A representation of musical dialects (PHD thesis) by Levitt D A

By Levitt D A

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105 As Cavell so rightly argues, aesthetics is not simply a question of personal preference. There is relevance and irrelevance, coherency and incoherency, in their discussion. Suppose you thought that a performer’s interpretation of Beethoven or Bach had no line or structure. Would you not think that my response, “Well, I liked it” was “a feeble rejoinder, a retreat to personal taste”? 106 Aesthetic values and understanding are as appropriate a subject of argument, experience, and change as everything else.

Such an impoverished understanding of human motivation and meaning explicitly eliminates the aesthetic dimension. 30 We cannot look here, then, for any analysis of the role or power of the meaning of symbols in the law: law and economics is too weak a currency to offer us any purchase. Law with Aesthetics Central to the aesthetic dimension is the idea that the form of something is part of its meaning. Formal design or structure—whether of a poem or a statute—is not just the medium through which ideas are expressed but is itself an aspect of meaning.

It would appear that most cases of autism, even among those with remarkable ability, involve an absence of exactly these features: there is a lack of aesthetic appreciation, a dulling of emotional affect, and an apparent inability to understand symbolic and conventional meaning. 5 When Marcel Duchamp put a urinal or a bicycle wheel in an art gallery, the irony was surely double edged, for it brought into focus not only how we look at “works of art” but how we fail to look at everything else, how we pigeonhole and marginalize aesthetic meaning.

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