Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights XIV


Another ground for the presumption of genius in the sciences would be if
someone were to say and maintain things whose meaning he could not 
possibly have understood entirely, either owing to the period at which he
lived, or by reason of his other utterances; so that he has thus asserted 
something apparently with consciousness, which he could in fact only 
have asserted unconsciously. It could, however be readily shown in a 
number of ways, that even these grounds for the presumption may be 
delusive in the extreme.
F.W.J. Schelling

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights XIII


What science brings forth, can be brought forth through genius, but it is not
necessarily engendered through this. It therefore is and remains problematic 
in science, i.e., one can, indeed, always say definitely where it is not present,
but never where it is. There are but few indications which allow us to infer 
genius in the sciences; (that one has to infer it is already evidence of the 
peculiarity of the matter). It is, for example, assuredly not present, where a 
whole, such as a system, arises piecemeal and as though by putting together. 
One would thus have to suppose, conversely, that genius is present, where the 
idea of the whole has manifestly preceded the individual parts. For since the 
idea of the whole cannot in fact become clear save through its development in 
the individual parts, while those parts, on the other hand, are possible only 
through the idea of the whole, there seems to be a contradiction here which is 
possible only through an act of genius, i.e., an unexpected concurrence of the 
unconscious with the conscious activity.
F.W.J. Schelling

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights XII


From this, too, it is apparent why and to what extent there is no genius in science;
not indeed that it would be impossible for a scientific problem to be solved by 
means of genius, but because this same problem whose solution can be found by 
genius, is also soluble mechanically. Such, for example, is the Newtonian system
of gravitation, which could have been a discovery of genius, and its first discoverer,
Kepler, really was so, but could equally also have been a wholly scientific discovery,
which it actually became in the hands of Newton. Only what art brings forth is simply
and solely possible through genius, since in every task that art has discharged, an 
infinite contradiction is reconciled.
F.W.J. Schelling 

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights XI


So far as particularly concerns the relation of art to science, the two are so
utterly opposed in tendency, that if science were ever to have discharged
its whole task, as art always discharged it, they would both have to coincide 
and merge into one- which is proof of directions that they are radically opposed.
For though science at its highest level has one and the same business as art,
this business, owing to the manner of effecting it, is an endless one for science, 
so that one may say that art constitutes the ideal of science, and where art is,
science has yet to attain to.
F.W.J. Schelling 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights X


This independence of external goals is the source of that holiness and purity
of art, which goes so far that it not only rules out relationship with all mere
sensory pleasure, to demand which of art is the true nature of barbarism;
or with the useful, to require which of art is possible only in an age which
supposes the highest efforts of the human spirit to consist in economic
discoveries. It actually excludes relation with everything pertaining to
morality, and even leaves far beneath it the sciences (which in point of
disinterestedness stand closest to art), simply because they are always 
directed to a goal outside themselves, and must ultimately themselves
serve merely as a means for the highest (namely art).
F.W.J. Schelling

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights IX


It is easy to conceive how the aesthetic product is to be distinguished from the
common artifact, since all aesthetic creation is absolutely free in regard to its 
principle, in that the artist can be driven to create by a contradiction, indeed,
but only by one which lies in the highest regions of his own nature; whereas
every other sort of creation is occasioned by a contradiction which lies outside
the actual producer, and thus has in every case a goal outside itself.
F.W.J. Schelling

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights VIII


From this we may explain the quite peculiar interest in natural beauty, not
insofar as it is beauty as such, but insofar as it is specifically natural beauty.
Whence it is self-evident what we are to think of the imitation of nature as a 
principle of art; for so far from the merely contingent beauty of nature providing 
the rule to art, the fact is, rather, that what art creates in its perfection is the
principle and norm for the judgement of natural beauty.
F.W.J. Schelling

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights VII


Now that the characteristics of the work of art have been derived, its difference
from all other products has simultaneously been brought to light.
For the art-product differs from the organic product of nature primarily in these
respects: [a) that the organic being still exhibits unseparated what the aesthetic
production displays after separation, though united; b) that the organic production
does not proceed from consciousness, or therefore from the infinite contradiction,
which is the condition of aesthetic production. Hence [if beauty is essentially the 
resolution of an infinite conflict] the organic product of nature will likewise not 
necessarily be beautiful, and if it is so, its beauty will appear as altogether
contingent, since the condition therefore cannot be thought of as existing in 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights VI


... It can also be shown very easily that sublimity rests upon the same 
contradiction as that on which beauty rests. For whenever an object is 
spoken of as sublime, a magnitude is admitted by the unconscious activity 
which it is impossible to accept into the conscious one: whereupon the self
is thrown into a conflict with itself which can end only in aesthetic intuition,
whereby both activities are bought into unexpected harmony; save only
that the intuition, which here lies not in the artist, but in the intuiting subject
himself, is a wholly involuntary one, in that the sublime (quite unlike the
merely strange, which similarly confronts the imagination with a contradiction,
though one that is not worth the trouble of resolving) sets all the forces of the 
mind in motion, in order to resolve a contradiction which threatens our whole
intellectual existence.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights V


c) Every aesthetic production proceeds from an intrinsically infinite separation
of the two activities, which in every free act of producing are divided. But now
since these two activities are to be depicted in the product as united, what this 
latter presents is an infinite finitely displayed. But the infinite finitely displayed 
is beauty. The basic feature of every work of art, in which both the proceeding 
are comprehended, is therefore beauty, and without beauty there is no work
of art. There are, admittedly, sublime works of art, and beauty and sublimity
in a certain respect are opposed to each other, in that a landscape, for example,
can be beautiful without therefore being sublime, and vice versa. However,
the opposition between beauty and sublimity is one which occurs only in regard
to the object, not in regard to the subject of intuition. For the difference between 
the beautiful and the sublime work of art consists simply in this, that where beauty
is present, the infinite contradiction is eliminated in the object itself; whereas when
sublimity is present, the conflict is not reconciled in the object itself, but merely
uplifted to a point at which it is involuntarily eliminated in the intuition, and this,
then, is much as if it were to be eliminated in the object.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights IV


b) Every aesthetic production proceeds from the feeling of an infinite
contradiction, and hence also the feeling which accompanies completion
of the art-product must be one of an infinite tranquility; and this latter, in turn,
must also pass over into the work of art itself. Hence the outward expression
of the work of art is one of calm, and silent grandeur, even where the aim is 
to give expression to the utmost intensity of pain or joy.
F.W.J. Schelling

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights III


...By contrast, in the product which merely apes the character of the work of art,
purpose and rule lie on the surface, and seem so restricted and circumscribed,
that the product is no more than a faithful replica of the artist's conscious activity,
and is in every respect an object for reflection only, not for intuition, which loves
to sink itself in what it contemplates, and finds no resting place short of the infinite.
(Artistic Production: Character of the Art-Product)
F.W.J. Schelling

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights II


...To explain what we mean by a single example: the mythology
of the Greeks, which undeniably contains an infinite meaning and
a symbolism for all ideas, arose among a people, and in a fashion,
which both make it impossible to suppose any comprehensive forethought
in devising it, or in the harmony whereby everything is united into one 
great whole. So it is with every true work of art, in that every one of them
is capable of being expounded ad infinitum, as though it contained an
infinity of purposes, while yet one is never able to say whether this infinity 
has lain within the artist himself, or resides only in the work of art.
F.W.J. Schelling

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights

A circular project

The work of art reflects to us the identity of the conscious and unconscious
activities. But the opposition between them is an infinite one, and its removal
is effected without any assistance from freedom. Hence the basic character
of the work of art is that of an unconscious infinity (synthesis of nature and 
freedom). Besides what he has put into his work with manifest intention,
the artist seems instinctively, as it were, to have depicted therein an infinity,
which no finite understanding is capable of developing to the full.
System of Transcendental Idealism (1800)
F.W.J. Schelling
(translated by Peter Heath)