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Download Diotima's Children: German Aesthetic Rationalism from by Frederick C. Beiser PDF

By Frederick C. Beiser

Diotima's kids is a re-evaluation of the rationalist culture of aesthetics which prevailed in Germany within the overdue 17th and eighteenth century. it really is partially an historic survey of the principal figures and topics of this custom however it is usually a philosophical safeguard of a few of its prime rules, viz., that good looks performs an necessary position in existence, that aesthetic excitement is the notion of perfection, that aesthetic ideas are inevitable and precious. It exhibits that the criticisms of Kant and Nietzsche of this practice are principally unfounded. The rationalist culture merits re-assessment since it is of serious ancient importance, marking the start of recent aesthetics, paintings feedback, and paintings heritage.

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Extra resources for Diotima's Children: German Aesthetic Rationalism from Leibniz to Lessing

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They help us to distinguish objects on the basis of colors, sounds, odors, and flavors; but they do not see into the essence of these qualities themselves. , vibrations in the air or the motions of particles. We can know these parts only by inference; and we do not understand how their activity produces the characteristic qualities of sense; for example, why just this refraction of light makes us see red rather than blue. Sense qualities are indeed so mysterious, Leibniz argues, that we cannot provide even nominal definitions of them.

All the knowledge they merely suggest and adumbrate is more accurately developed by the sciences. In a few places Leibniz applies his analysis of sense qualities to aesthetic experience. ²⁸ That special ‘‘Je ne sais quoi’’ of a poem or picture comes from our incapacity to define its sense qualities. If we were to analyze these qualities into their components, they would lose their aesthetic appeal entirely. Hence Leibniz writes in the Nouveaux Essais: it is self-contradictory to want these confused images to persist while wanting their components to be discerned by the imagination itself.

Jahrhundert bis zur Kritik der Urteilskraft, the first (and, as it happened, only) volume of his Kants Kritik der Urteilskraft: Ihre Geschichte und Systematik (Halle: Niemeyer, 1923). Though a rabid national-socialist, Baeumler deserves credit for stressing the importance of the irrationality problem, and for recognizing its formative role in the development of rationalism. It is remarkable, however, how narrowly he conceives the problem. He equates it with the problem of the ineffable individual, the ‘‘Je ne sais quoi’’; he neglects all the important issues arising from genius, the sublime, and tragedy.

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