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Higareda, Jorge

Professor Harrison

Philosophy 25


Assignment #3: Principles of Aesthetic Value

For this assignment, I decided to use a screw as my object. The screw I am using is about

an inch long with a frearson (Philips-head) head. The screw is also gold and somewhat shinny.

The screw is also pointy from the end and not flat like other screws, this screw is meant for

connecting other materials. The spiral of the screw rotates to the right and seams that the

metal used was some type of steel.

I myself do not consider a screw art because it is something that is hidden most of the

time and they are so small that we never see them where ever we are. It is also something that

we mainly use just to construct or connect certain things. In my opinion art is something that

has a meaning and shows emotion. Art to me is music, books, and paintings. Art is an

expression, mostly an array of elements that come together in which appeal sense and emotion

as I stated earlier. The screw does not meet my preconceived notions about art because I dont

see it as beauty.

Majority of people consider art beauty, and In the objective sense, we call beauty

something absolutely perfect, and we acknowledge it to be so only because we receive, from

this perfection, a certain kind of pleasure; so, the objective definition is the same as the
subjective. (Leo Tolstoy) The screw does not give me that certain kind of pleasure thus is why

it is not art to me at all.

Some objects to people are not considered art but if we begin to look closely at that

certain object and observe it in a different way, we can begin to see more value to it and its

beauty. As I examine this screw I can see how it may become art even though to me it is just a

tool for connection of other materials. This screw can be transformed into different shapes or

objects that our mind and emotion want to expose. It can be transformed into a great piece of

art because we think of a certain design or shape that our mind creates with the thoughts that

are developed through our feelings.

A screw is art because it begins with this single piece of steel that is carefully

transformed to its unique shape. It goes through multiple procedures just like a song. It is

broken down to steps. A steel plate, a cut, sanding, bending and finally that nice shine it gets by

polishing. Art takes time and it is a work of craft. Some screws are hand made some are

machined made, but they all come to this single piece of work that gives people a feeling of

amusement and wonder of how one object becomes a new material.

This is an object that becomes art because of its value. Without a screw a carpenter nor

construction worker will get that great feeling of accomplishment when their structure is

complete and strong. Not only is the screw itself art, but it also helps create other images when

put together. Why do I see this object as art when examining it with more patience? I see it as

art because this object I chose is aesthetically valuable because it contains a special aesthetic

property to it, its uniqueness. This is an object that can be best observed as a formalist, because

it gives each individual a different perspective/emotion on how to view a screw.

The best principle this object falls on is principle #7. The reason being so, as I stated

earlier, because its an object with purity and a special aesthetic property. In its simplest

version, this principle identifies the aesthetic property with beauty; more complex varieties of

the same principle speak of artistic unity or organization. This object would fall under formalism

art, if we went into specifics, which is the study of art based solely on an analysis of its form

the way it is made and what it looks like. (tate.org). The screw I am holding has all that purity

and visual aspects to it which helps us the audience determine its art, rather than

its narrative content or its relationship to the visible world. (tate.org)

This helped me change my view towards certain objects that we may not

considered art at all. We should closely observe them and look beyond what we know

that certain object is meant for rather than just viewing it as an object that only has

one meaning to it. For most objects we need to take principle #7 into consideration

and ask ourselves what value the object brings and why is it the way it is. No object

should be unappreciated and just viewed as what we were taught it was meant to be

viewed as. We must look beyond its definition and purpose. Art comes in many

shapes and forms, and a screw is definitely one out of a million objects out there.

As I come to my conclusion, my overall opinion for my object is that it has more than

one value and meets every aspect of it being a formalistic idea. It has shape, purity, aesthetics

and unique features to its shape it produces. The screws can be viewed as multiple objects and

forms. As for the principle itself, it suits this object the best because if we get straight to what

the object represents, in its simplest version this principle identifies the aesthetic property with

beauty; more complex varieties of the same principle speak of artistic unity or organization. In
my opinion I believe this principle is one that we use in our daily life, does not matter where we

are, but every single thing we view brings us this emotion that can help us view certain things in

many different ways, and helps us express ourselves just like with this screw and my

explanation for it. We may not think about the principle, but it is one that is always present in

an argument.
Works Cited

Society for Art of Imagination, www.artofimagination.org/Pages/ArtEss.html.

Tate. Formalism Art Term. Tate, www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/f/formalism.