Sunday, May 10, 2009

46 Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller...ah..nice... something different now. Not a Kant with his deep and complex theories, but now on aesthetics. Can't be that hard as Kant. However, I was mistaken.

I wont say it is even worse, but like all fundamental questions, it were the Greek who started it...:-)

Somewhere about 750 A.D we read in the Illias of Homerus the words "That is a marvellous piece of work" , which refered to the picture on the shield of Achilles. This hints at the beginning of wonder about imitation,i.e. the relation between representation and object, or appearance and reality.

And believe me..throughout the works of Plato we encounter almost all relevant philosophical questions concerning aesthetics. But I wont discuss these now, for it is Schiller's turn today.

From an epistemological point of view aesthetics is most interesting, for we can ask the question: does the painter KNOW for certain what is beautiful? We look at a painting and experience something....admiration, awe, surprise....We know we never could have painted that. So did the painter have had a knowledge, which we lack? And so on.

Schiller, writer and poet, was not a systematic thinker. Yet he made significant contributions to aesthetics and comparative philosophy even though he abandoned philosophy to return to drama and poetry, having become disillusioned with what he believed to be the excessive claims of certainty and finality of philosophy in his days.

Schiller is a son of rationalism and we should not forget that the philosophy of aesthetics goes back to the Greek. So in fact we jump right into the middle of the stream. There is so much to tell about what came before him...good option for the future.

Aesthetics is concerned with questions about our experiences regarding music, poetry and visual arts. You can relate these questions with epistemological and ethical questions, the philosophy of mind and metaphysics.

Schiller's thoughts are a mix between philosophy of mind and psychology. Schiller didnt know of psychology. That scientific discipline didnt exist in his time. Thinking about the mind was a philosphical issue then.

We have, according to him two drives, a drive of selfpreservation and a drive to create. The drive to selfpreservation is focused on keeping to maintian our situation as it is, while the creative drive stimulates us to change our situation and to express our existence.

The drive of selfpersevation is related to to the experiences and feelings of our body, while the creative drive is related to our perception and thoughts.

Then Schiller comes with a peculiar philosophy about the function of life threatening fear. In our sensory being, focused on selfpreservation, this leads to fear for pain, but in our creative drive it leads to an awareness of the independence of our will.

We only can experience the 'sublime', as he calls it, when we are cut off of our physical possibility to resist a life threatening fear. He gives as an example, that we build dikes to protect us from the water, but when nature takes control and floods the land we are in awe of the power of nature and experience nature as sublime.

Our experience of the sublime, i.e. our aesthetic experience of pieces of art is , other than the forces of nature, not based on a life threatening fear, but on a threatening of our moral security.

Great pieces of art question the establisment, the conservative and traditional ideas, on which our moral security is built.

This sounds familiar....the role of art in society....and here you meet one of the first philosophers who formulated this role. The (German) romantic revolution has started.

The Discussion

[13:22] Herman Bergson: So far on Schiller..
[13:22] Herman Bergson: If you have questions or remarks, let's hear them..:-)
[13:23] itsme Frederix: remark: Schiller did read Kant -
[13:23] AristotleVon Doobie: Didnt Shiller argue that the beauty was in the act rather than in the object?
[13:24] Herman Bergson: No Aristotle, I wouldnt say that...
[13:24] AristotleVon Doobie: and that beauty was a goodness
[13:24] Herman Bergson: Beauty is related to the sensory experience of something
[13:24] Wyeth Bailey: but beauty rarely questions the establishment
[13:25] AristotleVon Doobie: When you look at something you think is beautiful, is it the objet or the feeling you have that is beautiful?
[13:25] Herman Bergson: well..that depends on how you look at beauty...
[13:25] Manoly Demina: i think the feeling of beauty
[13:26] Herman Bergson: When the Olympia without clothes , I think painted by Manet was exhibited, the establishment was shocked
[13:26] Manoly Demina: which is difference between person to another
[13:26] AristotleVon Doobie: and of course most people will experienc a different degee of beauty than others
[13:26] Herman Bergson: and the painting still is beautiful
[13:26] Gemma Cleanslate: this is the question of whether beauty is inherent in an object of just perceived beautiful???
[13:26] itsme Frederix: Herman I disagree about beauty in the sensory experience. Mathematics has beauty, literature has beauty
[13:27] Alarice Beaumont: well.. the painting is only for you beautiful
[13:27] Wyeth Bailey: the establishment was shocked and thought Manet and others lacked skill and their work was not beautiful
[13:27] AristotleVon Doobie: Oh yes they were called the Wild Beasts
[13:27] Herman Bergson: That was the rationalisation maybe
[13:28] AristotleVon Doobie: Rodney
[13:28] Rodney Handrick: hi
[13:28] AristotleVon Doobie: Wel I love the impressionts but not all do
[13:28] Manoly Demina: hi rodney
[13:28] Sarra Nitely: rezzzing
[13:29] Herman Bergson: I must admit I took the subject of aesthetics a bit light hearted...
[13:29] Rodney Handrick: Hi Manoly
[13:29] Herman Bergson: for one it has a long history and I hadnt time to dig into that
[13:29] AristotleVon Doobie: You know there is the old saying that 'beauty is as beauty does'
[13:30] Herman Bergson: and second..the list of problems of aesthics is even longer than its history...
[13:30] Wyeth Bailey: today we see the impressionist work as beautiful, even milquetoast, something to hang over the couch; Damine Hirst makes you think but you don't want his work over your sofa, if Schiller's POV is questioning the establishment, beauty is irrelevant I think
[13:30] Herman Bergson: I am an epistemologist, so Schiller is pretty new to me...
[13:30] AristotleVon Doobie: at least universal beauty, Wyeth
[13:30] Herman Bergson: but promissing....good for a lot of lectures on aesthetics..:-)
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: so much in upbringing determines the perception of beauty , culture, etc
[13:31] Wyeth Bailey: an art historian, and I will still now ;-)
[13:31] AristotleVon Doobie: I agree Gemma
[13:31] itsme Frederix: we will be stuck to you Herman, morality aesthetics .. whats next
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: the list grows
[13:31] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:31] Athena John: It's true. What is beautiful to my culture may not be beautiful to yours. Like neck rings
[13:32] Gemma Cleanslate: yes
[13:32] Wyeth Bailey: or _breast implants
[13:32] itsme Frederix: well it seems to prove we do not have all epistomological fact
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: I think we all form curtural bias's
[13:32] Herman Bergson: We already have a big problem here..the very word beautiful....
[13:32] hope63 Shepherd: did the cavemen think of aesthetics when they painted lascaux?
[13:32] Herman Bergson: it is a philosophical horror..:-)
[13:32] Gemma Cleanslate: who knows
[13:32] AristotleVon Doobie: yes everyone will see it differently
[13:33] itsme Frederix: well lets just enjoy it
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Just try to define it and you need another lifetime..:-)
[13:33] AristotleVon Doobie: I know when I see it , tho
[13:33] hope63 Shepherd: what happens in the mind of an artist..
[13:33] Herman Bergson: Maybe it is an interesting subject for psychological research....
[13:34] Osrum Sands: sure the indefinability of beauty is part of its mystiqe
[13:34] Herman Bergson: scan the brain activity when someone says: that is beautiful...
[13:34] Osrum Sands: and scoiological research as well Herman
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: I can see why Schiller left philosophy and went back to poetry
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: :-)
[13:34] Osrum Sands: :)
[13:34] Gemma Cleanslate: he got tired of thinking of this problem
[13:34] Herman Bergson: I agree Gemma...^_^
[13:34] Wyeth Bailey: yes but Schiller is in the camp that says art is political or social commentary, not beauty
[13:34] Osrum Sands: and just enjoyed it
[13:34] AristotleVon Doobie: I could not quite see the relationship Schiller made between beauty and morals.
[13:35] Gemma Cleanslate: well is it not??
[13:35] hope63 Shepherd: isn't the artist describing something the way he sees it?
[13:35] itsme Frederix: remark - Schiller had wriiten - what is now the european hyme (music from Beethoven 9th)
[13:35] Herman Bergson: I think I can make an attempt to get hold of this problem..
[13:35] Herman Bergson: so far we have seen that knowledge is made up out of judgements.
[13:36] Herman Bergson: we have seen this subject - predicate relation up to Kant...
[13:36] Herman Bergson: it is always ascribing a property to an object...
[13:36] Herman Bergson: but with the property beautiful we have a serious problem
[13:37] Herman Bergson: for it is not only a red or cold...
[13:37] Herman Bergson: it also included an appreciation of the represents a value judgment...
[13:38] Herman Bergson: sowhat we have to analyse is a value based judgement here
[13:38] Sarra Nitely: isnt cold a value judgment?
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:38] itsme Frederix: thats where Kant comes in .. he offers catagories
[13:38] Herman Bergson: could say that and we easily find the premise for it..
[13:39] Herman Bergson: we have set a standard to distinguish cold from warm
[13:39] hope63 Shepherd: right sarra.. between an inuit and a bushman
[13:39] Herman Bergson: unless you refer to the subjective experience of a temperature
[13:40] Wyeth Bailey: well what is the universal number that separates hot from warm from cool from cold - again, jusdgements in cultural contaxt
[13:40] AristotleVon Doobie: The recognition of beauty is the objective mind conjuring up the subjective mind
[13:40] Herman Bergson: yes,,I agree Wyeth, but in case of a temperature you can use quantification
[13:41] Wyeth Bailey: herman forgive me but I didn't read in your opening that Schiller said anything at all about beauty . . . I heard shake up the establishment
[13:41] Herman Bergson: And in case of a quality like beauty we lack that advantage
[13:42] Herman Bergson: Schiller used the term "sublime'
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: I think that aesthetcs was his major philosophicla contribution
[13:42] Herman Bergson: for the aesthetic experience
[13:42] hope63 Shepherd: what is the germqn term he used herman..
[13:43] Herman Bergson: I am sorry Hope..have to look that up..:-)
[13:44] Herman Bergson: Well let me try to summarize.
[13:44] hope63 Shepherd: not to be a nuisance. but i know terms are sometimes meant differently as in the tranlations..
[13:44] Wyeth Bailey: I guess I see distinctions between what is beautiful and what is sublime, a fear reaction can even be sublime
[13:45] Herman Bergson: It evokes the experience of sublime even according to Schiller
[13:45] Herman Bergson: because it shows us the independence of our will
[13:45] Gemma Cleanslate: das Erhabene i looked it up ...for sublime
[13:45] Wyeth Bailey: It= beauty or It=fear?
[13:46] Gemma Cleanslate: Schiller's tem for sublime
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: ty. gemma..well... thats dificult to translate..
[13:46] Herman Bergson: You can imprison my body, but you cannot imprison my mind...something along such lines of thinking I read in Schiller
[13:46] itsme Frederix: right Herman
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd: die raueber.. that was in his youth..
[13:46] hope63 Shepherd:
[13:47] itsme Frederix: remark - Schiller had a very fragile body
[13:47] AristotleVon Doobie: only 45 when he died
[13:48] Herman Bergson: He emphazised the spiritual part of man...the mind...
[13:48] Manoly Demina: i'm sorry but i've to go
[13:48] Rodney Handrick: back in those days 45 was considered old age
[13:48] hope63 Shepherd: funny they take Schiller into the 100 and not goethe..
[13:48] Manoly Demina: bye all
[13:48] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Manoly, come back to see us
[13:48] Rodney Handrick: bye Manoly
[13:48] hope63 Shepherd: masalaama manoly..
[13:48] Mickorod Renard: bye man
[13:49] Manoly Demina: sure i will come back
[13:49] Manoly Demina: ma salama hope
[13:49] Manoly Demina: i love u all
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: :-))
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: thanks
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:49] Gemma Cleanslate: you too
[13:49] Wyeth Bailey: we could spend a whole session or more on AristotleVon's point much earlier about "where" the "art" resides, in the object or in the experience
[13:49] Alarice Beaumont: bye
[13:49] Wyeth Bailey: can we do that sometime? ;-)
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes Wyeth is a very profund thought
[13:50] Herman Bergson: Indeed we could Wyeth
[13:50] Wyeth Bailey: Arthur Danto and Derrida
[13:50] Herman Bergson: The empiricist would say it is in the sensory experiences only
[13:50] Herman Bergson: I read Danto long time ago
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: And secondly , is that where love resides?
[13:51] Wyeth Bailey: the postmodernists say it resides in the *intent*
[13:51] hope63 Shepherd: why not in both with an so far unnamed coordinator we haven't thought about.. ari
[13:51] Herman Bergson: yes that is because intentionality was brought into the theory of observation
[13:51] Wyeth Bailey: some guy in the sixties did a conceptual piece where he released a large amount of a gas in the desert that was invisble and had no smell
[13:52] Wyeth Bailey: you could not perceive it at all
[13:52] Wyeth Bailey: it was pure intent
[13:52] Herman Bergson: for the empiricist experiencing was having a permanent input..a passive stream of impressions
[13:52] Wyeth Bailey: lol
[13:52] Gemma Cleanslate: lolol
[13:52] AristotleVon Doobie: not very beautiful picture
[13:53] Wyeth Bailey: not something to hang over the sofa
[13:53] hope63 Shepherd: camel shit maks many dester people survive itsme..
[13:53] Wyeth Bailey: not *craft*
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: disintegration again
[13:53] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:53] Herman Bergson: Just hold on for a moment..>!!!
[13:54] Wyeth Bailey: the shield of achilles, in the lecture opening, is admired for its *craft*
[13:54] Wyeth Bailey: skill at representation, not social commentary
[13:54] Herman Bergson: that's what I said indeed
[13:55] Wyeth Bailey: that is a whole other discussion too, art versus craft
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: a well crated object is a beautiful thing
[13:55] Herman Bergson: is...
[13:55] AristotleVon Doobie: crafted
[13:55] Wyeth Bailey: but is it art
[13:55] hope63 Shepherd: you shouldhave taken amphytrion as example -not the shield.. herman..
[13:55] Herman Bergson: STOP plz....
[13:56] Herman Bergson: I think we have touched on a number of interesting issues now....
[13:57] Herman Bergson: one is that to say that something is beautiful is not just a descriptive statement like this is red
[13:57] Herman Bergson: it is implying also some value judgement
[13:57] Herman Bergson: when we talk about hot and col we have the possibility of quantifiaction to settle the debate on the value judgement by convention
[13:58] Herman Bergson: then we have the issue fo experience..sensory experience...
[13:58] Herman Bergson: for the emiricist sensory experience is just a continuos stream of input
[13:59] Herman Bergson: but when you remember Kant...he the mind adds rganization to this stream..shapes it up
[13:59] hope63 Shepherd: science fr hot and cold.. cultue for beautiful..
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: I would submit that beauty is a sensory experience for seeing it activates something primal in us
[14:00] Herman Bergson: so this idea that the mind adds soemthing to sensory experience should be taking into account too when dealing with aesthetic judgements
[14:00] Herman Bergson: then there is intentionality ( I guess here I misunderstand Wyeth who used the word intent)
[14:00] itsme Frederix: @aristotle .. beauty is a sensory experience .. remmeber math, literature ..
[14:01] Herman Bergson: intentionality means that you do not just expierience something just like as observer put something in the expierence yourself..
14:02] Herman Bergson: kind of Kantian model...we'll come to this later ..
[14:02] Herman Bergson: far my conclusions of this discussion
[14:02] hope63 Shepherd: adds the sublime.. becauswe das erhabene means something above it..
[14:03] Herman Bergson: which means..tons of homework for you all..^_^
[14:03] itsme Frederix: well about intensionality seems according to quantum mechanics - you can not be just observer
[14:03] Wyeth Bailey regrets we have no time to discuss Duchmapes
[14:03] Nick Cassavetes is Online
[14:03] Herman Bergson: you mean his urinoir, Wyeth?
[14:03] Wyeth Bailey: exactly
[14:03] Wyeth Bailey: yes herman
[14:04] Wyeth Bailey: found art is about the intentionality of the artist
[14:04] Herman Bergson: in a way even philosphically sensational
[14:04] Rodney Handrick: tons of homework?
[14:04] Wyeth Bailey: to recontextualize an object
[14:04] Gemma Cleanslate: have to leave !!
[14:04] Gemma Cleanslate: thanks Herman
[14:04] Wyeth Bailey: for dramatic effect perhaps
[14:04] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Gemma
[14:04] hope63 Shepherd: ty gemma..
[14:04] Gemma Cleanslate: see you Thrusday i hope
[14:04] Herman Bergson: Bye Gemma
[14:04] Mickorod Renard: bye gem
[14:04] Wyeth Bailey: is it art or is it. . . theater
[14:04] Rodney Handrick: Bye Gemma
[14:04] Wyeth Bailey: bye gemma
[14:05] anibrm Jung is Online
[14:05] itsme Frederix: Time to go ... bye
[14:05] You decline Cyberdelic Club from A group member named Gemma Cleanslate.
[14:05] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Itsme
[14:05] Mickorod Renard: bye its
[14:05] Rodney Handrick: Bye Itsme
[14:05] Osrum Sands: bye
[14:05] Qwark Allen is Offline
[14:05] Herman Bergson: Well my friends....this was a great class and thnx for all you contributions to it..:-)
[14:05] Herman Bergson: class dismissed...^_^
[14:05] Alarice Beaumont: got a go, too .. c u thursday
Posted by herman_bergson on 2008-03-04 18:49:01

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