Full Text

Baumgarten, Alexander G(ottlieb) (1714–1762)

NICHOLAS DAVEY


Subject Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art » Aesthetics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405169226.2009.x


Extract

German philosopher and logician; a significant influence on Kant's aesthetics. The “father” of aesthetics and the first to employ the term in a distinctly philosophical context; his pseudonym was Aletheophilus, “friend of truth.” Baumgarten's principal doctrines were: 1  that aesthetics comprises a science of sensitive knowing (scientia cognitionis sensitivae) ; 2  that such knowing is not, as Spinoza and Leibniz believed, solely subordinate to logical knowledge but possesses an autonomy of its own; 3  that aesthetic knowledge exhibits its own perfection, here understood in the eighteenth-century manner as a specific activity achieving its fruition (per-facere) . Baumgarten accordingly conceived of the task of aesthetic knowing as the translation of an obscure sensuous manifold into a clear perceptual image. A professor of philosophy at Frankfurt and Halle, Baumgarten was known as a formidable logician, theological hermeneuticist, astute critic, and a follower of the rationalist Christian Wolff. Rather unjustly, Baumgarten is remembered solely for his definition of aesthetics as “the science of sensitive knowing” (Aesthetica §1), a science that touches neither on the nature of art per se nor on its social import but on the direct sensuous apprehension of its actuality. The context and purpose of his argument is, regrettably, hardly remembered. But given the vehement contemporary ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top