On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM, Gary Richmond <gary.richm...@gmail.com>wrote:

> I want to conclude this note with a passage near the end of the book
> which I very much liked and have been reflecting on since. Forster
> writes:
> On [Peirce's] view, human beings are not cogs in a vast cosmic
> mechanism, but rather are free, creative agents capable of
> transforming the world though the active realization of intelligent
> ideals. The ultimate fate of the world is indeterminate and there is
> no guarantee that the forces of reasonableness will triumph.
> Nevertheless, the potential for victory is there. All it requires, he
> thinks, is a community of individuals who devote their energy to the
> pursuit of truth and goodness, a community united, not by mutual
> self-interest, but by a common love of reasonableness" (Forster, op.
> cit., 245).
> Cathy, this brought to my mind the discussion of Peirce's esthetics
> following Tom Short's fine talk in the Robin session at SAAP. Any
> thoughts on that in this connection?

> Yes that discussion was interesting - I wish we had had the time to pursue
> it further. This might not mean so much to people who were not at the talk
> (perhaps Tom Short might be persuaded to post a copy of it here). But
> anyway, Tom claimed the subject matter of Peirce's aesthetics was not the
> beautiful but the *admirable*. To test this, and because I was worried that
> the talk had mainly spoken at the general level, I asked about a specific
> example - the Mona Lisa, and whether a Peircean aesthetics as described by
> Tom might have anything to say about that work, and if so, what.

> I was worried it looked like I hadn't really understood the very point Tom
> was trying to make, and Tom suggested that a painting of a beautiful woman
> is not the sort of thing Peirce has in mind, but Felicia Cruse said she
> wanted to hear what Tom had to say about it, and artworks in general.
> Then Rosa Mayorga pointed out that Peirce himself describes the subject
> matter of aesthetics as 'the growth of concrete reasonableness' (here is
> the connection Gary is pointing out) so we should work with that.

> So I guess the question is whether a painting by Leonardo da Vinci might
> somehow contribute to the growth of human concrete reasonableness. Doesn't
> seem to me it couldn't. That painting in particular, apparently people have
> been known to stand in front of it for hours and not necessarily be able to
> articulate why.

I hope I have captured an accurate enough snapshot of the discussion as
memory of such things is inevitably selective.

Regards to all, Cathy

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