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She may not have been speaking for any organization or movement in The Romantic Manifesto, but she was speaking in the name of her philosophy of Objectivism. The Romantic Manifesto presents her theory of the fifth branch of her philosophy.
No, she was speaking philosophically on the philosophical aspects, as an author on others, and personally on a third set. Philosophically, she presents a theory of the need for art and its link with sense of life. However, since she champions Romanticism, she also says that the book is a personal manifesto (even including the term inn the title of the book). Clearly she thought Naturalism could be good esthetically even if she disliked it.
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Why did Ayn Rand believe that certain types of modern art, certain types of modern dance, certain types of modern music have a disintegrating effect on consciousness? Why is integration/“dis”inte

No, she didn't "identify" anyone's psychology. A person would have to actually meet and get to know another person in order to identify his psychology. She merely psychologized about people who like a

Rand's recognition that there is not an objective "conceptual language of music" is the recognition that music does not present objectively identifiable, intelligible subjects and meanings, as is her

No, she was speaking philosophically on the philosophical aspects, as an author on others, and personally on a third set. Philosophically, she presents a theory of the need for art and its link with sense of life. However, since she champions Romanticism, she also says that the book is a personal manifesto (even including the term inn the title of the book). Clearly she thought Naturalism could be good esthetically even if she disliked it.

Yes, in The Romantic Manifesto Rand says that Naturalism can be aesthetically great. That is her official Objectivist, philosophical position, and not just her personal opinion. She also judged Romanticism to be morally superior to Naturalism, and that is also her official Objectivist, philosophical position, and not merely her personal opinion.

J

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Yes, in The Romantic Manifesto Rand says that Naturalism can be aesthetically great. That is her official Objectivist, philosophical position, and not just her personal opinion. She also judged Romanticism to be morally superior to Naturalism, and that is also her official Objectivist, philosophical position, and not merely her personal opinion.
Do you have some particular reference in mind here?
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No, I think Picasso's paintings were deliberate departures from true perspective. But no one has proved to me that his playing with perspective was a "rebellion against consciousness" or an attempt to "disintegrate man's consciousness," versus that he was just committing innocent "errors of knowledge," or that he was even wrong to begin with. I've heard of no Objectivists, including Rand, quoting him or any other Cubist and then addressing their actual views on what and why they were doing what they did with their art.

The same is true of aesthetic theorists and practitioners of abstract art. I know of no Objectivist who has addressed their actual views on what abstract art is, and how it works. No evidence has been presented to back up the claims that they were unfocused, faking reality, or out to disintegrate man's conciousness, or that they were not making innocent "errors of knowledge," let alone that their theories were wrong.

I don't know much about Picasso or any cubist, but I found this after a little googling:

http://www.goodart.org/picconf.htm

Based on those few quotes i'm inclined to think he was in fact rather twisted. Though in fairness that page is not enough to make any final judgement.

So, what's your take on it? What's the idea behind cubism? What are the metaphysical value judgements?

Btw, unlike Rand, I don't have a problem with artists intentionally deviating from true perspective. I see no difference in enhancing the effects of perspective than in enhancing the effects of color or any other element which Rand would have found perfectly acceptable to enhance. Just because Rand or anyone else might not recognize that an artist is romanticizing perspective, or any other aspect of his art, doesn't mean that he's rebelling against consciousness or whatever.

Personally I regard perspective, light and color theory(among other things) as tools of the trade. I have no problems with deviations when it serves a good purpose. Heck, one of my favorite paintings has a green sky. There's something you don't see every day. Atleast not on planet earth.

From what I understand of Ayn Rand's tastes, that she liked some of Dali's and Capuletti's works, i'm not so sure she had problems with such deviations per se.

The same can be true of an artist's intentional altering of perspective. An artist may wish to enhance the perspective in an image for reasons that those inexperienced in the visual arts may not recognize just by looking at a painting with their novice eyes.

The question then remains, what is it and what does it communicate?

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My understanding of Picasso was that he was a classically trained artist, meaning he knew how to draw well in the ordinary sense. He put that technique aside in favor of making a statement with Cubism. He knew what he was doing. Given that he was Spanish and Spain had gone through a long decline culminating with the loss of the remnant of the Spanish Empire in the Spanish-American War and then Spain itself was convulsed by the Spanish Civil War, an artistic statement about fragmentation and disintegration is understandable on his own local terms. When he became a worldwide sensation then that speaks to something a little more profound then just the fate of Spain, and has more to say about the world than it does Picasso at that point.

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Do you have some particular reference in mind here?

I don't have a particular reference handy, but I do have several in mind. In Rand's comments on Romanticism, she explicitly mentions what Objectivism (and Objectivists) holds to be true, which is that Romanticism presents the morally proper view that mankind possesses volition and the ability to succeed in life, find hapiness, etc., where Naturalism denies volition and presents man as fated to defeat, despair, etc.

J

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I don't know much about Picasso or any cubist, but I found this after a little googling:

http://www.goodart.org/picconf.htm

Based on those few quotes i'm inclined to think he was in fact rather twisted. Though in fairness that page is not enough to make any final judgement.

Politically, I think Picasso and other Cubists were quite twisted, but that has nothing to do with whether or not their explorations of visual arts techniques have merit, and it isn't proof that their art is an act of rebellion against or disintegration of man's consciousness.

So, what's your take on it? What's the idea behind cubism?

The short answer: multiple viewpoints.

What are the metaphysical value judgements?

I'm not one who believes that there is a monolithic "metaphysical value judgment" to be found in an entire generalized school or genre of art. Each individual person has an individual personality and view of existence, and everyone who has practiced Cubism, or any other style or technique, hasn't had the same identity, personality or view of existence as everyone else who practiced it.

The question then remains, what is it and what does it communicate?

As is true of any work of art, individual Cubist paintings "communicate" different things to different people.

J

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My understanding of Picasso was that he was a classically trained artist, meaning he knew how to draw well in the ordinary sense. He put that technique aside in favor of making a statement with Cubism. He knew what he was doing.

I agree that he knew what he was doing. He was intentionally experimenting with techniques that had never been used before. Was he wrong? Did his explorations fail? How would you prove that his methods were not successful? His art has strongly affected millions of people, and it changed the way that art was created and viewed. Granted, some people get nothing out of it, and there are even some people who are enraged by it, but is that proof of anything? What objective criteria would you suggest that we use to determine that any given person is a competent judge of the visual arts, and that his getting nothing out of a painting should be taken as proof of the painting's deficiencies rather than of his own as a viewer?

Given that he was Spanish and Spain had gone through a long decline culminating with the loss of the remnant of the Spanish Empire in the Spanish-American War and then Spain itself was convulsed by the Spanish Civil War, an artistic statement about fragmentation and disintegration is understandable on his own local terms. When he became a worldwide sensation then that speaks to something a little more profound then just the fate of Spain, and has more to say about the world than it does Picasso at that point.

I don't buy into the literalist interpretation that visual "fragmentation" equals cognitive fragmentation (or rebellion or disintegration), if that's what you're getting at.

In post #66 above, I quoted Rand as saying that Cubism is a rebellion against and a disintegration of man's consciousness because is presents things as man does not perceive them. In post #71, softwareNerd added quotes of Rand's complaints against distortions of "perspective, of space, of shape, of color, and, above all, of the human figure."

Well, what about distortions of time? Man perceives existence chronologically. So, wouldn't it also be a "rebellion against consciousness" to create a work of art which includes any use of flashbacks or other distortions of time (as man does not perceive time)? By what objective criteria are certain deviations from "how man perceives things" to be judged as acceptable, where other deviations are to be condemned as vicious assaults on man's cognition?

J

Edited by Jonathan13
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... what Objectivism (and Objectivists) holds to be true, which is that Romanticism presents the morally proper view that mankind possesses volition and the ability to succeed in life, find hapiness, etc., where Naturalism denies volition and presents man as fated to defeat, despair, etc.
So, your objection is that, in your view, Naturalism does show man as a volition being, just as much as Romanticism does? Edited by softwareNerd
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So, your objection is that, in your view, Naturalism does show man as a volition being, just as much as Romanticism does?

Naturalism can show man as volitional. An artist can show people who are average and who have many limitations, but as still making choices which affect their lives. Naturalism doesn't necessarily imply a belief in determinism as Rand claimed. Personally I know of several artist friends who prefer Naturalism because they think that Romanticism is too close to fantasy. They see it in the same way that you or others might see a fairy tale: childish, too far removed from reality, fanciful, etc. Their preference for naturalistic styles has nothing to do with denying volition and supporting determinism.

Additionally, a determinist isn't limited to having the negative mindset that Rand suggested, or to creating naturalist art as she described it. A determinist might have a very positive view of the things that he believes mankind is destined to accomplish, and he might present an image of a man as fated to glory rather than defeat and despair. He might show a romanticized hero destined by God or fate to save all of mankind.

J

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Naturalism can show man as volitional. An artist can show people who are average and who have many limitations, but as still making choices which affect their lives. Naturalism doesn't necessarily imply a belief in determinism as Rand claimed. Personally I know of several artist friends who prefer Naturalism because they think that Romanticism is too close to fantasy. They see it in the same way that you or others might see a fairy tale: childish, too far removed from reality, fanciful, etc. Their preference for naturalistic styles has nothing to do with denying volition and supporting determinism.
Then your concept of naturalism is different from Rand'. Also, you seem to be implying that Romanticism means depicting great men rather than ordinary people being un-resigned to fate; but, that is not what Rand said or implied. Rand's desire to depict the ideal man is a separate from her comcept of Romanticism, else she could never have include Dostoyevsky in it. Her portrayal of heroes is a subset of Romanticism, but she never implied that it exhausted the field of Romanticism.

Additionally, a determinist isn't limited to having the negative mindset that Rand suggested, or to creating naturalist art as she described it. A determinist might have a very positive view of the things that he believes mankind is destined to accomplish, and he might present an image of a man as fated to glory rather than defeat and despair. He might show a romanticized hero destined by God or fate to save all of mankind.
Well, if one has a meta-message that man does not have volition, that's a negative message already. However, that does not preclude one from showing people doing great things. Analogously, Romanticism can show man choosing evil.

Fundamentally, what you are classifying as deterministic and non-deterministic is what Rand would classify as Naturalism and Romanticism.

Also, just because Rand championed Romanticism does not imply that she would rank every romantic (volition-depicting) work above every naturalistic (deterministic) work. It is not difficult to produce a romantic work that is utter crap.

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Well, if one has a meta-message that man does not have volition, that's a negative message already. However, that does not preclude one from showing people doing great things.

Not according to Rand's statements. To her, a determinist artist would inevitably show man as a statistical average, fated to defeat and despair, not as a bold, confident hero. Aesthetically, she had a rather biased and limited view of determinism.

Fundamentally, what you are classifying as deterministic and non-deterministic is what Rand would classify as Naturalism and Romanticism.

As I've been saying, Rand wouldn't have seen every deterministic work of art as Naturalism. She would have seen a confident, heroic determinist as Romantic. The problem is that she defined Naturalism by one of the characteristics that some Naturalism includes -- deterministic defeat and despair -- and she likewise defined determinism (at least implicitly in regard to aesthetics) as being limited to defeat and despair. Well, Naturalism isn't essentially or necessarily deterministic, and determinism isn't necessarily a vision based in defeat or despair. You could say that she redefined both terms by non-essentials.

Also, just because Rand championed Romanticism does not imply that she would rank every romantic (volition-depicting) work above every naturalistic (deterministic) work. It is not difficult to produce a romantic work that is utter crap.

Yes, I understand that. Rand made the distinction between moral and aesthetic judgments. Where she would have judged any Romantic (by her definition) work of art to be morally superior to any Naturalist (by her definition) work of art, her aesthetic judgment of each work would have depended on how well each artist presented his vision -- either the Romantic work or the Naturalist work could have been judged to be better aesthetically.

J

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As I've been saying, Rand wouldn't have seen every deterministic work of art as Naturalism. She would have seen a confident, heroic determinist as Romantic.
You're wrong about this, and there is really no way to understand what Rand is saying about Romanticism if you think this is implied by what she said.

Where she would have judged any Romantic (by her definition) work of art to be morally superior to any Naturalist (by her definition) work of art, her aesthetic judgment of each work would have depended on how well each artist presented his vision -- either the Romantic work or the Naturalist work could have been judged to be better aesthetically.
Yes, and it is not merely some impersonal judgement of aesthetic value that has no relationship to life and value; rather, it is a real, objective human value. Note that (in Romantic Manifesto) Rand commented that a 3-rd rate Naturalist usually had more value to offer than a 3-rd rate Romanticist. Edited by softwareNerd
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You're wrong about this, and there is really no way to understand what Rand is saying about Romanticism if you think this is implied by what she said.

No, I'm not wrong about it. You are. I think you need to reread Rand's views on Naturalism versus Romanticism. In the above posts, I've accurately characterized her views.

J

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Jonathan: "I know of no Objectivist who has addressed their actual views on what abstract art is, and how it works."

For what it's worth, here's my "objectivish" view on abstract art via and how it connects to music. It's not my original theory (it's a mix of discussions between Rand and John Hospers, plus the abstract/realist pyramid theory as demonstrated by Scott McCloud in Understanding Comics), but I'm sympathetic towards it.

From Objectivish: "A Musical Tug Of War"

This post is a companion piece to my last post on abstraction and concretes in Rand's theory of music. I've discussed, in answer to Ayn Rand, my theory of how music induces an emotional state in the listener via a "projection theory." I offered this theory not as a refutation of Rand's cognitive theory (for which I've offered support with the "Gestalt" theory), but as a "somatic" counterpart or basis. Part of my argument was based on theories of abstract art presented in Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. I want to present one more theory from his book, to demonstrate the relation and tension between the cognitive and somatic elements of musical perception.

In his book, McCloud presents "the Big Triangle" theory. Basically, it's a pyramid that represents the degree of abstraction that takes place in sequential art via the marriage of images and words. McCloud starts with a demonstration of abstraction:

facesx.jpg

From here, he presents the pyramid:

pyramidd.jpg

For a more in-depth presentation of this, he has a convenient slideshow on his website. Based on that, I'd place physical motion (emotion) on the lower left-hand corner of the pyramid, words or lyrics on the right, and the combination of notes, the equivalent of the "abstraction," at the top.

So what's the point of all this? Rand suggested that there was a lack of a "conceptual vocabulary of music":

The formulation of a common vocabulary of music . . . would require: a translation of the musical experience, the inner experience, into conceptual terms; an explanation of why certain sounds strike us a certain way; a definition of the axioms of musical perception, from which the appropriate esthetic principles could be derived, which would serve as a base for the objective validation of esthetic judgments . . . .

I think that this "big triangle" could be a tool in that "musical vocabulary." Using McCloud's pyramid, we can translate this phenomenon in musical terms by replacing images with physical motion, and words with the cognitive aspects of melody (the integration of tones into melody, the interplay of melodic counterpoint, the perception of form in large scale compositions, etc.) This can also be compared to intensional versus extensional music. Basically, in my theory of how music induces emotion, I take Rand's "cognitive view" and pair it with the association of musical movement with physical movement, particularly movements that are associated with emotional states (as well as emotional projection via tone.) McCloud's pyramid could be used in this capacity to reveal the degree to which a composition utilizes one method in relation to the other.

The other point is that the pyramid presents another way of looking at the "reason/emotion" dichotomy of Apollo and Dionysus, the dichotomy championed by Nietzsche and challenged by Ayn Rand. But the pyramid makes visible why such a dichotomy is even considered possible: the somatic, kinetic elements of music can compel one to movement, such as an urge to dance, (or even in a reluctant foot tapping against one's will!), and the mental process of integration in complex musical pieces (which requires memory and repeated listening of tonal relations.) One's philosophy and "sense of life" determine how one feels about the "co-mingling" of these two aspects (acceptance or rejection of the dichotomy.) The pyramid makes visible this tension of opposites, this "tug of war."

Edited by spaceplayer
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Politically, I think Picasso and other Cubists were quite twisted, but that has nothing to do with whether or not their explorations of visual arts techniques have merit, and it isn't proof that their art is an act of rebellion against or disintegration of man's consciousness.

The quotes suggest he was actually more fundamentally twisted. My point being, Ayn Rand's judgement seems to have been rather accurate, giving credibility to her method.

The short answer: multiple viewpoints.

To what end?

I'm not one who believes that there is a monolithic "metaphysical value judgment" to be found in an entire generalized school or genre of art. Each individual person has an individual personality and view of existence, and everyone who has practiced Cubism, or any other style or technique, hasn't had the same identity, personality or view of existence as everyone else who practiced it.

Generalizations are properly used in situations like this to identify fundamental principles. Let's call it integration of conciousness, by avoiding concrete-bound thinking.

As is true of any work of art, individual Cubist paintings "communicate" different things to different people.

That's subjectivism.

Edited by Alfa
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The quotes suggest he was actually more fundamentally twisted. My point being, Ayn Rand's judgement seems to have been rather accurate, giving credibility to her method.

Your desire to confirm your biases and judge a person's aesthetic theories based on his views on other things is like people wanting to judge Rand's metaphysics, epistemology or ethics based on her views on women presidents, homosexuality, the William Hickman case, or her contradictions on architecture qualifying as an art form. You'd actually have to read and understand a person's views on a given subject to understand them. And when it comes to an artistic style or movement, you'd have to read several people's views, since people who are associated with a style or movement usually tend to have strongly differing opinions about what they're doing and why. Judging them as if they have a single collective mind is inappropriate.

I wrote,

"The short answer: multiple viewpoints."

Alfa replied,

To what end?

Generally, to expand the expressive power of their art, and to get closer to the essence of visual art. If you're actually interested, I think you should read what artists had to say in their own words in their full context, rather than just reading online excerpts. I'd also suggest giving them a friendly reading rather than a hostile one, and that you should keep in mind that they often use certain words or terms differently than Rand did.

Generalizations are properly used in situations like this to identify fundamental principles. Let's call it integration of conciousness, by avoiding concrete-bound thinking.

So, you're saying that you're somehow being virtuous in treating individuals as a collective, and in trying to judge perhaps thousands of paintings as expressing the same "metaphysical value-judgments," and I'm being "concrete-bound" in reminding you that the artists who painted them were individuals with individual points of view?

I wrote,

"As is true of any work of art, individual Cubist paintings 'communicate' different things to different people."

Alfa replied,

That's subjectivism.

No, it's a fact of reality. People rarely agree on what any work of art "communicates," and that includes Objectivists. In the past dozen years online, I've seen countless arguments among Objectivists about their differing interpretations of art.

But let me guess: you believe that your interpretation of any artwork is the objective interpretation, and anyone who disagrees with you is merely giving subjective opinions? Is that they way it works?

J

P.S. I think a previous discussion here on OO on The Fountainhead is a good illustration of just how subjective certain Objectivists can be while believing that they're the ultimate in objectivity when it comes to interpreting and judging art. If you read the thread, you'll notice that my part of the conversation, which begins about here, was based on the actual content of the novel, where those opposing my position were bending themselves into pretzels in order not to accept the objective reality that I identified. They were apparently very emotionally attached to wanting Roark to not be immoral by Objectivist standards, despite the fact that he was.

J

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Oh well, i'm done here. I don't waste time arguing with people who psychologize and try to twist your words.

edit: This is what i'm reffering to:

"Your desire to confirm your biases..."

"So, you're saying that you're somehow being virtuous.."

"But let me guess: you believe that your interpretation of any artwork is the objective interpretation, and anyone who disagrees with you is merely giving subjective opinions?"

I have no tolerance for such things, so we're done.

Edited by Alfa
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You're wrong about this, and there is really no way to understand what Rand is saying about Romanticism if you think this is implied by what she said.

Yes, and it is not merely some impersonal judgement of aesthetic value that has no relationship to life and value; rather, it is a real, objective human value. Note that (in Romantic Manifesto) Rand commented that a 3-rd rate Naturalist usually had more value to offer than a 3-rd rate Romanticist.

For sure. Great Romanticist art is rare, so I've spent my life more in the company of Naturalist art - particularly literature.

There is always something to be gained from a great writer - and artist - whether it's 'teaching' one how to see clearer, challenging one's mind and premises, or as a last resort, in identifying principles that you oppose.

I value originality and honesty, and all the best artists achieve this, agree with their premises, or not.

Life -affirmation in art is what I seek most, and it sometimes come from unlikely sources.

BTW, could anyone have guessed that Ayn Rand could have appreciated Dali's "Hypercubus" (correct title, Jonathan?) - of Christ suffering on the cross!?

Or, Mickey Spillane's gritty detective fiction?

Without knowing about her opinions in advance?

There is more to Romanticism than is immediately apparent , and more to Naturalism, too.

1st rate Naturalism easily tops 3rd rate, imitative, uncreative, one-dimensional, 'Romanticism'.

(imo)

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Oh well, i'm done here. I don't waste time arguing with people who psychologize and try to twist your words.

edit: This is what i'm reffering to:

"Your desire to confirm your biases..."

You were confirming your biases. You were claiming that Rand's judgments were given "credibility" by quotes from Picasso which are not directly related to his reasons for painting in the manner in which he did. So how was my comment "psychologizing"?

"So, you're saying that you're somehow being virtuous.."

The above was a part of a question in which I was asking you if you believed that you were being virtuous in approaching several artists collectively as if they had the same "metaphysical value-judgments," and if you were implying that I was being "concrete-bound" in treating them as individuals. How could asking a question possibly qualify as "psychologizing"? A question is not a judgment. It's a question.

When someone asks, "So, then you believe X?" it's not the same as their stating "So, then you believe X."

"But let me guess: you believe that your interpretation of any artwork is the objective interpretation, and anyone who disagrees with you is merely giving subjective opinions?"

The above was another question. I was speculating at what I thought might be your point of view, and asking if I was correct. I don't think it was an unreasonable question, since I can't think of any realistic alternatives. If you believe that it's "subjectivism" to observe the reality that individuals have different interpretations of works of art, then it sounds to me as if you might believe, as is common in Objectivist circles, that there is one correct objective interpretation of any work of art, and that you might believe that your dedication to objectivity leads you to identify each artwork's correct meaning. If that assumption is wrong, then it should be simple enough for you to answer the question and say that it's wrong.

If my observation of the reality that people have different interpretations of art is to be labeled "subjectivism," then what point of view represents "objectivism"?

J

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You were confirming your biases. You were claiming that Rand's judgments were given "credibility" by quotes from Picasso which are not directly related to his reasons for painting in the manner in which he did. So how was my comment "psychologizing"?

No, I was not, and nor do I harbor any such desire.

Ayn Rand made judgements of his character through his paintings. You had problems with this. I pointed out that according to those quotes he did indeed have a rather twisted character. That does give her some credibility.

Now i'm done.

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No, I was not, and nor do I harbor any such desire.

Ayn Rand made judgements of his character through his paintings. You had problems with this. I pointed out that according to those quotes he did indeed have a rather twisted character. That does give her some credibility.

No, it doesn't give her any credibility.

If someone were to say that Rand's views on the Hickman murder case give credibility to her critics who think that Objectivism is twisted, would you agree? If I were to say that such critics of Objectivism were trying to confirm their biases, would you say that I was psychologizing?

J

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I agree that he knew what he was doing. He was intentionally experimenting with techniques that had never been used before. Was he wrong? Did his explorations fail? How would you prove that his methods were not successful? His art has strongly affected millions of people, and it changed the way that art was created and viewed.

I am thoroughly disgusted.

But, putting that aside, I'll only say that I think you're a kind of a sophisticated troll, a 2.0 version troll. It's unfortunate that when someone enters this thread hoping to read some good discussion on what is non-objective art and what makes art a field open to objective evaluation, most of what they'll find here is your posts. But I have no time to tilt the scales nor motivation to waste my time replying to every point you make.

You are obviously not an Objectivist and so I don't know what it is you are doing in Objectivism Online. You don't seem to accept any of the fundamental views of Objectivism in the field of Aesthetics - not even one. I'd understand if someone sympathizes with the philosophy yet disagrees on some issue or wants to inquire some more, but you don't seem to accept anything - you oppose the very fundamentals of Objectivism on art. What are you doing here then and why are you allowed to post in a section that is not the debate forum? People come here expecting an actual discussion - I don't think it's what they're getting from your posts. They only have the power to confuse someone trying to understand what art is.

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I am thoroughly disgusted.

But, putting that aside, I'll only say that I think you're a kind of a sophisticated troll, a 2.0 version troll. It's unfortunate that when someone enters this thread hoping to read some good discussion on what is non-objective art and what makes art a field open to objective evaluation, most of what they'll find here is your posts.

For what it's worth, I didn't start or name this thread.

But I have no time to tilt the scales nor motivation to waste my time replying to every point you make.

How about addressing just one of my points? Earlier I asked if you are able to see the perspective errors in the painting of the lock and keys that you had posted. You haven't answered. Do you understand the relevance that my question has toward your qualifications to make "objective evaluations" of visual art?

You are obviously not an Objectivist and so I don't know what it is you are doing in Objectivism Online.

Are you saying that if someone identifies contradictions or inconsistencies in the Objectivist Esthetics, then he's not an Objectivist? I've been applying Objectivism -- logic and reason -- to Rand's aesthetic definitions, criteria and judgments. I think it's very Objectivist for me to concern myself with correcting Objectivism's errors.

You don't seem to accept any of the fundamental views of Objectivism in the field of Aesthetics - not even one.

Which fundamental Objectivist view should I accept? The one which says that works of art must present objectively intelligible subjects and meanings, or the one which recognizes certain art forms as valid despite the fact that they don't present objectively intelligible subjects and meanings? Am I to accept the Objectivist position that art is a recreation of reality and cannot serve a utilitarian purpose, or am I to accept the Objectivist position that some things can be art while not recreating reality and while serving utilitarian purposes?

I'd understand if someone sympathizes with the philosophy yet disagrees on some issue or wants to inquire some more, but you don't seem to accept anything - you oppose the very fundamentals of Objectivism on art.

Why would you say such a thing? In post #28 I offered very objective evaluations of a couple of abstract paintings. I identified subjects and meanings by objectively pointing to the content of the paintings -- the human emotions and characteristics conveyed by the colors, forms, textures, proportions and compositional relationships. In doing so, I was far more objective than I've ever seen any Objectivist being in evaluating music. I was in total compliance with Rand's notion of "objective esthetic judgment."

What are you doing here then and why are you allowed to post in a section that is not the debate forum? People come here expecting an actual discussion - I don't think it's what they're getting from your posts. They only have the power to confuse someone trying to understand what art is.

Trying to silence me won't make the contradictions and inconsistencies in the Objectivist Esthetics disappear, nor will it eliminate the question of your qualifications to objectively judge works of visual art.

J

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Which fundamental Objectivist view should I accept? The one which says that works of art must present objectively intelligible subjects and meanings, or the one which recognizes certain art forms as valid despite the fact that they don't present objectively intelligible subjects and meanings? Am I to accept the Objectivist position that art is a recreation of reality and cannot serve a utilitarian purpose, or am I to accept the Objectivist position that some things can be art while not recreating reality and while serving utilitarian purposes?

You can accept both sides of those pairs because they are not contradictory. There is an objective recognition that many kinds of things are art, and a normative standard for what art should be.

The Principle of Two Definitions

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