Tuesday, July 1


Art is not indifferent to truth; it is essentially the pursuit of truth. But the truth it pursues is not a truth of relation, it is a truth of individual fact. The truths art discovers are those single and self-contained individualities which from the intellectual point of view become the 'terms' between which it is the business of intellect to establish or apprehend relations. Each of these individualities, as art discovers it, is a perfectly concrete individual, one from which nothing has yet been abstracted by the work of intellect. Each is an experience in which the distinction between what is due to myself and what is due to my world has not yet been made. If that experience consists in admiring a lady, I do not as poet ask whether this happens because in herself she is somehow different from other ladies, or because I am for some reason in an admiring mood. I am doing something quite different from asking such questions; I am discovering a thing of the kind about which, later on, such questions may have to be asked. If it turns out that we cannot answer them, it will not follow that the things about which they are asked were incorrectly observed.

-- R.G. Collingwood The Principles of Art