structures and are unequally outfitted with cognition. Moreover, In some arts (or some particular cases) the non-Cognitive elements can take priority over the cognitive ones. With respect to the second reservation I argue that although all symbolic systems are culturally made, It would be too hasty to reject some supracultural standards of artistic practice and aesthetic experience. I cite some concrete instances which provide counter arguments to goodman's thesis.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00209919
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