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ART

not arts but sciences, “only contemplating things in the mind.” Hence the nomenclature, history and practical organization, especially in Britain, of one great division of university studies: the division of “arts,” with its “faculty,” its examinations, and its degrees.

In the German language the words for Art and Science have in general been loosely interchanged. The etymology of the word for Art secured a long continuance for this ambiguity. Kunst was employed indiscriminately in both the senses of the primitive Ich kann, to signify what I know, or Science, and what I can do, or Art. It was not till the end of the 17th century that a separate word for Science, the modern Wissenschaft, came into use. On the other hand, the Greek word τέχνη, with its distinct suggestion of the root signification to make or get, acted probably as a safeguard against this tendency. The distinction between τέχνη, Art or practice, and ἐπιστήμη, knowledge or Science, is observed, though not systematically, in Greek philosophy. But for our present purpose, that of making clear the true relation between the one conception and the other, further quotation is rendered superfluous by the discussion the subject has received at the hands of the modern writer already quoted. Between Art, of which we practise the rules, and Science, of which we entertain the doctrines, J. S. Mill establishes the difference in the simplest shape, by pointing out that one grammatical mood is proper for the conclusions of Science, and another for those of Art. Science enunciates her conclusions in the indicative mood, whereas “the imperative is the characteristic of Art, as distinguished from Science.” And as Art utters her conclusions in her own form, so she supplies the substance of her own major premise.

“Every art has one first principle, or general major premise, not borrowed from science, that which enunciates the object aimed at, and affirms it to be a desirable object. The builder’s art assumes that it is desirable to have buildings; architecture (as one of the fine arts) that it is desirable to have them beautiful and imposing. The hygienic and medical arts assume, the one that the preservation of health, the other that the cure of disease, are fitting and desirable ends. These are not propositions of science. Propositions of science assert a matter of fact—an existence, a co-existence, a succession, or a resemblance. The propositions now spoken of do not assert that anything is, but enjoin or recommend that something should be. They are a class by themselves. A proposition of which the predicate is expressed by the words ought or should be is generically different from one which is expressed by is or will be.”

And the logical relation of Art and Science, in other words, the manner of framing the intermediate member between the general major premise of Art and its imperative conclusion, is thus defined:—

“The Art [in any given case] proposes to itself an end to be attained, defines the end, and hands it over to the Science. The Science receives it, considers it as a phenomenon or effect to be studied, and having investigated its causes and conditions, sends it back to Art with a theorem of the causes and combinations by which it could be produced. Art then examines these combinations of circumstances, and according as any of them are or are not in human power, pronounces the end attainable or not. The only one of the premises, therefore, which Art supplies, is the original major premise, which asserts that the attainment of the given end is desirable. Science, then, lends to Art the proposition (obtained by a series of inductions or deductions) that the performance of certain actions will attain the end. From these premises Art concludes that the performance of these actions is desirable, and finding it also practicable, converts the theorem into a rule or precept.... The grounds, then, of every rule of Art are to be found in the theorems of Science. An Art, or a body of Art, consists of the rules, together with as much of the speculative propositions as comprises the justification of these rules. The complete Art of any matter includes a selection of such a portion from the Science as is necessary to show on what conditions the effects, which the Art aims at producing, depend. And Art in general consists of the truths of Science arranged in the most convenient order for practice, instead of the order which is most convenient for thought. Science groups and arranges its truths so as to enable us to take in at one view as much as possible of the general order of the universe. Art, though it must assume the same general laws, follows them only into such of their detailed consequences as have led to the formation of rules of conduct, and brings together from parts of the field of Science most remote from one another, the truths relating to the production of the different and heterogeneous causes necessary to each effect which the exigencies of practical life require to be produced.”—(Mill’s Logic, vol. ii. pp. 542-549).

The whole discussion may be summed up thus. Science consists in knowing, Art consists in doing. What I must do in order to know, is Art subservient to Science: what I must know in order to do, is Science subservient to Art.

Art, then, is defined by two broad distinctions: first, its popular distinction from Nature; and next, its practical and theoretic distinction from Science. Both of these distinctions are observed in the terms of our definition given above. Within the proper limits of this definition, the conception of Art, and the use of the word for it, have undergone sundry variations. These variations correspond to certain vicissitudes or developments in the order of historical facts and in society. The requirements of society, stimulating the ingenuity of its individual members, have led to the invention of arts and groups of arts, constantly progressing, with the progress of civilization, in number, in complexity, and in resource. The religious imagination of early societies, who find themselves in possession of such an art or group of arts, forgets the history of the invention, and assigns it to the inspiration or special grace of some god or hero. So the Greeks assigned the arts of agriculture to Triptolemus, those of spinning and navigation to Athena, and of music to Apollo. At one stage of civilization one art or group of arts is held in higher esteem, another at another. In societies, like most of those of the ancient world, where slaves were employed in domestic service, and upon the handicrafts supplying the immediate utilities of life—food, shelter and clothing—these constituted a group of servile arts. The arts of husbandry or agriculture, on the other hand, have alternately been regarded as servile and as honourable according as their exercise has been in the hands of a subject class, as under feudal institutions, or, as under the Roman republic, of free cultivators. Under feudal institutions, or in a society in a state of permanent war, the allied arts of war and of government have been held the only honourable class. In commercial states, like the republics of Italy, the arts of gain, or of production (other than agricultural) and distribution, have made good their title to equal estimation and greater power beside the art of captains. But among peaceful arts, industries or trades, some have always been held to be of higher and others of lower rank; the higher rank being assigned to those that required larger operations, higher training, or more thoughtful conduct, and yielded ampler returns—the lower rank to those which called for simple manual exercise, especially if such exercise was of a disagreeable or degrading kind. In the cities of Italy, where both commerce and manufactures were for the first time organized on a considerable scale, the name arte, Art, was retained to designate the gilds or corporations by which the several industries were exercised; and, according to the nature of the industry, the art was classed as higher or lower (maggiore and minore).

The arts of which we have hitherto spoken have arisen from positive requirements, and supply what are strictly utilities, in societies; not excluding the art of war, at least so far as concerns one-half of war, the defensive half. But war continued to be an honourable pursuit, because it was a pursuit associated with birth, power and wealth, as well as with the virtue of courage, in cases where it had no longer the plea of utility, but was purely aggressive or predatory; and the arts of the chase have stood in this respect in an analogous position to those of war.

There are other arts which have not had their origin in positive practical needs, but have been practised from the first for pleasure or amusement. The most primitive human beings of whom we have any knowledge, the cave-dwellers of the palaeolithic period, had not only the useful art of chipping stones into spear-heads, knife-heads and arrow-heads, and making shafts or handles of these implements out of bone; they had also the ornamental art of scratching upon the bone handle the outlines of the animals they saw—mammoth, rhinoceros or reindeer—or of carving such a handle into a rude resemblance of one of these animals. Here we have a skill exercised, in the first case, for pure fancy or pleasure, and in the second, for adding an element of fancy or pleasure to an element of utility. Here, therefore, is the