Ancient or Modern? Alexander G. Baumgarten and the Coming of Age of Aesthetics
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The aim of this essay is to examine Baumgarten’s conception on the history of aesthetics and on his role in it. In the first part, I analyze the way in which Baumgarten’s aesthetic innovation has been perceived by two of his disciples, namely Georg Conrad Winckelmann and Georg Andreas Will. While the former puts the emphasis on the modernity of aesthetics, Will seems more inclined to attribute the birth of aesthetics to ancient philosophers. Despite this apparent disagreement, my thesis is that the basic positions of the two authors are very similar and find their rationale in Baumgarten’s peculiar treatment of the issue. Consequently, I set out to inquire into Baumgarten’s theory, in the attempt to better understand his reconstruction of the empirical history of aesthetics. My purpose is to see how this empirical history is framed within a more systematic history which establishes its guidelines and marks its turning points. Eventually, I take into account the possible implications of... this position with regard to the question of the origin of aesthetics.
Keywords:Alexander G. Baumgarten / origin of aesthetics / history of aesthetics / 18th century aesthetics / german aesthetics
Source:Filozofija i društvo/Philosophy and Society, 2015, 629-651
- Beograd : Institut za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju
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