By Benedetto Croce
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Extra info for AESTHETIC AS SCIENCE OF EXPRESSION AND GENERAL LINGUISTIC
Expressive activity? Certainly the expressive activity would not have raised the content to the dignity of form, had it not been interested. The fact of its having been interested is precisely the fact of its raising the content to the dignity of form. But the word "interesting" has also been employed in another not illegitimate sense, which we shall explain further on. _ The proposition that art is _imitation of nature_ has also several meanings. Now truth has been maintained or at least shadowed with these words, now error.
One way or another amounts to the same thing: it suffices that they are impressions. It is true that the want of given organs, that is, of given complexes of cells, produces an absence of given impressions (when these are not obtained by another path by a kind of organic compensation). The man born blind cannot express or have the intuition of light. But the impressions are not conditioned solely by the organ, but also by the stimuli which operate upon the organ. Thus, he who has never had the impression of the sea will never be able to express it, in the same way as he who has never had the impression of the great world or of the political conflict will never express the one or the other.
To ask, in fact, what the aesthetic senses may be, implies asking what sensible impressions may be able to enter into aesthetic expressions, and what must of necessity do so. To this we must at once reply, that all impressions can enter into aesthetic expressions or formations, but that none are bound to do so. Dante raised to the dignity of form not only the "sweet colour of the oriental sapphire" (visual impression), but also tactile or thermic impressions, such as the "thick air" and the "fresh rivulets" which "parch all the more" the throat of the thirsty.
AESTHETIC AS SCIENCE OF EXPRESSION AND GENERAL LINGUISTIC by Benedetto Croce