1 "Adán en el Paraíso": On Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics Author(s): Nelson R. Orringer Source: Hispanic Review, Vol. 47, No. 4 (Autumn, 1979), pp Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press Stable URL: Accessed: 10/10/ :21 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact University of Pennsylvania Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Hispanic Review.
2 "ADAN EN EL PARAISO": ON COHEN IN ORTEGA'S EARLY ESTHETICS OF all Ortega's essays, perhaps "Adan en el Paraiso" (1910) most challenges the historian of his ideas. A debate rages over the significance of the work in his philosophical evolution. Some, led by Julian Marias,' discover in that piece Ortega's first intuitions of his mature philosophy of existence; others perceive little more than a condensation of Neo-Kantian esthetics, learned by Ortega at Marburg under Hermann Cohen. No one has studied 1 Ortega. I: Circunstancia y vocacion (Madrid, 1960), pp ; E. Lafuente Ferrari, Ortega y las artes visuales (Madrid, 1970), pp ; A. Rodriguez Huescar, Perspectiva y verdad: El problema de la verdad en Ortega (Madrid, 1966), pp ; A. A. Roggiano, "Est6tica y critica literaria en Ortega y Gasset," Torre, 6 (1956), Not even C. M. Arroyo, El sistema de Ortega y Gasset (Madrid, 1968), a pioneering work on Ortega source material (p. 367). Arroyo proposes the influence of Cohen's Aesthetik des reinen Gefihls (Berlin, 1912). But this book, which is Cohen's second on esthetics, appeared two years after "Adin en el Paraiso" (1910), and may, Ortega hints ([19151, II, 559), bear his imprint on Cohen. True, as Arroyo states, Ortega attended Cohen's course on esthetics in But was the information conveyed in class the same as that of Cohen's 1912 book? This text is considerably longer and more complex than Kants Begrandung der Aesthetik, never mentioned by Arroyo, although to his credit he does quote a possible contribution of Natorp to "Adan en el Paraiso." F. Salmer6n, Las mocedades de Ortega y Gasset (Mexico, 1959), pp. 113, 159, proposes the influence of Cohen's Logik der reinen Erkenntnis, 2d ed. (Berlin, 1914) on Ortega's ideas on life, the individual, science. But Salmer6n gives page numbers with no German quotations as proof. We find like ideas in Kants Begrindung der Aesthetik. Philip Silver, "La estetica de Ortega," NRFH, 22 (1973), , and Hernan Larrain Acufia, La genesis del pensamiento de Ortega (Buenos Aires, 1962), pp , join Arroyo and Salmer6n in refuting Marias on "Adan en el Paraiso." 469
3 470 Nelson R. Orringer HR, 47 (1979) the possible influences with enough rigor,2 nor pointed out where Neo-Kantianism leaves off and Ortega's originality begins. Here we propose to show the considerable impact of Cohen's 1889 treatise Kants Begriindung der Aesthetik upon "AdAn en el Paraiso"; but we shall also suggest that by synthesizing Cohen's views in a unique fashion, Ortega takes a step toward philosophical maturity. His critics, to be sure, refer to Cohen's book on Kantian esthetics, yet never link it to Ortega's thought.3 In proving this link, let us summarize Cohen's premises and his view of Kant's esthetics before making rigorous verbal comparisons between the 1889 text and Ortega's. For Cohen, nothing is given, and everything is posed as an infinite problem to the thinking mind throughout the history of science. All laws of nature and morals are deduced out of that mind, that consciousness; and Kant's system explains the various ways in which consciousness produces its content. Differences in modes of production are definable by the direction, the orientation, taken by consciousness in relation to the content to be produced. With Kant, Cohen distinguishes three orientations: one aimed toward nature and the origin of things; another toward morality, duty, the future of reality; and the third toward art, with its unique world, neither natural nor moral. As against Winckelmann, for whom art produces natural science and morals, Cohen holds that the latter two modes of consciousness are the presuppositions of art (pp ).4 In explaining Kant, he first studies natural science (Kants Theorie der Erfahrung, 1871) and morals (Kants Begriindung der Ethik, 1877) before art (Kants Begriindung der Aesthetik). Likewise, in this book, after providing historical perspective on the idea of beauty, he reflects on the object of natural science and on the subject of morality prior 3s Enumerations of Cohen's works, including Kants Begrandung der Aesthetik, appear without discussion in Marias, Ortega. z, p. 212, and in Robert McClintock, Man and His Circumstance: Ortega as Educator (New York, 1971), p Thanks to Dofia Palmira Pueyo of the International Institute (Madrid), we have consulted Ortega's copies of Cohen's works. 4Henceforth, references from Hermann Cohen, Kants Begruindung der Aesthetik (Berlin, 1889) appear in parentheses citing page numbers. References from Ortega include date of first publication (or of composition, if posthumous), followed by volume number of Obras completas (Madrid, ) and page number. We have used the 6th edition for Volumes I-vI, and the 2nd edition for Volumes vn-ix.
4 Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics 471 to writing on esthetic consciousness. His aim is to substantiate esthetics within the whole system of critical philosophy; and he conceives substantiation as deduction from basic principles (p. 3). His attention to Kant stems from patriotism: if Kant has erred, so has German literary classicism based on Kantian esthetics (p. iv). Cohen attempts to legitimate esthetic consciousness and sentiment; to analyze the arts as means of producing that sentiment; and to gather support from Kantians (Goethe, Schiller, W. v. Humboldt) against Kant's foes (the "romantics" Hegel, Schelling, Vischer, and others). Cohen repeatedly defends Kant's view of esthetics as a particular orientation of consciousness, presupposing the natural and moral orientations, but autonomous as a sentiment which produces the Idea (Idee) of the beautiful individual. The concept of the Idea is to become central to the structure of "Adan en el Paraiso" and therefore deserves clarification. In affirming the autonomy of art with respect to nature, Cohen argues that physico-mathematical reason, employed in the natural sciences, has little to do with esthetic problems. For science generalizes, whereas art should present individuals as such. Knowledge of the individual comes, according to Kant, by inductively reasoning out what its goal must be. Its goal is not the law governing it as an individual, but a mere signpost pointing toward that law; and it is that law, presiding over the thing in itself, which Kant calls its Idea. Science only researches the individual as a case ("Fall") deduced from a law of nature, for which the individual as such is irrelevant. The goal of the individual offers no cognitive solution, but rather marks out and keeps the individual a problem, the question of what it is in itself, that is, what its Idea is (pp ). Since art, as Cohen has written, aspires to render individuals as such, in the artwork they must seem to tend toward goals which make them problematic (p. 123). Now we are about to see that Ortega incorporates these doctrines into his 1910 essay. Everywhere that Cohen speaks of the Idea of an esthetic object, Ortega refers to its "life" (vida). A patriotic motive infuses his writing as it does Cohen's. By applying Cohen's esthetics to painting, Ortega determines what Spanish painting should be to achieve timelessness. This criterion enables him to judge the canvases of his countryman Zuloaga (, I, ). Concurrently, by subordinating all Cohen's
5 472 Nelson R. Orringer HR, 47 (1979) views on nature, morals, and art to the doctrine, found in Cohen but not stressed, that individual life is a problem (of realizing an Idea), Ortega moves closer to developing his mature system. And this system as such also obeys a patriotic desire, the yearning to bring to Spain European science, "disciplined intellection" (McClintock, Man and His Circumstance, p. 50). Reading Kants Begriindung der Aesthetik may have fired Ortega's enthusiasm for system. Writing in 1934 (, viii, 26), he relates his initial struggle to understand Kant's Kritik der reinen Vernunft during his first semester of postdoctoral work in Germany. Carefully he reconstructs the arena for his mental strife: the bench in front of a cage holding a Canadian wapiti at the Leipzig Zoo in Nearby stands an elephant with callused brow, as if from too much thinking. Beyond, noisy ducks mate in a pond. The description of the same Leipzig Zoo, with wapiti, lascivious ducks, and pensive pachyderm appears in "AdAn en el Paraiso" (i, ). Here, however, Ortega depicts himself in conversation with a fictitious Dr. Vulpius, a German philosophy professor who supposedly mails him the notes comprising the better part of the 1910 essay. Most likely, Vulpius represents Ortega's reaction in Leipzig of 1905 to Hermann Cohen's interpretation of Kant. Cohen, suggests Marias (p. 212), was by then a renowned authority on Kantian logic, ethics, and esthetics. And Ortega found Cohen's writing style clearer and more elegant than Kant's (vm, 33-34). Into Ortega's personal copy of Kants Begriindung der Aesthetik, he pencilled marginal lines next to Cohen's definitions of basic Kantian concepts, not specifically on the point of esthetics.6 Apart from his special attention to key doctrines in Kant's system, more convincing proof of Ortega's drive for system lies in his borrowings from Cohen's content and form. In its general outlines, "Adin en el Paraiso" follows the structure of Kants Begriindung der Aesthetik. Both begin with an apology 6 Marginal lines are concentrated in Cohen's chapter "Systematische Einleitung" (especially pp ), on Kant's system, pp ; on the philosopher's task of substantiating contents of culture as products of consciousness, p. 101; on Kant's concept of understanding, p. 103; on subject-object interrelationship, p. 106; and on the transcendental a priori, pp Other markings are found next to passages not directly related to esthetics, on pp. 107, 113, 123, 148, 224, 234. The frequency of markings is high for a reader like Ortega, who generally abstained from writing in his books. The copy is extremely worn.
6 Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics 473 for the author's lack of insight into art, but an apology attenuated by pride in his own knowledge of the cultural presuppositions of art. Cohen examines the object in nature in relation to science and art. Ortega early deals with the object as such and with the problem of how to define the esthetic object. Like Cohen he distinguishes it from the natural and from the moral object; but whereas Cohen relies for his distinctions on Kant's principle of teleology (of Ideas as goals), Ortega views natural science, morals, and art as different attempts to solve the problem of man's being. Soon we shall see that Cohen and Ortega here concur. Next, both deduce that art is the fusion of nature and spirit. Both find art the realization of the ideal, and artistic media various ways for realizing it. Finally, both close by considering whether art can achieve immortality. Throughout, Cohen substantiates the autonomy of esthetics as a cultural sphere, because he can thereby justify Kant and German classicism. Ortega, though, researches the ideal of painting for the justification of Spanish culture. His alter ego Vulpius announces that the "definitive esthetics" must originate in Spain (I, 477). Since Ortega refers his doctrines, not only on esthetics, but also on ethics and nature study to his concept of life, let us first compare what he means by vida to what Cohen conceives as Idee, so as to understand Ortega's consistency in modifying Cohen wherever he does. According to "Addn en el Paraiso," the "life" of anything is its "being" (ser), defined as a system of relationships which the mind interposes between it and the rest of the universe. The life or being of a planet is the set of references it bears to other planets: "antes de idearse el sistema planetario no habia planetas. Es un sistema de movimientos; por tanto, de relaciones: el ser de cada planeta es determinado, dentro de ese conjunto de relaciones, como determinamos un punto en una cuadricula" (i, 481). The example recalls one of Cohen's, showing that moving bodies of physics are essentially mental schemes: "Innerhalb der Mechanik ist die Sonne ein Massenpunkt, der lediglich eine Relation unter Massenpunkten darzustellen hat. Erst in der Kurve, welche die Bewegung dieser K6rper zeichnet, werden diese selbst objectivirt" (pp ). Since natural science fails to define the individual as such, Kant's principle of teleology, of the Idea as goal, must take over. The natural form of the sun points toward a goal, the Idea of a whole related to its parts. Cohen maintains that
7 474 Nelson R. Orringer HR, 47 (1979) the parts of any natural form "ebensosehr durch das Ganze bedingt werden, wie dieses von den Theilen" (p. 123). Ortega writes, "Sin los demos planetas... no es posible el planeta Tierra, y viceversa; cada elemento del sistema necesita de todos los demos: es la relaci6n mutua entre los otros" (i, 481). Hence, Cohen's "Idea" of the thing in itself corresponds to what Ortega calls the "being," the "life," of something. The Idea, inaccessible to science, ceaselessly poses the problem of the individual, "weil kein 'Newton' fur die Erklarung des Grashalms erstehen kann" (p. 124). As Ortega explains, "un individuo, sea cosa o persona, es el resultado del resto total del mundo... En el nacimiento de una brizna [sic] de hierba colabora todo el universo" (i, 484). Cohen often terms this problem of the individual "das Problem des Organismus" (pp. 117, 120, 124), which in Ortega's words becomes "el problema de la vida" (I, 482). Both thinkers stress the magnitude of the problem: the individual as such is "unersch6pflich," and its goal constitutes "eine unersch6pfliche Aufgabenfiille" (p. 123). Mathematics, writes Cohen, can not solve or even formulate these problems (p. 120). In science Ortega finds an attempt to unveil "ese ser inagotable que constituye la vitalidad de cada cosa. Pero el m6todo que emplea compra la exactitud a costa de no lograr nunca su empefo." Science offers laws, statements about objects in general, not individual entities. Each of these becomes a scientific "case" (caso), an abstraction from the concreteness, uniqueness, that is life (i, 482). Cohen illustrates with the science of motion: "Die Mechanik will nur Gesetze und kennt nur Falle der Gesetze." Yet he holds it self-evident that "der Organismus, das Individuum als Individuum ein unverlierbares, unersetzbares, durch keine mechanische Einsicht abl6sbares Interesse bildet" (p. 113). When the individual is a man, the problem grows more acute. For Cohen, it amounts to the attempt of homo phenomenon, the organism governed by natural laws, to become homo noumenon, the Idea of himself (pp. 128, 132). Ortega calls this problem "heroico, tragico" (i, 478); he defines man as "el problema de la vida" (i, ), the problem of selfhood. Ortega introduces his own version of the Paradise myth, wherein Adam symbolizes life as a problem. Yet whether Cohen would have approved is questionable. Disdainfully he has deemed
8 Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics 475 the myth of Paradise the rubric of the romantic: pessimistic about man's future, renouncing all further striving, the Romantic looks backward to the beginning of history as the solution to problems in religion, politics, and art; and he regards science and morals as creatures of early art. But Cohen disapproves this idealization of the past as a form of escapism; censures the Romantic rejection of reason in favor of experience and history; and criticizes the preference for the creature (cultural products like art) over the creator (innovative consciousness). By making art the mother of science and morals, the properties of the latter two are denied, as are the three orientations of cultural consciousness (the natural, the moral, the esthetic). "Man sagt zwar, Wissenschaft und Sittlichkeit, die feindlichen Gewalten des Menschenherzens, werden erst zur Einheit kommen, wenn sie sich in der Kunst versohnen... Aber der Sinn dieses Losungswortes ist vielmehr: die neue, stets sich verjiingende Wirklichkeit der Gebilde des Bewusstseins [d. h., der Kunst] in Wissenschaft und Sittlichkeit zu erdrucken" (p. 339). When Ortega, however, takes over the myth of Eden, he joins the Romantics in exalting individual experience and history, but not at the expense of consciousness conceived as rationality and as a creative cultural force. In his partial discrepancy from Cohen, he sets himself en route to what he will call vital reason.6 He subordinates science and morals, not to art with the Romantics, but to his principle of life as consciousness of itself as a problem: "La gravitacion universal, el universal dolor, la materia inorgdnica, las series organicas, la historia entera del hombre, sus ansias, sus exultaciones... lo corporal y lo espiritual... todo gravitando sobre el.. coraz6n de Ad&n.,Se comprende todo lo que significa... todo eso que expresamos con una palabra de contornos infinitos, VIDA...?" (I, 480). Gravity, inorganic and organic matter pertain to the science of nature; sentiments and history, to spiritual science. Ortega preserves Cohen's image that science and morals virtually crush the principle to which they are referred. But the pain of bearing all this weight is for Ortega the principle itself: individual life aware of its limits. 6 Ortega's philosophy "no acepta mis metodo de conocimiento teor6tico que el racional, pero cree forzoso situar en el centro del sistema ideol6gico el problema de la vida, que es el problema mismo del sujeto pensador de ese sistema" (, IIi, 272). On vital reason as method, see N. R. Orringer, "Ortega y Gasset's Sportive Vision of Plato," MLN, 88 (1973), , n. 4.
9 476 Nelson R. Orringer HBR, 47 (1979) Such awareness is knowledge, though limited. Indeed, Ortega suggests that man can learn nothing else; and in this opinion he concurs with Cohen (p. 420), for whom the only type of knowing is the Socratic "Wissen des Nichtwissens." Only God is omniscient: "Dios, con efecto, no es sino el nombre que damos a la capacidad de hacerse cargo de las cosas" (I, 480). For this anthropomorphization of God into Total Consciousness, Ortega may also have Cohen to thank: "Gott... ist nur die Verbindungs- Consequenz rein erzeugter Bewusstseinsinhalte; er vertritt die Idee der Uebereinstimmung von Natur und Sittlichkeit, obwol er nur in dieser Idee der Uebereinstimmung als Urheber von Beiden gelten darf" (p. 424). If God is the Idea of harmony between nature and morality; if these two contents of consciousness are pure spiritual products; and if God is Author of both, then God, too, must be the Idea of mind, culture-producing consciousness. The biblical view that God created man in His own image signifies, in Ortega's judgment, that God endowed man with consciousness, but of a deficient kind. The problem of life, then, consists of pursuing full awareness, godliness. To that end, Adam or individual man must explore every element of his own being. Since Ortega has defined being as the totality of relationships mentally established between individual and cosmos, Ortega's Adam must scrutinize with his consciousness all of Paradise, its flora and fauna, its topography, and its geography, which includes earth and other worlds. Eden is here the vast panorama of problems for an individual seeking complete self-awareness.7 Life poses so great a problem, that "el hombre lo secciona y lo va resolviendo por partes y estadios. La ciencia es la soluci6n del primer estadio del problema; la moral es la soluci6n del segundo. El arte es el ensayo para resolver el ultimo rinc6n del problema" (I, 479). Clearly Ortega has placed Cohen's whole system, based on substantiating cultural principles, at the service of his own doctrine of life the problem. Cohen at best speaks of pinning down insoluble problems in natural science by dividing them into genera and species. So treated, they still denote "nur das Problem, um dasselbe zu zerlegen, und durch Zerlegung in einzelne Momente der Mechanik zugainglicher zu machen" (p. 197). Where the law of nature stops short, the principle of moral freedom begins: 7 As against Marias, we agree with Larrafn Acufia, La g6nesis, p. 88, that Ortega's Paraiso of 1910 differs from circunstancia as conceived in 1914 (I, 319).
10 Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics 477 "sie [Freiheit] begrenzt die Erfahrung da, wo die Schranke der Naturwissenschaft erkennbar wird" (p. 133). Natural causality may explain physical systems, but freedom poses the cognitive problem of the individual. Neither this problem nor that posed by the esthetic Idea, remarks Cohen, has any ultimate solution (p. 208). Ortega's proximity to Cohen, despite the discrepancy here mentioned, comes to view in their bipartition of the sciences as an integral part of their esthetics. Cohen writes as follows: "In Natur und Sittlichkeit lassen sich alle Arten der wissenschaftlichen Erkenntniss einordnen. Die Geisteswissenschaften sind moralische Wissenschaften, soweit sie nicht in ihren Methoden und Hilfsmitteln von Mathematik und Naturwissenschaft geleitet und inhaltlich erfiillt werden" (p. 98). Ortega refers this dichotomy of the sciences to life: "La ciencia divide el problema de la vida en dos grandes provincias... la naturaleza y el espiritu. Asi se han formado los dos linajes de ciencias: las naturales y las morales" (I, 482). Having shown the insufficiency of natural sciences for solving the problem of life, Ortega proves, with Cohen's help, the inadequacy of moral sciences as well. Cohen regards sentiments as relative factors of consciousness; they do not form its contents, but rather appendages to contents (p. 156). Vengefulness, sympathy, pleasure are outwardly stimulated "Zustande und Verhiiltnisse des Bewusstseins" (p. 130). "En el espiritu," writes Ortega, "no hay cosas, sino estados. Un estado de espiritu no es sino la relacion entre un estado anterior y otro posterior. No hay, por ejemplo, una tristeza absoluta, una cosa 'tristeza'." Moral sciences, though, resort to abstractions, describing sadness in general, not the concrete sadness of the individual here and now. No less than the sciences of nature, those of the spirit generalize ad infinitum; but art, Ortega thinks, must individualize to the same degree (i, 483). Of art, Cohen observes that it "Individuem darstellt und nur solche darstellen will" (p. 123). Cohen and Ortega reject the opinion that art copies nature. In discussing "Natur-Nachahmung," Cohen underscores nature's debt to art: "Ohne die Kunst bliebe die Natur nur die Darstellung der Natur-Gesetze. Ihre Schonheit enthiillt erst die Kunst" (p. 100). Ortega therefore wonders where to seek, if not in physics texts, the nature which art allegedly imitates (I, 483). Cohen recognizes as a basic law of material science
11 478 Nelson R. Orringer HB, 47 (1979) the principle that the quantity of substance stays constant in nature (p. 107). But he regards the organism as such as "Lebendigkeit der Bewegung" (p. 385). Synthesizing for his life-based esthetics, Ortega contrasts nature, stable and permanent, with life, mobile and transitory. Nature in its constancy lends itself to scientific generalization; life, to artistic individualization (I, 483). Yet, if art must present specific entities, of what use is esthetics, based as it is on generalities? For both Cohen and Ortega, it systematizes thinking about art, intuition notwithstanding. Scientific consciousness, Cohen writes, utilizes concepts; esthetic consciousness can disdain ("verschmahen") them; but the esthetician must always return to them (p. 360). Cohen contrasts understanding, in its use of precise concepts, with esthetic fantasy, mythicized into "den ungehemmten Flug des Pegasus" (p. 254). Esthetic form, however well conceptualized, overflows ("sich ergiesst") into sentiment, resists limits, remains infinite (p. 397). Ortega, too understands art-lovers' aversion ("desvio") to esthetics: "La est6tica intenta domesticar el lomo... inquieto de Pegaso." He thinks it impossible to "aprisionar en un concepto la emoci6n de lo bello que se escapa por las junturas, fluye, se liberta" (I, 477). But he is seeking conceptual orientation, an esthetic "prejuicio" or forejudgment to organize his pictorial sensibility (I, 474). His word "prejuicio," we submit, is the exact equivalent of Cohen's Begriindung, thus conceived: "Die Begriindung der Aesthetik schafft zunachst eine Basis und Gemeinschaft fur die asthetischen Begriffe, in denen das aisthetische Urteil allerwarts sich vollzieht" (p. 1). As Ortega affirms in his own introduction, where he all but identifies the author of the three treatises on the Kantian substantiation of logic, ethics, and esthetics, "Sin pre-juicios no cabe formarse juicios. En los prejuicios, y s6lo en ellos, hallamos los elementos para juzgar. L6gica, 6tica y est6tica son literalmente tres pre-juicios" (I, 473). The forejudgment that orients Ortega on painting can best be named realism of the Idea. The composition should bring to view the totality of relationships constituting the life of the individual depicted (I, 484). To the esthetics of Humboldt, studied by Cohen, Ortega owes this formula. In 1797 Humboldt writes that artistic fantasy unites "Unendlichkeit mit Formen." The fruit in a painting displays an expansion of contours, a brilliance of colors unattainable in nature. The sharpness of perimeters,
12 Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics 479 Cohen explains, together with their infinite number, form "die beiden Momente, welche den Begriff des Ideals, als des Individuums und der Totalitat seiner Beziehungen bestimmen: Einheit und Totalitiit" (p. 385). If, though, merely the individual is real, not needing to be justified by the relationships pertinent to it, then, reasons Cohen, the ideal which encompasses those relationships must be what is not real ("das Nicht-Wirkliche" [pp ]). In other words, as Ortega puts it, preserving Humboldt's and Cohen's expressions, in a real sense, it is impossible for art to "poner de manifiesto la totalidad de relaciones que constituye la vida mts simple." For "la infinitud de relaciones es inasequible; el arte busca y produce una totalidad ficticia, una como infinitud." The artist should endeavor to present "la ficcion de la totalidad; ya que no podemos tener todas y cada una de las cosas, logremos siquiera la forma de la totalidad." Ortega rephrases this thought in terms of life: "La materialidad de la vida de cada cosa es inabordable; poseamos, al menos, la forma de la vida" (I, 484). Because the artistic form represents the aspiration to capture what Cohen calls the Idea of the individual, we obtain further evidence that Ortega's term vida is virtually the equivalent of Cohen's Idee. The most convincing proof appears in Ortega's remarks on the role of what he literally calls the "idea" in painting. To give reality to an object on canvas "no serd copiar una cosa, sino copiar la totalidad de las cosas [pertenecientes a ella], y puesto que esa totalidad no existe sino como idea en nuestra conciencia, el verdadero realista copia solo una idea" (i, 486). Cohen, referring to the esthetics of Goethe, expresses a similar theory: "Wenn in dem Kunstwerke das Sch6ne objectiv soll werden konnen, so muss es diesen Werth der Objecte von dem 'erschaffenden' Subject entlehnen" (p. 357). The thing-in-itself, the res, is for Cohen the Idea. Science strives to attain no less: "Der transscendentale Idealismus ist vorerst der Idealismus der Erfahrung, der Idealismus der Wissenschaft. Echter Idealismus ist Realismus" (p. 486). Hence, Ortega writes that the true idealist, dissatisfied with mere appearances, immerses himself among them in search of a guiding principle to master them, "para apoderarse de la res, de las cosas, que son su uinica preocupacion y su unica musa. El idealismo verdaderamente habria de llamarse realismo" (I, 486).
13 480 Nelson R. Orringer HR, 47 (1979) What, then, should be the pictorial res? What reality should the painter seek? Guided by Cohen, Ortega responds that the individual as such should come to occupy the canvas; but that this individuality never appears in everyday existence. Cohen affirms that painting has a "Portrattendenz," in the sense that it "das Individuelle zu erfassen und als solches darzustellen strebt" (p. 38). In fact, every concrete entity, try as it may to individualize itself, to become "ein einzelner Gegenstand," nevertheless falls short of its goal and remains only a symbol of its Idea (p. 123). The artist, therefore, must assert a certain degree of independence with respect to the world of fact, the natural order. He must idealize his subject, must paint it loftier than it actually appears. At the same time, he should take careful note of its appearance, which serves as a point of departure for the idealization: "Bei aller... Selbstandingkeit, die dem Kunstwerke zuzugestehen ist, muss dennoch die Natur genau und treu beobachtet, ermittelt und bewahrt sein. Nicht abgeschrieben und nachgeahmt; aber aus ihrer Zerstreutheit gesammelt, geordnet und gesteigert miissen die Dinge, Theile und Ziige der Natur in dem Kunstwerke erhalten sein" (p. 227). Accordingly, Ortega maintains the autonomy of pictorial reality as against the reality of what is being pictured. To illustrate, he chooses an example of portraiture, El Greco's Man with a Hand on His Breast. The model-like Cohen's Ideapursuing entity-could not, in Ortega's opinion, achieve individuality in fact. In El Greco's portrait, however, he did, and became "una de las cosas mas reales del mundo, de las cosas mas cosas," in other words, an artistic noumenon, self-sufficient but universal. Ortega denies that El Greco copied every light fleck that fell upon his model. For just as Cohen has said that nature and morality are mere "matter" ("Stoffe" [p. 381]) for art, so Ortega writes that "la realidad ingenua es, para el arte, puro material. El arte tiene que desarticular la naturaleza para articular la forma est6tica" (i, ). Here we see Ortega's version of the notion, read in Cohen, that art, governed by its own laws, seeks to re-order nature. For art must express the Idea; and Cohen harks back to Kant's opinion, stated with Kantian terminology, that "die Idee mit keinem Gegenstande der Erfahrung 'congruire'" (p. 124). For this reason, Ortega writes that a painting is by definition the unity of its elements, and this unity
14 Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics 481 is "unreal," a product of the mind, "al cual no puede buscarse en la naturaleza nada congruo" (I, 474). The unity, the articulation of the pictorial contents, holds greater significance for Ortega than the contents themselves. Cohen, too, suggests that painting, while an art of color, is above all an art of design ("Zeichnungskunst"), particularly bound to shape. For Kant, this art relies on mental vision ("Anschauung"), directed not toward objects, but only toward the fiction of bodily extension ("Schein der korperlichen Ausdehnung" [p. 329]). In a word, painting is the art of imaginary space. Ortega refers these theories to his basic doctrine of life: "La pintura interpreta el problema de la vida, tomando como punto de partida los elementos espaciales, las figuras." He stresses the "espacio," which in painting defines the life, the totality of relationships, attributable to the individual being represented (I, 487). According to Cohen, Kant regards as a metaphyscial a priori, a guiding principle for consciousness, the concept of space as a mental image of potential co-existence ("die Vorstellung einer blossen M6glichkeit des Beisammenseins" [p. 182]). Ortega writes: "El espacio es el medio de la coexistencia: si a un mismo tiempo existen varias cosas, d6bese al espacio." If, as Cohen has shown Ortega, the painting should capture the totality of an individual's cosmic relationships, then, Ortega reasons, the more relationships depicted in every square centimeter of canvas, the better the work as a whole, and the more intense the impression of co-existence between its components. Since such relationships, mentally perceived, define life for Ortega, the painted objects will all come alive (I, 487). But does he ever specify the optimal objects for a painting? At best, he writes, "El tema ideal de la pintura es... el hombre en la naturaleza. No este hombre hist6rico... el hombre, el problema del hombre como habitante del planeta" (I, 492). Salmeron (Las mocedades, pp ) correctly notes the fact of Ortega's debt to Cohen. But let us hypothesize which parts of his 1889 book may have affected Ortega. For Cohen, art requires the presence, the juxtaposition, and the fusion of both the natural object and the moral one ("Zusammenhalten Beider, Verbindung Beider" [p. 231]). Ortega, striving for his life-based esthetics, also holds that the artist must "fundir esas dos caras de lo vital [i.e., "naturaleza" and "espfritu"]" (i, 485). But morality, Cohen sug-
15 482 Nelson R. Orringer HB, 47 (1979) gests, belongs to psychic life alone. "Und wenn die Natur auch moralisch sein sollte, so miissen Seelen von G6ttern oder Menschen in ihr wach sein oder schlafen." Hence, art must idealize ("idealisiren") the natural form, not only by making it an artistic figure, but also by relating it to moral goals (pp ). Ortega may be referring to such idealization when speaking of an "ideal" theme for painting. In addition, when he identifies that theme as "AdAn en el Paraiso," with Adam as Everyman and Paradise as any backdrop of human suffering, why does he offer as an example of Adam the agonizing Christ of El Greco's Crucifixion, with Paradise the darkness on each side of Christ's head (I, 493)? He may well have been influenced by Cohen's concept of the tragedy of the beautiful: in art, the Idea, which is infinite, diminishes and remains great in its diminution. "Nicht nur das Endliche ist zu beklagen; schwerer hat das G6ttliche zu leiden; das, was wir als Gottliches denken: dass es endlich werde, und in die Sinnlichkeit sich senken muss. Diese Noth der Idee selber demonstrirt die Kunst" (p. 421). The debasement of divinity paradoxically redeems the artwork, seems to eternalize it. The patches of darkness surrounding Christ's head, though they seem "brevisimas... podian considerarse extendidas por toda la tierra" (i, 493). Ortega's esthetics receives a graphic summation in this image. For if life is a problem of self-perpetuation, the ideal painting provides a virtual solution. Here Ortega echoes Cohen, attempting to justify esthetic sentiment qua sentiment: "Nicht nur, sofern gedacht und erkannt wird, oder sofern der Wille seine Gebilde hervorbringt, wird dem Bewusstsein Inhalt erzeugt; sondern auch im Gefiihle schwillt und strotzt das Bewusstsein von eigenem Inhalt, und festigt diesem Inhalte Dauer und Gestalt" (p. 223). The application of this statement to painting appears in Ortega's Spanish: "El pintor excelso ha puesto siempre en su cuadro no s6lo las cosas que quiso o le convino copiar, sino un mundo inagotable de alimentos para que esas cosas pudieran perdurar en la vida eterna, en perpetuo cambio de sustancias" (I, 492). In view of all that he has learned from Kants Begriindung der Aesthetik, Ortega hints that the paintings of his countryman Zuloaga will not win their author immortality. Zuloaga, as interpreted by Ortega, concerns himself with the problem of Spanish decadence. But Spain for Ortega is a "concepto histdrico" (i, 475);
16 Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics 483 a general idea, while painting, Cohen has taught, should render the impression of individuality or, in Ortega's terms, the problem of individual life. Furthermore, Zuloaga apparently looks beyond the composition itself toward a sociological conception; yet Cohen has said that the teleology of art lies in its purposelessness as psychic play, just as Ortega insists that painting is to be painting, nothing more (I, 491). Of course, he agrees with Cohen in removing esthetic play from the concept of frivolity, since art subserves a need for expressing what mankind cannot convey with other means.8 Painting, then, becomes a problem for all men, not merely for Spaniards, as Zuloaga would make it. Like Cohen, Ortega prefers a more universal subject matter (I, 492). However, like Cohen, he does not claim expertise in art. Cohen confesses that he "weder in der Technik der Kiinste.erfahren, noch in deren Geschichte griindlicher bewandert list]" (p. v). Ortega has sought to clarify to himself the emotions that Zuloaga's works have caused in him; but "los pintores dirdn despu6s qu6 haya de acertado en tales reflexiones, porque, en verdad, s61o ellos saben de pintura." Indeed, Ortega's incursion into the field of painting, which he says he does not understand, reminds him of robbing fruit from someone else's garden-as did Adam in Paradise (I, 473). Whether the purloined fruit has gone to seed in Ortega's orchard is the last issue to occupy us here. We have just shown, through verbal comparisons, that certain central ideas in "Adan en el Paraiso" most likely stem from Kants Begrindung der Aesthetik. Yet little from either work passes into the phase of Ortega's philosophical development initiated around Even Ortega himself, as he looks back over his 1910 essay in 1915, appends footnotes to correct main doctrines. Notably, it "irritates" him to consider that he once espoused the concept of being as the totality of relationships posited by consciousness between something and everything else (I, 482, n. 1). For by 1915, with the aid, ironically enough, of Marburg Neo-Kantianism,9 he has 8 Free, purposeless, non-utilitarian, art is teleological only as play, not as "Tandelei," but as a "Beschaftigung," the business of capturing consciousness in all its relationships (Cohen, p. 193); cf. Ortega (1910), I, 476: "No, en el arte no hay juego; no hay tomarlo o dejarlo. Cada arte es necesario." 9 Cf. Paul Natorp, Einleitung in die Psychologie nach kritischer Methode (Freiburg, 1888), p. 15: "Das Ich ist niemals Object, weder fur ein Andres,
17 484 Nelson R. Orringer HR, 47 (1979) excised from his own philosophy the very notion of consciousness. Also, he now defines life simply as individual human existence, not individual being in general (cf. Larrain Acufa, La g6nesis, pp ). The problem of life now devolves upon a human subject, attempting to realize his being within his immediate surroundings. Adam, as symbol of deficient consciousness, disappears from Ortega's writings, as does Paradise, symbol of the universe awaiting human cognizance. Consciousness, cognizance no longer exist for Ortega. No self-awareness mediates between self and circumstance. Hence, how can Ortega adhere any longer with Cohen to the Kantian system, based on the three modes of cultural production attributed to consciousness? The trinitarian hierarchy of natural science, morals, and art gives way, in Ortega's thought, to a plurality of perspectives on the problem of existence (Arroyo, El sistema, p. 235). The Neo-Kantian division of sciences into the natural and the spiritual becomes simplistic. Since, moreover, ethics comes to imply a plurality of individual ideals (, I, 315), Ortega revises his judgment, received from Cohen, that morality generalizes while art individualizes. Then too, Ortega's notion of esthetic enjoyment shifts. Ceasing to favor with Cohen the realism of an esthetic Idea, he advocates pursuing the fullness of every reality as it is, not as it ought to be. He grows fascinated with artistic techniques for expressing this real plenitude.10 And such fascination all but displaces his limiting concern, inherited from Cohen, about subject matter, Adam and Paradise, moral man and nature. Despite all these changes, what persists in Ortega's thought from "AdAn en el Paraiso" should be borne in mind. There he rearranges Neo-Kantian doctrines in accordance with the greater priority he assigns to the problem of life than to the admittedly imperfect solutions proposed by culture. He somewhat alters the lexicon of borrowed doctrines to make them sound more lifebased, if not less culture-oriented. This lexicon remains in his noch, was mir der Gipfel des Unmoglichen scheint, fiir es selbst"; and Ortega (1914), vi, 251: "Pero antes hablsbamos del yo como de lo dnico que, no solo no queremos, sino que no podemos convertir en cosa." In a forthcoming study, we show Ortega's debt to his teacher Natorp for the critique of consciousness that leads to the doctrine of life as interaction of self and circumstance. 0 See N. R. Orringer, "Esthetic Enjoyment in Ortega y Gasset and in Geiger, a Newly Discovered Source," RLC, 86 (1974),
18 Cohen in Ortega's Early Esthetics 485 writing through 1914, as Larrain Acufia suggests (La genesis, pp ); but the meaning has shifted to exclude the idea of consciousness. Cohen's rationalism, present in this concept, has entered into Ortega's creation of Adam, or the consciousness of human limits, but survives as well in Ortega's works as of To live continues to mean rationally coming to grips with the limits of reason in the attempt to solve the problem of the individual (see n. 6). Comparison of "Adan en el Paraiso" with its source, Kants Begriindung der Aesthetik, permits us to say no more and no less about Ortega's philosophical development in What other works of Cohen and of his follower Natorp will elucidate some of the minor doctrines appearing in Ortega's essay, but irrelevant to the 1889 text studied, if not to future writings of Ortega? 1 And whose examples in Germany or in Spain has Ortega followed in laying more stress than do his Marburg teachers upon the idea of life as a problem? Only the painstaking juxtaposition of texts can clarify the esthetics of the then fledgling philosopher, more concerned at the time with system than with unambiguous expression. NELSON R. ORRINGER University of Connecticut 11 What is the source of the doctrine of the "punto de vista" in Ortega (1910), i, 475? We agree with the Neo-Kantian interpretation of Arroyo, El sistema, pp Cf. Kants Begrundung der Aesthetik, p. 97: "Zeigte... die Kunst... was alle Wissenschaft und alle Sittlichkeit von sich aussagen soll: dass alle Art von Wirklichkeit ein Gebild des Bewusstseins sei, und in ihrem Werthe fur das Ganze des Bewusstseins und somit fur das Ganze der Kultur dadurch beglaubigt werde: durch welche Bedingungen des Bewusstsein sie erzeugt sei." The term Gesichtspunkt is common in Neo-Kantian writing; for example, H. Cohen, "Die vier Gesichtspunkte," in Logik der reinen Erkenntnis, 3d ed. (Berlin, 1922), p. 77.
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Review Essay Review of Krzysztof Brzechczyn, Idealization XIII: Modeling in History Giacomo Borbone University of Catania In the 1970s there appeared the Idealizational Conception of Science (ICS) an alternative
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Contents Song No. Category/Name Composer page ORCHESTRA 002 Danse des Mirlitons from "The Nutcracker" P.I. Tchaikovsky 4 003 "Orphée aux Enfers" Ouverture J. Offenbach 6 004 Slavonic Dances No.10 A. Dvorák
Current Issues in Pictorial Semiotics Course Description What is the systematic nature and the historical origin of pictorial semiotics? How do pictures differ from and resemble verbal signs? What reasons
E. Roy Weintraub, How Economics Became a Mathematical Science (Duke University Press, Durham and London, 2002). Leo Corry, Cohn Institute for History and Philosophy of Science Tel-Aviv University firstname.lastname@example.org
Prephilosophical Notions of Thinking Abstract: This is a philosophical analysis of commonly held notions and concepts about thinking and mind. The empirically derived notions are inadequate and insufficient
Having the World in View: Essays on Kant, Hegel, and Sellars Having the World in View: Essays on Kant, Hegel, and Sellars By John Henry McDowell Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University
du Châtelet s ontology: element, corpuscle, body Aim and method To pinpoint her metaphysics on the map of early-modern positions. doctrine of substance and body. Specifically, her Approach: strongly internalist.
Objective Interpretation and the Metaphysics of Meaning Maria E. Reicher, Aachen 1. Introduction The term interpretation is used in a variety of senses. To start with, I would like to exclude some of them
Book Reviews: 'The Concept of Nature in Marx', & 'Alienation - Marx s Conception of Man in Capitalist Society' Who can read Marx? 'The Concept of Nature in Marx', by Alfred Schmidt. Published by NLB. 3.25.
REPOSITIONING THE POSITION: REVISITING PIEPER S ARGUMENT FOR A LEISURE ETHIC Mary G. Parr, Kent State University What good is leisure? Answers to this question have been proposed and debated throughout
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