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The Concept of Expression: A Study in Philosophical Psychology and Aesthetics

The Concept of Expression: A Study in Philosophical Psychology and Aesthetics

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    The Concept of Expression: A Study in Philosophical Psychology and Aesthetics
    Book Description:

    Defining expression as the expression of intentional states, Alan Tormey describes the general conditions under which human conduct may be considered expressive, and then analyzes this conduct as it is manifested in behavior, language, and art.

    Originally published in 1971.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7149-0
    Subjects: Psychology

Table of Contents

    (pp. vii-xiv)
    Arthur C. Danto

    The concept of expression, to the philosophical clarification of which Professor Tormey’s lucid essay is so successfully addressed, is notoriously vague at its boundaries and various in its senses. But one of its meanings is perhaps sufficiently stable that I may use it to support a few collateral reflections on expression. Since these converge with Tormey’s analysis, they may serve to preface his contribution. No otherkindof preface, with a work so clearly written and tautly argued, would be fitting.

    In music, expression is that which accounts for the possibility of artistically distinct performances of the identical work: it...

    (pp. 5-36)

    1 | We express, both in our speech and our nonlinguistic behavior, a prodigious variety of things, from beliefs and attitudes to moods, intentions, and emotions, from hope, hostility, and anger to pity, doubt, and elation. It is clear, however, that neither behavior nor language is expressive of everything that could be said to be a state of a person. We do not, for example, express our blood count, our temperature, our weight, or our age. Our first task then will be to distinguish those states of a person that are expressed, or expressible in language and behavior from those...

    (pp. 39-60)

    1 | Having established a criterion for determining which states of a person are expressible in behavior, we may now consider the logical relations that link behavioral expressions and those states of a person that are said to be expressed. Before undertaking a discussion of these relations, however, we must note an important distinction marked by a difference in syntactic form.

    Consider the following sentences:

    S₁ A sad expression is a mark of the thoroughbred beagle.

    S₂ An expression of sadness crossed her face as she watched him close the gate.

    ‘Sad expression’ does not mean ‘expression of sadness’; but...

    (pp. 63-94)

    1 | In a lecture delivered at the University of London in 1934, Rudolf Carnap made a number of remarks which, in the light of subsequent developments in philosophy, are worth quoting at some length:

    Now we have analysed the propositions of metaphysics in a wide sense of this word, including not only transcendental metaphysics, but also the problems of philosophical Reality and lastly normative ethics. Perhaps many will agree that the propositions of all these kinds of metaphysics are not verifiable, i.e. that their truth cannot be examined by experience. And perhaps many will grant for this reason that...

    (pp. 97-124)

    1 | If the analysis developed in preceding chapters is correct in its general outlines, it should be possible to derive from it a number of implications bearing on the adequacy of attempts to understand art as a form of expression.

    The history of the philosophy of art could, without excessive distortion, be written as a study of the significance of a handful of concepts. The successive displacement of ‘imitation’ by ‘representation,’ and of ‘representation’ by ‘expression,’ for example, marks one of the more revealing developments in the literature of aesthetics; and it would be only a slight exaggeration to...

    (pp. 127-142)

    1 | Philosophical concern with the expressive dimension of art has taken many directions, and it would serve no clear purpose to attempt to survey or assess them all, even if that were an attainable goal. Rather, the aim of the present chapter is limited to an extension of some of my earlier arguments and conclusions to the structuring of a proposal for comprehending and describing the expressive character of art works.

    2 | It is transparently evident that it would make no sense to assert that a work of art literallyhad e.g.

    the property anguish or longing or...