This notion, in asserting a hierarchy in our aesthetic transactions with art works, clearly smacks of elitism. The view taken here is that the distinction the Smiths make between the pure and immediate sensual pleasure we can often gain during our untutored attention to art works from what is claimed to be the deeper and more profound joy we can gain from a more knowledgable attention, is illusionary. It is no more than the difference between the immediate pleasure we get from 'the shock of the new' on the one hand, and the more attenuated pleasure to be gained from long familiarity on the other. In short, there are no grounds for claiming that the more we know about art works, the more significant will be our enjoyment of them.
What do you think of this argument?
Tomorrow: The final Part 3