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Hungerland, Isabel C.. The Logic of Aesthetic Concepts
1962, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 36: 43 - 66.
Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Introduction: There are two sorts of descriptions, or accounts, that we can give of works of art or of anything else that makes up our world of relatively stable objects. I can describe a painting, a chair, a mountain, or a man in terms of colors, shapes, spatial relation of parts, and so on. I can also describe the same four objects by talking about the dynamic ten sions of the first, or its lack of visual balance; the grace and elegance of the second; the gloominess or majesty of the third; and the trimness or gawkiness of the fourth. The first sort of description, or account, may answer a wide variety of general purposes, central among them that of identifying particular objects. A museum curator might so describe a painting for future reference in identifying the particular work of one painter; an auctioneer identifies pieces of furniture by such descriptions; a map-maker, a mountain; and a police department, a Man Wanted. The second sort of account of the same objects could not usefully serve such purposes. The second sort, usually if not always, is found in the context of the evaluating of objects. “This is a fine Sheraton chair-it is graceful, but sturdy.” Here, relevant reasons are furnished for an aesthe tic rating of an object, and the first sort of description does not, and could not, serve this function

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