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^^^^:
I will only address the issue of opinion versus quantifiable facts, and again point out that the greatness of any art object or its creator is couched entirely upon opinion–other than quantifiable, repeatable observation and measurement. Whether or not an art object (AO) best approaches the criteria set for its evaluation–is “great” or “better” or “not great” evaluates the AO against said criteria that have been established by A) the global population, B) a select population, or C) a population of “Experts”. If or when the Experts (“X”) offer quantifiable measures such as duration, degree of complexity (not necessarily easy to assess–must be an agreed-upon datum), creator, number of units moved, popularity, etc. then all is well and we can say that, among the X cluster, Beethoven’s 9th is Great because it is the majority view of X that these criteria are met or exceeded. We can then disregard the opinions polled among either the global population or any other select populations that differ–”We all say so, so it must be true!”

But AO are experienced individually, and, unless we choose to submit to the judgements of X, each individual will have their own gradation or ranking of AO as to “quality”. I have made a god of my own tastes and am certain of their validity and authenticity, of my self-worth as an assessor of AO, Esthetics can thus be perfectly legitimate if it concerns itself with the degree to whether the criteria of a defined population are met, or to how well the AO comports with the shared neurology/psychology/life experience of that defined population. The tautology is that lovers of Beethoven or of CM itself form a cluster of those who love Beethoven or CM, and all agree within the group that, since they all say so, it must be true.

As I have stated ad infinitum, greatness does not therefore reside as a Platonic ideal within an AO, but rather is imbued with its “greatness” by the application of the opinions, individual or shared, of its perceivers. As someone who eats his own cooking, I can and must affirm that if someone feels that The Turtles’ Happy Together is a greater work than Beethoven’s 9th, they are both entitled to their opinion (though I might disagree), and that, for them, it is a valid and authentic position though a large CM cluster will not share that opinion. If any of this is not well understood, I will be happy to expand upon the topic. It really is all opinion.
 

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I had understood that since Strange Magic had agreed that there was objectivity in the judgment of classical works and composers, this subject was closed. :)
I asserted that the fact that there are consensuses is certainly true..It is a demonstrable consensus among Beethoven fans that LVB is best or whatever they say it is. And see my post above. ;)
 

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I am truly sorry, but I have found through these many iterations of points of view, that my position remains both unchanged but also unassailable. So much verbiage--and fine verbiage--to somehow sidestep the key factor of clustered opinion in the "Objectivist" viewpoint. But no matter how the argument is framed, it does come down, ultimately, to opinion. Art can be easily be seen to be a human product that has certain qualities that attract or repel certain or even many perceivers-- whether they say they like or dislike it or whether it has successfully reached some goal that a cluster of enthusiasts or experts has set for it. It can only have value imposed upon it by that net of human perception (general or specific--either will do) that it satisfies or fails to. But art is like, as I have said, the elements of the periodic table, neither good nor bad in and of themselves but only as they impinge upon human experience, as a poison or as a key industrial product.

I am delighted that people like or dislike or evaluate art however they choose--whether they think it itself is imbued with Platonic Excellence or, like me, something that I like for any number of reasons. The end result is the same--opinion. The key thing is that it is nice and good to enjoy art along with like-minded others, without having to use a crutch of validating and supporting alleged "facts" about the intrinsic excellence of certain artworks. I cannot make my position more clear, and choose not to attempt to bury my opposition in an enormous mass of additional verbiage, as seems to be the necessary counterargument to the Subjectivist view--somehow Dumbo will find the feather and learn how to fly
 

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^^^^@Waehnen: One person's oversimplification is another's cutting of the Gordian Knot, or akin to Samuel Adams' refutation of the good bishop Berkeley's strange Idealism. But I appreciate your restrained and civil tone throughout this discussion. I do fear that I will have little to contribute if/when the conversation becomes convoluted or arcane. Like the philosopher Ernest Nagel, I prefer my theses to be simple, and of a reality quite close to that experienced by most rational people in everyday life. In matters of art, "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so." :)
 

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^^^^@EdwardBast and dissident: I have no problem whatsoever with either of your posts/positions. I think we can all agree that Beauty, Excellence, "Greatness" resides not in the art object but in the perceptive net in which we apprehend the object (conditional propositions), I will be happy to affirm that, once this position is grasped, there is no further argument to be had.
 

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Not necessarily. There is a perceiver but also a thing perceived. If everything is dependent on my own perception of it, I wouldn't need ever to listen to Bach or Mozart to get my doses of "beauty" or "greatness". I could simply create it all myself.
I am not at all sure whether this gets to the heart of the matter. It is a given, a commonplace that there are perceivers and the perceived. I do not see the conclusion drawn here. When one says "everything is dependent on my own perception", this, I hope, does not fall into an aberrant solipsism by accident or design. Why cannot one be fully capable of enjoying Beauty and Greatness where you find it? For Beethoven perhaps, he could and did create it all himself, though that would be a rare case. Ditto Van Gogh? William Blake?
 

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The fact that in a moment of time Una Cosa Rara eclipsed Le Nozze di Figaro in the number of performances has nothing to do with anything. There is a reason that one of the two has remained in the current opera repertoire for over 200 years and the other hasn’t. And if you can’t find one or two objective reasons for that then I am surprised that all your research has led you to this point of perspective.

Furthermore, ‘greatness’ can be used in a superficial way or in a profound way. Do you really believe that Beethoven is considered great just because he has a lot of fans and that implies a ‘tyranny of the majority’. Really? (And I’m talking CP era here.)
My answer to the above question is--wait for it--Yes. And the reason that Le Nozze has remained in the repertoire for over 200 years is that a large cluster of people like it, pure and simple. The "objective" reason for that is the validity of the polling process and its results--cold hard facts.
 

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Since the notions of what you find "beautiful" and "great" reside solely in your own brain, why can't you realize those perceptions in artistic work of your own?
Simple. My "gift" is in arguing about things, and in being content with appreciating the creative gifts of others to engage my approbation. And besides, the notions of what I find beautiful and great reside surely in my own mind but are also often shared--quite widely-- with others. There is no issue here..
 

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Why is that? That's begging the question.
It is because the work more strongly appeals to/triggers positive emotions on the part of the neurochemical and/or psychological and/or life experiences of a greater cluster of folks than some less well-regarded music, among a certain population predetermined (a bit of predestination here) to prefer it.
 

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The statement in bold is merely a paraphrase of "all artistic values are subjective" and misstates the contrary assertion, concisely stated by EdwardBast, that an artwork's quality does not "reside" within a set of "conditional propositions" but within the work's effectiveness in fulfilling the terms of those "propositions." A good piece of music, painting or poem employs coherently the aesthetic (cultural, stylistic, technical) premises it accepts, and uses the "language" of those premises to make something distinctive. In this way qualities of excellence have objective existence within a work: People's ability to perceive the artist's success may of course vary, along with the personal value people will assign the work once its qualities are perceived. But the subjective aspects of aesthetic appraisal do not invalidate the objective ones. That is just not a meaningful debate.
Who sets the criteria, the aesthetic premises that are accepted by that good piece of music or art? Does the art itself accept its own criteria? If not a cluster of like-minded people, then God? The Zeitgeist?
 

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Good example. We have two operas called Falstaff to compare (and we can throw in Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor as well). Why is Verdi's a masterpiece among comic operas, Nicolai's a pleasant work enjoyed in German- speaking countries but rarely elsewhere, and Salieri's a worthy curiosity which hasn't held the stage and - you can bank on it - never will?
I can tell you and have told you why but you prefer your own explanations. ;)
 

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There‘s something sad about one’s evaluation of what Mozart accomplished in Le Nozze amounting to nothing more than the results of a ‘polling process’.
What is that sad thing? I love the works that I love, and likely many that you love also. But I don't need to have some---What? Something?-- exterior to my appreciation to justify or to grant an imprimatur to my enthusiasm. But it is really nothing more than a polling process whereby Mozart has enthralled a cluster of influential people to coalesce around some particular work or works. But we all are free as birds to fully, completely, exhaustively, richly appreciate, admire, be touched by those art objects that our natures find to our taste.
 

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Your explanation doesn't explain anything. It's merely a tautology: people like artwork X because they like it.
Surely you jest. I have just posted yet again for the ???? time that the workings of what we like or don't are being teased out by science and by what we can call maybe "information theory".
 

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Good question. The artist sets, accepts, and fulfills (or not) the premises on which the work is based. He doesn't, for the most part, invent those premises - they are largely derived from his culture and profession - but he does, if he's not a mere imitator, find new ways of using those premises and of extending and modifying them. He is then admired for both his ability to grasp and exploit an inherited, common expressive language and for his creative originality.
From whence come the premises? In a flash of lightning?
 

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I think this is true. I feel it to be true and I guess that many of those in SM's "polling process" would also feel it to be true. But SM's example concerned what we can know objectively (so he is right, too). We can elevate his "objective fact" by allowing that the enjoyment those numbers of people get from the work is based on many of them being able to detect that the work is ... more effective/enjoyable/heavenly than many pieces that have not enjoyed such audience loyalty. The problems come, though, when we consider that some pop music is much more popular and that some works get neglected for long periods of time only to be rediscovered later (i.e. did the work suddenly become great after a long period of being negligible?).
How a problem? What problem? Tastes change,populations and conditions change. Even I have changed.
 
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