Leo Tolstoy: The Soul Of Man Under Individualism

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Art is a topic that has been paid attention to by a number of people throughout the years. It has caught the attention of people belonging to various fields. They have their different interpretations of art. Leo Tolstoy in his essay ‘What is Art’ says “Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man’s emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.”…show more content…
It was a topic of curiosity ever since the Greeks. The curiosity about the phenomenon of art is as old as the Greeks. Plato considered art as a danger to the emotional health of the people and wrote about social control of the forms and contents of art. Aristotle, on the other hand, dispassionately described the psychological features of ‘aesthetic experience’.
One must wonder as to how the field of art is of interest in the field of psychology. Two features of art link it with psychological factors : First, art forms are found in each and every culture. There is no culture in which some or the other art form is not manifested. The second feature is that it provides people with pleasure and emotions of an intense kind, often. This pleasure is found by both, the person who has performed the art and also the one who has experienced the result of the art or observed the art. Hence, art is a topic of intense curiosity for psychologists.
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