Subjective Vs. Objective

Subjective Vs. Objective
StaticAge
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#11 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Apr 29, 2009 - 2:37 PM:

randomly_anonymous wrote:
Like ManiaJack mentioned, if something is constructed or arranged in the golden ratio (phi), it is generally and universally more appealing to the public. Visual arts, music, poetry, physiology, you name it. If it is 'golden' in its proportion, then it will be considered more beautiful.

Do you think that is really true? Or could it be an aspect of the background practices in your culture which you have been socialized into and which gets impressed upon you further by people teaching this kind of myth?

There was a recent book drawing upon the myth of the golden ratio by Mario Livio. Here is an article also debunking the story: Click here.
And here is another: Click here.
And another: Click here.
randomly_anonymous
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#12 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Apr 30, 2009 - 1:43 PM:

Do you think that is really true? Or could it be an aspect of the background practices in your culture which you have been socialized into and which gets impressed upon you further by people teaching this kind of myth?


The thing is, even if I were indoctrinated into thinking that, I cannot (nor can most other human beings) tell by plain observation that something IS built in proportion to phi. Thus, whether I am culturally 'socialized' into thinking that or not is independent of whether I can recognize that within a structure. By the same token, we all may (or may not...) know that something symmetrical is more aesthetically pleasing than asymmetry; however, how many of us can actually distinguish by the naked eye what is perfectly symmetrical and what is not? Hence, if what we deem to be more beautiful is 'coincidentally' symmetrical or proportional to the golden ratio, that means that it is the intrinsic and innate nature of human beings to have a proclivity towards objects possessing the aforementioned features.

In response to the resources that you have posted, I do agree that this matter is highly subjective. I am simply stating my point of view and why I believe in it. I am positive that, without much effort, I can reference a plethora of ancient and contemporary works in full support of the golden ratio.
StaticAge
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Posted May 2, 2009 - 6:28 PM:

randomly_anonymous wrote:
In response to the resources that you have posted, I do agree that this matter is highly subjective. I am simply stating my point of view and why I believe in it. I am positive that, without much effort, I can reference a plethora of ancient and contemporary works in full support of the golden ratio.

Well, sure you can- it was a prevailing view during a certain period of time. But, the newer articles you saw are also evidence that such ideas, while prevalently believed back then, are dismissed or merely one subjective viewpoint among others. That fact alone speaks volumes about claims that there are any universal concepts about beauty that transcend culture or history and implies what I have been saying: that they are merely social conventions.
Arkady
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Posted Aug 8, 2009 - 6:20 AM:

randomly_anonymous wrote:
Arts is still objective. Even though one may argue that "what appears beautiful to one person may not appear beautiful to another", there is still some sort of a concrete foundation on which these perceptions are based.

Like ManiaJack mentioned, if something is constructed or arranged in the golden ratio (phi), it is generally and universally more appealing to the public. Visual arts, music, poetry, physiology, you name it. If it is 'golden' in its proportion, then it will be considered more beautiful.

This also brings about our proclivity towards symmetry. Through several studies, it is proven that toddlers prefer symmetrical faces (as in they believe they are more beautiful) over asymmetrical ones.


A group consensus as to what is beautiful does not merit objectivity. It is simply a subjective opinion held by the majority of people.
Caldwell
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Posted Aug 10, 2009 - 1:29 AM:

Perhaps, one way to describe art is the way mental institutions and the patients relate to each other. Remember, there is no use arguing whether a person is crazy or not if that person is committed in a mental ward. The rebuttal, of course, to the one who would try to argue would be: then why is he there? Maybe a mistake?!

If a canvas was painted white and nothing else, and left at the side of a liquor store, no one would bother to argue whether it is art or not. "It is trash left by the neighbor to be picked up by the garbage truck."

But if same canvas was hung in a gallery, museum, a financial building, a government building, or in some villa, we wouldn't have a problem calling it art.
Z. Thustra
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Posted Oct 4, 2009 - 10:00 PM:

a piece of art is objective. how could it not be? it is a physical entity in the external world. its our mental evaluations of it that differ. a painting of a flower appears the same to everyone but evokes different thoughts and emotions in people depending on their lives and experiences. so i think the question is, are our evaluations of the work of art rational? and if so, are the thoughts and feelings we get from the art worthwhile?
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Posted Oct 18, 2009 - 10:06 AM:

But this question comes to artists in the midst of attempting a particular goal. If I want to write a scary story or compose a frightening melody, and I feel I've done so, I'm left to wonder if others will feel the same way. That's when the question makes its smoke.

That's also when I believe the truly capable can find a united answer. Yes, there are objective rules and ways for me to apply to my story or composition in order to suggest fear in other people because there are objective things that all people are afraid of. Art is often a tool of emotion, and speaking broadly there are means to incite certain emotions in certain people. And wherever we find ourselves unable to cause a most particular emotion, so to must we throw up our hands and admit that this specific-particular portion of our art will remain a question mark of subjectivity. I can make any person smile if I try enough, if I discover enough about humor and about my audience. That's an objective pursuit I can be sure of. But can I make any person fall in love with me? Can I make any person be passionate and devoted to me? Likewise, I can make my story or composition contain frightening ingredients. That's an objective pursuit I can be sure of. But can I frighten my audience into many wakeful nights? Can I shake their foundation?

Exploration of art is almost always an exploration of humanity and feeling, since I hope the better artists... The better "showmen"... Know exactly that they are trying to be a cause to others, rather than just an effect of themselves.
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#18 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Nov 19, 2009 - 12:53 PM:

I'm not sure what it means to ask if "art" is subjective or objective. The question only seems to make sense when applied to something like interpretation (of meaning) or ascriptions of art-status. In these cases, I defer to Joseph Margolis' account of interpretation, which basically just states that interpretation does not follow along the lines of truth and falsehood (objectivity), but rather along the lines of plausibility. A plausible interpretation is always one that might be true, but it can't actually be determined to be true. It can never be a false interpretation.

Essentially, all that Margolis does here is accommodate weaker constraints on truth. The upshot is that interpretations of artworks are "true" within certain limits: the object (artwork) in question sets the limits on the number and kind of plausible interpretations that can be made. Dürer's Rhinoceros, for example, can't be plausibly interpreted as related to the federal party in Canadian politics unless we forget that it's Dürer's, or lose the date of its creation, or are given some further context through which that link could be legitimated. Likewise, it would (probably) be implausible to interpret it as a comment on giraffes. But any number of other interpretations are still possible.

In this way, Margolis accommodates both subjective and objective criteria of evaluation. Like I said earlier, I'm very sympathetic to this sort of view since it allows me to interpret as subjectively as I want to, within reasonable limits. It allows us to disagree on the meaning of a poem, and to both be right--within certain limits that are fairly easily verified.
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#19 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Dec 24, 2009 - 4:07 PM:

Objectivity is a subset of subjectivity.
Stabby
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Posted Dec 29, 2009 - 11:32 AM:

We have people saying subjective and pointing to the mind-dependent nature of a piece of art's aesthetic appeal and then we have people pointing to the success of a piece of art and claiming that it is the merits of the piece itself that cause mass appeal. Both are right to some degree.

Individual enjoyment and interpretation of a piece of art is as subjective and mind dependent as you can get. When two people derive the same sorts of emotional responses from the same piece of work, there is some mental similarity that causes them to feel the way they do. They are experiencing intersubjectivity.

The mass appeal of a piece on the other hand, with adequate knowledge of cultural aesthetic values can be predicated to some degree like we can with material objects and physics. The difference is the appeal to one individual person versus the appeal to the culture itself. If we look at a culture as an object, and a piece of art as an object, art becomes objective like the outcome of one billiard ball hitting another.

When I think of art I certainly don't think of its cultural impact, only its impact on me from my phenomenological perspective. But a record producer or a professional painter might be more included to take an objective view of it for the sake of their art's popularity.

Edited by Stabby on Dec 29, 2009 - 11:41 AM
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