Diotima's Children

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

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Description

Diotima's Children is a re-examination of the rationalist tradition of aesthetics which prevailed in Germany in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century. It is partly an historical survey of the central figures and themes of this tradition But it is also a philosophical defense of some of its leading ideas, viz., that beauty plays an integral role in life, that aesthetic pleasure is the perception of perfection, that aesthetic rules are inevitable and
valuable. It shows that the criticisms of Kant and Nietzsche of this tradition are largely unfounded. The rationalist tradition deserves re-examination because it is of great historical significance, marking the beginning of modern aesthetics, art criticism, and art history.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 306 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 16mm | 440g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199694656
  • 9780199694655
  • 573,036

Table of contents

Introduction: Reappraising Aesthetic Rationalism ; 1. Leibniz and the Roots of Aesthetic Rationalism ; 2. Wolff and the Birth of Aesthetic Rationalism ; 3. Gottsched and the Highnoon of Rationalism ; 4. The Poets' War ; 5. Baumgarten's Science of Aesthetics ; 6. Winckelmann & Neo-Classicism ; 7. Mendelssohn's Defense of Reason ; 8. Lessing and Aesthetic Rationalism ; Bibliography
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Review quote

This book represents a revolution in the historiography of German aesthetics and philosophy, shaped and canonized since Kant and Hegel. However, its provocative statements are simply the result of carefully rereading the long-dismissed pre-Kantian thinkers and of trying to understand them from the perspective of the questions which originally motivated their thinking. The result is the most informative and comprehensive presentation of German aesthetics and
philosophy from Leibniz to Kant available today, one that can finally replace Beck's Kant and his Predecessors. * Ursula Goldenbaum, Journal of the History of Philosophy *
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About Frederick C. Beiser

Frederick Beiser was educated at Oriel College Oxford (B.A. 1972-74) and Wolfson College Oxford (1975-1981). He has had several major research fellowships: NEH, Guggenheim, Thyssen and Humboldt and has taught at seven US universities: Harvard, Yale, Colorado, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Syracuse. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University.
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