Philosophy of the Arts


Success terms and activity terms

We can distinguish between terms which apply only after success and terms which refer to the activity leading to such success. Some terms are ambiguous in this respect, e.g. the Anglosaxon “aesthetic appreciation”: one would think the term denotes a perceptive activity, but in the literature it is used as well to refer to the succesful outcome of such activity.
Activity terms are empirical, and, hence, philosophically of less interest than are the corresponding success terms–such as Kant’s notion of ‘the free play of the cognitive faculties’–which are transcendental in nature, or, in Popper’s terminology: they are non-falsifiable.
There seem to exist standards of correctness for success terms, but, as they apply transcendentally, i.e. logically and in retrospect only, these standards do little to help us predict or prescribe the relevant success.
How do we know which standards apply?
How does the empirical terms’ empirical nature relate to the success terms’ standards of correctness?
Do success terms and activity terms always come in pairs–like the two just mentioned?
Is there a way to circumvent the non-falsifiability of the success term–perhaps by reducing it to its activity counterpart?
Why do we have these regulative principles–such as are related to the success terms?
I have wrestled with these questions in relation to Kant’s analysis of the judgement of taste in terms of a sensus communis, in my “Kants Regulative Principle of Aesthetic Excellence: The Ideal Aesthetic Experience.”

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