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Objectivist Esthetics

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Jonathan13
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*** Split from another thread. -sN ***

Good posts, Shades.

The Objectivist Esthetics contains some contradictions and other problems (as well as some interesting insights). My view is that we should be as generous with abstract art, and all other non-objective art forms, as Rand was with music, a non-objective art form. She admitted that music does not have an objective conceptual vocabulary, and stated that until one "is discovered and defined, no objectively valid criterion of esthetic judgment is possible in the field of music." She stated that we must treat our musical tastes as a subjective matter. She recognized that music is not directly representational or objectively mimetic. Yet she still classified music as a valid art form based on the expectation that at some time in the future an objective conceptual vocabulary will be discovered. Well, there's no reason to not expect the same of abstract visual art and all other non-objective art forms: we can just as validly declare that some day objective conceptual vocabularies will be discovered for them, so they are also valid art forms today.

And we should also be as open as Rand was in allowing architecture to remain classified as art despite directly contradicting her definition and her explicitly stated requirements of art. She stated that "art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments...it serves no practical, material end, but is an end in itself; it serves no purpose other than contemplation... utilitarian objects cannot be classified as works of art." Yet she claimed that architecture is an art form that "combines art with a utilitarian purpose and does not re-create reality."

J

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Good posts, Shades.

And we should also be as open as Rand was in allowing architecture to remain classified as art despite directly contradicting her definition and her explicitly stated requirements of art. She stated that "art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments...it serves no practical, material end, but is an end in itself; it serves no purpose other than contemplation... utilitarian objects cannot be classified as works of art." Yet she claimed that architecture is an art form that "combines art with a utilitarian purpose and does not re-create reality."

J

This idea of rand--Architecture as Art--perhaps takes years to validate: it is not easy. Why should a house be art? What "metaphysical value-judgment" is implied by this idea?

It's a primordial art: Why do we need confined space? We can and should determine our immediate universe for our purposeful judgment of what will make us happy, given the function that we have decided is our goal to reach: VERY METAPHYSICAL.

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This idea of rand--Architecture as Art--perhaps takes years to validate: it is not easy. Why should a house be art? What "metaphysical value-judgment" is implied by this idea?

The issue is not whether or not architecture can be expressive, or whether or not one can infer "metaphysical value-judgments" from looking at it, but the fact that the Objectivist positions are that art is a selective re-creation of reality, that utilitarian objects cannot be art, and, at the same time, that architecture is art despite Rand's view that it does not re-create reality and that it is utilitarian.

It's a primordial art: Why do we need confined space? We can and should determine our immediate universe for our purposeful judgment of what will make us happy, given the function that we have decided is our goal to reach: VERY METAPHYSICAL.

And there are millions of people who think the same thing about couture, high-end automotive, furniture and appliance design, etc. They see such art forms as being very expressive, and on a very metaphysical level (as Rand used the term in regard to aesthetic judgments). If architecture doesn't have to "re-create reality," and its utilitarian nature can be overlooked, there's no reason the same exceptions can't be made for other utilitarian and "non-re-creational" forms of artistic expression.

J

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The issue is not whether or not architecture can be expressive, or whether or not one can infer "metaphysical value-judgments" from looking at it, but the fact that the Objectivist positions are that art is a selective re-creation of reality, that utilitarian objects cannot be art, and, at the same time, that architecture is art despite Rand's view that it does not re-create reality and that it is utilitarian.

It does re-create reality. It re-creates Roark's metaphysical value-judgements! That's the whole point. That's why as a modern novel it would be unrealistic and fantastic, though it is in significant ways naturalistic ...

The whole point of the novel is that ARCHITECTURE IS ART ... and in the corpus of Rand, the only place one will find her answer is in THE FOUNTAINHEAD.

Don Joselito.

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It does re-create reality. It re-creates Roark's metaphysical value-judgements! That's the whole point. That's why as a modern novel it would be unrealistic and fantastic, though it is in significant ways naturalistic ...

The whole point of the novel is that ARCHITECTURE IS ART ... and in the corpus of Rand, the only place one will find her answer is in THE FOUNTAINHEAD.

Don Joselito.

I understand, Don, and, personally, I agree with you that architecture is art. My point, though, is that in your comments above, you're disagreeing with Rand. As I mentioned above, she stated that architecture does not re-create reality.

J

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