The generalizing methods of philosophies achieve a popularity for a period of time, which may be extended or brief, during which their proponents and even their opponents may regard them as the cognitive presuppositions for the epoch. The same effect is achieved by the more exact scientific methodologies as they find fame outside the scientific circle and are treated by some as omnipotent discoveries with powers to heal all other disciplines which may be ailing. The limping disciplines, generally classified among (...) the humanities and discerned to be in trouble since the nineteenth century, are understandably envious of the seemingly invincible, favored scientific children of our time. For our era tends to worship quantifiable data and the principles and instruments for measuring and conceptualizing it. Thus semiotics and information theory, in hopes of acquiring the status of the sciences, have led aesthetic inquiry toward the currently popular scientism; but the limited cognitive scope of this methodology has not been recognized. Sociology of knowledge, however, forewarns us of the winds of fashion on cognitive paradigms. Where the inherent explanatory scope of a doctrine, system, or method is less than is believed according to the prevailing sociological patterns, a correction will eventually set in. And an important factor in overcoming the para-religious claims will be, precisely, the fundamental antinomical tendency of the human mind. Stefan Morawski, Research Professor at the Institute of Arts of the Polish Academy of Sciences, has lectured throughout the United States and is currently teaching at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. His works have appeared in a variety of languages: Marxism and Aesthetics: History of Ideas has been published in Spanish and Italian; Absolute and Form, in Polish, Italian, and French; and, in English, Inquiries into the Fundamentals of Aesthetics. (shrink)
Drawing on Richard Kilminster and Ian Varcoe's article concerning the main themes of Bauman's sociology, this article emphasizes what was left aside. Another characteristic quality is focusing on the Polish issues, that is, the native tradition in humanities, the specific vicissitudes of sociology after 1945, Bauman's personal background, his gradual change of philosophic views through the phase of his dissident activity till the 1970s, when he transgressed the Marxist worldview. The way in which way Bauman combines many talents is also (...) pointed out and analysed and his latest creative period, opened by the publication of Legislators and Interpreters, is brought to light. Bauman's diagnosis and weighted appreciation of the present-day cultural breakthrough, named postmodernity, were enriched and deepened with each subsequent book. There is a touch of genius in the scope and mode of dealing with this problematic. Bauman's international fame seems to be well deserved and firmly grounded. (shrink)
To philosophize or not is a matter of conscious choice and option. But when we start with such a premise, we have to lay down what we understand by this activity. In the paper the author undertakes this task, distinguishing four-fold the philosophizing practice with regard to the domain of aesthetics. In the final section of the paper he considers the problem which seems to him fundamental, namely why today philosophizing via aesthetics in a definite way should be recommendable and (...) primary, as well as why it has to be bitter-juicy. (shrink)
Recalling his Warsaw Uprising days after years and from a considerable distance, Morawski reflects on human behavior during the fighting and the degree to which it was justified, simultaneously wondering whether humans had the right to take the lives of other humans. He also dwells on the erroneousness of memories recalled after years. The text is full of critical reflection on the Uprising and human attitudes during the battles.
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. (shrink)