Aesthetics from Classical Greece to the Present (Studies in the Humanities: No. 13)

Aesthetics from Classical Greece to the Present (Studies in the Humanities: No. 13)

Language: English

Pages: 414

ISBN: 0817366237

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“Beardsley’s book accomplishes to perfection what the writer intended.  It illuminates an area of history from a certain perspective as was never done before. . . . The distinguishing feature of his book is a n excitement over everything I aesthetics that has to do with symbols, meanings, language, and modes of interpretation.  And this excitement has brought to light facets of the history f the subject never noticed before, or at least, not so clearly.” —The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism

Aesthetic and Artistic Autonomy (Bloomsbury Studies in Philosophy)

The Impossible Nude: Chinese Art and Western Aesthetics

The Objective Eye: Color, Form, and Reality in the Theory of Art

Cultural Activism Today: The Art of Over-identification

Flow: Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts

Shapes: Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts
















usefully invoke Bertrand Russell's distinction between "knowledge by description" and "knowledge by acquaintance." By dialectical arguments, such as those sketched two paragraphs back, we can convince ourselves that the ideal Form of Beauty exists, or subsists, in a realm distinct from the empirical world, and has the same sort of Being as ethical ideals, like Justice, and mathematical entities, like numbers and perfect equality. But this conceptual knowledge is still abstract and detached. What

actions through verse, song and dance (Poetics, chs. I, 25). The second is the art of poetry. Thus the art of poetry is distinguished from painting in terms of its medium (words, melody, rhythm) and from versified history or philosophy (the poem of Empedocles) by virtue of the object it imitates. Two of the species of the poetic art are of primary concern to Aristotle: drama (either tragic or comic) and epic poetry. Tragedy and epic are distinguished from comedy by the seriousness or gravity of

is wholeness: being all there. "Due proportion or harmony" is a little less obvious. Thomas's application of this concept to the theological problem before him helps to fix its meaning: the Son, he says, has harmony in that he is the "express image" of the 1 The speculations of Stephen Dedalus in Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man are best known; see William T. Noon, S.]., Joyce and Aquinas (Yale, 1957), pp. 11-12 and ch. 2. 104 Aesthetics from Classical Greece to the Present

method, but also the central concept of the Cartesian physics that the whole universe and every individual body is a machine, and all movement, in consequence, mechanical. Hence the exhaustively precise nature of Le Brun's anatomy of the passions which treats the body as a complex instrument that records The Enlightenment: Cartesian Rationalism 153 with mechanical exactitude the invariable effects of emotional stimuli rather than as the vehicle of a humanly significant emotional life. 2 It is

thought to defend no less an extravagance than if he had maintained a molehill to be as high as Teneriffe, or a pond as extensive as the ocean" (II, 814). Where objects are nearly equal, the "principle of the natural equality of tastes" seems plausible; where objects are widely different in beauty, it is a "palpable absurdity." Now, it is evident, says Hume, that critical principles, or "rules of composition," are not a priori, but based upon experience; they can only be established by induction

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