Kant uses the expression manifold to refer to the numerous varied data streams supplied to the mind through sensation. These various temporal streams of information must be organized and unified for any coherent experience. This unification is accomplished through the synthetic activity of the imagination regulated by understanding and reason.
“It may simply be said that what is needed for two events to be cause and effect as we understand them is that the probability of the second, given the first, is higher than the probability of the second, given the absence of the first.” – Ted Honderich
We ascend from particular perceptions to universal apprehensions by forming empirical concepts that compare immediate environmental quintessence with memory.
“The conceptions of pure reason are not obtained by reflection, but by inference or conclusion.” – Immanuel Kant
Many complex issues
As a distinctively human enterprise, both sensual and intellectual aptitudes combine to make aesthetic perception possible. Many questions arise in search of explication. Does the quest for beauty in the service of creativity connote that aesthetic demeanor is intellectual? Beyond this distinction, how is the intellect further split between operative modes? Are conditions outside subjectivity required for any experience, contributing to a repository of information available for unconscious processing? In advancing spirituality, how does the creative process balance invention with discovery?
“The I think must be able to accompany all my representations.” – Immanuel Kant
Connatural knowledge associated with emotion bestows intentionality to artwork, as creative intuition and beauty are intricately entwined. Because objects exist independently of human experience, they are never themselves ontologically exhausted. This inexhaustibility implies that human perceptual relations always contain hidden potential, as a kind of spirituality accessible aesthetically.
“Even the most bizarre combinations of entities are a reality never exhausted by any perception or use of this combination.” – Graham Harman
Metaphysical questions cannot be definitively settled by experiment. The way in which such questions are articulated will determine how any experimental results are rendered.
“What is in dispute in such cases is not whether, in a given set of circumstances, this or that event will happen, but rather how anything at all that happens is to be described.” – A. J. Ayer
Circle the issue
Mexican dwellings, built into an ocean hillside, coordinate geometrically.
“That’s what artists do: they make views they wish to prevail. They wish their moral and political construction of the visual world to be the way the world looks, to be the way people look at the world.” – Dave Hickey
Describe the synthesis
Approach our own time
Natural scenes of wonderment help to proffer the possibility of timelessness and necessity. At the ocean interface, that which is currently happening is all there is and all that needs to be. Dynamic events at the present juncture are as they always are because there is no other way they can be.
“For where no one else can understand, it seems that the philosopher is called for.” – Hans-Georg Gadamer
Felt in light
Philosophically a concept is a mental abstraction that generalizes and extends knowledge from some familiar memory objects to others unknown. It amalgamates two or more particulars into a singular mental aggregate. Attempting to conceive of non-conceptual thinking is unavoidably conceptual. Nevertheless, non-conceptual cognition shapes an important aspect of aesthetic processing.
“Perceptual experiences have a richer phenomenological character than one’s conceptual resources need allow.” – Michael Martin
Initiated from appearances, the synthesis of imagination has several necessary temporal elements: the synthesis itself and the mental associations required for executing the fusion. It therefore demands the capacity to retain earlier perceptions as abstract entities in such a way that certain newer representations can combine into a single or unified entity.
“Psychologists have hitherto failed to realize that imagination is a necessary ingredient of perception itself.” – Immanuel Kant
Splendor of being
Creative intuition is intelligent in harmonizing a hidden internal mentality with an apparent external reality. The art is literally embedded in the process, directed toward concrete existence as connatural to the soul infused by a given emotion. Proceeding from the perceptual imagination of the spirit, artistic work avails reason to arouse self-awareness. Emotion received in the free imaginative pre-awareness of the intellect becomes intentional and intuitive as the subject awakens to itself.
“The creator in art is he who discovers a new type-analogy of the beautiful, a new way in which the brilliance of form can be made to shine upon matter.” – Jacques Maritain