BAUMGARTEN’S AESTHETICA. MARY J. GREGOR. Although the content of Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten’s. Aesthetica1 seems to be familiar in German. The theory of aesthetics started controversies over its legitimate existence as a fully developed science. Alexander Baumgarten was the first who used the word . On the 26th of May , German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten was born in Frankfurt (Oder), Brandenburg. He famously.

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This might be understood as an early form of debate over how much room there is for the free play of imagination in aesthetic experience. He then returned to Berlin, where he was appointed to the Jewish hospital.

He accepted Wolff’s explanation that pleasure arises in the sensible perception of perfection, but also Baumgarten’s transformation of that formula into the explanation of beauty as the perfection of sensible cognition: Baumgarteh he takes this thesis a step further by alexaneer that it is touch that reveals the true form of objects, while sight merely reveals or plays with their superficial appearance.

He thus recognizes those aspects of works of art, which were touched upon only in passing by Wolff and Gottsched, as sources of pleasure internal to works of art that are equally significant with the pleasure that arises from the content of works, considered as representations of perfections outside of the works themselves. In all of this vast output, the only thing that might look like a work specifically in aesthetics is a treatise on architecture included in his encyclopedia of mathematics.

Thus, contrary to Wolff, Mendelssohn does not suppose that what we enjoy in imitation is accuracy of representation taken to the point of illusion, but rather the room for the experience of our own mental activity that the knowledge that the depicted object is only being imitated allows. Bzumgarten returned to Berlin again inbut, disappointed in his hopes for the position of Royal Librarian, went to Hamburg in as director of the National Theater.

A.G. Baumgarten, The Man Who ‘Invented’ Aesthetics

Lessing, like Mendelssohn born inwas the oldest of thirteen children of a Saxon pastor, and at twelve he entered the monastic school at Meissen; at seventeen he went to Leipzig to study theology, then changed to medicine, and then to the university at Wittenberg.

Winckelmann then attributes the excellent of ancient, that is to say Greek, art to three factors: In the first of these chapters, Gottsched defines a poet as one who produces imitations of nature:.

When we turn to Wolff’s conceptions of the perfections of the particular forms of art that he mentions, we will see that he always has in mind both formal and substantive perfections for any particular art. Wolff certainly does not have the idea of aesthetia fine arts as a domain of human production and response that differs in some essential way from all other forms of human production and response, thus he does not have the idea of baumgarteh as a discipline that will focus on what distinguishes the fine arts and our response to them from everything else.

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Rhapsody ; Philosophical Writingsp.

Finally, we must ask about the moral and religious implications of Wolff’s contributions to aesthetics. The two volumes cover just under a third of Baumgarten’s original plan, although they may have included the alexxander original part of the plan. It is in this sense that poetry can present more truth to us than either painting or music alone. But its ability to arouse our emotions also gives art indirect moral value through its capacity to enliven and make effective our otherwise abstract and not always aedthetica acknowledgement of the general precepts of morality.

A.G. Baumgarten, The Man Who ‘Invented’ Aesthetics | A R T L▼R K

In Sulzer published a translation of Hume’s first Enquiry concerning Human Understandingand Hume’s theories of the imagination and the moral sentiments, although not his skepticism, would considerably influence the further development of Sulzer’s own philosophy. Now if art has only one instant in which everything is to be contained: This leads Lessing to a memorable analysis of some examples from Homer: The aim of aesthetics is the perfection of sensible cognition as such, that is, beauty, while its imperfection as such, that is, ugliness, is to be avoided.

Now such representations are motions of the affects, hence to arouse affects is poetic. So how does he fit all of these ideas together into his own distinctive theory? Working within the tradition of Wolff and Baumgarten, Sulzer bases his aesthetics on the premise that the experience of beauty is founded on the sensuous perception of perfection. Originally appointed to teach mathematics at the Pietist-dominated university of Halle, Wolff was inspired by both the mathematical and philosophical genius of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz —but published a vast systematic statement of a philosophy that was constructed partly although by no means wholly on Leibnizian lines in a way that Leibniz himself never did.

He attended Mendelssohn in his final illness in Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten

The good is the perfect attained by the moral will. Sean rated it it was amazing Dec 17, This analysis foreshadows Sulzer’s later position that the enjoyment of art is of immediate moral value because it directly contributes to our happiness, which is the ultimate object of morality, and is also of indirect alxander value because it can enliven and thereby make more effective our knowledge of the general precepts of morality, and is indeed the best instrument for that end.

He explains in the preface to the second edition of the Metaphysics that he. Inthe same year as he published his Ethicshe was called to a professorship—or more precisely, ordered to accept it—at another Prussian university, baumgargen Frankfurt an der Oder.


The next year, however, Baumgarten’s health began to decline, and a second volume of the Aesthetica came alexanser only inunder pressure from the publisher.

Aesthetica by Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten

After expounding the formal principles that are the basis of all truth, the principles of non-contradiction and sufficient reason, Wolff introduces the concept that is the substantive basis of his ontology, namely the concept of perfection. He should nevertheless be seen as a practicing critic using theoretical developments for his own purposes rather aesthetida as a theorist in his own right.

Winckelmann’s History of Ancient Artpublished nine years after the essay on imitation, reaffirms his general commitment to contemporary aesthetics as well as his particular emphasis on a certain kind of mental condition as the ultimate source of physical beauty.

Moreover, this complex of human mental powers is productive of pleasure, through the sensible representation of perfection, in its own right.

That idea would be aeesthetica introduced into German aesthetics only with Kant’s unique synthesis of the preceding German tradition with the British tradition. 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. Nevertheless, it is clear that aesthetic experience does have religious significance for Wolff, because his philosophy culminates in a religious teleology.

According to Riedel, aesthetic theories can be divided into those employing the methods of Aristotle, Baumgarten, or Kames: One may be regarded as taking up Aristotle’s idea in the Poetics that “katharsis,” purification or purgation, of the emotions of fear and pity, is a valuable part of our response to a tragedy; this led to an emphasis on the emotional impact of aesthetic experience that was downplayed in the cognitivist tradition.

Accordingly truth is nothing other than order in the alternations of things while the dream is disorder in the alteration of things. Mendelssohn’s explicit alwxander is that while the parts of an object must be distinct enough to allow one to have a sense of their variety but dense enough to allow one to grasp them together with equilibrium and proportion, alfxander is the latter that is the source of our pleasure.

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 catalogue of the axes of perfection in aesthetic experience. If you prefer to suggest your own revision of the article, you can go to edit mode requires login.