Rudolf Steiner: Abstract thought deadens the humanities

Found this while doing some research on Vladimir Soloviev:

Abstract thoughts deaden artistic phantasy. Becoming more and more logical, one takes to writing commentaries on works of art. This is a terrible product of a materialistic age: scholars write commentaries on art. But these academic explanations, Faust commentaries, Hamlet commentaries, learned descriptions of the art of Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, are coffins in which genuine artistic feeling, living art, lie buried. If one picks up a Faust or Hamlet commentary, it is like touching a corpse. Abstract thoughts have murdered the work of art. (Rudolf Steiner, “The Arts and Their Mission”)

Compare that with what Adam Savage of Mythbusters said recently:

. . . .He discussed how many creative fields, such as the arts, require the same type of thinking as science does. A filmmaker, for example, has to understand the rhythm and timing to be able to create a powerful narrative. “That is absolutely a mathematical algorithm,” he said. “The idea that science and art are opposites is a great misnomer… It’s not STEM, it’s STEAM. I add the A for art.”

Isn’t it ironic how classical truths re-assert themselves despite modernist tendencies?


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