Aesthetic As Science Of Expression And General Linguistics by Benedetto Croce

By Benedetto Croce

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It leaves to the first, narration, measurement and classification; to the second, the chronicling of what has individually happened; to the third, the individually possible. There is nothing left to share with religion. For the same reason, philosophy, as the science of the spirit, cannot be philosophy of the intuitive datum; nor, as has been seen, Philosophy of History, nor Philosophy of Nature; and therefore there cannot be a philosophic science of what is not form and universal, but material and particular.

Philosophy, which should become metaphysical in the sense above described, would, on the other hand, claim to compete with narrative history, and with the natural sciences, which in their field are alone legitimate and effective. Such a competition becomes in fact a labour spoiling labour. We are antimetaphysical in this sense, while yet declaring ourselves ultrametaphysical, if by that word it be desired to claim and to affirm the function of philosophy as the autoconsciousness of the spirit, as opposed to the merely empirical and classificatory function of the natural sciences.

Sidenote] Critique of the theory of the end of art and of the choice of the content. For the same reasons the search for the end of art is ridiculous, when it is understood of art as art. And since to fix an end is to choose, the theory that the content of art must be selected is another form of the same error. A selection from among impressions and sensations implies that these are already expressions, otherwise, how can a selection be made among what is continuous and indistinct? To choose is to will: to will this and not to will that: and this and that must be before us, they must be expressed.

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