Connecting The Fate of Beauty and The Absolute Choice

Art Gifts Absolutely

O.G. Rose
42 min readApr 24, 2023

The Modern Counter-Enlightenment, Negating/Sublating Aristotle, and How Art is a Litmus Test of a People’s Ontoepistemology, their “Absolute.”

Photo by Europeana

In Hegel, it is suggested that Notion and Nature (as I like to put it) are two irreducible sides of the same coin, a “Monistic Dialectic,” which is beyond strange and yet perhaps less strange than a belief in a multiverse. Hard to say, but the point is that Hegel would have us believe that we participate in our knowledge as our knowledge changes our participation, and so on. How though do we judge whether we are collectively participating in our Notion well and/or if Nature is influencing Notion optimally? If they inform one another, doesn’t that mean we are “sealed inside a bubble” that we cannot test because we are inside of it? The great Michael Polanyi of the Modern Counter-Enlightenment tells us that ‘[we] cannot use []our spectacles to scrutinize []our spectacles,’ which is to say that we cannot measure what we are contained in by what we are contained in, and if the universe is ontoepistemological as Nature/Notion, then how do we inspect or assess its development and our role in it?¹ Perhaps we can’t and should just accept that impossibility; after all, Hegel suggests that the act of measurement changes what we measure, so perhaps to ask the question we are asking is to risk changing the universe (though perhaps for good).

In my conversation with Cadell Last on “Absolute Knowledge,” we discussed the difference between “The Truth,” which is “everything that is the case” (based on Wittgenstein), and “The Absolute,” which is “everything that is the case, plus us.” With “The Absolute,” we are thus part of everything that is every-thing, changing it precisely in our experience of everything that is the case, which changes us, which changes our experience of everything — on and on. In Hegel, we are dealing with “The Absolute,” not just “The Truth” (which is negated/sublated into “The Absolute”), which is to say reality is ontoepistemologically A/B. The argument of this paper is that art, religion, and philosophy (with the focus being on art) are evidence that reality is more “Absolute” than “True,” but if we are “certain” that reality is only “True,” then we can indeed act as subjects according to a Notion which makes Nature/Notion manifest more “True” than “Absolute” — much to our great self-effacement. And this is what we have done, but it isn’t what we must do, for art “gifts” on.


Certainty is mostly impossible, so there is no way for us to know for sure how Nature/Notion might be unfolding because of us, but it doesn’t follow from this that there is no way to gage this development at all. Art measures emergence, while traditional tools of measurement (say in science) only measure parts. Since a “whole” is always infinitely more complex than our ability to comprehend it, it makes sense that art is not clear in its meaning, as it would not be clear “what I was seeing” if I saw the whole of the universe at once (say in “The Aleph,” the short story by Borges). When I look out over a whole landscape, I sense that I know what I am seeing, but really I am seeing and witnessing a generality. I don’t know what I am seeing, and yet I have a sense that I do, hiding me from my ignorance. Art can but doesn’t always so readily provide us with that sense, which means it forces us to confront our limits and finitude, which funny enough we can interpret as evidence that “art doesn’t have anything to say.” In fact, art is often trying to say something about “Notion/Nature,” not just Notion and not just Nature — but of course grasping this about art would require us to grasp the whole ontoepistemology of Hegel, of which we have been trained out of and against. It is thus perhaps not by chance that our inability to understand art has arguably correlated with our failure to grasp Hegel.

Hegel places emphasis on religion, art, and philosophy, and I think all three are unique in that their reality basically only makes sense in a universe of “Notion/Nature” versus “Notion and Nature.” Where people don’t believe in “Notion/Nature,” all three of these will decline, and indeed all three have in our world today. That doesn’t mean there isn’t good art or religion, only that we are very confused about what they are and what they do — the debates still rage. I will focus in this paper on art, because I believe the logic we arrive at on art will apply just as well to religion and philosophy.

Hans Rookmaaker tells us that reality is meaning plus fact, which arguably means that reality is Notion plus Nature. Rookmaaker believed the death of art followed from the death of meaning, which followed from the death of metaphysics and religion. It is impossible to do art without metaphysics, and so he believed art that denied metaphysics was pathological and self-effacing. If indeed the whole world is like art in that it is a combination of Nature/Notion, then it makes sense why the death of metaphysics has lead us into nihilism, not because metaphysics has actually died, but because we have believed it did, accepted that corresponding Notion, and thus started killing Nature as well.

Rookmaaker tells us that ‘modern art did not just happen [but] came as a result of a deep reversal of spiritual values in the Age of Reason, a movement that in the course of a little more than two centuries changed the world’ (please note that the speed of this change can be a source of hope).² This suggests that our views of the world correlate with the expression of our arts, and so a world which believes in and follows Nature/Notion will develop different art from one which doesn’t (and arguably religions ascribed to Nature/Notion often without realizing it, hence why the loss of religion seems to have perhaps removed something from art as well — “theme,” as Andrew Luber and Alex Shandelman discuss). In this way, if Nature/Notion are changing in their “unfolding,” we should also expect to see changes in how art “unfolds” as well. Thus, we can look to art to know “the form(ulation)” of us/world (which perhaps is only possible from a “clearing,” to allude to Heidegger).

If an artist chooses to do x instead of y in a painting, a value has been chosen (which brings Missing Axioms to mind by Samuel Barnes); thus, creations can provide readings of our values. Not obviously or self-evidently, thus why we require training, but in different ways (and it is precisely the lack of obviousness that means “The Great Conversation” must ever-continue, as we must ever-breath air). We can see in this way how art can resist the mistake of treating “objects as self-evident and complete things,” for we are trained by art not to think of objects as reducible to “thingness,” which for Owen Barfield is the mistake of creating idols. For Barfield, there are no “things-in-themselves,” only things in relation to us and us in relation to them: if we treat things as self-sustaining and giving themselves their own being, we treat things like they “have their own ground of being,” and thus commit idolatry. Art can help us avoid this mistake, precisely because art seems to scream at us that “it isn’t just a thing,” that it is operating according to many dimensions and levels simultaneously. There is no “thing-in-itself,” only a multiple of relating dimensions. Being and identity are gifts from these relations, not given in the thing itself (suggests that Belonging Again (Part 1) is a story of how the world operated according to “givens” and thus “idolatry,” and is paying the price for that mistake — we must negate/sublate into a world of “gifts,” as discussed in Belonging Again (Part 2). And all this also suggests why we can overcome Kantianism: the “thing-in-itself,” like “autonomous A/A,” is an idolatry, because there are no “things” to be “things-in-themselves.”

Art teaches us that things are not just things, but in a reductionist world where Notion and Nature are divided by a noumenon, we cannot understand art as teaching us this, and yet art is this lesson, and so art comes to play a strange role in our society. It doesn’t quite “fit,” and yet is “there” and we enjoy it. And so it remains, but also forces a question mark over our lives and society, as does religion. We don’t know what to do with them, because they only really make sense in a Notion/Nature universe, and yet we believe in a reductionist universe. But it is thanks to this “lack of fit” that perhaps art and beauty have helped drive us toward reconsidering metaphysics and ontology anew. The discomfort leads to (re)turn.

Art also teaches us that ‘[t]ruth has meaning,” and so truth cannot be a mere fact which has no meaning beyond its raw facticity.³ Truth is reality, and facts are part of reality and thus part of truth, but truth is not reducible to them: truth is an emergence of facts. Art “shows” us this, for we cannot reduce a painting to the information about it, the brush strokes, or the like, as we cannot reduce religion to its dogma. Problematically, it is also the case that ‘art never copies nature,’ and that suggests truth cannot be mere correspondence or reflection (it entails correspondence to facts, yes, but is not merely such).⁴ If art doesn’t copy nature yet is true, then art functions as evidence against the notion that truth is mere reflection of “what is,” unless that is what we define as “what is” entails no emergence, which means it must be reductionist and deconstructive. Now, a world without reductionism has no science and little technology, so reductionism is very good, but we learn from Augustine that all things good are forces of death when they are disordered or treated as all we need (“a ground of being”).

For Rookmaaker, there is something about art that gets at reality better than a non-artistic photograph meant only to document, and that is because art requires a combination of “meaning and fact,” which is what constitutes reality. This means reality is Nature/Notion, and if a painting better suggests Nature/Notion than a photograph somehow (not that photographs can’t suggest this), then perhaps painting is better at “pointing to truth” than documentation. And so perhaps it is not by chance that a world where portrait paintings are not prevalent is a world that will believe Notion and Nature do not directly relate. Hard to say, but the idea here is that art “says something” which is not so readily said by other fields like science. Yes, if Hegel is right, then science too expresses Nature/Notion, but there is something about science which can better hide this reality, while art, even when Postmodern and ironic, still suggests Nature/Notion. The same goes with religion that tries not be religion: it still suggests divinity.

Michelle has an entire series on Hans Rookmaaker, and we also spoke on him (#59) — and I also find it hard not to quote his entire book. Rookmaaker tells us that art teaches us that there is a ‘reality […] above reality,’ which by definition must be ‘irrational, for rationalism is the main principle of the box’ (a point which brings to mind Benjamin Fondane).⁵ Unfortunately, without a metaphysical system or “tradition” in which to fit this realization, Rookmaaker warns it led people into Absurdism, Postmodernism, and Nihilism, and the realization had the power to do this precisely because it was true. Rationality isn’t everything, but what that means exactly isn’t self-evident — this must be “conceptually meditated” (to allude to Hegel, which brings to mind his warnings against “intuition”). Here, we also see why it is important for us to recover a Counter-Enlightenment tradition, as well as defend a Modern Counter-Enlightenment notion, for a tradition provides a structure in which to fit new and accurate insights so that those insights are beneficial and don’t accidentally lead to self-effacement. Christians for example can be right to emphasize the need for the Holy Spirit in Church, but if “what this means” is not “conceptually meditated” through a tradition and the Bible, then a true point can lead to chaos and destruction. So it goes with the insight that “autonomous rationality” is impossible, and defending the “Modern Counter-Enlightenment” is to provide a vessel in which to organize this insight away from Postmodernism, Absurdism, and the like. With this point, we can better understand why defining “The Modern Counter-Enlightenment” matters: it is a matter of keeping new insight “conceptually mediated” so that it might not err as it already has in Absurdism, Postmodernism, and the like (not because there is no value in these fields, but because these fields have arguably been treated as “complete” and thus as “idols/things”).

‘Perhaps one of the main problems of art today has been the result of giving art the wrong function,’ and indeed Hegel would have us see it as a testament of Notion participating in Nature and Nature participating in Notion (Nature/Notion).⁶ It is to be training and honoring of Nature/Notion, of “form” and “formulation,” and yet art today is not treated this way. It can teach us, yes, but only independent and apart from science, Kantian. But nothing Kantian can teach us reality, for reality is not Kantian.


“Conditionalism” is a paper by O.G. Rose which explores many thinkers and books to suggest the possibility of “conditioning” reality and being “conditioned,” which suggests “the object/subject-divide” is not so simple and that Notion/Nature is the case. I believe In Praise of Shadows, The Bridge Over the Drina — all of these suggest Notion/Nature and thus Hegel. Beauty by Roger Scruton is another great collection of points which suggest Notion/Nature, because it is very difficult to explain beauty without a Hegelian ontoepistemology (or something like it). ‘To kiss [a] mouth is not to place one body part against another, but to touch the other person in his very self,’ Scruton tells us, but that only makes sense if in Nature is Notion and if Nature manifests Nature.⁷ It doesn’t necessarily follow from this that God exists, but it does mean we do not live a world in which Nature and Notion are separated like some Kantianism can suggest. Art functions as “proof” that this is also the case.

Scruton’s reflection on a “neat room” and “set table,” his point that ‘it really matters which kind of art you adhere to, which you include in your treasury of symbols and allusions, which you carry around in your heart’ — all this suggests Nature/Notion.⁸ Scruton’s book is another example of a text I want to entirely quote, but Hans Gadamer is to whom my attention now turns, because Gadamer teaches us that it is in art that we have the best chance of encountering “the horizon” of a historic period, and that this encounter is our best hope for transcending “the hermeneutical circle” (which is itself a Kantian problem that requires Hegel). ‘[U]nderstanding belongs to the encounter with the work of art itself, and so this belonging can be illuminated only on the basis of the mode of being of the work of art itself.’⁹ Well, Rookmaaker suggests the mode of art is Nature/Notion, and so only through and in Nature/Notion do we have any hope of understanding art, which is a mode we can gain from art if we let art “speak to us” as itself, versus try to interpret art according to our Kantian presuppositions which separate “Nature and Notion.” This is the unique, circular move Gadamer suggests is possible by which we might not escape “the hermeneutical circle” but could rather negate/sublate it into “a Nature/Notion circle,” per se. If we really look at art and see what it is, it will teach us the nature of our universe, which then will change what modes and methods we believe are valid for understanding reality (as Hegel understood). Suddenly, art becomes a way to study history, as if an icon. Suddenly, icons can be texts.

Gadamer suggests that things can “give us” the methods according to which we can understand them and think them, and this in mind we can see Against Method by Paul Feyerabend as an act of “clearing” (Heidegger) which lets things “be forth” themselves and, in that experience, also suggest the “world-view” according to which they should be understood. This is risky though, for what if we misinterpret what we are experiencing? Do we really want to go into the unknown without a guide, tool, or means of measurement? Not at all, and we are not being encouraged to throw away science or methods of reductionism, only to not derive our metaphysics from the act of measurement itself. That is the mistake we’ve made: we have used measurement to determine our being without including “the act of measurement” itself in the schema, and thus we have been confused (considering Wolfgang Smith). Feyerabend can help us avoid this mistake, and if we buy his argument that science advances not through a method or consensus but eurekas and “lone individuals,” then we can see why the scientific method needs and benefits when it is not treated autonomously. Likewise, a science that doesn’t try to replace art will be better for it. Indeed, if the world is Notion/Nature, then a science operating in any other metaphysics will be mistaken. (Also, please note, that if there is a single instance in the universe of Notion/Nature, then such is the case.)

Feyerabend is “against method” precisely so that we do not assume our universe according to our methods, which can lead to error. He suggests that “method” and “experiment” are not similes, and he is “against method” precisely to free and benefit experimentation. Feyerabend sees experimentation as far more messy, lonely, odd, and socially dangerous than “the scientific method,” which though an invaluable “tool” and “mental” model for experimentation, must not replace experimentation, for then experimentation will likely just function in service of consensus. “Autonomous methodology” (like “autonomous A/A” or “autonomous rationality”) undergoes autocannibalism, and so Feyerabend writes precisely to save science from itself. To be “against method” is not be “against science” except to those who conflate “science” and “method,” as the modern today tends to do, so problematically embedded in the “methodological zeitgeist” which threatens to cause widespread self-effacement and a collapse of innovation (as Tyler Cowen suggests is occurring with his work on “The Great Stagnation”).

If the universe is really A/B but all our methods require assuming A/A (for example), then it is only by being “against method” that we have any hope of getting at reality and the universe. For Feyerabend, we are at risk of “assuming our universe” according to our methods versus let the universe “be itself to us,” as unveiled and realized through experimentation (which we can align with “clearing” from Heidegger, a “clearing” that occurrence method can threaten). Funny enough, to save science from “autonomous methodology” is actually to work to save “the scientific method,” for when treated as “all we need” it becomes like a “thing” which is idolatry (similarly, to reject “autonomous rationality” for “dialectical (non)rationality” is to save rationality from itself). The method ceases to relate dialectically with experimentation. It devours.

Paul Feyerabend suggests that the history of science proposes the universe is more A/B than A/A, precisely because science advances outside methodology, thanks to a human element. The “whole of science” requires parts outside of science and the scientific method, and thus A/A is not so. But we must be “against method” to realize this — and if we’re not, there can be consequences.

Alfred Korzybski is another favorite of mine, and he asks us in his incredible Science and Sanity the following:

‘Could modern mathematics be built on the Roman notion for numbers — I, II, III, IV, V.? No, it could not. The simplest and most childlike arithmetic was so difficult as to require an expert; and all progress was very effectively hampered by the symbolism adopted.’¹⁰

Korzybski’s point is that the methods, symbolic structures, and the like we use and adopt impacts what we think (suggesting Nature/Notion). For new mathematics to be possible, there had to be a symbolic change: one was not possible without the other. This point in mind, Korzybski asks, ‘Have we ever attempted anything similar in the study of man?’¹¹ No: we have tried to understand ourselves only by A/A-logic, as found in Aristotle: we are still stuck in that symbolic and the logic which this symbolic brings about. Korzybski has ‘profound admiration for the extraordinary genius of Aristotle,’ as did Hegel, but both also realize Aristotle must be negated/sublated (into A/B).¹² For Korzybski, humanity’s sanity is at risk, as I think is also the case for Hegel in Science of Logic, and Korzybski believes ‘that the neuro-psycho-logical factors which make general sanity impossible should be eliminated,’ but unfortunately this is simply not possible with the A/A-symbolic and corresponding means of measurement and methodology.¹³

Wittgenstein taught us that ‘the limits of my language mean the limit of my world,’ and here we can see that the limits of my symbolic mean the limit of my understanding. Funny enough, perhaps the most limiting symbolic of all is the equal sign itself (“=”), for there are arguably no equal signs in A/B really (beyond a moment, perhaps), only “(be)comings.” Perhaps my critiques of A/A are more so directed at the “=,” for it is impossible to imagine A/A without “=.” Perhaps the whole reason it is so hard to “get” Hegel’s Nature/Notion is because we are subconsciously seeking a = (even if we don’t realize it), and really we cannot think Nature/Notion unless we abandon “autonomous =”-thinking entirely. Our minds seem naturally and deeply habituated to always work toward a =, and it is precisely that “towardness” which makes thinking A/B so difficult and why perhaps art, philosophy, and religion must train us for so long to work out of our “=”-habits. Of all the symbolics, perhaps none is more innocent than the “=,” and yet that is precisely what seems to have held us back in A/A most of all. (For more on this debate, please “With Category Theory, Mathematics Escapes From Equality” by Kevin Hartnett.)

Please do not take me to be seriously considering that we never use the “=,” and even to this day we still use Roman Numerals for various purposes. Rather, the point is to make us realize that the “=” symbolic is in fact a symbolic: it is not a total description of reality. It has use, and it is arguably necessary in mathematical and logical calculations, but the problem is that right now it seems easy to develop a natural and subconscious habit of “thinking in terms of =,” and this is arguably the main problem. As the issue of A/A is the development of habits of subconsciously thinking in A/A more than using A/A at all, so it can go with the “=.” It can inform and control the background of our thinking, and then our thinking will be “pre-shaped” without us even realizing it. However, the “=” also has great use, and in fact keeping the symbolic around (after we realize it’s fundamental incompleteness) could be a constant reminder that “understanding” (A/A) is not “reason” (A/B) — so again I am not trying to banish the equal sign.

As the “=” is problematic, so its correlate of “error” and/or “≠” also seem tricky, for this leads us into thinking that “A ≠ B” or the like. If there are no equalities, then how can we meaningfully discuss things “not being the same” either? We almost can only speak of things “not yet being the same,” for even cats and trees seem to approach equivalence as they die and are reduced to dust and/or as they head toward some “Big Crunch.” What is clearly “not the same” to us in the world is perhaps only conditionally such relative to certain dimensions and orientations: relative to alternative considerations, “tree” and “cat” approach (though never become equivalent, for that would be a =). In this and in treating the “=”-symbolic more tentatively, we see the world more in terms of fluxes, “(be)comings,” and movements, exactly as is described in Hegel and “Fre(Q) Theory” by Alex Ebert. In negating/sublating equality into something more like equivalence, we also see a means to take Derrida seriously and “deconstruct” dichotomies like “light | dark,” “life | death,” etc. (which in Hegel cause “one-sided thinking”), for dichotomies only make sense if “light = light” while “dark = dark.” If this symbolic no longer applies so totally and nonconditionally, thinking in dichotomies doesn’t make sense either, and so thinking is freed.

‘A system […] represents a complex whole of coordinated doctrines resulting in methodological rules and principles of procedure which affect the orientation by which we act and live,’ and we cannot avoid assuming a system, worldview, or the like.¹⁴ Korzybski believed we mostly assumed Aristotle and needed to “clear” A/A; if we did, things would “give themselves forth” in a way that suggested A/B. This is what Rookmaaker wanted us to do with art, and in art “giving us” Nature/Notion (A/B), we could then understand art and the world in which art exists as itself (Nature/Notion). Rookmaaker believed the fate of humanity hung in the balance, and so did Korzybski, and being “against method” in the spirit of Feyerabend can help us from falling into the mistake of letting “our methods do our thinking for us,” which would be to seal us into the self-effacement and autocannibalism of A/A.


Korzybski understood his work and thinking as in the realm of “General Semantics,” but by this he does not mean ‘the ‘older’ semantics [of] a theory of verbal ‘meaning’ and words defined by words,’ favoring instead ‘[a] present theory of ‘general semantics’ where we deal only with neuro-semantic and neuro-linguistic living reactions of Smith […]’¹⁵ For me, this places Korzybski right in the middle of the nexus of “Lacan + Hegel” introduced by Žižek, for Lacan emphasizes Discourse as basically metaphysical, as does Hegel — which seems such because Nature/Notion (to speak creates as creation speaks) (which suggests all of reality is “iconic,” please note). As Korzybski critiques A/A, so does Hegel in Science of Logic, notably in Chapter 2 of “The Doctrine of Essence.” Hegel tells us that ‘the essential category of identity is enunciated in the proposition: everything is identical with itself, A = A. Or negatively: A cannot at the same time be A and not A.’¹⁶ For Owen Barfield, A/A is idolatry, and Hegel will indeed suggest A/A is incomplete and problematic even if useful, for ‘a determinateness of being is essentially a transition into its opposite’¹⁷

Hegel has a lot to say on A/A and its trouble, and I would suggest readers give it a look. If I were to try to state his point simply, it is that A never becomes A, yet Aristotle’s logic suggests “A is A.” “Is” suggests “=,” and “=” only makes sense when it means “being,” thus “A is being A.” But we learn at the start of “The Doctrine of Being” that “being” is “nothing” and thus “becoming,” and so “A = A” must mean “A becoming A,” which makes no sense, for A cannot become A, it “is” A. All A can “become” is B, and so it’s more logical to say “A = B” (though Hegel doesn’t seem eager to use an “=” at all, hence why I prefer writing A/B). B is “becoming” as A is “becoming” B, on and on — a dialectic that “art” shows us, following Rookmaaker.

[T]ruth is complete only in the unity of identity with difference, and hence consists only in this unity.’¹⁸ Reality is meaning plus fact, which is A/B, and art works precisely because it is not just its facticity, and yet there no “something more” without facticity. If art in its facticity only “self-relates” (A/A) to itself, it is not art, but even when we try to see art this way, it feels like it won’t let us. In its being as art, it fights against this reductionism, and so eventually we just stop really looking at it, and hence art is forgotten and/or deemed extracurricular. But the point is that if we try to treat things as things and thus “self-relating” and “their own ground,” we create idolatry (Barfield). To worry about “getting to things-in-themselves” is to try to reach the gods of idols — no wonder we suffer a “Meaning Crisis.”

For Hegel, we cannot meaningful say that ‘identity is different from difference,’ and likewise we cannot meaningfully talk about Nature as different from Notion or Notion as different from Nature, as we cannot discuss “the meaning of art” from “the facticity of art”: it’s all bound together as reality.¹⁹ A ‘form of reflection […] does not exempt [things] from transition and contradiction,’ which means the fact we can think of things as “A/A” (in Notion) does not mean they cease being part of the Nature in which time is always at play.²⁰ Likewise, saying art is “just its facticity” does not mean the art stops haunting us with a feeling that it’s doing something else, something that perhaps everything does, but something art is unique in forcing us to feel…(“the pointing”).

Again, Owen Barfield warns that to treat things as “things” is to create idols, which suggests that we cannot “get to the things-in-themselves” because there are no “things.” Hegel’s ontoepistemology provides a powerful logic according to which we can resist idolatry and instead consider ‘[t]he unseen, mysterious, world [which] cannot force itself upon our attention’ (for we can choose to stay in “understanding” (A/A) and never negate/sublate into “reason” (A/B)).²¹ Though ‘I cannot deny the reality of the table at which I am writing nor that of the chair upon which I sit […] it is possible for me to deny the reality of God’; likewise, I cannot (“practically”) deny A/A, but I can deny A/B, precisely because getting to A/B requires a kind of denial of A/A, which is absurd and “impractical.” I must deny “understanding” as complete to reach “reason,” which does not seem sensible; I must deny a painting is just paint to for a “thing” to be a “scene.”²² This seems absurd, and hence why perhaps Hegel tells us that the fear of error is the fear of truth. Suggesting Benjamin Fondane, the possibility of error is necessary for the possibility of freedom, and as for Berdyaev ‘[God] is only revealed in the freedom of [spirit’s] life,’ so Hegel thinks it is only in freedom that A/B is possible from A/A.²³ If there was no error we were in, we could not choose to negate/sublate the error, and thus we could not be free-in-truth, which arguably is love (A/B, Trinitarian).²⁴ Defending freedom requires defending error, which risks dualism, hence the genius of Hegel in making error and limitation the very possibility of negation/sublation (like the genius of Dante in only being able to advance into Paradiso through Inferno and Purgatorio).

‘It is absurd to break up the whole structure of our knowledge, which is the glory of our human intellect, because the intellect is not infallible in its conclusions,’ as Cardinal Newman put it, but this is exactly what we have done: we have removed A/B-ontoepistemology as valid because in it we must err, which we have interpreted as evidence that A/A is deepest truth, thus “breaking up” “understanding” from “reason,” subject from object, and thus creating a world of “things” and idols.²⁵ ²⁶ We have concluded that knowledge consists only of “rationality,” thus fallen into “autonomous rationality” (as I discuss regarding Hume), and so broken up the dialectic of “(non)rationality,” a dialectic which is required to really “get” art, philosophy, and religion. Cardinal Newman reflects on why “certitude” is necessary if we are to think even if certitude can be wrong (he gives an example of mistaking a tree with a person ‘in the moonlight’), and in fact ‘[f]alse certitudes’ are inevitable, given finitude; likewise, for Hegel, “understanding” is necessary if we are to develop “reason,” simply because Nature/Notion “unfolds” precisely in and thanks to limitation.²⁷ ²⁸ And all of this is why art like a painting must “just seem to be pairs,” for we must be limited to start in understanding (A/A) before we can work into reason (A/B), for otherwise there would be nothing “gifting” itself to us as a “thing” which we could then choose to negate/sublate into a “scene” (as it actually is, A/B). We must err on the way to truth, but the err ceases to be a “mere error” once we see the error as an error (as despair ceases to be despair in Kierkegaard once we know we are in despair). We must start with Roman Numerals to reach the symbolics of Modern Mathematics, but that means we run the risk of staying in Roman Numerals — exactly as we collectively have regarding understanding and A/A.

Newman tells us that ‘certitude is a deliberate assent given expressly after reasoning,’ and if certitudes “practically” must prove false on our way to A/B, this also means reasoning itself must prove false — as Hegel taught, the realization of which makes “reasoning more reasonable,” per se (reasoning that knows its must error can then reason better in light of that understanding, as reasoning can once it knows “Absolute Knowing”).²⁹ Not only is it ‘possible to apprehend without understanding,’ we must and do (miracles abound, perhaps), which is a reality which experiencing “the horizon of art” (Gadamer) can force us to confront — though we might lack the tools to rightly interpret this experience, still stuck in A/A and “Roman Numerals,” per se.³⁰(To take art seriously is to be negated/sublated into Newman and/or Hegel.)

To allude to the Isaiah Berlin and A.J. Ayers debate (captured in the term “Verificationism”), the statement “it is raining outside” must be meaningful before we verify the statement, which means “meaning must be possible in possible falsity” if I am to act in a manner that allows the meaning to be experienced as true (and cohering). I must believe things (A/A) are scenes (A/B) while I don’t understand how they are scenes if I am ever to reach the place where I do. I must believe there is something “nonrational” before I can “rationalize,” and if I don’t rationalize it (which is to fail to “conceptually meditate” an intuition, for example, which Hegel warns against at the start of Phenomenology of Spirit), there can be self-effacement, pathology, and autocannibalism. Imagination makes all this possible, but imagination also makes possible sin in Christianity. The way to God is the way of error (for we are “fallen”), but the error is not an error unless we “stop.” It is all “always already” contingent. And if this very paradoxical epistemology is faith, then A/B requires faith. Without faith, as suggested by “The Meaning Crisis,” it is impossible for life to please.

We “practically” must ascent to a Shakespeare sonnet being beautiful and “worth understanding” while we don’t understand it if we are ever to reach the place where we do. ‘Thus the child’s mother might teach him to repeat a passage of Shakespeare,’ even though the child might be too young to understand it, because:

‘it [has] a beautiful meaning [emphasis added], as he would one day know: and he, in faith on her word, might give his assent to such a proposition — not, that is, to the line itself which he had got by heart, and which would be beyond him, but to its being true, beautiful, and good.’³¹

For Hegel, all of History is like this young child, receiving “lines of Shakespeare” that eventually lead the child to realize that he lacks the faculties to understand it, and so Consciousness moves to Self-Consciousness which moves to Reason…If it is possible to assent through apprehension before understanding, then ‘a scale of assents is conceivable’; thus, a “Phenomenological Journey” is conceivable, and we can see Spirit as developing according to a process of apprehending something it doesn’t understand, to then gaining understanding for why it didn’t understand its apprehension, which is instantly the moment when a new apprehension emerges that is not understood, yet Spirit assents to further ascent all the same, on and on until “Absolute Knowing,” which is precisely the realization of A/B over A/A, which then leads to Science of Logic and questions on what that A/B fully entails.³² Art is a constant reminder that we need to engage in this “grammar of assent” and “Phenological Journey,” but stuck in A/A and Roman Numerals, we cannot understand this reminder. Fortunately, like God’s Grace in Christianity, art has never ceased trying to “gift” us.


Dorothy Sayers tells us that ‘[m]en of science spend much time and effort in the attempt to disentangle words from their metaphorical and traditional associations; the attempt is bound to prove vain since it runs counter to the law of humanity.’³³ ³⁴ Likewise, our efforts to live by A/A versus A/B have proven vain, as exactly suggested by “The Meaning Crisis” and spreading nihilism. Unfortunately, the hold of ideology is strong, and if we are stuck in A/A, it is through A/A that we determine if we “act in vain” or not, and according to A/A we do not — we just haven’t been A/A enough yet. And so the snake ever-eats its own tail; the autocannibalism continues and never ends, as it never has to end, precisely because there is a “B” and “negativity” presents which keeps the meal from ever concluding. We are always being “gifted” more substance to eat by reality itself, for reality (like Grace) is always trying to reach us, which means we are always receiving “gifts” that we can treat as “givens,” “scenes” which we can treat as “things,” and thus we can eat-forever. Reality cannot help itself, as God cannot help but ever-try to reach us with Grace (lest God not love us), and so hell continues. As suggested by Dante, hell is the experience of Grace by those who reject it, as “The Meaning Crisis” is the experience of “scenes” by those who treat them as “things.” Self-effacement is the experience of A/B for those who treat it as A/A.

Without thinking, we cannot receive “the gifts of reality,” but thinking also runs the risk of treating “gifts” as “givens,” “scenes” as “things,” and thus falling into idolatry and self-effacement. In The Degrees of Knowledge, Jacques Maritain tells us:

Intelligible being and the self are given to the intellect together and from the very start. But being is given in the foreground and up-stage; the self is in the background, behind the scenes, as it were. It is only with the mind’s second movement, in the reflex intuition that serves as a starting point for critique, that it moves to the front of the stage.’³⁵

To think is to experience “thinking” (and by extension “the thinker”) as primary, which is to say we experience “the thing” as more primary than “the scene,” and so we can fall into idol (and in the idol we are god, for we deify our notion). To think is to experience A/A, which is to move “a thing” that is “in the background” of a “scene” into the foreground and treat it as the whole. And so the Creation is treated as (the whole) Creator, and so the Creation must create itself, and the effort of its trying is autocannibalism (for it needs energy to carry out the act of creation, and the only food it has for energy is itself).

‘[T]he artist finds nourishment in a bound intelligibility,’ Maritain tells us, and in fact all of reality is like the artist: limits give reality life, exactly as Hegel understood. When A/A is “limited” by B, it becomes A/B, and A/A is better off: “things” are “more alive” when (part of) a scene, per se.³⁶ All of life is like art, and all of us are like artists, or we are undergoing autocannibalism and self-effacement. And if we are treating art, religion, and philosophy today like A/A versus A/B, then this would be strong evidence that we are living in a world of self-devouring. Life mimics art, after all.³⁷

‘The mind does, indeed, have to choose its path right from the start,’ Maritain warns, which is to say ‘an original decision is demanded of it, and it is a decision that will dictate its entire fate.’³⁸ Absolutely, but ironically in Hegel we learn that this is the decision to fail and suffer humility: the best decision is almost an anti-decision. It is the choice to see limitation as infinite. If we do not choose this Nation/Notion (A/B), then we will still end up in an idol “like it,” which is ideology as described by Lacan. Both A/B and ideology are examples where Notion and Nature are intertwined, but while ideology is autocannibalism, A/B is negation/sublation. However, none of us escape ideology (we are “fallen” and always prone to “sin”): the best we can do is “bring it with us” as we undergo Hegel’s negation/sublation. To stop is to start eating ourselves, and we’ve all “always already” started.

‘Philosophical language proposes to speak of reality without touching it, mystical language seeks to divine reality as if by touching it without seeing it,’ and thus why we must “conceptually meditate” our intuitions and “nonrationalities” (“a (non)journey”).³⁹ “Philosophical mysticism” is the work of Maritain, and I think the same applies to Hegel. He wants us to see ‘the being of Spirit as a bone,’ for all of reality to be like a Eucharist and transubstantiated (A/B).⁴⁰ This is a call for us to engage in practices for ‘the development of the faculty of attention,’ for Simon Weil was right: ‘attention forms the real object.’⁴¹ There is no A/B without Attention, only A/A: for art to be art, we should gaze like Cezanne. And in this ‘[t]he lower parts of [our] nature [A/A] should love God [A/B], [but] not too much, for then it would not be God,’ which is to say we will make the “understanding = reason,” which is to lose both (in line with “The First Things First Principle” of C.S. Lewis).⁴² ‘May [rather] their love be like hunger and thirst’; otherwise, I will make the sin of believing that the fact that ‘I don’t merely have the visual impression of a tree [but rather] I know that it is a tree’ is evidence that it is a tree and thus a “thing.”⁴³ ⁴⁴ No, as Newman taught, the experience of thingness is the necessary experience of understanding so that it might ascend to something more which is apprehended beyond the tree in its thing-ness, which is the (whole) scene. If we really look at things and give Attention to our eyes and the unfolding of our Notion, we see instruments in a concert. We hear music. All of creation praises.

What Hegel and Maritain encourage so art itself encourages, for art only makes sense as itself when thought of as like a eucharist. It is bread that is also not just bread. It is paint that is also not just paint. It is a thing that is more so a scene. It is a gift which is broken by understanding into something given for us — a reason of life. All of creation praises this reason, but this reason is never ours, for we are part of the scene. We are the reason, for the reason is something more than us.


There are no things in life, only scenes, and art is a testament to the reality of scenes, the reminder that despite how much our minds might want to break the world down into “things” and “parts,” ultimately this is idolatry. The world gives us images, paintings, works of art — when we look to the mountain, we grasp a “whole” that we then might see as parts. And this is not entirely wrong, just so much as we don’t forget that “the experience of a thing” is simply a way things “give themselves to us” so that we might comprehend them. There is truth to A/A-logic, but only as something “gifted” to us by things so that we might understand them. Likewise, in Christianity, God gives humanity creation so that we might know God, but if we treat the creation or things of creations “as God,” we have fallen into idolatry. Idolatry is to treat a creation like the creator; likewise, it is to treat “gifts” (humbly, “as from”) as “given” (entitled, “all there is”). There are no “things” in this world, no “self-grounding entities” — only gifts.

A work of art is precisely so strange because it exists both as “what it is” and also “not what it is” — it stands in a between space (A/B). So it goes with religion and philosophy, and though we’ve tried hard to make these “just matters of taste” or “just sociological organizations,” they all resist this and simply won’t allow us to make this move. When we look at a painting and try to say, “This is just a scene of a woman” (Mona Lisa), we pause, and feel a strange off-ness. It just doesn’t feel right. What we said is true, and yet — and yet (points which bring to mind How (Not) to Be Secular by James K.A. Smith on Charles Taylor). We look at Christianity and say, “It’s just a social gathering,” and pause — and feel off. Why is this? It is because art, religion, and philosophy hardly make sense in an A/A world of “things.” They exist and people participate in them, and yet they don’t make sense. So perhaps the reason they don’t make sense is because we are using Roman Numerals to try to do modern mathematics…

We have simply not “looked on” and looked at things: we have not followed Hegel’s prompt in Phenomenology of Spirit. We have known better, and so we have known nothing. If you really look at things, following a Flannery O’Connor, Paul Cézanne, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, or James J. Gibson, what we see is “things” trying not to be “just things”: we see phenomenon “gifting” themselves as A/A so that we might understand them and thus relate to them, but then in that very act “fight against” that A/A and our tendency to confuse “the gift as given.” Things provide us with the possibility of “understanding,” while in the same act then suggesting we must “reason” (to use Hegelian language) — we can only gain “reason” through “understanding,” as we can only relate to God thanks to creation, but that means there must be risk of getting stuck in “one-sided understanding” and/or idolatry. There is no other way to life but risk.

Things want to be scenes, but we have to let them “speak to us” — we have to “clear” our understanding so that “A/B” might come forth (to suggest Heidegger). The very act of trying to define a bookcase as a bookcase and instantly having to refer to parts, in that very “movement of thought,” functions as a revelation that “things are scenes,” that A/A is incomplete and needs A/B. Things push outward, per se, “toward” being scenes: if we think of them as atoms, we constantly confront “the whole” we’re thinking “against” and “despite,” and then if our thinking slips into daydreaming and back into perception (as I discuss in “On Thinking and Perceiving”), then the bookcase becomes part of the whole “scene” of the room. To keep a thing from being a scene, I must think, but my brain seems to naturally move away from thinking (to preserve energy), which might suggest there is a “grace” in my very biology to keep me from idolatry, if only I would accept it. Hard to say.

Things “push outward” into becoming “like art” as scenes, and thinking is the act of treating things “as things,” as is necessary so that I might understand them and receive them as “gifts.” Without thinking, I could not be “gifted,” but with thinking it is possible to confuse “the gift” as “given” (“autonomous A/A”), which leads to “self-effacement” and “autocannibalism” (as happens with my very self if I treat myself as a “given” and not a “gift”). And so thinking is the act of receiving “gifts,” and the hand which can receive a gift is a blessing in that the gift could not be received otherwise. But the hand can instantly be a curse if it crushes the gift. That is up to the person using the hand. That is up to us. We decide if we are surrounded by things or art. We make the Absolute Choice.

To ask about “things” is to ask about a question that seemed settled, and it would seem that “settled questions” might be most dangerous: a settled question is a dead question and can only beget Anti-Life answers. To ask about things, like Heidegger did:

‘is a question of setting into motion the original inner happening of this question according to its simplest characteristic moves, which have been arrested into a quiescence. This happening does not lie somewhere aloof from us in the dim and distant past but is here in every proposition and in each everyday opinion, in every approach to things.’⁴⁵

As I discuss Heidegger, to ask about “things” is needed if “things” are to be “wine instead of lumber,” which is to say if things are to be “scenes” instead of “standing reserves” for our uses. Will we be in relation to creation or only use it? To relate to creation is to treat it as a “gift” and thus as “wine”; to treat creation as “given” is to treat it as a “given” and thus as “lumber” (it is “given for us,” to use). A world of “things” is a world of “lumber”; a world of “scenes” is a world overflowing with “wine.” The stakes are miraculous.

Art is a reminder that things are “gifts” not “given,” and art suggests then that the move from Belonging Again (Part 1) to Belonging Again (Part 2) might be a movement out of idolatry — but that will have to be elaborated on elsewhere. Art is a testament that the world is “wine,” and though we have tried to turn art, religion, and philosophy themselves into “lumber,” in it being impossible for them to exist “as lumber” (for they are essentially A/B), they have refused to leave human society, and so there has been a “faithfully present” hope for us to “see” what we have lost.⁴⁶ The impossibility of the death of that hope has come precisely when all hope was lost, for this is when hope can prove itself as capable of standing on its own. Hope is what remains once we’ve lost it.

“The Fate of Beauty” by O.G. Rose suggests that what we find beautiful is what we love, and what we love forms our habits, and our habits are basically our destiny. Inspired by James K.A. Smith, this argument has to be elaborated on, but the very relationship of “love” and “habit” is in itself a testament to Nature/Notion, which is a revelation that we are truly “part of the world” (we are not a “thing” but in it its “scene”). Sounding like Rookmaaker, Arthur Pontynen tells us that ‘[w]e no longer seek beauty because of the prejudicial illusion that beauty cannot really exist,’ and so Notion informs Nature and makes it (seem) thus.⁴⁷ We “choose” how Nature “gifts” itself to us, for we control our understanding and thinking which “receives” “the gift of Nature,” and if we choose to see Nature as a place where beauty doesn’t exist, then Nature must “gift” itself to us as such, in a way that suggests it is “given” that beauty doesn’t exist. If we choose to believe A/A is all we need, then Nature must “be given” as only A/A. But not even Nature could make art, religion, and philosophy fit into A/A, for like modern mathematics, in being what it is, it simply will not let itself “fit” into a Roman Numeral system. This is our frustration and our hope.

Art shows us how we should participate in life, which is to treat life as a place of scenes versus things. By extension, art shows us how we are participating in life, and if we are surrounded by Brutalist architecture, childish vs child-like art, mass-produced music — all of these are testaments to how Nature/Notion are unfolding, and the result of ‘the[] passionate participation in the act of knowing.’⁴⁸ In art seeming to fight the tendency to reduce it to a “material thing” in our very experience of it, in seeming to “force us” to consider it as “something more,” art functions as evidence that “things” are not “things” but testaments of relationships (the very experience of which is a “case study” that reality is actually “fact plus meaning,” Nature/Notion, though the choice is ultimately ours). Art, philosophy, and religion are all uniquely difficult to treat idolatrously and uniquely fight this reductionism, but we certainly have tried as a society — fortunately, we have failed. These fields have not died, and when it seemed all hope was lost and the world was indeed “always already” a place of “things,” these three have resurged (perhaps out of necessity, given “The Meaning Crisis”) and cried out to us that we live in a world not of “things” and “givens,” but of “scenes” and “gifts.” The world is not to be understood as a picture; the world is be reasoned as a work of art.

As described through Christian theology and mysticism, enclosed in a symbolic of “=” and/or A/A, it is generally only through beauty or devastation that makes us wonder if “there is Something More” — only for us moments later to fall back into the symbolic of A/A and “=” (perhaps the “=” is the greatest source of Lacan’s ideology). As we only notice a doorknob when it breaks (Heidegger) or think philosophically at devastation (Hegel’s Owl of Minerva), so we seem to only question A/A when we encounter the beautiful, are devastated, or experience something which doesn’t “fit” in A/A like art, religion, or philosophy. Psychedelics, mysticism, great beauty — all of this just help us “glimpse” something beyond A/A which we can then ask about, in a way similar to how nihilism, “The Meaning Crisis,” and the like can make “look beyond” our current symbolic. Because we have memories of art, religion, and philosophy which didn’t “fit” A/A, we can remember these experiences and then look into them to see if there is “something” we intuited but didn’t perhaps “conceptually meditate,” but now find ourselves desperate given “The Meaning Crisis” and/or intrigued given a Mystery and Unknown we sensed and remember sensing.

As discussed in “On Beauty,” Walker Percy warned it was difficult to really experience the Grand Canyon because we saw photographs of it ahead of time; likewise, it is hard for us to experience A/B because we bring to it a symbolic of A/A or “=” — this can change. Classically we have been taught that “the three infinites” are somehow all linked, that beauty is truth while truth is good, and goodness is beautiful — confusing, but perhaps not so confusing if the “=”-symbolic is no more. If there is only equivalence and dialectical relation, then we can understand how truth, beauty, and goodness can all relate and approach “as if one” in dance (as described in “The Net (14)”). We can also understand “The Trinity,” for the three persons of God are linked by an essence without being identical. Perhaps only essence links us, whether a “magnetic zero” of Ebert or a “spirit’ of Christ, and perhaps art is a “slip of the tongue” of the universe whispering this very ontoepistemology — a glimmer of Eternity through the transience. But today can be a time of sight.

Arthur Pontynen’s book, For the Love of Beauty, is wonderful, and in it he makes the point that Genesis 1:31 might be missing something in most translations. Usually, say in the King James Bible, the verse is translated: ‘And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.’ Pontynen though points out that ‘in the original Hebrew, the last word of that sense is towb. That word means not only good but beautiful as well. The Book of Genesis, foundational to all three of the Abrahamic religions, holds clearly that the universe is purposeful and therefore beautiful.’⁴⁹ We live in a world of “scenes” not just “things,” a world of beauty and goodness as truth — we can meaningfully write: ‘And so God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very beautiful.’⁵⁰





¹Polanyi, Michael. Meaning. The University of Chicago Press, 1977: 37.

²Rookmaaker, H.R. Modern Art and the Death of Culture. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1994: 11.

³Rookmaaker, H.R. Modern Art and the Death of Culture. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1994: 16.

⁴Rookmaaker, H.R. Modern Art and the Death of Culture. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1994: 20.

⁵Rookmaaker, H.R. Modern Art and the Death of Culture. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1994: 48.

⁶Rookmaaker, H.R. Modern Art and the Death of Culture. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1994: 230.

⁷Scruton, Roger. Beauty. Oxford University Press, 2009: 48.

⁸Scruton, Roger. Beauty. Oxford University Press, 2009: 99.

⁹Gadamer, Hans. Truth and Method. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2012: 87.

¹⁰Korzybski, Alfred. Science and Sanity. Fort Worth, TX: Institute of General Semantics, 2010: 3.

¹¹Korzybski, Alfred. Science and Sanity. Fort Worth, TX: Institute of General Semantics, 2010: 3.

¹²Korzybski, Alfred. Science and Sanity. Fort Worth, TX: Institute of General Semantics, 2010: 6.

¹³Korzybski, Alfred. Science and Sanity. Fort Worth, TX: Institute of General Semantics, 2010: 4.

¹⁴Korzybski, Alfred. Science and Sanity. Fort Worth, TX: Institute of General Semantics, 2010: 4.

¹⁵Korzybski, Alfred. Science and Sanity. Fort Worth, TX: Institute of General Semantics, 2010: 8.

¹⁶Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 409.

¹⁷Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 410.

¹⁸Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 411.

¹⁹Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 413.

²⁰Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 411.

²¹Berdyaev, Nicolas. Freedom and the Spirit. San Rafael, CA: Semantron Press, 2009: 105.

²²Berdyaev, Nicolas. Freedom and the Spirit. San Rafael, CA: Semantron Press, 2009: 105.

²³Berdyaev, Nicolas. Freedom and the Spirit. San Rafael, CA: Semantron Press, 2009: 105.

²⁴Please also note that if we simply moved from error into non-error, then we will have wasted time and been foolish — in Hegel, the error is “necessary,” and thus not “autonomously an error,” per se, and so not simply foolishness or the like. In a way, even calling it an “error” is problematic, and yet language is what we have.

²⁵Newman, John Henry. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010: 223.

²⁶Considering An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent could be considered with Hegel — an exploration worthy of an essay, I think.

²⁷Newman, John Henry. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010: 224.

²⁸Newman, John Henry. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010: 225.

²⁹Newman, John Henry. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010: 222.

³⁰Newman, John Henry. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010: 17.

³¹Newman, John Henry. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010: 14.

³²Newman, John Henry. An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Ascent. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2010: 33.

³³Sayers, Dorothy. The Mind of the Maker. New York, NY: First Harper & Row Paperback Edition, 1979: 43.

³⁴Please note that I believe the entire “creative act” described by Sayers also overlays with Hegel and Newman, as I have explored with Austin Farrer in “The Theological Methodologies of Austin Farrer and Metaphor of Tolstoy” by O.G. Rose.

³⁵Maritain, Jacques. The Degrees of Knowledge. Translated by Gerald B. Phelan. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995: 82.

³⁶Maritain, Jacques. The Degrees of Knowledge. Translated by Gerald B. Phelan. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995: 2.

³⁷Or else art mimics life (A/A), which is disorder and self-effacement.

³⁸Maritain, Jacques. The Degrees of Knowledge. Translated by Gerald B. Phelan. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995: 114.

³⁹Maritain, Jacques. The Degrees of Knowledge. Translated by Gerald B. Phelan. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1995: 347.

⁴⁰Hegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A.V. Miller. Oxford University Press, 1977: 208.

⁴¹Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition, 2009: 57.

⁴²Weil, Simone. Gravity and Grace. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: Routledge, 1997: 49.

⁴³Weil, Simone. Gravity and Grace. Translated by Emma Craufurd. New York, NY: Routledge, 1997: 49.

⁴⁴Wittgenstein, Ludwig. On Certainty. New York: First Harper Torchbook Edition, 1972: 35e.

⁴⁵Heidegger, Martin. What is a Thing? Translated by W.B. Barton, Jr. and Vera Deutsch. Henry Regnery Company, 1967: 49.

⁴⁶An allusion to the book To Change the World by Dr. James Hunter.

⁴⁷Pontynen, Arthur. For the Love of Beauty. New Brunswick, NJ. Transaction Publishers, 2006: 22.

⁴⁸Polanyi, Michael. Personal Knowledge. The University of Chicago Press, 1962: 17.

⁴⁹Pontynen, Arthur. For the Love of Beauty. New Brunswick, NJ. Transaction Publishers, 2006: 124.

⁵⁰Pontynen, Arthur. For the Love of Beauty. New Brunswick, NJ. Transaction Publishers, 2006: 124.




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O.G. Rose

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