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By Benedetto Croce

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The theory of the aesthetic senses has also been presented in another way; that is to say, as the attempt to establish what physiological organs are necessary for the aesthetic fact. The physiological organ or apparatus is nothing but a complex of cellules, thus and thus constituted, thus and thus disposed; that is to say, it is merely physical and natural fact or concept. But expression does not recognize physiological facts. Expression has its point of departure in the impressions, and the physiological path by which these have found their way to the mind is to it altogether indifferent.

Faced with this proposition and with the impossibility of conceiving a third mode of knowledge, objections have been brought forward which would lead to the affiliation of history to intellective or scientific knowledge. The greater portion of these objections is dominated by the prejudice that in refusing to history the character of conceptual science, something of its value and dignity has been taken from it. This really arises from a false idea of art, conceived, not as an essential theoretic function, but as an amusement, a superfluity, a frivolity.

Mediocrities racked their brains to invent, artificially, new styles. The _piscatorial_ eclogue was added to the _pastoral_, and then, finally, the _military_ eclogue. The _Aminta_ was bathed and became the _Alceo_. Finally, there have been historians of art and literature, so much fascinated with these ideas of classes, that they claimed to write the history, not of single and effective literary and artistic works, but of their classes, those empty phantoms. They have claimed to portray, not the evolution of the _artistic spirit_, but the _evolution of classes_.

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