By Alessandro Giovannelli
The publication reconstructs the historical past of aesthetics, in actual fact illustrating an important makes an attempt to deal with such an important matters because the nature of aesthetic judgment, the prestige of paintings, and where of the humanities inside society. excellent for undergraduate scholars, the booklet lays the mandatory foundations for an entire and thorough realizing of this interesting topic.
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Additional resources for Aesthetics: The Key Thinkers
We can see, then, that the Poetics has inspired a number of important trends in aesthetics and promises to continue to do so. Perhaps the most significant debates the work has engendered focus on what role tragedy plays in ethical improvement, and on whether it is the essential goal of art that we learn from it. Regardless of the answers to these questions, Aristotle makes clear to us that artistic activity and aesthetic appreciation are an essential part of a fully human life. 1 Aristotle 33 Note 1 I thank Alessandro Giovannelli for his many very helpful comments and editorial advice on this chapter.
Though he embraces all these notions, Aquinas is primarily interested in those that have to do with sensory beauty, and stays away from any form of mysticism. Aquinas defines the beautiful as what a subject perceives with pleasure: that “the very perception of which pleases” (Summa Theologica, I-a IIae, q. 27). The two statements are compatible, since seeing, linked to the most important and noble organ, subsumes any other perceptual capacity. According to such a definition, then, the cause of pleasure produced by beauty does not trace to an absolute ideal; rather, in Aristotelian fashion, it is found in the dialectic between subject and object, that is, in the subjective recognition of the objectively beautiful and good qualities of an object when observed.
After asking “whether things are beautiful because they please or whether they please because they are beautiful,” Augustine responds that “they please because they are beautiful” (De vera religione, XXXII, 59), hence affirming the objective, autonomous character of sensory beauty, despite its nondivine nature. In defining such beauty, Augustine appeals to the criterion of proportion: the beautiful ( pulchrum), which is distinguished from both what is appropriate or fitting (aptum) and what is merely enjoyable (suave), is an objective quality of things, insofar as their makeup results from a harmony between the parts, governed by measure and number.
Aesthetics: The Key Thinkers by Alessandro Giovannelli