Now there is one feature at least in common to the entire modern school of thinking, however many sects and schisms it may reveal, which also serves to distinguish it sharply from its immediate predecessor in the last century, namely the method it employs; for it starts, not from nebulous assumptions about the ultimate nature of existence, not from some fragile and disputable hypothesis of metaphysics, not from a priori beliefs of any kind whatever, but from the actual aesthetic experience of man as it appears in the universal appreciation of art

ESTHETICS andnature,inthespontaneouscreativenessoftheartist, andinthelongandeventfulhistoricalevolutionofthe variousfineandappliedarts.Itisessentiallyaninductive, strictlyempiricalmethod,themethod"frombelow" inauguratedsodaringlybyFechner,amethodthatopens itsarmstoallthefacts,howeverseeminglytrivial,that experiencecanfurnish,whichnowrulesinthewide realmofaesthetics,andharmonizestheapproachofthis disciplinetothespecialproblemsitenvisageswiththe generaltrendofscientificthoughtsinceitfinallyemerged, withBaconandGalileo,fromthescholasticmistsofthe MiddleAges.