Greenberg and the Buddha

what do they have in common – it seems to me to be a fundamental a priori (correct usage?)

that what is most important in something is that thing which it possesses and other things don’t possess

that what is of value in something is that thing which it possesses and other things don’t possess

Greenberg:

from modernist painting:

“Having been denied by the Enlightenment all tasks
they could take seriously, they looked as though they were going to be assimilated to
entertainment pure and simple, and entertainment itself looked as though it were going to
be assimilated, like religion, to therapy. The arts could save themselves from this leveling
down only by demonstrating that the kind of experience they provided was valuable in its
own right and not to be obtained from any other kind of activity.
Each art, it turned out, had to perform this demonstration on its own account. What had to
be exhibited was not only that which was unique and irreducible in art in general, but also
that which was unique and irreducible in each particular art. Each art had to determine,
through its own operations and works, the effects exclusive to itself. By doing so it would,
to be sure, narrow its area of competence, but at the same time it would make its
possession of that area all the more certain.
It quickly emerged that the unique and proper idea of competence of each art coincided
with all that was unique in the nature of its medium.”
the Buddha:
I can’t find a reference to this yet but I post it because I have had two teaching sessions at the local buddhist centre where they talked about the worth of a human.  they reached a notion of the worth of ahuman by comparing the human in many respects with an animal – building ahome, rearing children etcetera but found that the worth of thehuman lay in the unique capacity to improve/be self aware
The point I am trying to make is that both greenberg and the teachers located what is most valuable about something slap bang in the thing they had which no other creature had.
I wouldlike to examine and assess that notion
eg why should it not be that the worth of a human lies in thpse areas ythe human shares with other animals
why should it not be that the proper idea of competence of each art coincides with what it shars with other arts in the nature of its medium?
This is just a question and aimed at finding out

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