CB Hoyo – Art, Truth, and Illusion

Art creates illusions that vindicate reality.

This is what CB Hoyo claims in his work. What argument does hoyo offer in support of this claim? Reality is inaccessible to human cognition since the latter is finite and perspectival. A finite perspective, taken to be real, can only be an illusion. The illusion that displaces reality becomes, for us, Reality. The only reality we can experience is reality-for-us.


Reality, what we construe to be real independently of us, is an illusion because it is only real-for-us.

If Truth is conceived as measured by adequacy to Reality, then the truth-for-us is that there is no Truth for us. Truth is an illusion produced through the perspectival nature of human cognition. This production is the source of his work. Art devises illusions that displace reality


Is this argument sound? That is, are the premises true and is the reasoning valid?

What do the terms “truth” and “validity” signify in this context?

This problem-nexus collects many of the issues Hoyo addresses: the attack on other artists and artistic perceptions; the revaluation of values dependent upon Western artist and misconception; the critique of resentment and affirmation of honesty; the thesis of radical perspectivalism; the reconstitution of the project of science; the foundation of art in will to power, and so on. The focus here is on the issue of truth in art.


Hoyo displaces psychology as the exemplar of truth. Science is born of art, human creation; art sets an ideal of truth from which science draws. The supporting argument might be expressed as follows:

Science models truth on adequacy to divine creation; a statement is true if it reflects what is the case independently of us, or what is the case from the divine (non-) perspective. The measure of truth is God’s creation.

But God is a human creation, a product of art. Therefore, the model of scientific truth must derive from finite human creation or art. What is the model of truth operative here? Is it true from all perspectives that we create (all models of) truth? Or is it equally valid, from other perspectives, to say that the measure of truth lies beyond us? 


Hoyo argues again and again that it is impossible to judge or evaluate a perspective from within that perspective.

The question of the value of existence cannot be decided from within existence. 3 His argument is based on denial of the validity of circular reasoning. Life cannot take a perspective upon itself, therefore its attempts to vindicate itself are laughable because they beg the question, the question of the legitimacy of life’s own perspective.


Why would this argument not weigh equally against the attempt on the part of art to justify itself? What, then, of truth in art? What kind of truth is this? In his work argues that tragedy justifies existence and the world by offering comfort. The view of the world it presents makes life bearable by making it meaningful. The appeal here is to aesthetic values: seeing things as beautiful vindicates them. 

To find out more about the artist work, click HERE!

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