Expression of a red eye. Digital painting by Myriam B. Mahiques
Human knowledge has two forms: it is either intuitive knowledge or logical knowledge; knowledge obtained through the imagination or knowledge obtained through the intellect; knowledge of the individual or knowledge of the universal; of individual things or of the relations between them: it is, in fact, productive either of images or of concepts.
In ordinary life, constant appeal is made to intuitive knowledge. It is said to be impossible to give expression to certain truths; that they are not demonstrable by syllogisms; that they must be learnt intuitively. The politician finds fault with the abstract reasoner, who is without a lively knowledge of actual conditions; the pedagogue insists upon the necessity of developing the intuitive faculty in the pupil before everything else; the critic in judging a work of art makes it a point of honour to set aside theory and abstractions, and to judge it by direct intuition; the practical man professes to live rather by intuition than by reason.
But this ample acknowledgment, granted to intuitive knowledge in ordinary life, does not meet with an equal and adequate acknowledgment in the field of theory and of philosophy. There exists a very ancient science of intellective knowledge, admitted by all without discussion, namely, Logic; but a science of intuitive knowledge is timidly and with difficulty admitted by but a few. Logical knowledge has appropriated the lion's share; and if she does not quite slay and devour her companion, yet yields to her with difficulty the humble little place of maidservant or doorkeeper. What, it says, is intuitive knowledge without the light of intellective knowledge? It is a servant without a master; and though a master find a servant useful, the master is a necessity to the servant, since he enables him to gain his livelihood. Intuition is blind; Intellect lends her eyes.
AESTHETIC AS SCIENCE OF EXPRESSION AND GENERAL LINGUISTIC
TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN OF BENEDETTO CROCE
BY DOUGLAS AINSLIE B.A. (OXON.)1909
Chapter I. Theory. Intuition and Expression. (excerpt)