Aesthetics, Problems Of - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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The Aesthetic

What is the realm of the aesthetic? Should it be thought of as a special kind of pleasure, or, more broadly, as a special kind of experience, as a special type of judgment, as a special type of attitude toward the world, or as a special type of quality? All these options have been pursued. The term "aesthetics" derives from the Greek word aesthesis, meaning "perception." The German rationalist philosopher Alexander Baumgarten coined the term in 1735 to mean the science of "sensory perception," which was designed to contrast with logic, the science of "intellect" (Baumgarten 1954), and ever since, the term "aesthetic" has kept its connotation as having an essential connection to the perceptually discriminable.

Although German rationalism gave the field of aesthetics its name and a rationale, it was the British empiricists who established aesthetics as a philosophical discipline and who set the agenda for...

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This section contains 7,415 words
(approx. 25 pages at 300 words per page)
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Aesthetics, Problems Of from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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