The Beautiful (Paperback)

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I HAVE tried in this little volume to explain aesthetic preference, particularly as regards visible shapes, by the facts of mental science. But my explanation is addressed to readers in whom I have no right to expect a previous knowledge of psychology, particularly in its more modern developments. I have therefore based my explanation of the problems of aesthetics as much as possible upon mental facts familiar, or at all events easily intelligible, to the lay reader. Now mental facts thus available are by no means the elementary processes with which analytical and, especially experimental, psychology has dealings. They are, on the contrary, the everyday, superficial and often extremely confused views which practical life and its wholly unscientific vocabulary present of those ascertained or hypothetical scientific facts. I have indeed endeavoured (for instance in the analysis of perception as distinguished from sensation) to impart some rudiments of psychology in the course of my aesthetical explanation, and I have avoided, as much as possible, misleading the reader about such fearful complexes and cruxes as memory, association and imagination. But I have been obliged to speak in terms intelligible to the lay reader, and I am fully aware that these terms correspond only very approximately to what is, or at present passes as, psychological fact. I would therefore beg the psychologist (to whom I offer this little volume as a possible slight addition even to his stock of facts and hypotheses) to understand that in speaking, for instance, of Empathy as involving a thought of certain activities, I mean merely that whatever happens has the same result as if we thought; and that the processes, whatever they may be (also in the case of measuring, comparing and co-ordinating), translate themselves, when they are detected, into thoughts; but that I do not in the least pre-judge the question whether the processes, the "thoughts," the measuring, comparing etc. exist on subordinate planes of consciousness or whether they are mainly physiological and only occasionally abutting in conscious resultants. Similarly, lack of space and the need for clearness have obliged me to write as if shape-preference invariably necessitated the detailed process of ocular perception, instead of being due, as is doubtless most often the case, to every kind of associative abbreviation and equivalence of processes.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781499551600
ISBN-10: 1499551606
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: May 15th, 2014
Pages: 62
Language: English