Ellen Stuttle

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About Ellen Stuttle

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    Psychology, Physics, Philosophy, Literature, Music
  1. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Now you've taken onto yourself the role of keeper of the dictionary in the sky wherein correct meanings of terminology are kept and you've accused Rand of playing a shell game by substituting a different concept for the concept she was talking about when instead she was just using terminology differently from your decreed correct meanings. And as if there's no such topic as technical assessment discussed in art schools. And as if you haven't made multiple technical assessments yourself. Ellen
  2. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    The question I asked is if you "really doubt that there are many individual works - and very much Rand's own - which qualify as art by Rand's definition of art and her theory of the nature of art". Your shifting to what you don't doubt "some people" might think doesn't answer the question, and your bringing in identifying artists' themes is a further example of your reverse procedure discussed in the post above. No, each of the separate categories I mentioned - music, dance, architecture, and "abstract" painting and sculpture is not "united with the others under Rand's category of 'art'". The context was my disagreeing with your insistence that if the latter is excluded, then logically the others must be excluded too - a claim you argue for by means of non-sequitur linkage of all of those categories. Ellen
  3. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    J wrote : "Right now, music, architecture and dance don't qualify. And, as I've said many times, if we go by my little tests of O-vishes, nothing else qualifies either, including realist romantic paintings." Your tests of O'vishes which I've seen have consisted of your using Rand's statement about esthetic judgment as your base and asking for identifications of an artist's theme and then, when people fail to identify a theme, saying that therefore the work doesn't qualify as art according to Objectivism. However, as I've already pointed out, this is reversing the procedure. A judgment of esthetic merit is only relevant to a work which has already been classified as art. Consider an analogy to types of vehicles. Asking if a vehicle is a good car wouldn't be an appropriate question if the vehicle is a horse-drawn carriage. If you were using your tests merely to demonstrate that Rand's stated method for esthetic judgment is defective, then I would agree that you're pointing up a problem - but a problem with her method specifically, not by reverse formation a problem with her definition. Again, an analogy to testing a vehicle: If an auto repair shop has defective methods of gauging a car's performance, this doesn't mean that the item brought into the shop isn't a car. Note, in case I need to repeat this: I'm not saying that her definition is unproblematic, just that you aren't demonstrating a problem with her definition by demonstrating a problem with her method of esthetic judgment. Ellen
  4. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    A killer offense? Against what? Nothing? What I've quietly pointed out is the lack of the overwhelming substance you claim to have. You have bits of substance here and there, but no where near enough to make a corpse out of Rand's actual theory, only out of the substitute you've largely concocted yourself. Ellen
  5. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Why would anyone remove the reference to "this discussion"? Um, just maybe because the discussion which was referred to in the original essay isn't in the Lexicon. Ellen
  6. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Jonathan, thanks for that post, and the previous one which you quoted in full. You've provided a very clear delineation of many (though not all) of the bonkers lengths to which you go in producing your contrived piñata corpse. Haven't time for responding now. I might have time tomorrow. For now, I'm just enjoying laughing at your stunts. Ellen
  7. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    OK, you are not "trying to get 'abstract' painting and sculpture into Rand's theory." You're just trying to get O'vishes either to include "abstract" painting and sculpture or to kick out music (and dance and architecture). You're claiming that they're engaged in double standards in not either including or disincluding all. I do not agree. I think that each of those categories is a separate case. I think that your insistence upon seeing them all as instances of a common category disregards the nature of each. I think that, in terms of Rand's theory, O'vishes are correct in including music and disincluding "abstract" painting and sculpture. Architecture I think is problematic - and Rand might have been thinking so herself toward the end of her life. I've given little thought to dance. The sense in which music qualifies as a "selective recreation of reality" is tricky but not unnavigable. I don't buy the details of Rand's hypothesis as to how music works, but she was presenting that idea only as an hypothesis, not as necessarily correct in order for music to be art by her definition. Jonathan, do you really doubt that there are many individual works - and very much Rand's own - which qualify as art by Rand's definition of art and her theory of the nature of art? You cook up a huge fuss over Rand's "outside considerations" statement - which you interpret in a way which casts her as an idiot - but I think that what she meant isn't hard to understand and isn't different except in her typical rhetorical flourishes from standard boilerplate on esthetic judgment. One sets aside reactions to the what in judging the how. That Rand sometimes engaged in pronouncings that outstripped her expertise, that there are features of her presentations which she didn't think through well, granted. But I don't think that these problems produce difficulty in understanding what classifies as art according to Rand's views. Super! Ellen
  8. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    I wrote - here: [ES] "Repeat, Rand's strictures on technical evaluation presuppose that a work has been classified as art. " Oops, I almost missed that post. There you're going for foundations, which I wish you would go after instead of trying to get "abstract" painting and sculpture into Rand's theory by coattailing on music. Contra your view, I think that if one accepts Rand's foundational theory, then "abstract" painting and sculpture don't squeak in. But are her foundations correct? My viewpoint, as you might recall I've said in the past, is that her basic theory is (1) too narrow and (2) reliant on her notions of "sense of life," of which she presents three different accounts, and no way of establishing any of them. I'd like to see an attempt at presenting what you'd consider a good theory of art. Ellen
  9. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    I wrote - here [ES] "[...], is there any basis on which you would say of any type of man-made image that it couldn't qualify as art? Or, reverse the direction, do you have any criteria which a man-made image must meet - beyond being a man-made image - in order to qualify as art?" You replied - here: [J] "Rand's view was that, in order to qualify as art, it had to be created according to the creator's metaphysical value judgments, and only those judgments, and had to be created only for pure contemplation. It could serve no other purpose. It could not be "utilitarian," such as advertising imagery or technical manual illustrations. "In Rand's world, artists walk or chew gum, never both at the same time. (Except artists who are architects; they qualify as artists while creating work which she accepts as art despite specifically saying that it "does not re-create reality," and which she admits serves utilitarian purposes." Apologies for sniping just that section and leaving the rest aside. No time for discussing now. I think your description of what Rand thought re criteria is correct, but what I was asking is what, if any, criteria you think a man-made image must meet to qualify as art. I've wondered for a long while on what basis, if any, you'd rule out any man-made image from the category "art." Ellen
  10. Aristotle's wheel paradox

    I'm satisfied that you answered. Your reply is what I thought is your view. But here's the problem I see with it: How could modern methods have been developed without someone's thinking precisely in order to develop them? Modern methods certainly help in understanding physics, and there's much we wouldn't understand without them, but I think their development rested on previous precision within the available context of knowledge. Maybe you think so, too, and just weren't saying that clearly. Ellen
  11. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Repeat, Rand's strictures on technical evaluation presuppose that a work has been classified as art. I semi-agree with your statement about the importance of meaning in Rand's view, but not fully, since she did classify as art some literary works which she thought were fairly unintelligible. Regarding the last sentence of the paragraph, is there any basis on which you would say of any type of man-made image that it couldn't qualify as art? Or, reverse the direction, do you have any criteria which a man-made image must meet - beyond being a man-made image - in order to qualify as art? As to the first question raised by O-vishes, I haven't a comprehensive sample, but I haven't seen examples of the particular question you quote from Kamhi. I've seen challenges to the actual presence in the artwork of what you report as discerning in it - and you've sometimes phrased what you claim to discern in ways that I challenge also. On music, I think you make an awful hash of what Rand thought, and confuse her views with Roger Bissell's, and make comments which aren't recognizing the nature of music and the differences between music and visual art - in general not producing anything helpful to a case for "abstract" painting and sculpture. Re Kant and the Sublime, you missed a number of boats on his thesis, but I don't have time for the subject now - or, for that matter, more than a little time for posting at all. Just indicating that I think you continue to argue in ways which produce confusion not light on the subject of art. Ellen
  12. Aristotle's wheel paradox

    Your inability to read - or failure to read - is amazing. Repeating the question, though I don't expect a straight answer: "Symbolic Logic wasn't developed until the second half of the 19th century, and calculus wasn't developed until the mid-17th century, so are you claiming that precise thought wasn't possible prior to the first, or to both, of those developments?" Ellen
  13. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    I'm interested by what Tony's personal reaction is - substituting "personal" for your poisoning-the-well use of "subjective." Personal reactions are where it's at with art. Looks like you're still trying to turn technical evaluation into the tail that wags the dog. Rand wasn't making a requirement that anyone perform a technical evaluation of an artwork. She was simply warning against confusing one's personal response and moral judgment with technical evaluation. Ellen
  14. Aristotle's wheel paradox

    Thanks. Re Aristotle falling for it: For one thing, we have no extant writings of Aristotle's. What we have is lecture notes, and I think there's some doubt about the "work" in which the wheel paradox appears coming from Aristotle's lectures. I've been meaning to look into the issue but haven't had time yet. Ellen
  15. Aristotle's wheel paradox

    The question I was asking isn't at what age you believe you became capable of precise thought but in what year you think precise thought became possible for anyone. You earlier wrote, in response to my saying that I think that clear thinking could have seen through the supposed paradox even with the limited math the Greeks had available: Symbolic Logic wasn't developed until the second half of the 19th century, and calculus wasn't developed until the mid-17th century, so are you claiming that precise thought wasn't possible prior to the first, or to both, of those developments? Ellen