My next trade is on the way.
I shipped Take Me Home Toto on Saturday to an artist in Seattle, who shipped me one of her paintings on Friday. It is supposed to arrive in three days. I cannot wait.
Philosophers are often accused of not paying enough attention to emotion. Their critics contend: Reason -- that is all philosophers want to talk about; they completely overlook emotion.
I must admit to being somewhat guilty of such a charge. I sometimes think that with an appropriate amount of reason any problem can be solved. In my more reflective moments, I am willing to admit that such an attitude may be some sort of affliction. But it persists nonetheless.
So I found it interesting that I was emotionally affected when I shipped off Monika’s Take Me Home Toto. As I talked to the UPS agent who was about to package it, I could not help but feel sad at seeing it go. That sadness, then, turned into an exuberant pride, which led me to blurt out to the agent and two of his coworkers: this painting might be famous one day.
Will it be famous? Well, who knows? But I couldn’t help making that claim anyway. And I couldn’t help but be overcome by a feeling of loss when I saw the UPS agent remove the painting from my sight. For the brief time that painting hung on my wall, I loved it.
(Just as an aside, I will say that UPS has been absolutely fantastic so far in arranging the packing and shipping of the paintings involved in this process. So I would heartily recommend their services to anyone thinking about shipping a painting.)
The fact that I became so emotionally attached to Monika’s Take Me Home Toto made me think that I had perhaps isolated a source of the irrationality involved in art. If art stimulates emotion, and if emotion is fundamentally irrational, then of course the art world will be rife with irrationality.
But then I couldn't help but think about a view put forward by Franz Brentano according to which emotions are what track value in the world. According to Brentano, emotions stand to value as sight stands to features of physical objects. If Brentano is right, perhaps emotional experience, far from causing irrationality, in fact injects reason into the art world.
But I didn’t think about any of that for too long, since I was too excited by the prospect of receiving my next painting.
I am once again pleased with the Universe.
So once again: Thank you. Universe.
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