Aesthetic Objects and Objective Knowledge

Daniel Gold

in Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on Religion

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520236134
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929517 | DOI:
Aesthetic Objects and Objective Knowledge

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This chapter examines the relevance of some of the aesthetic concepts to scientific ones, pursuing ways in which the religiohistorical objects created by interpretive writers seem objective in a scientific sense. In realist philosophies, objectivity generally denotes a reality distinct from the subject, but in common usage the term is also employed in three other senses important for religious studies: descriptive, procedural, and dialogic. Procedural and especially dialogic objectivity are normally taken as qualities not only of scholarly work but also of scholars. As qualities of people, these two senses of objectivity can become criteria for judging the integrity with which our aesthetically informed religiohistorical objects are crafted—criteria readily comprehensible within constructivist assumptions about mind and world. The subjectivities of the interpretive writers render objectivity to their works. These subjectivities, in turn, become crucial to some persistent problems of religiohistorical creation and judgment.

Keywords: aesthetic concepts; religiohistorical objects; descriptive objectivity; procedural objectivity; dialogic objectivity

Chapter.  4522 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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