A History of Modern Aesthetics: Volume 2, The Nineteenth Century


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A History of Modern Aesthetics narrates the history of philosophical aesthetics from the beginning of the eighteenth century through the twentieth century. Aesthetics began with Aristotle's defense of the cognitive value of tragedy in response to Plato's famous attack on the arts in The Republic, and cognitivist accounts of aesthetic experience have been central to the field ever since. But in the eighteenth century, two new ideas were introduced: that aesthetic experience is important because of emotional impact - precisely what Plato criticized - and because it is a pleasurable free play of many or all of our mental powers. This set tells how these ideas have been synthesized or separated by aestheticians of modern times. This second volume tells how over the course of the century philosophers in Germany, Britain, and eventually the United States struggled to return to a broader approach to the value of aesthetic experience by finding room for the emotional and playful aspects of art.

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Cambridge University Press
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