The same can be demonstrated by this reasoning also: we represent more in those things which we represent as good and bad for us than if we do not so represent them; therefore representations of things which are confusedly exhibited as good or bad for us are extensively clearer than if they were not so displayed, hence they are more poetic. Now such representations are motions of the affects, hence to arouse affects is poetic.
Baumgarten thus innovates within the formal structure of Wolffian philosophy in order to accommodate a non-cognitivist aspect of the aims of art. Aesthetics is in general the science of sensible cognition. This science concerns itself with everything that can be assigned in more detail to sensible cognition and to its presentation. Now since the passions have a strong influence on sensible cognition and its presentation, aesthetics for its part can rightly demand a theory of the emotions.
However, since Baumgarten himself does not give as much emphasis to the emotional aspect of the experience of art in his Aesthetica as his earlier Meditations might lead us to expect, perhaps because it remained incomplete, we will return to Meier's development of this theme only after we have considered Baumgarten's mature work. It is this liveliness rather than probative clarity which is the basis of aesthetic experience.
Baumgarten then defines judgment as the representation of the perfection or imperfection of things. So taste is the ability to judge perfections and imperfections sensibly rather than intellectually. Thus far, then, Baumgarten has remained within the conceptual framework of Wolff. I cognize the interconnection of some things distinctly, and of others indistinctly, consequently I have the faculty for both.
Consequently I have an understanding, for insight into the connections of things, that is, reason ratio ; and a faculty for indistinct insight into the connections of things, which consists of the following: 1 the sensible faculty for insight into the concordances among things, thus sensible wit; 2 the sensible faculty for cognizing the differences among things, thus sensible acumen; 3 sensible memory; 4 the faculty of invention; 5 the faculty of sensible judgment and taste together with the judgment of the senses; 6 the expectation of similar cases; and 7 the faculty of sensible designation.
All of these lower faculties of cognition, in so far as they represent the connections among things, and in this respect are similar to reason, comprise that which is similar to reason analogon rationis , or the sum of all the cognitive faculties that represent the connections among things indistinctly.
Baumgarten's departure from Wolff here may be subtle, but his idea is that the use of a broad range of our mental capacities for dealing with sensory representations and imagery is not an inferior and provisional substitute for reason and its logical and scientific analysis, but something parallel to reason. Moreover, this complex of human mental powers is productive of pleasure, through the sensible representation of perfection, in its own right.
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 cognition. The potential of this idea finally begins to emerge in the Aesthetica. Aesthetics the theory of the liberal arts, the logic of the lower capacities of cognition [ gnoseologia inferior ], the art of thinking beautifully, the art of the analogon rationis is the science of sensible cognition.
Baumgarten's list of synonyms may be confusing, for it includes both traditional and novel designations of his subject matter. He explains in the preface to the second edition of the Metaphysics that he. Vorreden zur Metaphysik , p. 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: he intends to provide a general science of sensible cognition rather than just a theory of the fine arts or our taste for them.
Although Baumgarten makes some broad claims for the new science, this is not where the novelty of the Aesthetica lies, for at least in the extant part of the work Baumgarten never actually develops this theme. Instead, the innovation comes at the beginning of the first chapter of the work, when Baumgarten writes that. 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.
Baumgarten's departure from Wolff's formula that beauty is the sensitive cognition of perfection may easily be overlooked, but in his transformation of that into his own formula that beauty is the perfection of sensitive cognition he is saying that beauty lies not—or as his subsequent practice suggests, not just—in the representation of some objective perfection in a form accessible to our senses, but rather—or also—in the exploitation of the specific possibilities of sensible representation for their own sake.
In other words, there is potential for beauty in the form of a work as well as in its content because its form can be pleasing to our complex capacity for sensible representation—the analogon rationis —just as its content can be pleasing to our theoretical or practical reason itself. The satisfaction of those mental powers summed up in the analogon rationis is a source of pleasure in its own right. What does this mean in practice? Here Baumgarten is importing the traditional rhetorical concepts of inventio , dispositio and elocutio into his system, and conceiving of the latter two, the harmony of the thoughts and the harmony of the expression with the thoughts, as the dimensions in which the potentials for pleasure within our distinctively sensible manner of representing and thinking are realized.
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. As it happened, Baumgarten did not live to complete even the first of these three parts. Further, the material he did complete suggests that he may have been more successful in making conceptual space for the appreciation of the particularly sensible aspects of art than in substantively changing how art is actually experienced.
Nevertheless, some of Baumgarten's categories of aesthetic qualities are important.
18th Century German Aesthetics
However, in his classroom lectures on the Aesthetica , Baumgarten particularly emphasized the moral magnitude of the subject matter of works of art as a major source of our pleasure in them, and there mentions that works of art will therefore be touching, that is to say, emotionally moving. Baumgarten stressed that the moral content of a work of art is only one source of beauty, and that a work of art can be beautiful without any moral grandeur.
What is important here, finally, is the moral standing of what is contained in the work of art, not the actual morality of the artist himself. Baumgarten did not extensively develop his comment that art must be touching, but this became central to Meier's aesthetics. Thus in the emotions the soul is sensitive of the strength of its powers, that is, of its perfection.
It must therefore necessarily be gratified with its own strength. It must be joyous when it feels as much as it can. Living cognition becomes alive through the sensible representations. The lower powers of the soul, the desires and aversions, constitute the life of a cognition. Everything that leaves our powers in peace when we cognize it is a dead cognition. Art aims for the opposite. Indeed, Meier continues that it is by arousing our passions that art achieves its goal of a clear but confused, that is, manifold but densely packed, cognition. For Meier, moving our emotions is not just some small part of the beauty of art, as Baumgarten seems to suggest.
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Instead, the arousal of our emotions, even ones that considered by themselves should be disagreeable, is the strongest source of the pleasure at which art aims because it is the most intense form of mental activity. 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.
Meier thereby prepared the way for the tremendous influence that British aesthetics would have in Germany by the end of the s. But while Meier stressed the activity of the mind and Baumgarten argued that aesthetic experience is based in an analogue of reason, not reason itself, neither was quite ready to introduce the idea of the free play of our mental powers as the fundamental source of our pleasure in aesthetic experience. That idea would be decisively introduced into German aesthetics only with Kant's unique synthesis of the preceding German tradition with the British tradition.
Before that was to happen, however, the ideas, emphasized more by Meier although already suggested by Baumgarten, that art aims at arousing our emotions and at the pleasurable activity of the mind, and at the former as an instance of the latter, would be further developed by an intervening generation of German thinkers. Let us now turn to some of those.
In a review of Meier's Extract from the Foundations of all fine Arts and Sciences , Moses Mendelssohn —86 rejected what he took to be the excessively abstract and a priori method of Baumgarten and Meier, writing that:. Just as little as the philosopher can discover the appearances of nature, without examples from experience, merely through a priori inferences, so little can he establish appearances in the beautiful world, if one can thus express oneself, without diligent observations.
The securest path of all, just as in the theory of nature, is this: One must assume certain experiences, explain their ground through an hypothesis, then test this hypothesis against experiences from a quite different species, and only assume those hypotheses to be general principles which have thus held their ground; one must finally seek to explain these principles in the theory of nature through the nature of bodies and motion, but in aesthetics through the nature of the lower powers of our soul.
Review of Meier, pp. He certainly does, but what he aims to do is to show that the perfections that can be realized in aesthetic experience are both more positive and more complicated than those recognized by Baumgarten. Mendelssohn's analysis of the complexity of aesthetic experience places more emphasis on the powers of mind and body involved in such experience than on the objective perfections that art may represent or nature contain.
His account further prepares the ground for the full-blown theory of aesthetic experience as based in a play of our powers that will subsequently be achieved by Kant and Schiller.
18th Century German Aesthetics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
But in his emphasis on the role of the body as well as the mind in aesthetic experience, Mendelssohn goes beyond his successors. Mendelssohn followed his rabbi from Dessau to Berlin at the age of fourteen. At twenty-one, he became a tutor in the home of a Jewish silk manufacturer, at twenty-five his accountant, subsequently his manager, and finally a partner in the business, in which he would work full-time for the rest of his life.
But by twenty-five Mendelssohn had also mastered not only literary German but Greek, Latin, French, and English as well as a vast range of literature and philosophy in all those languages. He had also become friends with the critic and playwright Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and the writer and publisher Friedrich Nicolai, and begun an active publishing career. In , before he turned twenty-six, Mendelssohn published Philosophical Dialogues on the model of Shaftesbury, On Sentiments , and, with Lessing, Pope, a Metaphysician!
The next year he published Thoughts on Probability and a translation of Rousseau's second discourse On the Origins of Inequality. From to he collaborated with Lessing and Nicolai on the Library of Fine Sciences and Liberal Arts , for which he wrote two dozen reviews of new works in aesthetics and literature, and from to he contributed nearly one hundred reviews to Nicolai's Letters concerning the newest Literature , discussing works not only in aesthetics and literature but also metaphysics, mathematics, natural science, and politics Gesammelte Schriften , vol.
In he published the first edition of his Philosophical Writings , mostly on aesthetics, and in he took first place in a Prussian Academy of Sciences essay competition for an essay on Evidence in Metaphysical Sciences , beating out the entry by Kant. In , Mendelssohn published Phaedo: or on the Immortality of the Soul , loosely based on Plato's dialogue of the same name, an immensely popular work. His masterpiece Jerusalem, or on Religious Power and Judaism , in which he argued for the civil rights of the Jews by arguing that the state had no right to recognize any religion at all and therefore must allow all religions freedom from interference, was published in In , he returned to philosophy one last time with Morning Lessons , a magisterial summary of his own version of Wolffianism.
By this time, however, he was caught up in a strenuous controversy with the fideist philosopher Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi over whether his lifelong friend Lessing had been a Spinozist. In the midst of this controversy he died of a stroke in January, , at the age of fifty-six. Mendelssohn worked within the framework of Wolffian metaphysics and psychology, and thus he accepted the definition of sensible perception as clear but confused cognition.
But Mendelssohn vigorously rejected any interpretation of the Wolffian premise according to which the confusion of sensible perception itself could be the source of our pleasure in it. Mendelssohn's explicit thesis 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, it is the latter that is the source of our pleasure.
It might seem a stretch to read him as also suggesting that it is the play of the mind back and forth between its perception of the parts and its grasp of the whole that is pleasant. 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 we 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.
While rejecting any interpretation of obscurity or confusion as itself the source of our pleasure in beauty On Sentiments , note h; Philosophical Writings , p. Yet Mendelssohn no more rejects the idea that works of art do arouse our emotions and that they are, at least in many cases, imitations of nature than he rejects the idea that the perception of perfection and the perfection of perception is central to our experience of beauty and other aesthetic properties.
So how does he fit all of these ideas together into his own distinctive theory? Mendelssohn never presented his aesthetic theory in a full-length treatise. We therefore need to supplement what we can glean from this essay with suggestions from On Sentiments and the Rhapsody, or addition to the Letters on Sentiments that he added to his collection. Perfection along any of these axes is a potential source of pleasure in the experience of an object, and the effect of these sources of pleasure can be additive, each increasing our pleasure in the same object.
Mendelssohn's characterization of the intrinsic perfection of objects in nature and thus of the objects depicted in representational art follows in the path already marked out by Wolff: the perfection of an object lies in the order, symmetry, and rational coherence of its parts, and its beauty lies in that perfection insofar as it can be grasped in sensible cognition. Thus in On Sentiments Mendelssohn writes that we. In the case of natural objects, this order is comprised by both the internal organization of an object to suit its overall goal and the part that the particular object plays in nature as a whole.
Everything capable of being represented to the senses as a perfection could also present an object of beauty. Belonging here are all the perfections of external forms, that is, the lines, surfaces, and bodies and their movements and changes; the harmony of the 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. 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.
When Mendelssohn refers to the capabilities of our soul and the skills of our body here, he is referring to them as objects for depiction or description in a work of art, thus as part of the content of works of art. This is how he fits into his model the representation of human intentions, actions, and responses to them, which are the subject matter of most mimetic art. The next axis of perfection that Mendelssohn considers is the state of our mind in response to perfection or imperfection in a real or represented object.
Mendelssohn answers this question this by saying that. Each individual representation stands in a twofold relation. It is related, at once, to the matter before it as its object of which it is a picture or copy and then to the soul or the thinking subject of which it constitutes a determination.
As a determination of the soul, many a representation can have something pleasant about it although, as a picture of the object, it is accompanied by disapproval and a feeling of repugnance. Rhapsody ; Philosophical Writings , p. Several points about this passage need comment. In relation to the thinking subject, the soul, on the other hand, perceiving and cognizing the features as well as testifying to enjoying them or not constitutes something actual [ Sachliches ] that is posited in the soul, an affirmative determination of the soul.
Hence every representation, at least in relation to the subject, as an affirmative predicate of the thinking entity, must have something about it that we like. For even the picture of the deficiency of the object, just like the expression of discontent with it, are not deficiencies on the part of the thinking entity, but rather affirmative and actual determinations of it…. Rhapsody ; Philosophical Writings , pp.
It is striking how Mendelssohn writes here in gerundives and infinitives rather than in substantives in order to convey a sense of mental activity: recognizing and approving or even disapproving are actions of the mind in knowing and desiring. We enjoy that mental activity, even when it is stimulated by the representation of something of which we disapprove, and we enjoy the representation even of something evil as long as our pleasure in the activity of representing is not overwhelmed by disapproval of the object of the representation.
The contrast between perfection or imperfection in the content of a representation and the enjoyable activity of the mind in representing that content is the heart of Mendelssohn's theory, so we can interrupt our catalogue of all four of the axes of perfection that he recognizes for some comments on this contrast. The first thing to be noticed is that Mendelssohn here emphasizes the engagement of our powers of both knowing and desiring in aesthetic experience, not merely the power of knowing.
This gives him room to add an emphasis on our enjoyment of the arousal of our emotions to Baumgarten's emphasis on our enjoyment of the perfection of sensible cognition. Now, as we saw, Baumgarten in fact made room for this dimension of aesthetic experience in his early Meditations on Poetry , even though he did not take it up again in the Aesthetica , and Meier emphasized it in several of his works. Mendelssohn writes,. If the objects gets too close to us, if we regard it as a part of us or even as ourselves, the pleasant character of the representation completely disappears, and the relation to the subject immediately becomes an unpleasant relation to us since here subject and object collapse, as it were, into one another.
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. In fact, Mendelssohn's analysis of our mixed emotions in the experience of tragedy is even more subtle than this, for a further aspect of it is that our knowledge that we are experiencing represented rather than real people allows us to enjoy sympathy with the perfections of the noble characters who are depicted rather than pity at their weaknesses or at the fate that overcomes them.
But rather than pursuing this, I want to make to make one further point about Mendelssohn's general account of our enjoyment of the engagement of our powers of knowing and desiring. There he says that. One usually divides the faculties of the soul into the faculty of cognition and the faculty of desire, and assigns the sentiment of pleasure and displeasure to the faculty of desire. 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.
We contemplate the beauty of nature and of art, without the least arousal of desire, with gratification and satisfaction. It seems to be a particular mark of beauty that we contemplate it with quiet satisfaction; that it pleases, even if we do not possess it, and that is remote from the urge to possess it.
Morgenstunden , Lesson VII, p. Mendelssohns' introduction of a faculty of approval in may have been influential for Kant's elevation of judgment to a faculty on a par with understanding and reason, signaled in his letter of December 25, , to Karl Leonhard Reinhold, a decisive step in the genesis of the third critique. But as far as Mendelssohn is concerned, his explanation of the faculty of approval shows that his basic theory has not changed.
By introducing this faculty, he wants to emphasize that the experience of beauty or other aesthetic qualities is not actual knowledge, nor does it lead to specific desires and actions except perhaps the desire to be able to continue contemplating an object already found to have been beautiful. But what satisfies the faculty of approval is still the activity of the other mental powers.
Thus Mendelssohn writes, first with reference to the power of cognition but then with reference to desire as well, that. We can consider the cognition of the soul in different respects; either in so far as it is true or false, which I call the material aspect in cognition; or in so far as arouses pleasure or displeasure, has as its consequence the approval or disapproval of the soul, and this can be called the formal aspect in cognition.
Every concept, in so far as it is merely thinkable, has something that pleases the soul, that occupies its activity, and is thus cognized by it with satisfaction and approval….
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. What we cognize as the best in this comparison works on our faculty of desire and stimulates it, where it finds no resistance, to activity. This is the side on which the faculty of approval touches demand or desire. Morgenstunden , Lesson VII, pp. Ordinarily, the faculty of cognition aims at truth, and the faculty of desire aims at action.
The faculty of approval, however, aims just for the pleasing activity of the other two faculties without their usual results. The faculty of approval should be distinguished from the faculties of cognition and desire, since it does not aim at the same results they do. 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.
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. In other words, although as a rationalist metaphysician Mendelssohn maintains the formal distinction between the mind and the body the mind is simple and indivisible, while body is essentially divisible , as a psychologist and aesthetician he nevertheless sees them as in the most intimate interaction, with the perception of harmony by the body infusing the mind with a pleasant sense of harmony that then further stimulates the harmonious condition of the body.
In explaining this source of pleasure, Mendelssohn also makes another revision to the traditional theory that it is resemblance alone that is the source of our pleasure in imitation, because resemblance is easily produced by means far less complex and admirable than all of the faculties that go into artistry—a point that Plato had already made when he had Socrates argue that if it is mere imitation that the artist were after, he could just go around with a mirror Plato, Republic , Book X, d—e :.
All works of art are visible imprints of the artist's abilities which, so to speak, put his entire soul on display and make it known to us. This perfection of spirit arouses an uncommonly greater pleasure than mere similarity, because it is more worthy and far more complex than similarity. It is all the more worthy the more that the perfection of rational beings is elevated above the perfection of lifeless things, and also more complex because many abilities of the soul and often diverse skills of the external limbs as well are required for a beautiful imitation.
We find more to admire in a rose by Huysum than in the image that every river can reflect of this queen of the flowers; and the most enchanting landscape in a camera obscura does not charm us as much as it can through the brush of a great landscape painter. Mendelssohn explicitly recognizes the physical skills as well as the mental powers of the artist as among the perfections that we indirectly admire in admiring the work of art; this is another example of his recognition of the close connection between mind and body in spite of their metaphysical distinction.
However, although human artistry may concentrate beauty more than nature does, that hardly means that artistic beauty is in all regards superior to natural beauty. The arbitrary signs could also be called conventional. In the case of rhetoric, moreover, there was a long tradition going back to antiquity of formulating rules for how persuasion can be achieved, and perhaps this made it seem like more of a science than an art to Mendelssohn.
A similar point would be made a century later by the music critic Eduard Hanslick. Mendelssohn next assumes that only hearing and sight can convey natural signs, and then observes that. This leads Mendelssohn to the point that although works of music, dance, and for that matter poetry themselves take place through a succession of moments and can thereby convey a succession of movements, painting and sculpture can represent only a single moment in the history of their objects.
The painter and sculptor must therefore. They must assemble the entire action into a single perspective and divide it up with a great deal of understanding. In this instant everything must be rich in thoughts and so full of meaning that every accompanying concept makes its own contribution to the required meaning. When we view such a painting [or sculpture] with due attention, our senses are all at once inspired, all the abilities of our soul suddenly enlivened, and the imagination can from the present infer the past and reliably anticipate the future.
Mendelssohn's thesis that the visual arts must convey all of their content through their representation of an object at a single moment while other arts can represent movements and actions in, as we would say, real time, would be used as a premise in a famous controversy between his friend Lessing and the renowned historian of ancient art Johann Joachim Winckelmann, to which we will turn in a moment.
But before doing so, we must complete our survey of Mendelssohn's aesthetics with a comment on his discussion of the sublime. Mendelssohn was instrumental in introducing the topic of the sublime into German aesthetics, publishing a lengthy review of Burke's book on the beautiful and the sublime in , just a year after it appeared in England reprinted in Mendelssohn, Gesammelte Schriften , volume 4, pp.
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. But the feeling of awe at immensity does not yet complete the complex experience of the sublime; for that, there must also be an element of admiration at a perfection—for remember that Mendelssohn's project is still to ground all aesthetic experience on the underlying principle of pleasure in perfection.
So the immensity which inspires us with awe must also be interpreted as a manifestation of perfection. Mendelssohn then invokes the same distinction he employed in his discussion of artistry. The immensity which fills us with awe may be either a product of divine artistry, in which case. What especially pleases us in the case of art, considered as art, is the reference to the spiritual gifts of the artist which make themselves visibly known. If they bear the characteristics of an uncommon genius…then they inspire awe on our part.
We may now turn to the famous controversy between Lessing and Winckelmann, built upon Mendelssohn's distinction between the arts of form and the arts of movement. Johann Joachim Winckelmann — , the son of a cobbler from Prussia, studied at Halle and Jena, and became a school teacher. But at thirty-one he got a position as a librarian for a nobleman in Dresden, and gained access to the court of the Elector of Saxony, home of one of the great art collections of Europe, and also a Catholic court that ultimately gave him access to Rome.
He was working on a revision of it when he was murdered in Trieste in June of , while returning to Rome from Vienna, where the Empress Maria Theresa had awarded him a collection of gold and silver medallions. Winckelmann spent his two years in Halle —40 while Baumgarten was still teaching there and Meier was also a student. But his writing offers no evidence that he knew their works. His History of 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.
He shares with Wolff and Batteux the assumption that art derives its beauty from the imitation of nature, and derives the most beauty from the imitation of beauty in nature. Thus he writes that. Art, as an imitator of nature, should always seek out what is natural for the form of beauty, and should avoid, as much as is possible, all that is violent, because even the beauty in life can become displeasing through forced gestures.
However, Winckelmann believes that natural beauty itself lies not merely in the superficial appearance of bodies but, at least in the case of human beauty, is an expression of the thought and character of persons:. Above all things, one is to be attentive to the particular, characteristic thoughts in works of art, which sometimes stand like expensive pearls in a string of inferior ones, and can get lost among them. 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.
Winckelmann clearly belongs to the tradition that finds beauty in the truthful representation of the objective perfections of body and mind, rather than in the stimulation of the play of the mental powers of the audience for beauty. His topic is thus in the first instance the imitation of ancient art, not imitation in ancient art. Winckelmann's second point is that the Greek climate and way of life were conducive to the development of art.
He makes the general claim that freedom is conducive to the development of art:. Art claims liberty: in vain would nature produce her noblest offsprings, in a country where rigid laws would choke her progressive growth, as in Egypt, that pretended parent of sciences and arts: but in Greece, where, from their earliest youth, the happy inhabitants were devoted to mirth and pleasure, where narrow-spirited formality never restrained the liberty of manners, the artist enjoyed nature without a veil.
Winckelmann then makes the specific point that freedom from excessive clothing among the Greeks, particularly in their gymnastic and athletic exercises, gave their artists unparalleled opportunity to observe and to learn to represent the beauty of their bodies:. The Gymnasies, where, sheltered by public modesty, the youths exercised themselves naked, were the schools of art…. Here beautiful nakedness appeared with such a liveliness of expression, such truth and variety of situations, such a noble air of the body, as it would be ridiculous to look for in any hired model of our academies.
Winckelmann's reference to expression and nobility here points the way to his last claim, that above all the bodily beauty of the Greeks is an expression of their mental and moral beauty:. The last and most eminent characteristic of the Greek works is a noble simplicity and sedate grandeur in Gesture and Expression. As the bottom of the sea lies peaceful beneath a foaming surface, a great soul lies sedate beneath the strife of passions in Greek figures. The version of this statue that was unearthed near Naples in and quickly acquired by Pope Julius II for the Vatican, where it has been displayed ever since, is now thought to be a Roman copy of a Pergamese bronze from the second century BCE, and may or may not be the same one described by Pliny Natural History , XXXV.
Winckelmann took it to be a classical Greek work. Be that as it may, Winckelmann writes:. Pangs piercing every muscle, every labouring nerve; pangs which we almost feel ourselves, while we consider—not the face, nor the most expressive parts—only the belly contracted by excruciating pains: these however, I say, exert not themselves with violence, either in the face or gesture.
The Expression of so great a soul is beyond the force of mere nature. It was in his own mind the artist was to search for the strength of spirit with which he marked his marble. 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.
But his basic point remains: since in his view the statue itself was Greek, the noble simplicity and quiet grandeur of the Greek soul inevitably manifests itself and elevates these figures caught in a moment of supreme suffering to the highest level of beauty. Winckelmann's History of Ancient Art , published 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. To general statements on beauty as unity and simplicity History , p. Expression is an imitation of the active and suffering states of our minds and our bodies and of passions as well as deeds…Stillness is the state most proper to beauty, as it is to the sea, and experience shows that the most beautiful beings are of a still and well-mannered nature.
History , p.
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Beneath the brow, the battle between pain and resistance, as if concentrated in this one place, is composed with great wisdom…Thus, where the greatest pain is expressed, the greatest beauty is also to be found. History , pp. Lessing, like Mendelssohn born in , was 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.
But at twenty, he left the university and went to Berlin to make a career as a writer. There he quickly met among others Voltaire, at that time employed by Frederick the Great, as well as Mendelssohn. In , Lessing had his great success with the bourgeois tragedy Miss Sara Sampson , which initiated a new direction in the German theater. In , he started collaborating with Mendelssohn and Friedrich Nicolai on the Letters concerning the newest literature.
He returned to Berlin again in , but, disappointed in his hopes for the position of Royal Librarian, went to Hamburg in as director of the National Theater. The program notes he wrote in that capacity became his Hamburg Dramaturgy , his most extended critical work. There he wrote the tragedy Emilia Galotti and his famous plea for religious tolerance in the form of Nathan the Wise , a play inspired by Mendelssohn. In addition to various theological polemics, he also published his Education of the Human Race the year before his death.
So he concludes that. Once this has been established, it necessarily follows that whatever else these arts may include must give way completely if not compatible with beauty, and, if compatible, must at least be subordinate to it. The demands of beauty could not be reconciled with [his] pain in all its disfiguring violence, so it had to be reduced. 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.
I should prefer that only those be called works of art in which the artist had occasion to show himself as such and in which beauty was his first and ultimate aim. Lessing does not appeal to any philosophical theory to back up this insistence. Here Lessing at least tacitly invokes the new theory that the play of our mental powers rather than the representation of some form of truth is the fundamental aim of art, or at least visual art.
Lessing continues his argument by turning to the other half of Mendelssohn's theory, that is, to the claim that poetry is an art that can represent a succession of events over time rather than one moment in time. Here his implication is that sight actually constrains the imagination, while non-visual media—in other words, poetry—free the imagination for a wider play with both ideas and emotions. This point could also be thought to depend on one of Mendelssohn's ideas, namely his contrast between natural and arbitrary or conventional signs.
He wants rather to make the ideas he awakens in us so vivid that at the moment we believe that we feel the real impressions which the objects of these ideas would produce in us. In this moment of illusion we should cease to be conscious of the means which the poet uses for this purpose, that is, his words. 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.
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. Lessing thus touches upon the new idea that aesthetic response is based on the free play of our mental powers stimulated by an object, in his case always by a work of art, and he exploits several of Mendelssohn's theoretical tools.
He should nevertheless be seen as a practicing critic using theoretical developments for his own purposes rather than as a theorist in his own right. However, his criticism immediately triggered more philosophical aesthetics in response. 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. Sulzer's combination of the aesthetics of truth and play would in turn prepare the way for Kant, while Herder's final work, more than twenty years after he completed his main work in aesthetics, would be a critique of Kant's aesthetics.
This section will also include a discussion of the aesthetic theory of Marcus Herz, who was first a student of Kant and then a friend of Mendelssohn, but who developed an aesthetic theory that is in interesting ways independent of both. Johann Gottfried Herder — is most often remembered for his philosophy of history, expounded with relative brevity in his work This Too a Philosophy of History for the Education of Humanity and at great length in his Ideas for the Philosophy of History of Humanity , published from to Our focus here will be on Herder's work in aesthetics, which fully occupied him for the first fifteen years of his career, as well as at the very end of his career, when he wrote a vigorous polemic against the aesthetic theory of Kant.
In this section we will consider Herder's early work in aesthetics, while discussion of his later work will be reserved for section 9. 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. From to , he taught school in Riga, and then left for a tour of France and Western Germany, during which he met the young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, shortly to become famous for The Sorrows of Young Werther.
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. Herder's first major work in aesthetics, Fragments on Recent German Literature , appeared in , when he was only twenty-three. The first three volumes of his next work, the Groves of Criticism Kritische Waelder were published in The fourth volume, a polemic against the now equally forgotten Friedrich Justus Riedel, who had published a hodgepodge Theory of the Fine Arts and Sciences: Extracts from various Authors in , remained unpublished during Herder's lifetime.
Herder did, however, restate its most important ideas in Sculpture: Some Observations on Shape and Form from Pygmalion's Creative Dream , begun in although itself not completed and published until Herder's work on Sculpture was interrupted by several of what are now his best-known works, the Treatise on the Origin of Language and This Too a Philosophy of History for the Education of Humanity In these works Kant's harsh criticisms of his quondam student's Ideas for a Philosophy of History of Humanity were repaid with interest. Lessing, as we saw, had argued that visual art presents an object as it is at a single moment and thus can only intimate an action, while poetry describes a succession of states comprising an action and thus can represent an object only by describing the act of producing it; he also argued that beauty is the first law of the visual arts and thus that a work of art must not only depict an object at a pregnant moment in an action or event but must also depict it at a beautiful moment.
In his critique in the first of his Groves of Criticism , Herder argues that Lessing's division of the arts was too schematic and incomplete, offering three particular points of criticism against Lessing. He first claims that Lessing fails to explain why beauty must be the first law of the visual arts. He further insists that there is an essential difference within the so-called visual arts that Lessing fails to capture, namely that painting is concerned strictly with with the sense of sight whereas the aesthetics of sculpture in fact derive primarily from the sense of touch.
Herder's third critical thesis is that Lessing's emphasis on time and succession in poetry better fits the art of music, which Lessing ignored, while the essence of poetry lies not in such an accidental feature of the kind of signs that it uses but in the way in which it captures and communicates the energy of real life, something no other art does equally well. Herder's contrast between painting and sculpture becomes central in the argument of the fourth of the Groves of Criticism and in the essay on Sculpture , so let us consider the other two themes first and then return to that one.
Herder's first charge is that Lessing fails to explain why beauty must be the first law of the visual arts. In Herder's view, visual art must aim at beauty because only in that way can it overcome the essential conflict between its own spatial, static character and the incessantly changing, transitory character of everything in nature. In nature everything is transitory, the passion of the soul and the sensation of the body: the activity of the soul and the motion of the body: every state of changeable finite nature.
Now if art has only one instant in which everything is to be contained: then every alterable state of nature is unnaturally immortalized through it, and thus with this principle all imitation of nature through art cease. In other words, our pleasure in beauty in a sense lifts us out of the ordinary passage of time. However, this opening sally against Lessing is misleading in two regards, first for its suggestion that the task for aesthetics is to give a better explanation of beauty than Lessing did and second for its suggestion that aesthetics must be grounded on a metaphysical distinction between mind and body.
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. This is a result of his emphasis on the connection between thought and speech, bodily sensation and expression, and the natural and man-made environment of the linguistic community. 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.
Herder also argues that both sculpture, which he emphatically distinguishes from painting, and poetry ultimately aim much more at truth than at beauty. 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. In fact, Herder suggests two different classifications of the arts, and a central challenge in the interpretation of his aesthetics is to see how they are connected.
In the first of the Groves of Criticism , Herder 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. Lessing thereby misses what is essential to poetry altogether, namely that it communicates to us the real force of objects, including but not limited to actions, and thus most deeply engages our own force in response.
Both painting—which Herder is thus far, like Lessing, using as a generic term for the visual arts comprising both painting proper and sculpture—and music use natural signs, that is, signs that communicate the thought of their objects to us by means of resemblance between their own fundamental properties and the fundamental properties of their objects. Painting and music are thus best suited to represent objects in space and successions of events in time. Herder turns Lessing's distinction between natural and artificial signs against him, arguing that precisely because poetry uses artificial rather than natural signs its content is in no fundamental way constrained by the natural properties of its signs themselves.
Thus, in the proper hands poetry can effectively represent anything , and in this way it certainly has a wider sphere of truth accessible to it than painting or music do. But this is only the first step of Herder's argument. The second step argues that just as Lessing's division of the arts into painting and poetry is incomplete, the distinction between space and time on which the former division is based is also incomplete. Rare Books E. Heywood Hill Ltd G.
MacManus Co. Dourgarian, Bookman James M. Hill, Bookseller Inc. Jonkers Rare Books Joseph J. Felcone Inc. Philippe Beguin Affiches et livres ancien Phillip J. Wilfrid M. Rudi Thoemmes Rare Books. Neue vermehrte Ausgabe. Breslau: Gottl. Printed for the first time here are seven appendices Beylagen, pp. Seyffer of a pendulum clock and 'Solem dicere falsum audet.
Leibniz', bringing this important work to its final form. Immanuel Kants philosophischer Entwurf zum ewigen Frieden. WorldCat lists 6 copies 4 Germany, 2 Netherlands. Adickes Frankfurt und Leipzig, Warda Jena, Academische Buchhandlung, Warda , Adickes Ueber Kants Kritik der Urtheilskraft. Neue Auflage. Neuwied: Johann Ludwig Gehra, [bound after] F.
Berlin: Johann Friedrich Unger, Spazier Though called a 'new edition', it is certainly the first appearance under this title. Adickes says it may be identical with the same publisher's 'Versuch einer kurzen und fasslichen Darstellung der teleologischen Principien: ein Auszug aus Kants Kritik der teleologischen Urtheilskraft', , which is equally rare.
He is almost the only representative of the German Enlightenment who advocated a radical critique of religion that tended towards atheism and materialism' Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century German Philosophers. The accompanying copy of Schelling's Bruno is a first edition. System des transscendentalen Idealismus. Cotta, This was Schelling's most systematic and mature exposition of his Naturphilosophie, published seven years after Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre and seven years before Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.
Through Coleridge, Schelling's influence and particularly that of this book on the English romantics was considerable. Schneeberger Aus dem Lateinischen. Gera: Christoph Friedrich Bekmann, Volumes 2 and 3, containing the Ethica, appeared in and Immanuel Kant in seinen letzten Lebensjahren.
- Eric y el medallón mágico (Spanish Edition).
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First edition. From the library of the statesman Wilhelm Ludwig Leopold Freiherr von Berstett , with his bookplate. Philosophie und Religion. Schneegerger Schelling is therefore confronted with explaining why there is a transition from the absolute to the finite world. The question which comes to concern Schelling is how philosophy can come to terms with a ground which cannot be regarded as the rational explanation of the finite world' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Erster Band [all published]. It was included here in the first of a projected multi-volume Works edition, but no further volumes appeared.
The four other works in the collection had been previously published: I. Geschrieben im Jahre , pp. Geschrieben in den Jahren und , pp. Canterbury supplement, Hamburg [i. This is Bayle's forceful and important argument for universal religious tolerance, written in the wake of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. It purports to be a translation from the English of one 'Jean Fox de Bruggs', and to be published at 'Cantorbery'.
The Biblical quotation in the title is from Luke 14, verse 'And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled' - words that had traditionally been used to justify forced conversions. Bayle's toleration theory, in other words, rests squarely on the pseudo-fideist argument that there is no way rationally to ascertain which is the true faith - or whether there is a true faith.
Observations concerning the Distinction of Ranks in Society. London: Printed by W. Richardson, for John Murray, Here he puts forward the proto-Marxian view that the economic base determines all social relations, including those between men and women. Building on Hume, Adam Smith, and their respective natural histories of man, Millar developed a progressive account of the nature of authority in society by analyzing changes in subsistence, agriculture, arts, and manufacture.
In particular, he argues that, with the progress of arts and manufacture, authority tends to become less violent and concentrated, and ranks tend to diversify. Grierson, a very good copy. In the Introduction Kant gives the full text of a letter of reprimand by Frederick Willhelm and his own answer. He also rejoices that there is now enlightened government again, releasing the human spirit from its chains.
Even though Kant tried to unify these three disparate themes into a book, it is only the first essay [on the relation between the philosophical and the theological faculties] that deals with such a conflict. The second is indeed an interesting essay [on whether the human race is progressing] but whether it amounts to a discussion of the relation between the faculty of philosophy and the faculty of law may be doubted. The third essay [ostensibly on the conflict between philosophy and medicine] is highly interesting for understanding Kant's own view of life and death' Kuehn, Kant, A Biography, pp.
Warda , Adickes 96a. Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten. Neueste Auflage. Adickes 58; Warda This copy has a sheet of early notes inserted loose. Dritte verbesserte Auflage. Hamburg, Perthes, Schelling argues, against Kant, that there is no need to posit a separate vital principle in addition to the ultimate laws governing both animate and inanimate nature, because those ultimate laws are themselves organic. Berlinische Monatsschrift. Herausgegeben von F. Gedike und J. Berlin: Unger und Haude und Spener, Biester, eds 28 volumes, complete. The Berlinische Monatsschrift was the main publication spreading the Enlightenment in Germany.
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