Monday, August 15, 2011

Psycho-Epistemology And Art (More)

More on psycho-epistemology and art from Dr. Peikoff:

So far, I have been considering the subject of an art work, or what it presents—the perceptual concretes that convey its view of the world. But there is another essential aspect of art: style, i.e., how the artist presents his subject. "The subject of an art work," writes Ayn Rand, "expresses a view of man's existence, while the style expresses a view of man's consciousness. The subject reveals an artist's metaphysics, the style reveals his psycho-epistemology." An artist's style, for example, may express a state of full focus—of clarity, purpose, precision; or a state of fog—of the opaque, the random, the blurred. In either (and any) case, style, like subject, has philosophical roots and meaning. In Ayn Rand's words, style reveals an artist's implicit view of the mind's "proper method and level of functioning," the level "on which the artist feels most at home." This is another reason why men react to art in profoundly personal terms. Like subject, though from a different aspect, style is experienced by the reader or viewer as a confirmation or denial of his consciousness.

Dr. Leonard Peikoff, "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand", p. 422.

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