The Resource The aesthetic sentiment

The aesthetic sentiment

The aesthetic sentiment
The aesthetic sentiment
"To the ancient Greeks the word aisthesis, from which the English word aesthetics is derived, simply denoted sense-perception. The present meaning of the word aesthetics does not retain this simple connotation. The first author to vise the term in its modern sense was Alexander Baumgarten (1714-62). The current meaning of aesthetics, since his time, has been defined briefly by Heinrich Schmidt as follows: "Aesthetics [is] the knowledge of the beautiful in nature and art, of its character [Wesen], of its conditions, and of its conformity to law." If we wish to abbreviate this definition, emphasizing aesthetics as an active discipline, we may say: Aesthetics is the systematic study of the nature of beauty. Aesthetics, thus defined, has a broad scope including at least three modes of approach. These approaches are not mutually independent; nevertheless, a discourse on aesthetics may emphasize one or the other. Their interdependence as well as their relative independence might be illustrated by the attached figure of a triangle. Let the points of the triangle, M, V, and A, stand, respectively, for man, value, and art. The sides of the figure, then, will indicate the relations which are focussed in the three types of approach: (1) M-V, the relation of man to value or of value to man is a philosophical problem fundamental to aesthetics as well as to ethics. It is the axiological problem. (2) V-A, the relation of value to art or of art to value is, again, a philosophical subject matter. It concerns the comparative status of beauty among values. (3) M-A, the relation of man to art or of art to man is the psychological problem par excellence. The comparative remoteness, difficulty, and speculative nature of the two philosophical problems, (a) and (b), have been indicated by the two oblique sides of the triangle being longer than the vertical one. Fully realizing the inappropriateness of sharply separating the three approaches to aesthetics, I can fairly say that the emphasis of the present work is psychological. Most writers on the psychology of aesthetics have divided the field of inquiry into two main problem groups: (1) The problems of aesthetic enjoyment or of appreciation; (2) the problems of aesthetic creation or of the art-impulse. It is almost unnecessary to state that a sharp separation of the problems of these contrasted types is untenable. Nevertheless, different authors have written their treatises with emphasis upon one or the other of the problem groups. In choosing as my topic the inquiry into the nature of the aesthetic sentiment, I profess to deal with fundamental aspects common to each of the two problems. My method has been descriptive and comparative as well as theoretical. I have attempted to compare aesthetic experience and artistic creation, with other modes of experiencing and creating; having sought, in that way, to establish both the similarities and the fundamental differences between aesthetic and non-aesthetic activities. The results of such comparative analysis have then been theoretically interpreted. A reader who chooses for inspection a book on psychology is tuned, by the bent of present-day psychology, to expect many reviews of experiments conducted in the psychological laboratory. There is little reference to experiments in my work; rather, there is much non-technical reflection upon human life and human nature in the broadest sense of these words. There is also inescapable reflection upon universal nature and upon man's place in nature. In that regard, the work is metapsychological or philosophical"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
Additional physical form
Also issued in print
Cataloging source
no index present
LC call number
LC item number
.L8 1941
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
The aesthetic sentiment
  • net
Control code
1 online resource (223 p.
Form of item
Reproduction note
Electronic reproduction.
Specific material designation
System control number

Library Locations

    • Deakin University Library - Geelong Waurn Ponds CampusBorrow it
      75 Pigdons Road, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, 3216, AU
      -38.195656 144.304955
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