Occidental culture


Music is without hate.

I like classical music as well as rock music, especially progressive rock and jazz rock.

Most of the buildings Richard Buckminster Fuller constructed were built because of his and other's interests. So the increasing of the dense of the cities was merely his excuse.

In the third part of Peter Slotredijk's „Spheres“ (especially in chapter I) Fuller is often mentioned, yes, but his buildings are primarily representation buildings.

Occidental philosophy compared to - for example - a tree, architectural art, clothes:

Baum im Wandel

Art is another means to say the truth or the lie. If science fails (and at last it always fails), then art can be used instead of it (although it can also fail); if philosophy fails (and at last it always fails), then art can be used instead of it (although it can also fail). Art is a mirror of a society and its forms and institutions; art shows the fitness of a society, how a society is in form; so art can be used for analogies.

René Magritte, „Hegel's Holiday“:

René Magrittes „Hegels Ferien“

„Communication“ (**) as the answer to the question where art comes from is too general. All living beings communicate in the way you just described, most of them by using only chemical signs, some of them by using also other signs, but only humans by using also language as a very complex system of linguistic signs. So the fact that only humans have art and only humans have such a complex system of linguistic signs could be an indication of a very deep connection between them. I think that there is a developmental connection between an instinctive faith or belief on the one hand and art and language on the other hand, provided that all fundamental requirements are already given (e.g.: upright gait, relatively free hands, relatively huge and very complex brain).

Wisdom is great and music the best. Would that be a compromise?

Music makes us feel good. Isn’t that a good argument?

Music moves humans of all cultures, in a way that doesn’t seem to happen with e.g. animals. Nobody really understands why listening to music - which, unlike sex or food, has no intrinsic value - can trigger such profoundly rewarding experiences.

Music is exquisitely emotionally evocative, which is why a touch of happy music makes even unrelated pictures seem more pleasant. In light of the above, then, we are led to the conclusion that the artifact of music should contain some distinctly human elements.

Just an example:

Art ?

Is that art?

So this belongs to the „era of the bourgeois clothing“ too:

Late era of the bourgeois clothing

By the way: I call this late period, which is also the latest phase of our whole cultural cycle: „Globalism“ or - with reference to Spengler - „Caesarism“.

Now, look at the typical architecture of the current phase:

Dekonstruktivistischer BauDekonstruktivistischer Bau
Militärhistorisches Museum in Dresden

Form follows fantasy.

The deconstructivists deduced the slogan „form follows fantasy“ from Louis Sullivan’s slogan „form follows function“.

A deconstruktivist architect is not somebody who dismantles buildings, but somebody who localizes inherent „problems“ to the buildings. The deconstruktivist architect treats the pure forms of the architectural tradition like a „psychiatrist“ his „patients“  –  he ascertains the „symptoms of a suppressed impurity“, as Philip Johnson und Mark Wigley wrote in 1988 (cf. „Deconstructivist Architecture“, p. 11). It is just the same old megalomaniac architecture.

The earliest human cave painting is about 40000 years old. And the human internet picture I posted above is about 4 days old.

== 40000 years ==> Art today

From „Cave Painting“ to „Portable Network Graphics“.

Between that 40000 years, there has been both progress like sunrise and regress like sunset. But the product after 4000 years does not much differ from the product before 40000b years.

I am peaking of a cycle.

Artists do not always and/or not entirely show the reality (think of certain surrealists for exxample), but they actually should.

Philosophers and artists have similarities, but they are not the same

Salvador Dali himself said once that his art only shows how expensive it is.

What Salvador Dali also said is this: „Surrealim is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.“

But the posterior destructivism destroys more than the previous surrealism did.

Art belongs to culture.
Culture is based on a soul.
Thus art is also based on a soul.

A soul rises and sets.

Philosophy must be very spiritual, since it has almost only to do with thinking, which means: logic.
Art is different from that.
So both are not the same, but have similarities..

Soul => Culture => Art and all other cultural forms of expression.

Art comes from both culture and soul.
Culture and art as well as all other cultural forms of expression come from a soul.

There are different cultures.
So it is very likely that there are different souls too, or the soul is basically always the same (though, I don't believe this), but the way how souls experience their environment is different, and this different experiences lead to different ways of life, thus to different cultures and thus to different cultural forms of expression.

One could say that the soul is an unconscious drive. It’s immanent and transcendent.
One could also say that the soul is similar to Kant’s „Ding an sich“ („thing at itself“ / „thing as such“), Schopenhauer’s „Wille“ („will“).

Those terms („Ding an sich“, „Wille“) do not have the function to avoid science, objectivity, knowledge, recognition, insight ... and so on and so forth. The opposite is true. With those terms we are more capable of getting more information about the other things than without those terms. They are and work like scientific and mathematical constants and variables.

Humans (especially the Faustian humans) want to understand and to explain everything. And if they did not use such terms, they would be less able to understand and to explain most things.

These terms do not forbid anything. They are just epistemological constants and variables. As if they were saying: „As long as you are not able to find a solution use us as constants or variables“. And they are not only epistemologically important. The speed of light is a natural constant. Who says that the speed of light explains „most things away“? - In spite of the fact that natural constants are not like social or spiritual constants, I would say that they all work very similarly.

Food for thought or for illustration.

Do you think that a picture can be thought?
Do you think that a thought can be illustrated?

An example:

What do you, think when you see my avatar?

Alf's Avatar

How would you illustrate this thought?

I, for example, think of my birth place when I see my avatar and my illustration of this thought would be the birth house, and that is not illustrated in my avatar.

My avatar shows pretty clearly the church and pretty dimly a few houses of the village where I was born, but not my birth house.

I think that there are indeed similarities between philosophy and art in the sense of cultural forms, so that both can be in a good form and afterwards in a bad form.

Music affects the soul.

Those „modern“ guys who say „religion is opium for the people“ want to give them their religion, a modern religion (examples: „liberalism“, „egalitarianism“/„communism“, „fascism“, „humanitarianism“/„globalism“), which has always to do with the elimination of the old religion and with antitheism (with slogans like „religion is opium for the people“, „God is an impossibility“ ...). The main problem ist that the new, the „modern“ religion is even worse than the old one.

Do not buy the modern opium!

Tiernan Morgan and Lauren Purje wrote:

„Hegel’s ... teleological understanding of history served as a useful template for Danto’s conclusions. Hegel understood progress as an overarching dialectic — a process of self-realization and understanding that culminates in pure knowledge. This state is ultimately achieved through philosophy, though it is initially preceded by an interrogation into the qualities of religion and art. As Danto summarized in a later essay entitled »The Disenfranchisement of Art« (1984):

When art internalizes its own history, when it becomes self-conscious of its history as it has come to be in our time, so that its consciousness of its history forms part of its nature, it is perhaps unavoidable that it should turn into philosophy at last. And when it does so, well, in an important sense, art comes to an end.

Danto is not the only philosopher to have adopted an Hegelian dialectic. Both Francis Fukuyama and Karl Marx utilized Hegelianism to reach their own historical conclusions. Fukuyama argued that liberal democracy and free market capitalism represented the zenith of Western civilization, whilst Marx argued that communism would replace capitalism (neither of these developments have quite panned out).“ **

Arthur C. Danto wrote:


»Art , considered in its highest voc ation, is and remains for us a thing of the past. Thereby it has lost for us genuine truth and life, and has rather been transferred into our ideas instead of maintaining its earlier necessity in reality and occupying its higher place.« - Hegel’s Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Arts. Translated by T. M. Knox. Oxford; The Clarendon Press, 1975. 10. Unless otherwise indicated, all references to Hegel’s writing are to this superb translation. This is the most forceful of Hegel’s many formulations of what we may designate his End-of-Art Thesis, and it appears very near the beginning of the published version of his Lectures on Aesthetics - his Vorlesungen über die Aesthetic - delivered for the fourth and final time in the Winter Semester of 1828, at the University of Berlin.

The thesis is so intricately woven into the texture of Hegel’s text, however, that it must be regarded as a central and indeed as tructural feature of his philosophy of art, rather than a critical obiter dictum regarding the art of his time. And it as much addresses what other philosophers have said about art, as art itself.

Of course art will go on being made. There w ill be art after the end of art.

»Art can be used as a fleeting play, affording recreation and entertainment, decorating our surroundings, giving pleasantness to the externals of our life, and making other objects stand out by artistic adornm ent.« - Ibid., 7.

So understood, art will play any number of roles in what Hegel terms the objective spirit of a society - the system of meanings and practices that constitute the form of life its members live. But Hegel was not speaking of art in terms of objective spirit when he advanced the End-of-Art Thesis.

»The universal need for art ... is man’s rational need to lift the inner and outer world into his spiritual consciousness as an object in which he recognizes again his own self.« - Ibid., 31.

That is art’s »highest vocation«,to which alone the End-of-Art Thesis has application. So the truth of the thesis was consistent with art, and even great art, continuing to be made. In the Epilogue to his lecture, Origins of the Work of Art (1935-’36), Martin Heidegger wrote:

»The judgment that Hegel passes in these statements cannot be evaded by pointing out that since Hegel’s lectures ... we have seen many new art works and art movements arise. Hegel did not mean to deny this possibility. The question, however, remains: is art still an essential and necessary way in which truth that is decisive for our historical existence happens, or is art no longer of this character?« - Martin Heidegger, »The Origin of the Work of Art«. Translation by Albert Hofstadter, Philosophies of Art and Beauty: Selected Readings in Aesthetics from Plato to Heidegger. Edited by Albert Hofstadter and Richard Kuhns. New York; The Modern Library, 1964. 700.

....“ **

The end of art could be a sign, an omen for the end of history in the relatively soon future.

So, we should not claim that nobody is making art any more, but that a certain history of western art has come to an end, in about the way that Hegel suggested it would. The „end of art“ refers to the beginning of our modern era of art in which art no longer adheres to the constraints of imitation theory but serves a new purpose. But what exactly serves this new purpose?

Art has become dependend on money. Almost everything has become dependent on money.

Beginning again (**) is possible only then, if something has already ended. So, you have to wait, if it has not ended yet. If you try to begin again before it has ended, then you just help deconstruct it and can only achieve that the end will perhaps come earlier, but this does not mean beginning but merely deconstructing.


- Register -

  Occidental culture