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Ideas of Sebastian Gardner, by Text

[British, fl. 2000, Professor at University College, London University.]

1995 Aesthetics
Intro p.585 Aesthetics presupposes a distinctive sort of experience, and a unified essence for art
     Full Idea: Aesthetics traditionally has two presuppositions: the first is that there is a distinctive form of experience which is common to the appreciation of art and natural beauty; the second is that art has an essence or some sort of underlying unity.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Aesthetics [1995], Intro)
     A reaction: Both must come up for discussion. I think the biggest problem for the first one is the place of sexual attraction, or even fancying a prawn sandwich. The second has been weakened by Marcel Duchamp's urinal, and modern fringe arts.
1.1 p.587 Aesthetic judgements necessarily require first-hand experience, unlike moral judgements
     Full Idea: I am not within my rights to declare an object beautiful until I have seen it myself, ..unlike moral judgement, which (arguably) does not presuppose either a felt response or personal acquaintance.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Aesthetics [1995], 1.1)
     A reaction: Particularists might argue that moral judgements also require exposure to the actual situation, if they are to be authentic and authoritative. We can also discuss principles of aesthetics in the absence of examples.
1.2.3 p.591 Aesthetic objectivists must explain pleasure being essential, but not in the object
     Full Idea: The aesthetic objectivist faces the difficulty of accounting for the fact that pleasure is not in the object, and is necessary for, and not just a contingent accompaniment to, aesthetic response.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Aesthetics [1995], 1.2.3)
     A reaction: The objectivist has to claim, not utterly implausibly, that if you don't get pleasure from certain works, then you 'ought' to. You can ignore a good work, but to deny that it gives pleasure is a failing in you.
2.2 p.602 Art works originate in the artist's mind, and appreciation is re-creating this mental object
     Full Idea: A strong tradition in aesthetics (the 'idealist' view) regards works of art as existing originally in the artist's mind, and the appreciation of art as a matter of re-creating the artist's mental object.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Aesthetics [1995], 2.2)
     A reaction: He mentions Collingwood and Croce. Against this is the view (Idea 7268) that what goes on in the artist's mind is just irrelevant. Freud is important here, suggesting that the artist doesn't quite know what he or she is doing.
1999 Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason
02 'Transc' p.45 Transcendental proofs derive necessities from possibilities (e.g. possibility of experiencing objects)
     Full Idea: A transcendental proof converts a possibility into a necessity: by saying under what conditions experience of objects is possible, transcendental proofs show those conditions to be necessary for us to the extent that we have any experience of objects.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason [1999], 02 'Transc')
     A reaction: They appear to be hypothetical necessities, rather than true metaphysical necessities. Gardner is discussing Kant, but seems to be generalising. Hypothetical necessities are easy: if it is flying, it is necessarily above the ground.
03 'Maths' p.58 Modern geoemtry is either 'pure' (and formal), or 'applied' (and a posteriori)
     Full Idea: There is now 'pure' geometry, consisting of formal systems based on axioms for which truth is not claimed, and which are consequently not synthetic; and 'applied', a branch of physics, the truth of which is empirical, and therefore not a priori.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason [1999], 03 'Maths')
     A reaction: His point is that there is no longer any room for a priori geometry. Might the same division be asserted of arithmetic, or analysis, or set theory?
06 'Noumena' p.201 Leibnizian monads qualify as Kantian noumena
     Full Idea: Leibnizian monads clearly satisfy Kant's definition of noumena.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason [1999], 06 'Noumena')
     A reaction: This needs qualifying, because Leibniz clearly specifies the main attributes of monads, where Kant is adamant that we can saying virtually nothing about noumena.
10 p.327 Only Kant and Hegel have united nature, morals, politics, aesthetics and religion
     Full Idea: Apart from Hegel, no later philosophical system equals in stature Kant's attempt to weld together the diverse fields of natural science, morality, politics, aesthetics and religion into a systematic overarching epistemological and metaphysical unity.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason [1999], 10)
     A reaction: Earlier candidate are Plato and Aristotle. Earlier Enlightenment figures say little about morality or aesthetics. Hobbes ranges widely. Aquinas covered most things.
10 'immediate' p.330 Hamann, Herder and Jacobi were key opponents of the Enlightenment
     Full Idea: Hamann, Herder and Jacobi are central figues in the reaction against Enlightenment.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason [1999], 10 'immediate')
     A reaction: From a British perspective I would see Hume as the leading such figure. Hamann emphasised the neglect of the role of language. Jacobi was a Christian.
10 Intro p.327 Kant halted rationalism, and forced empiricists to worry about foundations
     Full Idea: Kant's Critique swiftly brought rationalism to a halt, and after Kant empiricism has displayed a nervousness regarding its foundations, and been forced to assume more sophisticated forms.
     From: Sebastian Gardner (Kant and the Critique of Pure Reason [1999], 10 Intro)
     A reaction: See the ideas of Laurence Bonjour for a modern revival of rationalism. After Kant philosophers either went existential, or stared gloomily into the obscure depths. Formal logic was seen as a possible rope ladder down.