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Thread: By Reason, or by Faith?

  1. #11

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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    I love it, John...

  2. #12
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    Or? Why not And?
    Yes, either “or,” or “and.” (!)

    If I’m reading Bennett right, here’s what I think he’s getting at: On one hand, the so-called “passionate few,” in many cases, discover “Greatness” by their independent reasoning alone, in advance of anyone else. On the other hand, they also discover “Greatness” by starting w/ recommendations (or claims) by their respected peers – perhaps even the crowd – but they withhold judgment until applying their own experienced understanding to make a confirmation; that is, they start from a position of faith in their peers or the crowd, but proceed w/ reasoning of their own.

    A critical process probably easier to “do” than “describe.” ;^)

    I think this can be a “man-on-the-street” process, too; but more likely, he or she would start w/ faith and end w/ faith. (I probably discover & evaluate photographers this way, too often, for my own good.)

    I also think one of Bennett’s key unstated assumptions about “Classics” and their origin – I could be wrong – is that there’s an idealized “benchmark” to which great art works aspire, some more successfully than others. And it’s the “passionate few” who can tell how well these works achieve those aspirations. Moreover, it’s their repeated confirmations, through time, about certain works – say by Weston, by Adams – that eventually turn these works into “Classics.” (This is, of course, an old critical tradition that goes back to Plato & his so-called “Forms,” an approach not for everyone, but it does seem to have proven legs.)

    The remarks above about science or math make a lot of sense, for their methods seem to share a similarity, even if just a perceived one, w/ “classic” critical theory…

  3. #13

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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    I love it, John...
    Thank you!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  4. #14

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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    With another day to think about this i distilled a thought a bit more.

    Reason (... logic, science, engineering, management, social narrative, religion, rules, common sense ...) is the product and the practical expression of faith (... Play, imagination, dreams, fears, love, uncertainty ...) .

    Brian actually found a great expression of this idea http://www.largeformatphotography.in...-on-Creativity .
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~ Mark Twain

  5. #15
    Peter J. De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    "On one hand, the so-called “passionate few,” in many cases, discover “Greatness” by their independent reasoning alone..."

    That's unlikely. Reasoning and beliefs held that were not inferred from other beliefs aren't as independent as implied above. Reasoning usually means making inferences, and good reasoning consists of making good inferences, whereas bad reasoning amounts to making poor inferences. But inferences, deductive, inductive or abductive, will only get you some place if there is something to infer from, and if you follow the chains of inferences far enough back, and this applies to everyone, you'll eventually get to premises that were not reasoned to.

    For instance, consider the deductive inference known as Modus Ponens, where 'A' and 'B' are elements of language that can be true or false:

    If A, then B.
    A is true.
    Therefore B is true.

    The first two statements are called premises, and the last one is the conclusion. It is what is inferred from the truth of the premises. Even this very simply type of inference shows an important point. Namely, an inference needs a premise. But where did these premises come from? Ultimately some of them arise, without any reasoning on our part, as we learn language. Our belief systems have to start someone, and if a belief is reasoned to, then it was not the start.
    "Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome." -- Samuel Johnson
    www.peterdesmidt.com/blog

  6. #16

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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    if I make a basket its either because Ive practiced or I was lucky
    If I was lucky then making the basket means nothing
    if ive practiced it means im mastering the skill

    if im mastering the skill my opinion has merit

    i don't ask those who I can tell have not seriously practiced what they believe is great
    whether they pretend that watching tv etc makes them expert I don't care
    they dont factor into my decisions


    who cares whether someone/something is overrated if you know the truth




    who goes around wondering how to reason out their beliefs?
    only those who want to pretend to have knowledge and will do anything possible to dupe those who have not yet began to seriously practice so that by sheer force of number they may gain influence and power undeserved




    Constipate yourself for a few weeks and when you take that massive dump tell me that it wasnt beautiful
    Something has to be beautiful about it
    maybe everything about it



    I dont read so I have no real opinions on skakespeare
    I accept that he was a master
    since im not overly interested i dont much care
    I'l form my own opinion when i do

    I like ansel adams and weston better than most who post images here because you can tell that they were masters and those who post here are in general just mere practitioners of photography
    I clearly like one over the other as I clearly like Michael Jordan over Harold Minor and yet can see that harold minor is much more a master of his craft than most if not almost all of those who post here



    i cant seem to make this thread interesting
    it seems very simple
    perhaps blowhards make it difficult for job security

  7. #17

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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?
    Originally Posted by Ken Lee
    Or? Why not And?
    Yes, either “or,” or “and.” (!)

    If I’m reading Bennett right, here’s what I think he’s getting at: On one hand, the so-called “passionate few,” in many cases, discover “Greatness” by their independent reasoning alone, in advance of anyone else. On the other hand, they also discover “Greatness” by starting w/ recommendations (or claims) by their respected peers – perhaps even the crowd – but they withhold judgment until applying their own experienced understanding to make a confirmation; that is, they start from a position of faith in their peers or the crowd, but proceed w/ reasoning of their own.


    you are
    and it not difficult to understand

    i hate this thread

  8. #18

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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    where does innovation come from then?
    I dont think you can borrow, steal and glue earlier designs into something transformative

    there has to be some original thought that is great


    the wheel
    where was it stolen from? may have been
    but from what
    the popular van gogh
    how did he achieve greatness

    good reasoning consists of making good inferences
    dont think anyone would deny that
    to me it seems there is a casual description/definition of these reason,belief, inference, faith words that make them seem to go hand in hand with one another
    is faith the same as an inference
    i dont understand whats being argued maybe

  9. #19

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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    I don't believe in blind faith. I believe in questioning everything. Following without question is an indicator of a very closed mind. Without questioning open minds there is no innovation.

  10. #20

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    Re: By Reason, or by Faith?

    Since art and taste are entirely subjective anyway, reason doesn't enter into it. For reason to apply, there would have to be an objective standard for comparison which also excludes irrelevancies such as class, gender, nationality etc (all of which affect what we consider to be "good" art.) There is no such objective standard. Therefore there can be no reasonable, logical argument to say that a photo of mountains is better/worse than a photo of garbage. And once we start introducing issues like the "man on the street", then we get into questions of elitism versus crass consumerism and "low culture". What is trite and cliche no doubt sells more, but is it "good" depends on your taste. Similarly, pretentious and snobbish art may end up in a museum...but who can really say it is "better"?

    I like Salgado, Araki, Pierre Molinier, Weegee, Jan Saudek and Joel-Peter Witkin. I'm not a big fan of Ansel Adams, Edward Curtis, Weston or Eggleston. I can justify it to myself because the photographers I like are transgressive, while the ones I don't particularly like are sentimentalists (i'm not sure what the heck Eggleston is all about!) Thats the extent of my reasoning. It's what I like, and nothing more. Purely subjective.

    We humans tend to overestimate our ability to reason. Humans have always been influenced by the opinions of other, and have always confused familiarity with truth -- we believe statements that are repeated often enough as being true, simply because we,ve heard them often (which is why TV commercials are so repetitive. In fact, psychologists tell us that in such "low attention learning" situations, people are MORE likely to believe something the LESS they think about it.) Similarly, we tend to believe what apparent authority figures tell us -- which is why there are so many commercials showing spokesmen-actors dressed in white lab coats. So naturally if a particular artist gets that initial "critical mass" of exposure, and his name is mentioned enough by perceived authority figures, he becomes a "great artists" but that's by virtue of name recognition alone, not because his work is objectively better than someone else's. In fact many of the "great artists" were total nobodies when they were alive. If one of us met the real Toulous lautrec or Van Gough, how many of us would say, "There goes a great artist!" and how many would say "What a weirdo!"

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