Thursday, October 14, 2010
ethics versus aesthetics and why do we enjoy things?
why do we enjoy things?
what is the origin of this pleasure we get from things we do
and the repulsion we get from other things we do but wish we did not do
as i write this i am trying to consider the origin of the choices and actions one makes
do i choose something because it is ethical (i.e., "the right thing to do")
or do i choose something because it gives aesthetic contentment (i.e., "it feels good")
when looking at the vague parenthetical reductions i have made in the previous two lines, it seems apparent that if those abstract common phrases are at the core of the two different types of choices, then the choices themselves are based on a type of sentimental inclination
in ethics a sentimental inclination might refer to psycholgical prejudice buried deep within one's mind that results from when a young child is taught and/or learns their respective basic moral preconceptions
these basic moral lessons are not only deep within the mind but within the human as a whole, as moral training and discipline usually has some type of physical aspect, be it more extreme such as corporeal punishment or be it less extreme such as "ten minutes in the corner" or "grounded"
so, the ethical sentiments then might be considered to encompass the mind-body and everything in between to the point where there is no mind or body dualism
much the same goes for the aesthetic
by this i mean it is based on the concept of beauty, taste
it relies on the stimulus of sense-perceptions and what that stimulation impies
in much the same way that ethics are based on a certain combination of intuitive/conditioned sensibility of "what is the right thing"
aesthetics also have this question of "what is the right thing"
someone may naturally like an apple more than an orange or the color blue more than the color red
but one can also adapt to soy milk from regular milk and one can adapt from like green to liking pink
and i feel this is always beneath decisions such as whether picasso is better than matisse or whether punk is better than folk
the same goes for ethical choices such as whether to vote for in an election or whether one should willingly expose oneself to certain types of media or drugs or anything
and the ethical and the aesthetic collide:
is one artist or writer approriating another and is this in a sense lying and what does this mean morally?
or should one live in the city or in the country and how should they live in each?
a series of paradoxes unfold in such thought progressions
choices have cannot be made through a logical yet natural thought process but rather have to consider them from lenses such as economic or social or political etc
to the point that one realizes a type of futility apparent in the sense that one can never know how their sentiments are directing their decision process down a wayward path
the mind-body and ethic-aesthetic dichotomies are revealed as houses built with straw
it is at this point that one realizes the only answer is to essentially condition themselves and rely upon judgments they feel are within their relatively immediate conscious grasp