Friday, March 19, 2010

Arguing about novels: a neo-Kantian account

Key idea: we tend argue about novels not fruit, because pleasure in novels somehow arises from chains of thought/imagination of propositions, so suggesting propositions can kick start someone's novel-appreciation, while it can't kick-start their fruit appreciation.

Expect agreement not in patterns of thought, but in acknowledgement of possibilities for 'text-suggested' patterns of thoughts
-(e.g. relatively little agreement in actual beliefs about math vs. massive agreement in what people could be lead to acknowledge about math)
-massive agreement in when a literary critic has made their case for x being reminiscent of y, compared to actual chains of thought prompted by reading x.

Generic lit reading faculty = (weak) what lets you correctly evaluate claims about what is reminiscent of what/ evaluate claims made in literature journals.
(strong) you are actually somewhat likely to be reminded of x by what's reminiscent of x, curious about y when a text raises questions about y, drawn to compare when a text contrasts etc.

The application of the strong generic reading faculty to a text creates a chain of curiosity which is then pleasurably satisfied by actually finding the answer to these questions, imagining the scenarios you are made to want to imagine etc.

Call something beautiful insofar as you think the "free play" of the generic reading faculty creates pleasure i.e. nearly all paths lead to suitable pleasurable chains of inquiry/. We typically conclude this by taking a few random walks, and having reason to expect nothing other than the tendencies included in the generic reading faculty were responsible for your pleasure.

When people disagree about beauty one of them is wrong.

But there is no reason that people ought to relate to texts with the generic lit reading faculty, deviant readers are just wrong insofar as they ascribe their experience to the beauty of the work (e.g. as opposed to e.g. vanity or the work plus certain descriptive personal facts, which might be added to the work to create something that was beautiful)

No comments:

Post a Comment