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Apollo's Own: Geoffrey Scott and the Lost Pleasures of Architectural History Author(s): Branko Mitrovi Source: Journal

of Architectural Education (1984-), Vol. 54, No. 2 (Nov., 2000), pp. 95-103 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1425596 . Accessed: 10/10/2011 07:34
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Apollo's Own: Geoffrey andtheLost Scott PleasuresArchitectural of History


BRANKO MITROVIC, UnitecInstitute Technolon of

asromantic, mechanical, ethical, biological and fallacies. numThe berof argumentational strategies Scottemploys the critique in of thefallacies limited. entire is The spectrum arguments already of is (And ofien theendthewisewillbowto thebeautiful.) in present the critique whathe callsthe romantic in of fallacy that Friedrich Holderlin Sokrates Alcibiades is,a setof aesthetic und views derived romanticist from literary sensibilities.Scott's critique targets factthatromanticism more here the is The intention of this paper is to analyze the view of architectural history forconcerned the "idea with supposed be suggested" withthe to than mulated in Geoffrey Scott's The Architecture of Humanism.WhileScott's beauty individual of elements theirbeautiful or combination (p. views have commonly been placed in the tradition of empathy-based aesthetics, this paper will argue that most of Scott's arguments are dominantly 52). In suchanapproach, judgment not based theappreour is on motivated more by aesthetic formalism. Scott's book is thus an important ciationof architecture, on the concepts associate but we with it. statement regarding the application of the formalist program in architecDifferent versions thisargument of constitute coreof Scott's the tural history. In order to present the full implications of this program, Scott's views will be compared with the conception of art history exposed by Hanscritique thefallacies. defines mechanical of He the fallacy theatas Georg Gadamer in his Truthand Method. temptto reduce aesthetic problems structural constructive to and ones thatis, the viewthatourknowledge structure of modifies ouraesthetic reaction 81, 93). However, (p. "forms imposetheir character a dullysensitive on attention, quiteindeGEOFFREY S THE ARCHITECTURE OF HUMANISM SCOTT (1914)HAS ownaesthetic A of them" 96). (p. peculiar position amongarchitectural of the twentieth books cen- pendently whatwemayknow,ornotknowabout Theethical fallacy a generalized is version Ruskin's of critique tury. Whileit presents finely 1 a structured of argument web target(p. judgments about ing a wholeset of nineteenth-century aesthetic views "fallacies,"of theRenaissance 100).Onemayseein moral a confusion aesthetic ethical of and evaluation. Scott Yet as Scottcalledthem manyof thesetargets weredestined be- architecture to warns it is not unreasonabledismiss that to architecture if comethe fundamental dogmas the Modern of movement only a carefully our sense(p. 101).Thebiological fallacy refers to decade later. in spiteof itsopposition themainstream Yet to archi- it offends moral to architectural works the basisof their on tectural theory the decades come,the bookhasenjoyed of to the the tendency evaluate The of status a classic sinceit waswritten. of ever Because a reference positionin a line of development. terminology evolution of to factsintoa preconceived description, seeing birthof the the Theodor Lipps, manyauthors placedThe Architecture of HU- forces have manism in the tradition empathy-based of aesthetic theories.2 But Renaissancein the quattrocento,full developmentin the and in But, to empathy-based aesthetics accounts onlya smallsegment the cinquecento, thedecline theBaroque. Scottremarks, for of there Bruncleschi's architecture was book.I intendto showthatScott's mostsignificant arguments Bruneleschi wasno Bramante; are unachieved, hisownfulfilled 134).Thebiobut (p. rootedin the German formalist tradition, whichplaces main notBramante's the approach neglects value individual the of segments; is conit topicof thepaper Scott's statements regarding constitution logical the of with not Renaissance architecture (whose architectural history a discipline withintheir as wider theoretical cerned explanation, values. is mainobjectives) anunfortunate for context. is Formalist aestheticians rarely have field addressed applica- defense oneof Scott's the since architecture taste" 129). of (p. tionof their program architectural to history, Scott's and treatment thiskindof exercise, it was"an Thestarting pointof almost of Scott's all arguments against of thistopicis an important contribution. the fallaciesis the assumptionthat aestheticjudgmentsare nonconceptualthatis, theydo notdepend meanings conon and The "Fallacies" ceptsassociated architecture rather based thepleawith but are on sure derived thevisual from contemplation architecture's of shapes.3 standard procedure to pointout, foreachindividual is Scott's bookhastwomajor parts: shorter contains ap- Scott's the falone the plication Theodor of basedon concepts Lipps's empathy-based associated aesthetic theory ar- lacy,thatit relieson arlevaluation to chitecture, the longer,a systematic and and that critique a number is of of witharchitecture thento argue suchan approach not has validity, disregards purely and nineteenth-century the architectural aesthetic theories whichScottreferred impartial, no general to appreciation theform.In thecaseof romanticism, of Scott's argumentis thatromantic sensibility judgesarchitecture termsof in Journal of Architectural Education, pp. 95-l03 meanings associated theperiod with whenthe individual building (C) 2000 ACSA, Inc.
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esneigen Weisen die OJi Ende Schonem am zu sich.

the Scott on emphasis nature encein Scottmaythusseemcontradictory. explains pleaof His wasconstructed. critique theromanticist that by objects claiming we unfromarchitectural in to expectation recognize architecture surewe derive the targets romanticists' This of into ourselves theshape thebuilding. of transcribe The with thoseideaswhichone associates nature. critique the consciously of and is that the against belief ourknowledge process unconscious doesnot relyon the appreciation is fallacy directed mechanical with we will buildings the basisof meanings associate theirshapes; on (suchasstructure) objects of aspects aesthetic aboutnonvisual of that with fully fallacy it is therefore compatible theprinciple judgments The appreciation. biological our modify aesthetic necessarily building" that Scott are shape(which taste nonconceptual. explains a "top-heavy of of the emphasizes explanation theorigin a certain or the it appre- is uglynot because suggests ideaof instability collapseaesthetic nonconceptual and conceptual) disregards is always in disagreeable; otherarts,suchas are as judgments the prin- theseideas not themselves of The ciation. nonconceptuality aesthetic such Rather, buildings not they of in may cipleof thecritique seemto beabandoned thediscussion poetry, would befoundunpleasant. that the in to that whenScottsays it is appropriatecondemn awaken ourmemory condition in thepasthasbelonged fallacy, theethical (p. collapse 158). or of experiences weakness incipient sense.ButevenhereScottim- to ouractual our if architectureit offends moral with is aesthetics compatible The ideathatempathy-based among and (ethical aesthetic of kinds evaluation pliesthatdifferent in present was judgments already of evaluation thenonconceptualityaesthetic ethical of them)areindependent eachother.Negative do judgments not dethat Lipps.Lippsemphasizes ouraesthetic evaluation. aesthetic positive preclude doesnotlogically or they reasoning, arenotconscious based Scott carefullydistinguishesbetween conceptualand pendon ourintellectual he Whenhe talksaboutsymbolism, saysthataesof experience art on knowledge.4 of of appreciationworks art."Every nonconceptual the He are symbols unconscious.5 introduces relevant indi- thetically the the two contain, elements, onedirect, other or contains, may of ascription meanings, to to and experience simple termSymbolistik refer the conscious our includes sensuous element The rect. direct is irrelevant Symbolistik to the of of apprehensionthework artis forinstance waya halorefers holiness. the of perceptionsform: immediate expect indeed artists argues, Lipps In by may, thelaws foraesthetics. someperiods, values with material, whatever or itsvisible audible but to to and Secondly, beyond theobserver addinterpretationstheworkof art: thishapwith connected that. be ofournature, inherently The of of periods artorin periods decadence. less in awakens themind- pensin primitive which are this,there theassociations thework they of of products suchtimesarerealworks art,the more to we upon reflections it, thesignificance attach it, the artistic ourconscious to said it in up, calls andwhich, consequence,is sometimes to areexpected have"meaning."6 it fancies and formalism embetween distinction a To formulateclear (p. element" 54). or This express. is theindirect, associative Whatcan the is aesthetics beyond scopeof thispaper.7 of evaluation pathy-based theconceptual against tires never ofwarning Scott while is true with we based architecture onideas associate itspurpose, construc- be saidis thatthe distinction one of scopeandemphasis: of ascription of may life, the owner's, bothsides denythecontribution theconscious life, national noble it tion, materials employs, are of theorists empathy more appreciation, to lan- meanings aesthetic Since and temperament, so on (p. 7). or architect's, craftsman's that processes of with life, impact have tremendous onourdaily the concerned the description the subconscious and guage meanings such the fully while pleasure, formalists develop impliaesthetic (pp.56- produce element of is result oftenthetotalsuppression thesensuous are judgments nonconceptual. that of our can sensation accompany cations thedoctrine aesthetic is assumptionthataesthetic 57).Scott's in of critique the fallacies the Scott's reading Consequently, or of the without mediation concepts meanings. experience, sensuous theoriesaesthetic formalist contextof the nineteenth-century are of the where implications nonconceptualism fullydevelopedagree certainly withScott's Lipps enterprise. would fruitful is a more Empathy more critique but, of critique the fallacies, aswe shallsee, Scott's terAlso, aestheticians. Scott's of the follows works formalist closely Scottmentions of eightof TheArchitecture Humanism, In chapter than tradition to thatof Lipps.8 to is minology closer theformalist the provides This sources. chapter as Lipps oneof hismain Theodor and of view with critiqu- Scottagreed theformalist thatthecriterion beauty he book,where is notmerely part "constructive" of Scott's Lipps are objects impossible; of for rules the production beautiful of his to ing otherviewsbutattempting provide ownexplanation someof to Whenit comes history, this.') about and Formalist empathy- wasveryambivalent fromarchitecture. we thepleasure derive with are statements compatible Scott's,but theyarenot polesof Lipps's asopposing regarded are theories normally aesthetic based them.lO to bothlinesof influ- developed thelevelthatScottdevelops Finding aesthetics. German nineteenth-century
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architecture shouldexpress function the building, reflect the of or the lifeof thehistorical period) thencondemns and every kindof An attempt relate to Scott's viewsto thoseof contemporary British architecture doesnot conform the claim.l8 that to Fiedler's major formalists asCliveBell)would (such yieldmeager results. Bell's Art concern thattheeducational was system, whichis directed towards cameout whileScottwaswritingThe ArchitectureHumanism, developing ability work of the tO withconcepts, suppresses develthe but Bell's viewsaresimilar Scott'sonlyin whatone couldcall opment artistic to of perception.l9 mentioned, As Scottwarns against general formalist doctrines, as the emphasis the apprecia- suchsuppression sensuous such on of experience. tionof relationships parts thecritique thepolitical of and of evaluThe nonconceptuality aesthetic of judgments a common is ation of worksof art." Scott's emphasison generallyvalid, themein a number Fiedler's of works. essay The mentioned above disinterested, nonconceptual and judgments suggests instead Ger- warns theexpression thoughts irrelevant a work art; that of is for of manformalism Kant'sCritique Judgment the ultimate the interest works artbegins and of as in of wherethe interest theirconin background his critique the fallacies. conceptual to of The frame- tentstops. Whenwe perceive things, there a moment is whenthese workof thecritique the fallacies of corresponds closely thefor- perceptions subsumed to are under concept; a "only whois ableto he malist program thefirst "Moments" Kant's of tWO of thirdCritique. holdonto. . . perceptual experience . proves artistic .. his calling."20 Thesechapters containa formalist aesthetic system whichthe Thisformulation in nicely corresponds Scott's to distinction between corethesisis thatjudgments tastedo not depend themean- directandindirect of on experience described above.In another essay, ingswe associate objects thewaywe subsume with or objects un- "OntheOrigin Works Art," of of Fiedler thatlanguage only says is derconcepts.'2 argues whilemany ourattitudes Kant that of toward one means through whichwe haveaccess nonlinguistic to reality.21 objects differ because thedifferent of concepts under which sub- Through we language, make effort master reality, the we the to the yet sumethoseobjects, canexpect one judgments tasteto havegen- formulation a linguistic of of expression radically changes content the eral validity.'3Kant also insists that judgmentsof taste are of consciousness. verymoment thinkto havemastered The we redisinterested-that theydo not depend interests havein alityusinglinguistic is, on we form,it becomes radically a altered reality.22 the existence aesthetic of objects.'4 Scottrepeats sameviewa Fiedler the emphasizes distinction the between names thewaywe and number times,usingKant's of terminology. defines He delight as perceive things.23 warns He strongly against reliance meanings on "thedisinterested desirefor beauty" 17). The judgment (p. of andsymbolism the arts.In a paragraph in reminiscent Scott's of beauty depends "taste, disinterested on the enthusiasm architec- critique romanticism, for of Fiedler thatif one regards visible says the tural form"; fallacies thecriticism sentiment the of of comefromits onlyasa symbol thespiritual, givespriority theinvisible of and to "lack knowledge disinterested of and experience theartof archi- content, in whiledisregarding the eyeperceives, it is hard what then tecture" 26, 124). (pp. not to go wrong theappreciation works art.24 in of of Oneshould careful, be though, to overemphasize not Kant's Scottalsofollows formalist the tradition theviewthatit is in influence, sincethefirsttwoMoments the Critique of ofJudgment not possible statea criterion whichto judgebeautiful to by objects present oneaspect Kant's only of aesthetic views elsewhere is or a rulebywhichto produce and it them.Thenonconceptualityaesof easyto finddiscrepancies between Kant's viewsandScott's.'5 The theticjudgments meantfor Kantthatit wasimpossible statea to opening chapters the Critique Judgment alsothebirthplace rule"according whichanyone of of are to wouldbe compelled recognize to of nineteenth-century formalism. Parallels betweenScott and anything beautiful."25 as Working with rulesrequires subsuming Conrad Fiedler particularly are striking.'6 his essayOnJudging under In concepts, whereas judgments taste notdepend conof do on Works VisualArt of Fiedler provided thorough a application the cepts. of Scottusestheterm"theory" designate to attempts formuto formalist program the visualarts.Similarly Scott, Fiedler latesuchsetsof rules(pp.19, 188);his mainconcern to oppose in to is warns "thecontentof a workof artthatcanbe grasped that con- "theories artwhichhaveblunted of sensitive perception without ceptually expressed verbal and in terms doesnot represent ar- achieving the intellectual force" 176).Scott's (p. viewthatit is impostisticsubstance which owesitsexistence thecreative to power the sibleto laydownthefixedproportions a space architecturally of of as artist.''l7 Fiedler's warnings against tendency philosophers correct the of to follows fromthis.He argues space that valueis affected by impose theirconstructs the understanding theartsresemble dimensions, alsoby light,shadow, on of but color,thecharacter preof Scott'sprotests against kindof criticism starts laying dominating the that by lines,thespace haveimmediately ourownexwe left, downsome"law" architectural of practice thatgooddesign (e.g., in pectations, so on. The architect and mustimagine spaceas it the
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Aesthetic Formalism

of or in interested thestory symbolism anartist's case, of conditions eachparticular and whoareprimarily fromthe complex results how has Lavin described thetenIrving article, In tests work."'8 a recent ready-made that are ratios of littlehelp.Theories provide fixed and of or of for the creation architecture criticism designaredoomed dencies of (what he calls) "hypercontextualization" the only dominant during 1960s.2(' became to closelycorrespond "devisualization" fromthe start(p. 170). Scott'sstatements on is point Scott's important is thatif architecturejudged the In of treatment thesameproblem. hisProblem AdolfHildebrand's whenit wasbuilt,thena new with of prescriptive basis associations theperiod of the denied possibility a general of Form,Hildebrand we the change feelings experience. may perspective easily on historical depend proportions since of theory proportions, the necessary remain produced periods different these arts the of the between parts a givenwork "Yet concrete which of the totality the relationships to the of the only are theories feasible in thecaseof always same,stillcapable addressing sameappeal the prescriptive General of art.26 whichwasonceseen (p. senses" 50). Gothicarchitecture, of disposition parts(suchas Greek physical the worksthatrepeat general came barbarians," in and of"ignorant monkish the to can shapes be expected share same asthe"expression" only temples); identical Gothandhis"noble the to century suggest idealized thenineteenth proportions. of valueon thebasis theiridentical aesthetic enof It aspirations."wasalsoseenas"arecord rudeandunresting made of "expression infinity piety," of "evidence dreaming ergy," (p. democracy" 50). of'inspired' and embodiment imaginable," "the Aesthetics versus Hermeneutics formshasa sensuous of that Scottargues "acombination plastic them.Romanticism we anything mayknowabout from corre- value apart judgments of in belief thenonconceptualityaesthetic Scott's the about circumitself or whatit knows, conceives to know, Sincetheideas allows validity. withhisbeliefin theirgeneral latesclosely givit to were the which forms produced, divert from among ar- stances if relative, wejudge are with we associate architecture culturally the character, sensuous aesthetic to attention thepurely with associated it, thena new ingunbiased of on chitecture thebasis themeaning of the arts" of or perspective fashionmayeasilychangethe valueas- value, theconcrete (p. 51). Regarding interpretation historical real characteristic, or imag"Any Scott view, Gothicarchitectures, says: in reproach Scott's is to cribed it (p. 50). Relativism a serious a during periodof several races, (p. ined,of a mixedset of northern validity have judgments general that sincehe believes aesthetic of cathedrals thetwelfth at is years, discovered willin these are but today, there fewdefini- hundred unusual sounds 158).Sucha belief how it although is morethandoubtful far centuries, that for it. against One mayargue, instance, since andthirteenth tivearguments in of are agree- suchcharacteristics capable beingembodied architecture, transcultural we similarly, canexpect function brains human of habits mind,can how of valueof works artaslongasourjudg- or,if embodied, farwe,withourmodern mentabouttheaesthetic to how or, themunfalsified, if extracted, fararetheyrelevant to conditioned extract we by are ments nottainted meanings areculturally (p. about thequalityofthework" 51). worksof art.Wheredisagreements to attribute individual us prevents horizon historical that Theargument ourmodern are such arise, evaluation it is because judgments notpure aesthetic of the understanding truecharacteristicshistorical of somesorthasinter- fromaccurately of judgments form,anda conceptualization To implications. followthem,it is necessary has is belief Ourcontemporary thatsuchagreement impossible periods complex fered. that with position theviewof history dominated Scott's as century was to compare twentieth of construct thelate is asmucha cultural laterin the philosophy of stream continental Gener- the hermeneutical in viewearly the samecentury. the casewiththe opposite of aboutthe possibility hisskepticism Scott's century. twentieth and implytheideaof a canon, it may judgments allyvalidaesthetic by developed to is reconstructionequivalent the argument madeby torical of for that be argued thecanonstands a selection objects role the whichplays central arld in Heidegger Beirlg Time, when Martin meanings to suppress conditioned culturally who people were of A Truth Method.3')comparison arld Gadamer's that it works appreciating of art.In response, maybe argued today in Hans-Georg book sinceGadamer's is the is from Scottwith Gadamer veryfruitful, derived pleasure to conditioned suppress culturally are people which against historiography of statement romanticist Mundt, ultimate Ernest of of thecontemplation the pureshape theobject. ideas.3' foil so surveying Scottprotested much,andis anexcellent forScott's article 1950swrotea highlyinfluential who in the late was understanding stillseenasanattempt time,historical the still theories, treated idea InScott's aesthetic German nineteenth-century in who of horizon individuals participated for of thatthe interpretation a workof artis relevant its aesthetic to enterthe historical that believed it was Gothicrevivalists Nineteenth-century by began article actually events. the Mundt as appreciation a redherring.27 maof horizon medieval the not of friends art possible onlyto grasp historical and critic" "those the between "modern distinguishing
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fromhisorherown,thentheinterpreter oughtto beableto sons,butactually reconstruct in themodern to it world. Scott's ar- ferent the perspective directly. gument thatourhistorical is understanding is always determined understand historical by Whenit comes aesthetics, to Gadamer's is thatthere view are ourownhistorical situation a waythatmakes possibility in the of or questions cannot reduced theprobthat be to suchreconstruction thandoubtful." philosophical "more In herme- no aesthetic artistic of is neutics is normally it Heidegger is credited having who for devel- lem of the interpretation worksof art:"Aesthetics to be absorbedinto hermeneutics."35 thus deniesthe autonomyof He opedthiskindof argument. and aesthetic formalism.36 powerof aesThe ForbothGadamer Heidegger, understandingtexts aesthetics dismisses and the of (the to in (andthe sameapplies anyinterpretation, to including histori- theticconsciousness termhe usesto refer theinterest the the aesthetic aspects works art)is manifested of of through its calinterpretationevents works art)involves of or of goingback and formal tO objects independently thecontext theirorigiof of forthbetween anticipated the meaning the textitself; go- ability "see" and this It relies aesthetic on differentiation; asanabstracbut ing backand forth is normallycalledthe hermeneutic circle. nalcreation.37 differentiation cannotsupersede workof art's the Heidegger the process anticipating meaning a text tion, aesthetic calls of the of to The differentiation de"projection," in hisviewanticipated and meanings determined belonging its world.38 ideaof aesthetic are on that exists someelementary of level bythetradition theinterpreter. arenotrandom acciden- pends theassumption there of They or perception, before subsume is perceived we what under meantal. Gadamer adopted further and developed view.He points pure this ings;following Heidegger, Gadamer deniesthis assumption and out thatourinterpretationalways is determined ourprejudices, by that without meanings.39 but prejudices not randomly are generated; rather, tradition, claims no perception is possible the whichconstitutes historical our Gadamer completes argument his against formalism discussby horizon, supplies with them. us Interpreting a historical situation understanding or He of is a historical tra- ingarchitecture. saysthatwhena work architecturea work solution a building to problem posed ditionimplies working a historical from horizon it is impossible of art,it "isnotonlytheartistic and of and it belongs, but to simply place oneself a historical into situation order achieve bythecontexts purpose lifeto which originally in to interpretation.32 Rather, mustworkfromone'sown horizon somehow one preserves so thattheyare them, visibly present though even present appearance completely is alienated fromits andbeaware it;a hermeneutically of educated reader aware his the building's is of original purpose. Something it points in back theoriginal. to Where or herhistorical position. intention becomes completely unrecognizable, unity orits As critics havepointed out, thisviewcanhardly avoidrela- theoriginal by subsequent alternations, thebuilding then tivism. Gadamer, author's For the intention notnormative the is destroyed too many is in incomprehensible. architecture, moststatuThus this interpretation a text.He saysthatthe meaning a textalways itselfbecomes of of shows howsecondar,v 'aesthetic differentiation' exceeds author's the intention. Consequently, takes he great pains aryof allartforms, states of connects to its it to avoid "anything-goes" of interpretation to explain iS." 40 He further thatthepurpose a building an theory and when the of consciousness it how a historian starting fromone horizon interpret can events or life-context; it becomes object aesthetic only form destination.4l textsfromdifferent historical horizons. Gadamer's relativ- remains in thedegenerate of a tourist In view, ismcanbe avoided assuming the process interpretation by that of Consequently, Gadamer, interpretation a workof for the of relies consists thefusion thehorizons theinterpreter thetext. art,likeanyotherinterpretation, on the fusionof horizons. of of of and Gadamer makegreat must efforts avoidrelativism: to Whatthe interpreter understands neither interpreter's is the own Onceagain, imageof the godsthatwasnot displayed a temple in perspective the original but a fusionof the two.33 nor one, Many "Anancient criticshavefoundthissolutionunconvincing. According Eric asa workof artin order giveaesthetic, to to reflective pleasure, is and retains, as it stands even before tous Hirsch, is generally who regarded oneof themostthorough as crit- nowon showin a museum, ics of Gadamer, factthatGadamer the experience whichit came; imfrom the refuses consider in- day,theworldof religious to the tention of the authoras the main regulatory consequence thatits worldstillbelongs ours.What is to principleof the portant meaning thetextprecludes possibility judging validity embraces of the both is the hermeneutic universe."42 hermeneutic The of the of an interpretation.34 is skeptical Hirsch that them on and aboutthefusionof hori- universe embraces relies thefusionof horizons is general agreement aboutthe interpretation and zons,because sucha fusion bepossible, interpreter for to the would meantto provide somehow to appropriate original have the perspective. Hirsch asks, aesthetic evaluation works art. of of howcanthisbe possible the original if meaning beyond is reach? Thisnowmakes thestrength Scott's clear of position. Hirsch On the otherhand,if the interpreter adopta perspective that debatable thefusion horizons rethat of can can dif- indicated it ishighly
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anticipated explanations themeaning origin works artcancover sultingeneral agreement. point notonlythatScott The is of about and of of historiography some Heidegger's argument about limits romanticist the explain the relevant properties; cannever they only aesthetically in posi- spatial bymore a decade, much than but more thewayhisformalist of workof artwillhavea great totality a workof art.Every properties that he express (probably infinite) number aesthetically of relevant tionavoids relativism. theonehand, cancomfortably On historiographyrecon- arenot accounted byhistorical to skepticism about ability romanticist the of for interpretations. paragraph from struct Gothic the Weltanschauung. theabove Reading hermeargument seriously that challenges Scotthasanother to In that response would neutichistoriography. hisview,not onlyis ourability judge Gadamer, canhardly thinking Scott's one help the He that independent ourknowledge from about historical be thesameas to the GothicRevivalists. wouldwarn it is aesthetically properties "world context works art,buttheproper as of more thandoubtful farsuchcontextual how understanding of of of historical in religious experience" "capable beingembodied" a workof someperiods impossible are of judgments of is withoutnonconceptual habits mind, taste.Ourenjoyment Italian of architecart,"or,if embodied, farwe,withourmodern how of Renaissance baroque and to the how the as is canextract unfalsified, if extracted, fararetheyrelevant turedefines papacy muchasthepapacy there explain them or, hand, formalism his allows architecture. to thequality thework." theother of On mental apparatuses assume and himto rely thesimilarity human on of expression exby fallacy account artistic to for It is common If of general agreement about aesthetic judgments. thevalidity aesis conditions whoseverybeingthatexpression refor of of ternal theticjudgments depended the meanings works art(and on wouldnever, and horizon thesemeanings of is sponsible, which,butfor thatexpression, sincethereconstructiontheoriginal of and have to perhaps, beensupposed exist.... St.Peter's the could relativa dubious business), aesthetic our evaluation notescape attached works artplay to of Rome, witare ism.Butformalism denies meanings that and monuments restored of Vatican, thegreat to and no of nesses lessto the power architecture create deplenty space Scott of for anyrolein their appreciation, leaves which papacy, to than value relativism. finetheimaginative of theRenaissance to attack romanticist theorists their for conand whichthe papacy the encouragement inspiration interpretaScott'sargument aboutthe futilityof historical to revivalists reconstruct could tributed art.... PiusII, LeoX, andJuliusII, ... were tions(i.e.,hisviewthatevenif Gothic enthusiasts, awake the idealsof an artwhich, to aboutthe cultivated thehorizon medieval of masons, wouldsaynothing this of of had quiteindependently themselves, givenevidence its on quality Gothicbuildings) significance its own.Fora forof has and in nature, whichwasalready, theeyesof allmen,anenmalistlikeScott,the quality the workhasto do with the way of no and that ergyso vigorous splendid popescouldconceive derived fromthe spatial relationships contribute the pleasure to meansof addingto theirfamethanby invitingits securer cannotsuccessfully contemplation the object andnarratives of (p. support. 31) is account theserelationships. goodexample the commonfor A in placeinterpretation Bernini's of colonnades frontof St. Peter's, that explanations fromthesame suffer of emScottargues religious whichcompares colonnades the arms the Church the with but Baroque architecture encouraged theJesuits, was by evenif it is con- problem: bracing faithful. suchan interpretation the Yet by so of was very the shape of "the success themovement occasioned thefact, well temporary thedesign doesnotexplain elliptical with there.... [the] by that was orders, so on. The appreciated theJesuits, thetaste already and thepiazza, Bernini's of ornamentation, use as in of symbolism the armscouldapplyto piazzas manydifferent delight[of seicentoItalians] suchqualities thesebaroque of for embodied, pre-existent (p. 32). Taste, Scott, are facts" explanation churches of shapes. problem thataninterpretation-based The is to the and it. (including symbol- predates Counter-Reformation shapes It is impossible thecontext whicha workof artwascreated in purely aesthetic for of if verbal. Suchan expla- account the actions Jesuits one disregards ismand historical interpretation)always is of Renaiswhichis crucial theunderstandingmany for description thoseaspects motivation, of of nationmustalways include verbal a that historical figures. shapes beauty reThe and and Verbal descriptions spa- sance baroque of thework artthatarebeing of explained. cannotbe reducedcompletelyto and tialobjects almostalways are incomplete leavea greatmany sultedfrom their patronage and considerations. historically The irreducible aestheti(Thisis whyarchitects conceptual spatial visual and properties unmentioned. the properties say,Bernini's constitute success of, work, relevant relationships (in- cally usedrawings.) Unless is to claimthatspatial one is VIII's patronage, successful and patronageanimportant to cluding colors, light,andso on) makeno contribution the aes- of Urban figof Pope of that thetic value works thevisual onehasto admit verbal aspect ourunderstandingtheBarberini asa historical of of arts,
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them.He wouldalso nor meanings, howwe canreconstruct is judgment independent quire pointis notonlythataesthetic ure.Scott's for account the cannot descriptions, as that often argue "meanings,"verbal interpretation but interpretation, thathistorical of historical we to that relationships contribute the pleasure of architecture,totality spatial it. without Not onlyRenaissance be cannot constituted need of The fromarchitecture. proponents meanings not be pleasures derive into taking account requires as buttheRenaissanceaperiod, since argument, theymaynotbeinterested with impressed thelatter properly. if shapes, it is to be understood from derived pure only at in pleasure all,or theymaybe interested in thosepleasures proofthat without In frommeanings. anycase, thatcanbe derived of fromthecontemplation pureshapes, can no pleasure be derived Conclusion for account cannot theory aesthetic that to they have admit their will is history of and we thisphenomenon thattheirwriting architectural works. First, to we ways canrelate architectural are There three issues. and of by we Then,after haveseenit characterized thesuppression formal spatial with a perceive building thesenses. can it on depended meanings, would appreciation If allaesthetic or and sides,its interior facades, havestudiedits fromdifferent on depend since to be of points viewwe always relative interpretations; interpretations it and it imagine visually draw from we plans, can on to it horizon, wouldbe impossible agree which talk psychologists in theinterpreter's Cognitive it observed frombefore. havenever proA study. common should (art) architectural historians such models; mod- objects visual spatial to our about ability form thissense on based history the posalis to abandon ideaof art(architectural) afof sections buildings to architects draw enable els,forinstance, it and altogether replace withthestudyof differentiation aesthetic at Finally, some and theirplans othersections.43 studied terhaving from thoseobjects to Yet culture."46 refusing privilege in and underconcepts we recognize "material get pointobjects subsumed do does pleasure not meanthatsuchobjects whoseformwe derive or schools, hospitals. themhomes, from can that we canprove no pleasure be derived and contemporaries predecessors)notexist.Unless his ForScott(and formalist be we of fromthe the contemplation pureforms, cannever surethatsome derived was evaluation basedon the pleasures aesthetic aesthetic formal theyareforpurely werenot madesuchas of independently thewaytheycouldbe objects of contemplation objects studied successfully be culture cannot material In to approach thewrit- reasons. thatcase, The under concepts. corresponding subsumed Scott motivation. efforts withouttakinginto accountformalaesthetic made analysis, on history insisted formal ingof architectural patronage VIII's Urban to argue in order explain that further elearchitectural would different to definevisualnorms,andcompared but motivation must aesthetic in- we not onlyneedto relyon formal was such for ments(entablatures, instance); research obviously aesthetic tO that The of architects thosetimes. approach alsoassume we havethesameability judgeformal for tended usebypracticing never able be we Otherwise, should Italians. as to that caredlittleaboutthe meanings couldhavebeenascribed properties theseicento minor and Bernini notsomeother VIII why to explain Urban chose shapes. architectural was culture introduced the words, studyof material In has suchformalism comeintodisre- artist. other Overthepastfiftyyears that on and the postulating canon relying thebelief to tra- in order avoid romanticist of the pute.On theonehand, influence theGerman tO ability judge the cultures same different from with the through influence weshare people whichspread writing, ditionof arthistorical of it However, is quitelikelythattheshapes material to contributed redirecting aesthetically. and Panofsky, Gombrich, of Wittkower, aesby are cultures oftendetermined formal from and products different meanings towards historians of theinterest artandarchitectural scholproducts, of the to In motifs. order explain shapes these of was On symbolism.44 theotherhand,there theinfluence behav- thetic with that must culture assume theyshare people material studying thinking ars (visual) of any whichdenied possibility nonverbal iorism, aesthetically. tO ability judge the cultures same never under- fromother be should aesthetics impact Anglo-Saxon on andwhose verof the to Thequestion askhereiswhether debate "beauty of that once complained the "view NelsonGoodman estimated. terms. antithetical in must that has verbal beenso widelyaccepted any susmeaning" beformulated suchstrongly as thought exclusively emphasizes history to approach architectural disreputable."45 If the contemporary rather in talkof pictures themindhasbecome on cannot survive sucha diet,is there while in musthavea highprice the meanings, thediscipline of Yetthesuppression visuality view, (Gadamer's views both it way the some to rescue byputting radical under history architectural that arts. visual A program subsumes and to is history to be reduced interpretations, with architecture thatarchitectural associated arbitrarily of exploration meanings Is into are that the throughhistorydisregards spatialaspectsof the discipline. Scott's, suchinterpretations impossible) parentheses? with together judgments aesthetic formal to can howarchitecture ac- it notpossible preserve pointwouldbe thatit is not clear Scott's
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1. Geoffrey Scott, TheArchitecture Humanism of (London: Constable, thefactthatworks artandarchitecture a significant of play cultural 1914).All quotations according the 1974 edition(NewYork: to Norton).For roleandacquire meanings thatrole? in After it seems all, plausible Scott's biography David see Watkin's foreword the 1980edition The to of Archithattheyplaysuchan important cultural precisely role because tecture Humanism of of (London: Architectural andRichard The Press) Dunn,Geofey their formal aesthetic properties. concluding The remarks a paper Scott theBerenson (Lewiston: Mellen,1998) SeealsoDiana of and Circle Edwin . Julia "Geoffrey Scott's'fallacies' The in ArchitectureHumanism" of likethisaresurely theplaceto develop not sucha program, it Penkiunas, (M.A. but of 1984).I amindebted Professor to William Carroll should mentioned theideaclosely be that corresponds whatthe Thesis,Univerity Virginia, to of of my to British aesthetician Zangwill recently Nick has called "moderate for- Westfall theUniversity NotreDame,fordrawing attention thiswork. 2. Reyner Banham, Theory Design theFirst and in Machine (London: Age malism."47Zangwill As defines thisis theviewthatsome not TheArchitectural 1960),pp. 66-67; Hanno-Walter Geschichte it, (but Press, Kruft, der all)aesthetic properties a work artdepend itsformal of of on spatial Architekturtheorie C.H. Beck,1995),p. 395. (Munich: properties, others while depend meanings. on Moderate formalism 3. Gavin Macrae-Gibson The in Secret ofBuildings Life (Cambridge, MA.: 1985),pp. 172-73,warns about paragraph Scott that"litera where says is opposed bothextreme to formalism, which claims vllaesthetic MITPress, that constitute "ultimate" of architecture Architecture,57-58). the value (Scott, properties an artwork formal, to antiformalism, of are and which aryideas" It is important bear mind Scott notclaim ourexperiencereducto in that did that is claims noneof them Such approach that are. an would allow reliance ibleto themere reaction material to forms. Scottis much more interested assertin on formal aesthetic evaluation theconstitutive as principle archi- ingthatthemainconsideration be givento theaesthetic of should enjoyment is that tectural history (determining whichobjects should studied) be and "proper special" thegivenart i.e.,thatthenucleus aesthetic and to of appreciation should perception theform. of "Whether notthatpecuor alsofortheexplanation aesthetically of motivated actions histori- of architecture bea right of can and with of and calfigures. Oncethescopeof thefieldhasbeenjustified formal liarenjoyment beenriched surrounded others a different more by general nature bea secondary must question, withwhich criticism a given one the of aesthetic evaluation, cultural of works art(meaning) the role of be- art. . . needhaveno concern" p. 58-59).Butweshall thathedenied (Ibid., see that comes important an topic. Whether a program feasible our themeanings wereoriginally such is in which ascribed artworks bereconstructed. to can present situation another is question altogether. 4. Theodor Lipps, Asthetik. Psychologie Schonen derKunst des und (Leipzig: Voss, vol. TheArchitecture Humanism writtenby a profound Theodor 1923).See,forexample 1, pp.21, 118, 125,486;vol.2, p. 92. of was of theorists empathy, the"Introduction" of see to Harry Francis thinker anauthor deep and with sensitivity thearts a rare for com- Fortheviews other Mallgrave Eleftherios and Ikonomou, Empathy> andSpace> eds., Form Problems in bination. One maydisagree its premises, its arguments German with but Aesthetics 1873-1893 (Santa Monica: GettyCenter,1994),andMark nevertheless possess striking consistency. hasmuchto teachus, Jarzombek, It "De-Scribing Language Looking," the of Assemblage23 (1993),26-69. yetit is farfromcertain weareprepared learn that to 5. Lipps, Asthetik, 1, p. 141. vol. fromit. Con6. Ibid.,vol.2, pp.90, 95. sidering prevailing the tendencies art-related in scholarship today, 7. Seetheintroduction Mallgrave Ikonomou, to and Empathy a discusfor Scott's arguments easily can arouse concern. haveseenthatthe We sion of this problem a thorough and comparative survey nineteenth-century of suppression visuality of leaves unclear it whatartandarchitecturalGerman formalist empathy-based and aesthetic theories. inspired An paper about history about.It seemscertain theycannot constituted thisproblem Ernest Mundt,"Three are that be is K. Aspects German of Aesthetic Theory," by relying interpretations meanings, is commonly on and as done The Journal Aesthetics ArtCriticism (1959):287-310. Mundtdescribes of and 17 as to distinction between Apollineand today.One needonlythinkof the consequences architecturalthis distinction equivalent Nietzsche's for Dionysian approaches thearts. parallel to The works surprisingly andit is easy well education sucha narrow of approach, whichdiscourages one stuto seethecorrespondence between formalist the position theApolline and inclinadentsfromconsidering thosevisualaspects designthatarenot tiontowards cleardistinction individual of the of shapes, serenity, measured limitareducible narratives. we facing period artistic to Are a of decadence tion,lackofwilder impulses passions, optimistic of illusion or the art which covers anguish human of existence. Contrary this,theDionysian to as Lippsdescribed? this stage,therearetoo manyworrisome likea veilthedeeper At intoxication, passion, the lackof cleardistinctions. and questions ask andtheyareworrisome to because answers the may viewrelieson feelings, Scott's Architecture The ofHumanism beseenasa fineexpression theApolline can of be moredifficult accept to thanto find. tendency. Lipps's But derivation beauty of fromthe unconscious recognition of strength, growth, happiness artistic and in shapes makes hard qualify a him to as proper Dionysian (Lipps, Asthetik> 1, pp. 149, 156). vol. Notes 8. We shallseethatScottspoke aboutdisinterestednessaesthetic of judgmentsin a wayequivalent thatin Kant; to Lippsusedthe term"interest" rather (Lipps, Asthetik, 1, p. 33). vol. I owespecial gratitude Professor to William Carroll Westfall theUniversity differently of of 9. Ibid.,vol. 1, p. 2. NotreDame, theencouragementwork thisstudy to Ms.Karen for to on and Wise 10. Forexample, Lipps's thattaste,as thehuman view ability aesthetic of of Auckland University Technology, of whose withthewritten help English the of does through history (ibid., 1, p. 94),thatbyinsisting vol. on paper invaluable. segments thepaper read the 1999SAHANZ judgment, notchange was Some of were at historical interpretation steps of aesthetics vol.2, p. 90),andthatthe one out (ibid, conference Launceston, in Tasmania.
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trans.(Albany: Being Time, and JoanStambaugh, 30. Martin Heidegger, [Betrachtung] artwork of an or or aesthetic contemplation examination observation clear Press, 1996),pp. 134-144. Fora remarkably of (ibid., vol.2, p.100). StateUniversity NewYork individuality theartist of hasnothing dowiththehistorical to see of view on interpretation, David CouzensHoy, Press,1987),pp. 11, 51, summary Heidegger's Oxford University 11. CliveBell,Art(Oxford: ed., Turn," Charles Guignon, Cambridge in B. and concept of "Heidegger the Hermeneutic "significant form," whichis the central 121. Scottdoesnot mention Press 1996), (Cambridge: Cambridge University to Heidegger from differently Scott(ibid., CompanionMartin Bell's aesthetic theory Bellusestheterm"beauty" and attacks Renaissance pp. 170-195. on havehadlittlesympathy Bell's for pp. 12-13).Scottwould and Truth Method, Weinsheimer Donald and Joel Hans-Georg Gadamer, (ibid.,p. 205). Bell the enthusiasm Ruskin for artandsurely notshare latter's did of trans.(New York:Continuum1989). Fora clearexposition by but wouldbe qualified Scottas G. Marshall, says verylittleaboutarchitecture, whathe says in Hans-Georg E. "Introduction," philosophical seeDavid Linge, views, of that mechanical fallacy (ibid.,p. 221). Bellbelieved works artmoveus because Gadamer's of Press, (Berkeley: University California Philosophical Hermeneutics was skepti- Gadamer, of (ibid.,p.49) whileScott deeply theyexpress emotion thecreator the 1977),pp.xi-lxi. such calabout architecture's to provide insights. ability himself related his to edition Gadamer 31. In theintroduction thesecond trans. (NewYork: of J.H. 12.Immanuel Kant,Critique Judgment, Bernard, p. Gadamer, Truth Method, xviii. and workto romanticist tradition. Hafner, 1972),pp.37-54. 32. Ibid.,pp.269-285, 304-305. 13. Ibid.,pp.45-51. 33. Ibid.,p. 306. role as termplaysan important bothin 14. Disinterestednessa technical Yale in (New 34. EricDonald Hirsch,Validity Interpretation Haven: UniA explacritique thefallacies. goodintroductory of Kant's aesthetics in Scott's and pp. "In of Press, 1967).Seethefirstchapter, the Defence theAuthor," 1Experience," Oswald versity in "Aesthetic nationof the conceptis in DianeCollinson of in Theory Interpretation," of and Blackwell Publish- 14 andhis review Truth Method "Gadamer's Aesthetics: Introduction An (Oxford: Hanfling, Philosophical ed. pp.134-44. pp.245-64. chapter "Disinterestedness," six, ers,1992)pp.111-78. Seeespecially p. 35. Gadamer, Truth Method> 157. and "Kant not does of when Collinson gives goodexample disinterestedness shesays: a a oriental rug who that,forinstance, particular 36. Ibid.,pp. 128-151. meanby thisthatsomeone judges of is side critique formalism 37. Ibid.,p. 85. An important of Gadamer's that to of is beautiful wholly is indifferent therealexistence therugbutsimply in of He aspects Kant's of Critique Judgment. to the qualities appearance his attempt downplay formalist or is to judging beauty its one'sattention directed its visual vaga between pulchritudo andpulchritudo says distinction possible. judgment actually that Kant's The of such rather to theexistence whatmakes perceptions than sinceit suggested that of was fatal" theunderstandingthearts for existence therugandby adhaerans "highly of by in of tastemaywellbesucceeded aninterest thereal is for vaga in and are a desire possess butthatinterest thatdesire notelements thejudg- onlypulchritudo wasrealbeauty Kant(seenote19).Gadamer veryconto it of Kant's view;in hisview,formalto of and of in mentof taste,thepleasure whichaccrues thecontemplation beauty is cerned showthatthisis a misinterpretation and of ismwhich wouldseektheunityof thework artonlyfromitsformis wrong (p. or of unaffected thereality unreality whatit contemplates" 136). by pp. authority.Truth Method> 44, 92.) ( and pulchritudo and hasno rightto baseitselfon Kant's vaga 15. Cf. for instanceKant'sdistinctionbetween p. 38. Gadamer, Truth Method, 165. and the expressed viewthatthebeauty pulchritudo adhaerans (ibid.,pp. 65-68). Kant 39. Ibid.,pp.91-92. determines them;this on of architectural worksdepends the waytheirfunction 40. Ibid.,p. 156 to formalist adhaerans. Contrary this,Scott's wouldbe an example puchritudo of 41. Ibid. of vaga. beauty anexample puchritudo as program wouldregard architectural 42. Ibid.,p. xxxi. and Empathy, to 16.ForFiedler, theintroduction Malgrave Ikonomou, see of Speaking," Journal theSociety Architectural of pp.29-39. 43. Seemy "Objectively Art, Barbaro's of Aristotelianism Daniele and 17. ConradFiedler,OnJudgingWorks Visual HenrySchaefer- Historians (1993):59-67 and"Paduan 52 Journal (1998): 29 Sixteenth Century on De of Press,1949), Commentary Vitruvius' architectura>" trans. (Berkeley: University California Simmern Fulmer and Mood, of 667-88, seeespecially 668-74 fora discussion thisproblem. pp. Fiedler somesources.) in p. 11. (Alsoknown Konrad as in p. Berenson, referred theinterest meanings to 18. Ibid.,p. 26;andScott,Architecture,18. 44. Scott's mentor, Bernard (London: ConAesthetics History and as"German-mindedness." Berenson, Bernard p. 19. Fiedler, Judging, 39. On it Clark's judgment, wasWittkower's 20. Ibid.,pp. 11,37. stable,1950),pp. 98, 100. In SirKenneth Tatigkeit," Architectural in or "Uber Ursprung Kunstlerischen den der "once forall,of the hedonist, purely and 21. Konrad Fiedler, Principles disposed that Architectural architecture." RudolfWittkower, aesthetic, theoryof Renaissance R. Schrif zurKunst en (Munich: Piper1913),pp. 187-337 (New Norton,1971),p. 1. Fora compariPrinciples the ofHumanism York: in Age 22. Ibid.,p. 196. Architecture ofHumanPrinciples Scott's and 23. Ibid.,p. 262. sonbetween Wittkower's Architectural Principles theAge in Wittkower Architectural and ism,seeAlinaPayne, "Rudolf 24. Ibid.,p. 292. 53(1994):322-42. ofJudgmeng 68. p. of Historians 25. Kant,Critique of Modernism," Journal theSociety Architectural of 12 45. Nelson Goodman,"OnThoughtswithoutWords,"Cognitzon "TheProblemof Formin the Fine Arts,"in 26. Adolf Hildebrand, Empathy, 237. p. Mallgrave Ikonomou, and (1982):p. 213. p. Boymel 27. Mundt, "Three," 289. of pp. 46. Lavin, "TheCrisis 'ArtHistory,"' 13-16;andNatalie 77 of Art," ArtBulletin (1995): The Kampen, NotWriting History Roman "On the 28. Ibid.,p. 287. The 78 "The Crisis 'Art of History,"' ArtBulletin (1996): 375-78. 29. Irving Lavin, (1999): 610-29. 13-16. Formalism," Nous33 47. NickZangwill, "FeasibleAesthetic

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