Art is Exploration

Philosophy is more concerned with coherence than with what William James called life’s “buzzing, blooming confusion.” And what philosophy does for actuality, critics do for art. Art gropes. It stalks like a hunter lost in the woods, listening to itself and to everything around it, unsure of itself, waiting to pounce. This is not to deny that art and philosophy are related. … When modes of art change, the change need not imply philosophical progress; it usually means only that the hunter has exhausted one part of the woods and has moved to a new part, or a part exhausted earlier, to which the prey may have doubled back.

– John Gardener, On Moral Fiction, p. 9.

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