Sunday, June 9, 2013

An Analytic Approach

William H. Gass gives a succinct characterization of analytic statements:
Actually, as Plato argued, analytic judgments refer to an organized system of concepts, and analytic judgments are true when they reflect that system correctly. ["Carrots, Noses, Snow, Rose, Roses," p. 738]
And he goes on to describe literary art as:
In any case, literary language, rather than empty as analytic formulations are sometimes said to be, is so full, so overdetermined, so inevitable in its order, … [Ibid.]
as the most analytic, or the fullest ("thickest" as Gass puts it elsewhere) form of analytic exposition.

First, it makes me ask why art would occur within the diagram itself, like logic or mathematics.  Do the artists insist upon the universality of analyticity for themselves and/or their work?  Their right to work in the ether of pure language, if not thought.  Or, do we, as readers and consumers of that art, demand that the references and consequences be us left to us?

And second, while this analytic approach makes for great writers, logicians, and mathematicians, is it right?  Is that the way it should be?  Should diagrams, even those of logic and mathematics, be created and understood apart from their references and consequences?