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  1. #11
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    1)I reiterate the most important claim of the paragraph above, the aesthetical judgments a person makes do reflect enough about his or her character for us to have a clear idea of the essence of his or her character because we notice that one form of art is favored by people possessing a certain set of character qualities and another form of art is favored by people possessing a different set of qualities.
    I am willing to assume for the sake of conversation that what you write is true. Okay. So what?

    Is this to form the basis for some broader discussion? I must be honest, it reads as if you may be feeling insecure about yourself relative to the the larger society. Look I don't get it either....NASCAR and Bullfighting, etc., and at one time (for along time) I found it easy to deride and objectify others based on choices that seemed to me the very definition of vulgarity and having all the aspects of the grotesque. This was often painful and confusing to me. A compelled daily acquaintence with a variety of society opened my eyes to some subtleties that I had not been aware of.

    So share with me if you will your perception of the "essence" of these two divergent characters. Expand on their qualities and how they function in your cosmology. This is a class issue, no? These are choices made in just one aspect of their lives entertainment....this seems informative not determinative.. All of the people at a NASCAR event and all of the people at a bullfight share the same character? A bit black and white, BW. All the people attending an epic drama represent the most highly developed of human sentiment?

    What other data may support this theory? Art is after all a broad term...choices in music, food, housing, personal grooming?

    I find the idea of mountain climbing no more sensible than bullfighting...I wonder if the character of participants or spectators of each of these activities would compare? Convention would suggest that you might be dealing with two distinct classes?

    And I must be a picky about the difference between judgement and choice. Can you give a description of how you see each in this discussion?
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  2. #12
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    I am willing to assume for the sake of conversation that what you write is true. Okay. So what?

    Is this to form the basis for some broader discussion? I must be honest, it reads as if you may be feeling insecure about yourself relative to the the larger society. Look I don't get it either....NASCAR and Bullfighting, etc., and at one time (for along time) I found it easy to deride and objectify others based on choices that seemed to me the very definition of vulgarity and having all the aspects of the grotesque. This was often painful and confusing to me. A compelled daily acquaintence with a variety of society opened my eyes to some subtleties that I had not been aware of.

    So share with me if you will your perception of the "essence" of these two divergent characters. Expand on their qualities and how they function in your cosmology. This is a class issue, no? These are choices made in just one aspect of their lives entertainment....this seems informative not determinative.. All of the people at a NASCAR event and all of the people at a bullfight share the same character? A bit black and white, BW. All the people attending an epic drama represent the most highly developed of human sentiment?

    What other data may support this theory? Art is after all a broad term...choices in music, food, housing, personal grooming?

    I find the idea of mountain climbing no more sensible than bullfighting...I wonder if the character of participants or spectators of each of these activities would compare? Convention would suggest that you might be dealing with two distinct classes?

    And I must be a picky about the difference between judgement and choice. Can you give a description of how you see each in this discussion?

    Dear Hirsch,

    1)I would never recommend that anyone believes anything I post without thinking it through for themselves.

    2)I post this because I want to hear more ideas on the subject.


    What data do I have to support my views? Before I explain that, I should reiterate what my views are. A person is to be judged by his likes and dislikes. A lofty person likes lofty things and a vulgar person likes vulgar things.

    Lofty means the same thing as complex. In order for something to be complex, it must be intellectual, therefore it must be dispassionate. That is the case because if an activity is not dispassionate, it is difficult to think it through thoroughly and with intellectual honesty.

    Empirical observations. The observations I have listed were as follows; we observe that only intelligent people like epic (which Aristotle asserts is the better form of imitation or art).

    I am not sure how to answer many of your questions. I will take intuitive leaps in my attempt to answer as many as I can.

    I do not have anything against people who like bullfighting or Nascar, when I say they are vulgar, I mean this as a fact of their psychology, not an invective against them.

    The reason for this again, vulgar is synonymous with crude, which basically means simple. One's mind is not forced to think a lot when one is watching soap operas, nascar or bullfighting. So I call such activities vulgar. Yet when one deals with intellectual activities, one does think a lot, so I call such activities lofty.



    Let me know if that helped, or you have further ideas.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  3. #13
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Here are a few more thoughts

    A lofty person likes lofty things and a vulgar person likes vulgar things.

    And never the 'twain shall meet?...This is certainly convenient to particular ends...perhaps two could also be illustrated through eugenics? I cannot see how a person's choice of entertainments can definitively explain their entire character...this is a simplistic proposition, but as I asked perhaps it is part of a larger argument to come, or is this sum total of your assertion? And if so, again, to what end?

    Lofty means the same thing as complex. In order for something to be complex, it must be intellectual, therefore it must be dispassionate. That is the case because if an activity is not dispassionate, it is difficult to think it through thoroughly and with intellectual honesty.

    To be an intellectual is to detach oneself from dogma, to weigh all arguments in the balance of our minds and to know that we are also just as likely to be wrong as right. And if wrong, to accept and correct our error without the bonds of compliance to a sentiment. So, I agree that to be fully engaged intellectual is to be dispassionate. I do not believe however that true intellectuals would describe themselves as lofty...they simply are and cannot know where they sit in the ultimate balance...nor should they care; that would ally them with a certain position and compromise their true (neutral) status. Why would one devoted to purely intellectual pursuits have a regard for entertainments at all? Shadow plays and unreality? To what end? And again I read you as equating "lofty" with particularly differentiated societal pursuits and therefore making distinctions about class. Lofty people are intellectual because they enjoy particular entertainments judged (by who?) to be complex. The lofty were for a very long time simply those who could afford certain entertainments and can it be said that out of a crowd of a thousand such enlightened spectators all ascribe and are capable of a truly intellectual life?

    The reason for this again, vulgar is synonymous with crude, which basically means simple.

    Vulgar contemporarily is equated with crudity but to the best of my knowledge (and in the text you cited would have) originally meant "common". That something is common or vulgar is not proof of crudity.

    One's mind is not forced to think a lot when one is watching soap operas, nascar or bullfighting. So I call such activities vulgar.

    One's mind is not forced to think a lot when watching anything...mental engagement is a choice where we can take a step further and utilise our judgement regarding the quality of what we are watching...To compare and contrast with other known works and evaluate against a known standard. That the entertainment appeals to a the greater populace does not exclude an observer from deconstructing and evaluating it to the extent of their gifts. Actual engagement in activities must also be differentiatied from passive entertainments...A chessgame from fencing or chasing a proof as opposed to piloting a vessel around Cape Horn?

    Yet when one deals with intellectual activities, one does think a lot, so I call such activities lofty.

    So, one is lofty when and only when one is engaged in purely intellectual pursuits. And to be lofty is to be...? An advantage? A privledge? Somehow superior to the common or if you insist "crude"? If we are to acccept lofty and vulgar as you describe them, in what contsruct are these labels useful?
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  4. #14
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    A lofty person likes lofty things and a vulgar person likes vulgar things.
    High culture means quality, while popular culture means quantity.

    A lofty person is a person of quality, while a vulgar person is attracted to the cheap and tawdry and revels in it.

  5. #15
    Senior Member placebo's Avatar
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    I think a lot of what you have to say probably makes good sense and are good points but my god its so difficult to read (I like how you started off saying 'in this very brief discussion'). It gets a bit unnecessarily convoluted in my opinion. I think I need to read this over a few 50 times to figure out if I agree with it all or not, but I'll say that initially I agreed that 'aesthetical judgments primarily reflect how we feel about things'. I think you started losing me somewhere in between though...

    You speak of the nature of aesthetical judgement. Then you progress to talk about Ancient Greek Tragic and Epic poetry and its associations with vulgarity and loftiness. And end with some conclusions about loftiness and intelligence and emotional disengaged activities and vulgarity and animalistic craving for negative emotion and vulgar activities.

    Because this is on aesthetic judgement, I wonder, do you want to say that beauty is associated with highly intellectually and dispassionate activities and ugliness is associated with vulgarity and emotion? How do you judge beauty and ugliness in terms of it's intellectual or emotional degree of engagement? How can this be applied to aesthetic judgement of art such as paintings and sculptures, architecture, or music?

    I also wonder if you mean that intellectually-inclined or lofty people will be completely adverse to such 'vulgar'-type activities or vice versa? Or is it just a (strong or weak?) tendency to prefer some activities over others? Does it mean anything significant when a 'lofty' person participates in 'vulgar' activities and vice versa?

    I'd love to understand what you are saying, so any clarifications you can provide would be great. It may be that my questions completely miss the point though, and if so, that's because um... I have reading comprehension problems. Have you ever considered writing anything closer to Layman's terms...

  6. #16
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    So, one is lofty when and only when one is engaged in purely intellectual pursuits. And to be lofty is to be...?
    To be lofty is to be intellectual.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hirsch63 View Post
    One's mind is not forced to think a lot when watching anything...
    ...?
    That is not true. There is a movie on Brothers Karamazov or on War and Peace. This is not nearly as in demand as soap operas or bullfighting. Most of the people who did take interest in the movie did not understand the intellectual aspects of it and focused on something trivial and emotionally oriented.

    Consider the following, almost all movies on Shakespeare's Hamlet had to eliminate 50% of the content of the play, simply because there is too much going on there. However, all movies on the Hamlet retained the scene where Hamlet says 'to be or not to be'. Scholars agree that this scene tells us nothing about Hamlet's mindset and nothing about the situation of the play. We already knew how distraught Hamlet was beforehand and we knew how his disgruntled state of mind would lead him to act.

    The value of this statement is purely emotional and that is why the vulgar people enjoy it, and for this reason it could not be omitted from the movie.

    You do have an interesting point however. Watching the movie on Hamlet or Brothers Karamazov is much less intellectually stimulating than reading the work of literature for two reasons. First of all when you look at the screen, your imagination is stultified. It is displayed on the screen exactly how you should envisage the scene, yet when you read the book, your imagination is free to envisage the scene in the myriad of possible ways to do so. Secondly, the literary work is dumbed down a lot in the movie in order to appease the vulgar.

    My point could be summarized in one sentence. Whatever is lofty is intellectual, and whatever is intellectual must be dispassionate.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  7. #17
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by placebo View Post
    Because this is on aesthetic judgement, I wonder, do you want to say that beauty is associated with highly intellectually and dispassionate activities and ugliness is associated with vulgarity
    The question of ugliness and beauty is a question of aesthetical judgment, or our likes and dislikes. There is no objective criteria to assess an entity on these terms. What one person finds ugly, another may find beautiful.

    Though a lofty person will find what is intellectually oriented to be beautiful, and what is emotionally oriented to be vulgar.

    Quote Originally Posted by placebo View Post
    and emotion? How do you judge beauty and ugliness in terms of it's intellectual or emotional degree of engagement?
    Rephrase please. I think that I understand the question to some degree, though not as clearly as I would like to.


    Quote Originally Posted by placebo View Post
    How can this be applied to aesthetic judgement of art such as paintings and sculptures, architecture, or music?...
    1)Music-A lofty person will like music that forces one to reflect, one that involves complex elements regarding the sounds emitted. For this reason, I would argue that intellectuals often regard classical music as their favorite.

    A vulgar person prefers the kind of music that focuses on the passions directly, such as rock or meaningless rap. In such kinds of music we hear nothing but loud sounds and fast, incomprehensible talk.

    2)Paintings-An intellectual person will prefer paintings that encourage him to cogitate. Paintings that obviously have deep symbolic meaning. Much akin to the Baroque or Classicism style of paintings. A vulgar person will prefer paintings that simply evoke strong emotions. For example, the paintings akin to those depicting Chronus devouring his own children.

    Thus, the difference between the two is, in the first case the person is forced to reflect, in the second case, the person is forced to be emotionally engaged to the highest possible degree.

    The same could be said for the works of sculpture as what has been said for the works of painting.


    Quote Originally Posted by placebo View Post
    I also wonder if you mean that intellectually-inclined or lofty people will be completely adverse to such 'vulgar'-type activities or vice versa? Or is it just a (strong or weak?) tendency to prefer some activities over others? Does it mean anything significant when a 'lofty' person participates in 'vulgar' activities and vice versa??...
    No. An lofty person likes intellectual activities more than any other activity. This does not mean that he must dislike the non-intellectual or emotional activities completely. For instance, he may be aware of the fact that he is able to pursue his intellectual activities because people have engaged in less than intellectual activities, such as being helpful to each other. So, when an intellectual person sees somebody behaving in an altruistic fashion, he will appreciate this, even though it is clear that this is not an intellectual endeavor he is appreciating.

    Secondly, every lofty person has vulgar aspects, for this reason they will be involved in vulgar activities, just much less so than a vulgar person.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  8. #18
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    Consider the following, almost all movies on Shakespeare's Hamlet had to eliminate 50% of the content of the play, simply because there is too much going on there.
    Have you seen Branaugh's full text? It finally came out on DVD.
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    RaptorWizard's responce to SolitaryWalker's On the virtues of passion thread:

    SolitaryWalker says aesthetical judgments primarily reflect how we feel about things, which in turn he believes will effect who we are. As such, art could be seen as an expression of ourselves, an aesthetical reflection of our emotions and inner state. These emotionally charged impulses he claims are in complete opposition to analytical thinking. I disagree, as our thinking I believe should ultimately be a foundation from which our feelings can manifest and create a meaningful world for us, which is why thinking without feeling is like matter without energy. He further claims the wise and lofty will choose analytical subjects devoid of passion, such as mathematics, even though mathematics assigns limits to things, whereas passion breathes fire into the equations.

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