The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible

Living Edition
| Editors: Vlad Petre Glăveanu (Editor-in-Chief)

Aesthetics

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-98390-5_146-1
  • 161 Downloads

Abstract

Aesthetics is a philosophical discipline whose modern roots can be traced back to the first half of the eighteenth century, when Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten thus named the “science of sensible knowledge,” forming a noun out of the Greek adjective aisthetike. He focused on the problem of sensation, recognizing that Aesthetics much be considered as its own specific field of inquiry whose laws can be recognized and, indeed, described (Baumgarten, Meditationes philosophicae de nonnullis ad poema pertinentibus. Halae Magdeburgicae: Litteris Ioannis Henrici Grunerti, acad. Typogr, 1735; Baumgarten, Aesthetica. G. Olms, Hildesheim, 1750). Aesthetics is thus caught between philosophy, poetics, and rhetoric, which had to work hard to find its own independent location. The discipline’s relative youth does not mean, however, that one can ignore its basis in classical philosophy, with which it has always been in dialogue from the eighteenth century onward. The great issues of Aesthetics, especially its reflection on theories of beauty, are rooted in classical thought, finding a full conceptual formulation and vocabulary in the Enlightenment, while augmenting reflection on creative processes within the arts and processes of reception. Through categories such as beauty, ugliness, the sublime, and kitsch, Aesthetics must come face to face today with a form of art whose borders are increasingly blurry and accept the disciplinary challenges laid down by neuro-aesthetics and technological hyper-realism, which are reanimating classical problems and terminology. Without being absorbed into new disciplinary and cultural horizons, contemporary Aesthetics is producing its own original standpoint, using its own conceptual tools to shed light on the new challenges that art, its creation, and enjoyment force us to confront.

Keywords

Aesthetics Enjoyment Taste Creation Genius Aesthetic categories 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Batteux, C. (1747). Les beaux-arts réduits à un même principe. Paris: Durand.Google Scholar
  2. Baudrillard, J. (1995). Le crime parfait. Paris: Galilée.Google Scholar
  3. Baumgarten A. G. (1735). Meditationes philosophicae de nonnullis ad poema pertinentibus. Halae Magdeburgicae: Litteris Ioannis Henrici Grunerti, acad. Typogr.Google Scholar
  4. Baumgarten, A. G. (1750). Aesthetica. Hildesheim: G. Olms. 1961.Google Scholar
  5. Blumenberg, H. (1979). Schiffbruch mit Zuschauer: Paradigma einer Daseinsmetapher. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  6. Brady, E. (2013). The sublime in modern philosophy: Aesthetics, ethics, and nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burke, E. (1757). A philosophical enquiry into the origin of our ideas of the sublime and beautiful. Oxford: Blackwell. 1990.Google Scholar
  8. Chatterjee, A., & Vartanian, O. (2016). Neuroscience of aesthetics. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 136(9), 172–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Danto, A. (2003). The abuse of beauty: Aesthetics and the concept of art. Chicago: Open Court.Google Scholar
  10. Dickie, G. (1974). Art and the Aestethic: An institutional analysis. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Diderot, D. (1751). Lettre sur les sourds et muets. Genève: E. Droz, 1965.Google Scholar
  12. Dorfles, G. (1972). Il Kitsch. Antologia del cattivo gusto. Milano: Mazzotta. 2000.Google Scholar
  13. Du Bos, J.-B. (1719). Réflexions critiques sur la poésie et sur la peinture. London: J. Nourse. 1748.Google Scholar
  14. Gerard, A. (1774). An essay on genius. München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag. 1966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Greenberg, C. (1939). Avant-Garde and Kitsch. Partisan Review, New York, VI(5), 34–49.Google Scholar
  16. Hegel, G. W. F. (1835). Aesthetics. Lectures on fine art (2 Vols). Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1975.Google Scholar
  17. Hume, D. (1757). Of the standard of taste. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. 1965.Google Scholar
  18. Kant, I. (1790). Critique of the power of judgment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2000.Google Scholar
  19. Leder, H. (2013). Next steps in neuroaesthetics: Which processes and processing stages to study. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 7(1), 27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mazzocut-Mis, M. (2012). How far can we go? Pain, excess and the obscene. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Pub.Google Scholar
  21. Menninghaus, W. (2003). Disgust: The theory and history of a strong sensation. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  22. Moles, A. (1971). Psychologie du kitsch: l’art du bonheur. Paris: Denoël-Gonthier.Google Scholar
  23. Montesquieu, C. L. d. S. d. (1757). Essai sur le goût. Paris: Payot & Rivages. 1993.Google Scholar
  24. Rosenkranz, K. (1853). Ästhetik des Hässlichen. Königsberg: Verlag der Gebrüder Vornträger.Google Scholar
  25. Schelling, F. W. J. (1796–1805). Philosophie der Kunst und weitere Schriften. Stuttgart: Frommann-Holzboog. 2018.Google Scholar
  26. Smuts, A. (2009). Art and negative affect. Philosophy Compass, 4(1), 39–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università degli StudiMilanItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alice Chirico
    • 1
  1. 1.Università Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly