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George SantayanaLiterary Philosopher$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780300080377

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300080377.001.0001

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The Basis of Aesthetic and Moral Criticism

The Basis of Aesthetic and Moral Criticism

Chapter:
(p.173) 8 The Basis of Aesthetic and Moral Criticism
Source:
George Santayana
Author(s):

Irving Singer

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300080377.003.0008

This chapter discusses Santayana's theory of criticism, in which his aesthetic and moral philosophy ultimately lead. Taking issue with Croce's view that aesthetics is a separate and unique science, Santayana denies that it is a science at all. In the place of an aesthetic science he finds “the art and function of criticism.” By criticism Santayana means “a reasoned appreciation of human works by a mind not wholly ignorant of their subject or occasion, their school, and their process of manufacture.” Because a work of art is an object that enters into a variety of relations, the critic cannot limit his assessment to an evaluation of beauty. He must be a moral critic, even a moral philosopher, who helps to determine the role that an art object should play in human experience.

Keywords:   theory of criticism, moral philosophy, Croce, aesthetic science, work of art

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