Baumgarten’s most significant work, written in Latin, was Aesthetica, 2 vol. ( –58). The problems of aesthetics had been treated by others before Baumgarten . BAUMGARTEN’S AESTHETICA. MARY J. GREGOR. Although the content of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten’s. Aesthetica1 seems to be familiar in German. Ästhetik Als Philosophie der Sinnlichen Erkenntnis Eine Interpretation der ” Aesthetica” A. G. Baumgartens Mit Teilweiser Wiedergabe des Lateinischen Textes.

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Gregor – – Review of Metaphysics 37 2: Having published the textbooks for his metaphysics and ethics classes which Kant would still use decades laterBaumgarten then returned to aesthetics, and began working on a aesthetoca treatise in The former suggestion is also misleading because, while Herder will go on to argue that painting in particular strives after beauty, he also links beauty to mere appearance Indeed, he connects beauty with illusion.

Inbefore he turned twenty-six, Mendelssohn published Philosophical Dialogues on the model of Shaftesbury, On Sentimentsand, with Lessing, Pope, a Metaphysician! He began teaching philosophy there inbut fled the Prussian draft the next year and settled in the Saxon city of Leipzig, where Leibniz had earlier studied.

Whatever the limitations of Baumgarten’s theory of aesthetics, Frederick Copleston credits him with playing a formative aedthetica in German aesthetics, extending Christian Wolff ‘s philosophy to topics that Wolff did not consider, and demonstrating the existence of a legitimate topic for philosophical analysis that could not be reduced to abstract logical analysis.

This illustrates his general conception of the force of rules of taste: He does not need to mention this, perhaps, in the case of the visual arts, since he holds that the visual artist leaves the audience some freedom of imagination by not depicting the moment of the greatest suffering of his subject, and this freedom may afford the necessary distance, but he might have done well to mention it in the case of poetry. Sign in Create an account.

In this comparison and in the preference that we give to an object consists the essence of the beautiful and the ugly, the good and the evil, the perfect and the imperfect.

Yet it is clear that he means his own new science to be broader in scope than some of the more traditional definitions he brackets: In nature everything is transitory, the passion of the soul and the sensation of the body: In the next section, we shall see how Johann Gottfried Herder reasserted yet refined an aesthetics of truth beginning with a response to Lessing, while Johann Georg Sulzer attempted to combine an aesthetics of truth with an aesthetics of play.

Notify me aesthegica new comments via email. The latter suggestion is misleading because Herder does more than almost anyone else in eighteenth-century Germany to minimize any separation between mind and body. Baumgarten developed aesthetics to mean the study of good and bad ” taste “, thus good and bad art, linking good taste with beauty. It would become a central theme of German Enlightenment aesthetics that even if people know the general truths of morality in some abstract way, the arts can make those truths concrete, alive, and effective for them in a aaesthetica that nothing else can.


This is all the more true of the essence of sculpture, beautiful form and beautiful shape, for this is not a matter of color, or of the play of proportion and symmetry, or of light aesthdtica shadow, but of physically present, tangible truth ….

There he says that. On the contrary, the argument of the essay on Shakespeare is that the best art of different times and places—for example, the theater of Sophocles and that of Shakespeare—must differ superficially precisely because at the deepest level they are committed to the easthetica principle— the truthful imitation of nature —but have different aessthetica to imitate.

In the latter essay, Mendelssohn makes a number of points that will become central to the subsequent German discussion of the sublime, especially in Kant.

Lichanos May 26, It will be noted, however, that throughout Herder’s aesthetics the notion of play has hardly figured at all; it has been mentioned only in connection with the superficial art baumvarten painting rather than with the deeper arts of sculpture, poetry, and even music.

Poetry, precisely because it employs artificial rather than natural signs, can therefore bring us closer to the reality that underlies the superficial features of objects captured by artificial signs. Their idea is that the more imaginative inventions of the poets—the Satan of Milton or the Caliban of Shakespeare rather than the more human heroes of Racine and Corneille admired by Gottsched—make moral truths appear more alive precisely by their attention-grabbing departure from the familiar creatures of the real world.

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Herder’s path to this conclusion is not direct, however, and just what sense or senses of truth he has in mind is difficult to pin down, so we will have to look at his classification of the arts in some detail to see how to construe his theory. The passages from Sculpture also display what Herder thinks is the significance of the perception of the true form of objects through the tactile medium of sculpture: Vorreden zur Metaphysikp.

In the first of the Groves of CriticismHerder argues that Lessing’s distinction between the visual arts as the representation of objects in space at a single moment in time and poetry as the representation of a succession of events in time confuses poetry with music. But even before he reaches that conclusion, his theory of beauty makes the nature and aims of art more complex than they might initially seem. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten

However, although he eventually held the professorship in logic and aestheticq in Leipzig, Gottsched was also the professor of poetry, and by far the greatest part of his boundless energy was devoted to literature and philology.

Wolff’s discussion of architecture makes it clear that in order for us to perceive it as beautiful, a building must display both the formal perfection of coherence as well as aestuetica substantive perfection of being suitable, indeed comfortable for its intended use.

Several points about this passage need comment. In the Morning Lessons Mendelssohn does not emphasize that the free play of the mind has a pleasing effect on the body, but he does in his earlier writings, so let us now return to this third item in Mendelssohn’s qesthetica of the baumgaryen of perfection in aesthetic experience.


His History baumgaryen Ancient Art does cite Du Bos, Batteux, and the essays of Hume, however, and he had clearly absorbed some of the most general ideas of eighteenth-century aesthetics. Baumgarten’s recognition of the perfection of sensible cognition as well as the perfection of what is represented as a distinct source of pleasure in beauty leads him to recognize not just baujgarten but in fact three baumgatten potential sources of beauty in a work of art: And what are the rules in accordance with which judgments of taste are tacitly made?

In these works Kant’s harsh criticisms of his quondam student’s Ideas for a Philosophy of History of Humanity were repaid with interest. In the case of sculpture, both the artist and the audience can fully feel the emotions and passions of life that made Pygmalion wish that his beautiful creation could come alive.

Thus far, then, Baumgarten has remained within the conceptual framework of Wolff. So the immensity which inspires us with awe must also be interpreted as a manifestation of perfection.

Indeed, he has nothing explicit to say about the moral benefits of aesthetic experience, nor does he directly consider the religious significance of such experience in any of his discussions of it.

The scream had to be softened to a sigh, not because screaming betrays an ignoble soul, but because it distorts the features in a disgusting manner. Leibniz also holds that the perfection that we perceive in other objects is in some sense communicated to ourselves, although he does not say that our pleasure in the perception of perfection is actually directed at the self-perfection that is thereby caused.

Nine years later, in his Critique of JudgmentKant conformed to Baumgarten’s new usage and employed the word aesthetic to mean the judgment of taste or the estimation of the beautiful. The satisfaction of those mental powers summed up in the analogon rationis is a source of pleasure in its own right.

In other words, although judgments of taste are made on the basis of clear but indistinct concepts, which is to say sensory perceptions and feelings rather than clear and distinct concepts, they nevertheless. Experts in the relevant art can make those rules explicit. Let us now turn to some of those. Gottsched does not interpret this rule to mean that poets can describe only the actual actions and feelings of actual people; of course poetry can present fables as well as history.

Herder’s writings are certainly replete with observations connecting the different circumstances baumvarten mores of different cultures and times with differences in their arts and tastes.