Philosophical Treatment Of Art In America

Owing to a lack of breadth and balance characterizing the practical limitations of American culture, a man here who tries to treat art philosophically finds his way blocked at the very threshold of his undertaking by two almost insurmountable obstacles. One is that few of our philosophers have had sufficient aesthetic training to be interested in that which concerns art; and the other is that few of our artists—including our art-critics, though there are note-worthy exceptions—have had sufficient philosophical training to be interested in that which concerns philosophy. Accordingly, as a rule, the philosopher never looks at the art-book at all; and the art-critic, on whom the public rely for information concerning it, does so merely because he cannot dodge what is tossed directly at him as a reviewer; but the little that he sees of it he usually misapprehends and very frequently misrepresents.-Rhythm and Harmony in Poetry and Music, Preface.