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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But while emphasizing that the poet aims to create a vivid response in us, in particular a vivid emotional response, Lessing fails to mention Mendelssohn’s point that we also need to retain some awareness of the artificiality rather than reality of the artistic depiction of persons and actions in order to maintain the distance necessary to allow us to enjoy the emotions evoked by art rather than being overwhelmed by them into actual suffering.

The real object of pleasure then becomes the activity of one’s own representational state, manifested in the form of sentiment, that is caused by the perfection of the beautiful object. But what satisfies the faculty of approval is still the activity of the other mental powers. While rejecting any interpretation of obscurity or confusion as itself the source of our pleasure in beauty On Sentimentsnote h; Philosophical Writingsp.

MorgenstundenLesson VII, p. Baumgarten did not extensively develop his comment that art must be touching, but this became central to Meier’s aesthetics. Precisely because the art of Sophocles and the art of Shakespeare rest on the same underlying principle it is possible for people at any time to come to appreciate them both, although no doubt with the considerable effort it would take to appreciate fully their language, their customs, in short, their worlds.

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.

With his connection of the pleasure in experiencing emotions to the pleasure of experiencing mental activity as such he brought Wolffian aesthetics a step closer to contemporary British aesthetics.

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. A History of Philosophyvol. This view of the power of art is what Herder finds missing in Riedel and perhaps even in Lessing himself. He later turned away from Kant, whom he saw as having himself turned away from an empirical approach to philosophy to one that is excessively abstract and a priori.

Our contemplation should begin with the effects of the understanding as the most worthy part of beauty, and from there should descend to the execution.

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

For example, a leader. Kant’s selection of the Jewish student for bxumgarten defense of his inaugural dissertation in was not accepted happily by some members of the faculty, but Kant supported Herz then and always remained loyal to him, even as the student’s views diverged from his own. Although Sulzer himself remained at bottom bauumgarten loyal Leibnizo-Wolffian, his introduction of Hume into German philosophical discourse prepared the way for Kant’s critique of that philosophy.


Hami marked it as to-read Jun 28, But he will argue that the exercise of various of our powers, indeed as we are about to see bodily as well as mental powers, is itself a perfection that aestheetica enjoy, so this might at least point toward the idea that the source of pleasure in beauty is the free play of the those powers.

Meier baaumgarten responded directly to Gottsched in a number of polemics, but since his views were based largely—although not entirely—on Baumgarten’s, it will be better to treat them together than to treat Meier now. Be that as it may, Winckelmann writes:. This position, which Herder occupied for the rest of his life, gave him ample time to write and put him into contact with the many other leading figures of late eighteenth-century German literary and intellectual life whom Goethe brought to Weimar.

But for Alexxnder our ability to produce works of art is another manifestation of the perfection of the world—of which we are a part—and in turn of God.

Aesthetica by Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten

With Kant, beauty became a subjective relation, not a property. But it seems to me that between knowing and desiring lies the approving, the assent, the satisfaction of the soul, which is actually quite remote from desire. As a student at Halle, Baumgarten was strongly influenced by the works of G. Even the perfections of our external state under which honor, comfort, and riches are to be understood cannot be excepted from this if they are fit to be represented in a way that is apparent to the senses.

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.

Greece enjoyed artists and philosophers in the same persons; and the wisdom of more than one Metrodorus directed art, and inspired its figures with more than common souls. For Shakespeare is Sophocles’s brother, precisely where he seems to be so dissimilar, and inwardly he is wholly like him.

This is a view that was barely hinted at by Wolff, and not at all in his discussion of imitation as the perfection of mimetic arts, but only in his discussion of mixed arts like architecture, where he took into account the appearance as well as the function of structural elements.

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

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 the substantive perfection of being suitable, indeed comfortable for its intended use.

He expands upon this contrast in the essay on Sculpture:.

What we cognize as the best in this comparison works on our faculty baumvarten desire and stimulates it, where it finds no resistance, to activity. In nature everything is transitory, the passion of the soul and the sensation of the body: This might aesrhetica understood as an early form of debate over how much room there is for the free play aesthetca imagination in aesthetic experience.


His soul speaks to it, not as if his soul sees, but as if it touches, as if it feels. Mendelssohn’s explicit introduction of the concept of play here, finally, may be just as influential for the development of Kant’s aesthetics as is his insistence that the faculty of approval does not lead to actual knowledge or actual desire.

aesthetixa Baumgarten has not yet introduced the idea that aesthetic pleasure comes from the free play of our mental powers, but he has relaxed the grip of the assumption that aesthetic response is a straightforward case of aexander. InKant declared that Baumgarten’s aesthetics could never contain haumgarten rules, laws, or principles of natural or artistic beauty.

It must be joyous when it feels as much as it can. Philosophical science, as rational cognition, grasps the forms and principles by which sensory cognition comes to perfection.

What is particularly striking is that he then uses what we might call this quantitative conception of the aim of poetry, that it arouse more and denser rather than fewer and more clearly separated images, as the basis for an argument that poetry should be emotionally affecting.

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.

And is [the difference] not to aetshetica explained from times, mores, and peoples? Sulzer finally published the General Theory in two volumes from to ; especially in the expanded posthumous editions by Friedrich von Blankenburg in —87 and —94 Sulzer having died inthis remains the most valuable source for the aesthetics of the German Enlightenment and its bibliography.

Sulzer advocates a conventional view of the relation between aesthetic experience and truth: Belonging here are all the perfections of external forms, that is, the zlexander, surfaces, and bodies and their movements and changes; the harmony of alexanderr multiple sounds and colors; the order in the parts of a whole, their similarity, variety, and harmony; their transposition and transformation into other forms; all the capabilities of our soul, all the skills of our body.

The perfection that is added to the natural world through human artistry is also part of the perfection of the world that emanates from and mirrors the perfection of God. These essays did not concern painting at all or even general issues about the arts very much—the name merely reflects their use a,exander the names of famous painters as pseudonymous signatures for their articles—although one of Bodmer’s articles on Opitz celebrated the imagination as the key to poetic success: Baumgxrten morality is a Wolffian form of utilitarianism, according to which the goal of the moral life is happiness.

Furthermore, all ordinary sensuous pleasures are also momentary: