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Goodman a c h i e v e s t h i s g o a l through h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f t h e way v a r i o u s a r t i s t i c symbols e s t a b l i s h semantic r e f e r e n c e and o p e r a t e i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g . However, Goodman does n o t u s e a r t en passant. The problems t h a t a r i s e and h e l p f o r m u l a t e h i s argument a r e c l o s e l y l i n k e d t o problems o f a r t i t s e l f . Goodman's work i s as much concerned with a r t as i t is with a g e n e r a l t h e o r y o f symbols.
An example of how the distinctive fxmative process in art achieves symbolic form, Cassirer considers the difference between an artist and a scientist attempting to describe a landscape. If the artist is a painter then both his aim and his methods will differ from a geologist's description of a landscape. However, if the artist is a poet he will be using a linguistic medium, which is also of primary importance to any scientific description. Yet Cassirer maintains that the poet's direction and use of language will remain distinct from that of the geologist.
T h i s a b s t r a c t i o n a l l o w s a r a n g e o f c h o i c e s i n what can be c o n s i d e r e d as an ' i n d i v i d u a l ' . By d e f i n i t i o n an ' i n d i v i d u a l ' c a n n o t be c o n c r e t e i n any way and f o r b i d s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of I allegedly o c c u l t e n t i t i e s a s p r o p e r t i e s o r c l a s s e s ' (Goodman, 1965, p . 3 3 ) . T h i s t y p e o f nominalism p r o v i d e s a way of d e s c r i b i n g t h e world i n terms o f d i s t i n c t i v e i n d i v i d u a l e n t i t i e s t h a t come t o form e q u a l l y d i s t i n c t i v e s y s t e m s ; and a v o i d s r e d u c t i o n i s t i c e x p l a n a t i o n s .