By James W. Manns
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Extra info for Aesthetics
Having drawn such a parallel between linguistic ambiguity and urban sprawl, Wittgenstein then reaches for another image to capture what he takes to be an apt approach to conceptual analysis: the family reunion. Imagine a gathering of numerous members of the same family, coming from several branches and spanning several generations. At this gathering, it is only reasonable to expect that certain people will bear a definite resemblance to one another: Uncle Henry's cheekbones will be discernible in several faces; Grandfather's bandy legs will hold up a few other folks; and perhaps Aunt Edith's raucous laugh will clatter across the reception hall, first from one direction, then from another.
Furthermore, this theory would not stand alone, like a rocky promontory jutting out of a sea of sand, but would take its place within a historical continuum, bolstered by certain theories, flanked by others, at odds, in all likelihood, with yet others. Page 12 The boxes that remained "in the back rooms of supermarkets," on the other hand, stood alone, mute and uninterpreted; they were never called upon to assume an alternative identity. " 18 Or again, "What in the end makes the difference between a Brillo box and a work of art consisting of a Brillo box is a certain theory of art.
And yet I only wish that I might one day reach the point where I could lay down dogmatic pronouncements on all the major issues of aesthetic interesthappy are they who Page xii have risen above doubt! However, an ever-broadening exposure both to the objects included in this field of studyworks of artand to the theories of art propounded by others, combined with an ever-deepening inquiry into what art means to me, seems to leave me in a state of permanent transition. If I had written this book twenty years ago, it would have been a radically different book; and in twenty years' time further metamorphoses would likewise be apparent.
Aesthetics by James W. Manns