By Ramona Cormier, Shannon Dubose, James K. Feibleman, John D. Glenn Jr., Harold N. Lee, Marian L. Pauson, Louise N. Roberts, John Sallis (auth.)
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It cannot be a question of a new kind of poetry or anything of that sort; no, the unity consists in seriousness. Socrates then was the most serious man in Greece .... (H)is comic sense was precisely as great as his ethical pathos; his seriousness was hidden in jest, hence he had freedom in it .... In the case of an immediate existence it is important not to see the contradiction, for with that immediacy is lost; in the existence of spirit the important thing is to hold out and to endure the contradictions but at the same time to hold them off from oneself in freedom.
The ideal of course would be to start with nothing at all, a thoroughgoing standpointlessness. But that is only possible for a metaphysics, not for any undertaking with a less fundamental involvement. There is a starting-point if there are definitions, for definitions lead to axioms and what follows from them tends to be theorematic in character. Here in the philosophy of art where we lack the proper metaphysical approach we can do no less. Accordingly, our starting-point will consist in two definitions, one of beauty (to prepare the ground), and one of art.
2 His words cannot be taken unambiguously; a fortiori, the Socratic irony which he depicts, and the unity of comedy and tragedy which it expresses, is somewhat ambiguous. Socratic irony does, like 1 See The Concept of Irony, p. 260, for a brief statement of these differences. This discussion should, however, be read in the light of certain qualifications to be made below. 2 See Lee M. Capel's introduction and notes to his translation of The Concept of Irony for a thorough discussion of this matter.
Aesthetics I by Ramona Cormier, Shannon Dubose, James K. Feibleman, John D. Glenn Jr., Harold N. Lee, Marian L. Pauson, Louise N. Roberts, John Sallis (auth.)