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574 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY with the "integral." He admits a temperamental bias: "[Perhaps] it is mostly that I like the world of individual selves and common sense things" (p. 61 ). It would be interesting to see what he might have discovered had he looked for the Anaximanderian-Pythagorean -Heraclitean-Platonic-Plotinian strain as much as for what is most commonly known as the Aristotelian. ROBERT REIN'L A rizona State University Lezioni di filosofia, Vol. III, Estetica. By Guido Calogero. (Turin: Giulio Einaudi, 1960. Pp. 392. Three vols. L9000) Estetica is the third of the three volumes comprising the author's Lessons in Philosophy which is his main'work apart from his History o/ Ancient Logic. Calogero is professor of history of philosophy at the University of Rome (and was also the president of the Institut Philosophique International for a number of years). Estetica was the first volume of the Lezioni di filosofia to be written by Calogero in 1942 when he was confined to a "cell of the Muratori prison in Florence by the Mussolini government." He was incarcerated for political reasons "without expectation of an early release" so that he considered the Estetica as his "ideal testament" and perhaps his "last writing." The importance of the book lies in the fact that it was a thorough critique of the aesthetics of Benedetto Croce which he calls "the philosophy of Vico and Croce." Calogero's Estetica which he terms "a philosophy of art and of language" rejects Croce's indentification of poetry and language, of intuition and expression and proposes a distinction between semantic and figurative (asemantic) art. Due to the overwhelming influence and authority of Croce in Italy this was, on Calogero's part, also an act of courage. According to him there exists a "fundamental aesthetic experience" which carries with it a suspension or epochd of desire attached to an object. It is a sort of initial "catharsis," a liberation from the emotion that inheres in the object in question. The aesthetic attitude may be prompted by any object. A subclass of the "aesthetic attitude" is "the artistic experience" derived especially from works of art which are structured in such a way as to exhibit "a lyrical equilibrium." The latter is common to all works of art as their main characteristic. This cathartic effect is evoked by the artist and felt in the act of art perception as a result of the paradigmatic form in which the artistic image and the emotive aura proper to it are couched. The affective idea of the subject matter may be artistically overcome sometimes by a contrast or by a simile if for instance the deplored death of a loved one is brought into the more universal setting of the human fate in general. The poetic metaphor--as against the nonpoetic comparison --is also a vehicle of the lyrical equilibrium and derives its poetical force therefrom. Lyrical equilibrium is also a characteristic of the visual arts such as painting or sculpture. We may meet there--for instance in the "Tempest" of Giorgione--a painted metaphor. The same lyrical quality is shown if for instance a smile conquers death on the face of a dying man. This lyrical power may be seen also in such paintings as "La Gioconda" of Leonardo da Vinci. But as against poetry and music these figurative arts are asemantic. They are not signs translatable into other signs but could be, so to speak, transmuted if only by a miracle--into real things, which however, musical tones could not. This could be called according to Calogero "the proof of Pygmalion." The visual arts have emotion and figuration while music has only emotion and meaning without figuration. Poetry shares in all the three characteristics. Music is thus determined by "aneidetic semanticity" (a semanticity without 'eidos' or representation) while figurative arts find themselves on the other end of the spectrum of "asemantic eideticity." What is called "language" in painting means nothing else than "style." Music is a BOOK REVIEWS 575 semantic and lyric formation of pure feelings. The universal comprehensibility of music is not due to any true universality of its language--which also varies according to the period but...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 574-575
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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