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Extra info for AESTHETIC AS SCIENCE OF EXPRESSION AND GENERAL LINGUISTIC
If individual animals, dogs or cats, lions or ants, possess something of the activity of man, so much the better, or so much the worse for them. This means that as regards them also we must talk, not of their nature as a whole, but of its animal basis, as being perhaps larger and more strong than the animal basis of man. And if we suppose that animals think, and form concepts, what is there in the line of conjecture to justify the admission that they do so without corresponding expressions? The analogy with man, the knowledge of the spirit, human psychology, which is the instrument of all our conjectures as to animal psychology, would oblige us to suppose that if they think in any way, they also have some sort of speech.
This really arises from a false idea of art, conceived, not as an essential theoretic function, but as an amusement, a superfluity, a frivolity. Without reopening a long debate, which so far as we are concerned, is finally closed, we will mention here one sophism which has been and still is widely repeated. It is intended to show the logical and scientific nature of history. The sophism consists in admitting that historical knowledge has for its object the individual; but not the representation, it is added, so much as the concept of the individual.
Furthermore, concrete truths relating to historical events have often been expressed beneath the false and presumptuous cloak of a philosophy of history; canons and empirical advice have been formulated by no means superfluous to students and critics. It does not seem possible to deny this utility to the most recent of philosophies of history, to so-called historical materialism, which has thrown a very vivid light upon many sides of social life, formerly neglected or ill understood. _ The principle of authority, of the _ipse dixit_, is an invasion of historicity into the domains of science and philosophy which has raged in the schools.