By Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel
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Additional info for Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art. Volume I
The perversity lies here in this, that in that case the work of art is supposed to have a bearing on something else which is set before our minds as the essential thing or as what ought to be, so that then the work of art would have validity only as a useful tool for realizing this end which is independently valid on its own account outside the sphere of art. Against this we must maintain that art's vocation is to unveil the truth in the form of sensuous artistic configuration, to set forth the reconciled opposition just mentioned, and so to have its end and aim in itself, in this very setting forth and unveiling.
If, for example, I consume an object for the sake of nourishment, this interest resides solely in me and is foreign to the object itself. Now the situation with the beautiful, Kant maintains,' is not of this kind. The aesthetic judgement lets the external existent subsist free and independent, and it proceeds from a pleasure to which the object on its own account corresponds, in that the pleasure permits the object to have its end in itself. This, as we saw already above [pp. ], is an important consideration.
Y) But even if we abstract from an objective principle for art, and if beauty is to be based on subjective and individual taste, we soon nevertheless find on the side of art itself that the imitation of nature which indeed appeared to be a universal principle and one confirmed by high authority, isnottobeasiopted, at least in this general and wholly abstract form. , to mere description. In any case, if we still wanted to uphold this principle in relation to these latter arts, we would at least find ourselves compelled to take a long circuitous route, because we would have to attach various conditions to the proposition and reduce the so-called 'truth' of imitation to probability at least.
Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art. Volume I by Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel