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Dictionary of the History of Ideas

Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas
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The opinion of many historians and philosophers is
that the concept of beauty, like other universal ideas
(for instance, nature, truth), is a vague and empty
abstraction. Yet, beauty has often been defined. During
many great cultural periods, artists who created works
and critics who established the norms and the theory
of these works stated what beauty is, and it seems
preposterous to assert that those who have felt to be
in the presence of beauty deceived themselves. Un-
doubtedly the person who has this feeling or inner
certitude not only means something which is very
relevant to him, but also something which he believes
to be inherent in the object thus characterized. On the
other hand, it is equally certain that the peculiar qual-
ity called beautiful is not the same at all times and
for all persons; nor can we deny that a variety of
subjective and objective factors influence our opinion
that something is beautiful. A brief survey of the types
of answers that have been formulated on this issue may
illustrate its relevance.

In English the term beauty goes back to the French
beauté, which in turn is derived from a conjectured
vulgar Latin bellitatem, formed after the adjective
bellus, which neither originally nor properly desig-
nated something beautiful; pulcher and formosus had
this function. Bellus was a diminutive of bonus (good)
and was used first for women and children, then ironi-
cally for men. Its affectionate overtones are said to
explain why bellus (and not pulcher) was adopted in
the Romance languages, where it survived either alone
or jointly with formosus. The German schön carries
in its oldest forms the meaning of bright, brilliant, and
also striking, impressive.

It is uncertain whether the adjective or the noun
was used first. Whenever the issue is decided, it will


be done not on historical but “philosophical” grounds.
Empiricists and positivists claim priority for the adjec-
tive, metaphysicians for the noun. Homer, who is often
cited in the controversy, uses the adjective kalos. He
applies it to men, women, garments, weapons, cattle,
and dogs and seems to refer to a pleasing, sensuous
characteristic; occasionally he takes kalos in the gen-
eral sense of good, proper, designating a high achieve-
ment or the full realization of a potential. It is doubtful
whether Homer means personified beauty when he uses
the noun kallos.

To be sure, neither the etymology nor the early
history of a term designating a universal idea can
explain the later uses of the term, but it is not without
interest for the student of the long and intricate history
of beauty to see that the ambivalent use of beauty and
goodness, beauty and light or radiance, goes back to
the very origin of the concept, and that already in
Homer's time the term was used comprehensively.

In the following we shall deal with the fundamental
approaches to the question of beauty and with the
factors that enter into the judgment of beauty. No
claim is made to have found a logical classification for
the material, nor for proceeding systematically. We
have tried to be clear and coherent in our necessarily
succinct summaries, and we hope to have established
an intelligible pattern.


1. The Objective Existence of Beauty.

For Plato the
individual forms of beauty partake in Absolute Beauty
which transcends them. Beauty as Idea is a Being by
itself, beyond the limitations of space and time, and
independent of relativities; it reveals the Ideal and the
Universal. It also has the metaphysical property of
reconciling the finite with the infinite, and it manifests
itself in proportion and symmetry, in the harmony of
the parts in relation to the whole, and in measure. The
individual, single judgment stating that something is
beautiful ultimately refers to an underlying, general
quality of beauty. If it does not, it only expresses the
fact that something pleases us.

The notion of symmetry and due proportions more-
over links beauty with the Good, and inasmuch as
beauty reveals Being, it is related to Truth. This link
can also be defined by saying that Truth guarantees
Beauty or gives Being to Beauty.

Beauty's relationship to Being is expressed in terms
of light and of making it appear, making it visible.
Beauty is light in that it manifests Being. Measure,
proportion, light are not understood to be simply in-
herent characteristics, but are meant to have an effect
upon the soul and the mind.

The soul before entering into life contemplates
Being; the soul cannot behold Truth or the Good, but
it can behold Beauty, and it remembers the vision when
it sees individual beauty in this life. In this conception
of remembrance is the root of the Platonic idea of
ascent from sensuous beauty (beauty appearing in
color, sound, and form) to inward and intellectual
beauty, and thence to the ultimate vision.

There remains, however, the question whether
beauty has, so to speak, a substance of its own, or
whether it only makes qualities appear, qualities which
are also those of Truth and the Good. Plato did not
answer this question clearly. It is, however, certain that
he does not refer to art in his metaphysics of beauty.

Some of the ideas set forth here can be found also
in the writings of the Pythagoreans and pre-Socratics,
in Hesiod, Polykleitos, and Xenophon. For a further
discussion of Plato, see below Section II, Paragraph
1, Metaphysical Foundation.

Although Aristotle did not establish a theory of
beauty and although he neither deduced the principles
of the arts from the idea of the beautiful, nor tried
to determine the idea of the beautiful as a fundamental
problem of art, he made a major contribution to this
issue: he separated the beautiful from the good and
linked on principle the beautiful with the creation of
works of art. The component elements of beauty are,
according to him, order, symmetry, and definiteness.

In his Poetics Aristotle also uses formal relationships
as a foundation of beauty; the mimesis of action in
a story must represent an integrated whole, i.e., there
must be the multiple, the parts or incidents, and the
unity, a connection so close “that the transposal or
withdrawal of any one of them will disjoin and dislo-
cate the whole” (Ch. 7). Beauty is thus defined in terms
similar to those of Plato; at the same time these terms
are used in a way which is opposed to Plato, for a
work of art is no longer twice removed from the truth
of things, but is the image of a reality which fulfills
nature's unachieved possibilities or intentions. The
world of appearance which the artist creates is no
longer judged by the standards of the truth of Being
(with regard to which it is inferior) but is judged by
the standards of the perfection of form.

A conclusion not drawn by Aristotle, but implicit
in his ideas, is that the artist who follows the norms
of beauty (order, symmetry, and definiteness) and ob-
serves the formal relationships will create a form of
beauty which corresponds to objective criteria; how-
ever, these are not metaphysical.

Plato's conception of beauty is at the origin of much
of Western aesthetic thought; however, it often was
not the original conception which exerted an influence,


but the modified form which Plotinus and Saint Augus-
tine gave to it. Plotinus dealt with the ideal of beauty,
not only as a problem of metaphysics (as Plato did),
but also as a fundamental problem of art (which Plato
did not). His combination of the two perspectives
considerably influenced the interpretation of Plato's
ideas in the subsequent centuries.

The starting point of Plotinus' theory of beauty is
the dualism of mind and matter, or form and matter.
Matter is metaphysically described as a principle of
privation; matter is undetermined, indefinite; it is
non-Being. This negative definition is made, however,
with regard to Being, i.e., it implies that matter is the
want of form, order, determination.

When the mind penetrates matter, it imposes form
upon it, i.e., order, number, proportion, quantity, qual-
ity. With regard to our topic, it is particularly signifi-
cant that Plotinus called the determining principle,
which he conceives as a forming force, beauty, and
that he called matter, which is amorphous, ugly. (The
connotations of beauty and light, respectively matter
and darkness, are equally important.) In this way Plo-
tinus introduced a dialectics of beauty and ugliness and
conceived of beauty as creativity and a plastic force.
The notions of harmony, order, measure, and propor-
tion establish the link between the beautiful and the
good. Inasmuch as the objects which we perceive par-
ticipate in form, they are beautiful, and their beauty
is an image of the ideal form. This notion of partici-
pation is important in Plotinus; he emphasizes at times
that beauty does not consist in symmetry, proportion,
and the relationship of the part to the whole, for if
it did, beauty could be identified with it and would
be sensuous. Beauty is, however, an idea which, being
one, creates unity; by their participation in the idea,
things are beautiful. With regard to the arts this means
that the artist's mind must ascend toward the vision
of the beautiful, where he finds the model for his
creation. This vision, however, is not the highest degree
of which the soul is capable. The highest degree is
reached in the intuition of the intelligible, an intuition
through which the image of the intelligible is formed
and created within the soul itself.

For Saint Augustine God as the absolute beauty is
the principle and source of all that is beautiful in this
world. All that exists does so through form, measure,
and number; God has ordered all according to inalter-
able proportions. Unity, order, and proportion are the
elements of beauty.

Saint Augustine conceives of God not only as unity,
but also as multiple in His infinite virtues. With regard
to beauty this means that the unity of beauty admits
variety, a variety subjected to divine measure.

Saint Augustine follows Plato in adopting the dia
lectical method of ascent; he differs, however, in the
conception of the stages; the mind rises from the sen-
suous appearance of beauty, an appearance to which
Saint Augustine gives full significance, to the contem-
plation of the soul; from there to measure and propor-
tion, to the idea, and ultimately to God. Of great
significance is the context in which these ideas are
developed. In De Trinitate the idea of beauty is con-
nected with the Word. É. Gilson gives a concise ac-
count of the pattern of ideas:

Thus it is in the Word that we find the root of unity and
being; moreover we can find in it the root of the beautiful.
When an image equals that of which it is the image, it
brings about a perfect correspondence, symmetry, equality,
and resemblance. There is no difference between the model
and its image, hence no discrepancy, no inequality; the copy
corresponds in every particular to the original; hence its
beauty and the name of form (species) by which we desig-
nate it. Now this original beauty based on resemblance is
to be found again in all the partaking beauties. The more
the parts of a body resemble one another, the more beautiful
the body. In general, it is order, harmony, proportion, i.e.,
unity produced by the resemblance which engenders beauty

(Gilson, 1929).

In Augustine's De musica we find detailed discussions
of meter, rhythm, intervals, and more generally, of
numerical relationships which are the source of musical
delight. Throughout many of his writings, Saint Au-
gustine dwelt on the beauty in color and sound as well
as on the fitness and loveliness of the spectacle of
nature. The importance which he gave in his thought
to the question of beauty is still further emphasized
by the fact that he composed, as he informs us himself,
a work entitled De apto et pulchro (“On Fit Proportion
and the Beautiful”), a work which was lost.

The pronounced religious character of Plotinus' ideas
on beauty and Saint Augustine's renewal of Plato's
thought, as well as his fusion of the Platonic tradition
with Christian doctrine, played a decisive role in the
continuity of the thought of classical antiquity in re-
flections on beauty.

It has been asserted that the conception of beauty
as developed in classical antiquity and the post-classical
period dominated Western thought throughout the
Middle Ages and the Renaissance up to the beginning
of the eighteenth century, when there occurred a radi-
cal shift in the manner of raising the issue. This state-
ment is valid only as far as the key concepts and the
fundamental positions are concerned; they remain
constant. There exist, however, variations of meaning
and stress. Saint Thomas Aquinas' triad of integrity
(perfection), consonance (fit proportion, proportion of
the parts and the whole), and clarity (the radiance of


form communicated to matter) summarizes Saint Au-
gustine's ideas; still, the resplendentia formae is em-
phasized and becomes a highly significant feature of
the beautiful.

During the Renaissance, the rapid and glorious de-
velopment of the various arts, the detailed elaboration
of art theory and literary theory, the accentuation of
the role of the artist as creator and of nature as his
model, led to a close connection between speculation
on beauty and art theory. Though the metaphysical
and objective idea of beauty is in essence maintained,
it undergoes important modifications. We cannot trace
these here, since they can be studied only in their
specific forms. Instead we shall deal briefly with three
authors who maintain the objective and ontological
conception of beauty at a time when the shift in per-
spective took place.

Père André's Essai sur le beau (1741), a defense of
the objective existence of beauty, is written against the
Pyrrhonians, i.e., those who make the idea of beauty
depend upon prejudice, upbringing, imagination, and
caprice of individual liking. Rejecting the question:
What things are beautiful? and asking: What is beauty?
Père André follows Saint Augustine and through him
Plato, and sees in unity, order, proportion, and sym-
metry the essence and form of beauty. Then he goes
beyond his models and distinguishes three orders of
beauty: an essential beauty which is absolute, i.e., not
instituted; a natural beauty, which exists in the world
and depends on the will of the Creator, but is inde-
pendent of human taste or opinion; a beauty instituted
by man and arbitrary to a certain degree, since it
depends on custom, individual or national taste, and
manners of representation in the arts. The variations
in judgment, feeling, and standards of taste (the main
tenets on which the skeptical arguments are based)
apply only to the third type of beauty.

All three types of beauty are considered with regard
to the mind and its creations, to morals, and to the
body. The chapters dealing with this application con-
tain many detailed observations which are original,
pertinent, and sensitive.

The Essai sur le beau had a marked influence on
the eighteenth century and also, through Victor Cous-
in's new annotated edition in 1843, on the nineteenth
century. It renewed the metaphysical and ontological
conception of beauty at a time when the very founda-
tion of this conception was being undermined. The
Cartesian elements of the Essai may have contributed
to this effect, but there is no doubt that Père André's
conception of the beau géométrique, his high evalua-
tion of structure, his analysis of light and color, and
in connection with it his praise of Newton, strongly
appealed to his contemporaries. Père André admirably
combined a metaphysical foundation and structure
with empirical analysis and a sense for relativism. Last
but not least, the fact that he sharply criticized the
Pyrrhonians and yet included the beau arbitraire in his
system proved that he considered a reform of the
theory of beauty necessary and that he tried to recon-
cile the Ancients and Moderns.

Francis Hutcheson's influential Enquiry into the
Original of Our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue
offers a striking example of the attempt to reconcile
an objective conception of beauty with the theory that
beauty is a subjective, inward experience. He empha-
sizes that “the word beauty is taken for the idea raised
in us,” and “a sense of beauty for our power of receiv-
ing this idea” (I, 9), that by his term of absolute or
original beauty (i.e., beauty in an object without rela-
tion to anything beyond it), he does not understand
“any quality supposed to be in the object which should
of itself be beautiful, without relation to any mind
which perceives it.” Beauty, like other sensible ideas,
“denotes the perception of some mind” (I, 16). He
concedes, using John Locke's distinction of primary and
secondary qualities, that “the ideas of beauty and har-
mony being excited upon our perception of some pri-
mary quality may have a nearer resemblance to objects
than sensations in our mind,” but hastens to add: “were
there no mind with a sense of beauty to contemplate
objects,” they could not be called beautiful (ibid.). The
fluctuation in these statements between two different
views—(a) that beauty is not a quality in the object
and (b) that every statement on beauty presupposes
a perception of the mind—is apparent.

We notice the same incertitude in the definition of
the sense of beauty: it is called an internal sense, but
is different from our other senses; it receives “those
complex ideas of objects which obtain the names of
beautiful, regular and harmonious” (I, 8). Although
Hutcheson calls the internal sense “a natural power
of perception, or a sense of the beauty of objects,”
“antecedent to all custom, education or example” (VII,
1), he conceives of it as “a passive power of receiving”
(VI, 10; italics added). The remark on the antecedents
is directed against those followers of Locke who main-
tained that in the absence of innate ideas only utility,
custom, and education can form the basis for our judg-
ment of beauty. The followers of Locke play for
Hutcheson a role similar to that which the Pyrrhonians
played in Père André's essay. There is, however, this
difference, that Hutcheson accepts Locke's sensa-
tionalism, his rejection of innate ideas, and the princi-
ple of starting from the beginning, i.e., from the gener-
ally, naturally human. The polemics as well as the
acceptance account for Hutcheson's stress on imme-
diacy and his insistence that the internal sense is in
its nature a sense like the others.

Although pleasure may accompany the perceptions


of the external senses, the pleasure which accompanies
perceptions made by the inward sense is higher. This
notion of higher pleasure is linked to the fact that the
internal sense is capable of perceiving a compound of
simple perceptions produced jointly. The pleasure at-
tached to the perception is immediate (it does not
presuppose a process of cognition), and disinterested.

That which excites in the internal sense the pleasant
idea of absolute beauty is, according to Hutcheson, “a
real quality in objects” (I, 9); Hutcheson identifies it
as uniformity amidst variety; the more variety the
better, provided uniformity ties it together. This is the
foundation of the beauty we perceive in nature gener-
ally; in individual things in nature proportion of the
parts (the integrated whole) also is a source of beauty.
The perception of unity amidst variety is to be found
as well in theorems and in the laws of nature, e.g.,
gravitation. Relative beauty springs from imitation of
original beauty, when a conformity or unity is dis-
covered between the idea (perception) of the imitated
object and that of the original; the latter may also be
some established idea. With regard to relative beauty—
Hutcheson adds rather oddly—it is not necessary that
there be any beauty in the original. There also exists
relative beauty derived by means of comparison.

The qualitas which elicits the perception of beauty
in us and constitutes the foundation of all judgment
on beauty is, as Hutcheson stresses, objective and real;
it is there, even when it does not appear, and it is
universal. In addition to uniformity amidst variety, it
is called proportion, order, harmony, and symmetry.
The action of eliciting comes from the outside, and
the process of eliciting is strictly empirical; the internal
sense functions immediately and necessarily; our mind
receives necessarily ideas from the presence of objects
(VI, 10).

Uniformity amidst variety, order, harmony, and
symmetry have, as shown above, originally an onto-
logical meaning and can only be “perceived” by a
discursive, rational process. Hutcheson employs the
concepts with the full prestige of their traditional
meaning (it is significant in this context that he speaks
of qualitas when he means relationship), but disavows
this meaning by his principle of empirical foundation
and his axiom of immediate sense response. Nowhere
does he show by what operation the beautiful is consti-
tuted and why the sensation of “greater pleasure,” of
“a positive delight,” accompanies it. What we experi-
ence through our senses as a different kind is said to
be objectively different. Since the object that arouses
the pleasant idea of beauty is sui generis, Hutcheson
must introduce a special sense.

The mixture of subjective and objective, empirical
and ontological elements is fully apparent in Hutche-
son's Enquiry and permits us to seize directly what
in other authors is concealed by vague or brilliant
terminology. One may say that Hutcheson can no
longer combine the various elements of the aesthetic
content, nor can he keep them apart.

In only one case does Hutcheson mention a medi-
ating factor: in the case of a kind of beauty which is
neither absolute nor relative in the sense of imitation.
It is the beauty “arising from correspondence to inten-
tion,” which we can observe in nature when the mech-
anism of the various parts “seems adapted to both the
perfection of that part and yet in subordination to the
good of the whole” (IV, 7). The intention we recognize
is that of the author of nature, who thus mediates the
relationship and our response in the judgment of

Hutcheson's Enquiry and Père André's Essai are the
starting point for Denis Diderot's article “Beau” in
Volume II of the Encyclopédie (published early in
1752). The full title of the article is “Recherches philo-
sophiques sur l'origine et la nature du Beau.” Only the
central issue of the article can be presented here,
omitting the historical sections, and also the many
reflections on the difficulties encountered, according
to Diderot, by all those who seek to define beauty,
including himself. The article is a major contribution
on the present subject.

Diderot is more radical than Hutcheson on both the
subjective and objective aspects of beauty; he rejects
the obscure notion of a sixth sense and briefly traces
on empirical and pragmatic grounds the genesis of the
concepts of relation, order, proportion, symmetry, and
unity. They are formed when we begin to exercise our
faculties and to provide for our wants. If we call our
perception of a judgment on beauty immediate, or
believe it to be a spontaneous feeling, we forget or
ignore the long history of the formation of our ideas.

Considering not our response but beauty itself,
Diderot asserts that we can define it as that which
rouses in our mind the idea of relations (rapports).
Beauty is a notion of the mind, accompanied by pleas-
ure, but a notion founded on something real, existing
outside of us. The concept of relations comprises those
of order, symmetry, proportion; it is a general and
abstract concept, but only such a concept can comprise
all the various appearances of beauty. The relations
can be real, or perceived by the mind, or formed by
it; they can be considered with regard to the parts of
one object or with regard to several objects, or with
regard to nature, the arts, or ethics; they differ quanti-
tatively and vary according to their nature. The spe-
cifically beautiful is thus a matter of differentiation,
the differentiation of a universal formative law.

It is apparent that Diderot's concept of relations is
very close to the meaning given that term in the math-


ematics and physics of his time; however, it is not
simply copied from the sciences. Diderot uses the term
in the aesthetic-scientific sense for the first time in his
Mémoires sur différents sujets de mathématiques (1748),
where in a discussion of the general principles of
acoustics, he deals with the parallelism between the
mechanical relations (number of vibrations and length
of a chord) and the relations in music that please us
by their beauty.

Structure, symmetry, proportion, conceived as spe-
cial instances of relations, no longer have a meta-
physical meaning in the article “Beau”; however, they
acquire through the association with the mathematical
sciences a new ontological significance, for, in the same
way in which, according to eighteenth-century scien-
tific thought, relations and proportions make us under-
stand nature in its objectivity and real character, so
the rapports are for Diderot the objective foundation
of the beau réel and our judgment on beauty. By using
the principle of rapports in an analysis of specific works
of architecture, painting, music, and literature, Diderot
gives an illustration of the insights into structure, form,
and beauty to be gained by the application of a princi-
ple, which is general and abstract only in its definition.

Many more instances of the use of formal and struc-
tural characteristics in the definition of beauty can be
quoted from older or more recent authors. During the
modern period the characteristics are generally either
rationalized or brought into a scientific context. We
must omit them here and can do so since they are only
variants of the uses we have mentioned. It must be
decided in every individual case whether a metaphysi-
cal or ontological meaning is implied in the use of the

2. The Objective Conception of Beauty in Artistic

Inasmuch as beauty is considered to
be the result of artistic achievement, it is subjective;
but inasmuch as the artist does not express his individ-
ual, personal feelings and ideas, but follows a model
and applies criteria established independently of him,
beauty is objective.

We find a striking example of this conception of
objective beauty in the ars poetica of seventeenth-
century French classicism, which influenced classicism
in Europe and can thus be chosen as a model structure.
Some of its criteria (proportion, harmony, perfection,
form, and the idea of the model) were derived directly
or indirectly from the speculations on beauty discussed
in our first section. Beauty is considered to be the object
or aim of art; in order to achieve it the artist must
imitate nature and follow the rules. Nature is not
understood to be the sum of sensuous data, but “general
nature” or ideal nature, selected, ordered, arranged by
reason. Philosophically speaking, nature is an order of
Being, manifest in eternal, fundamental laws. The rules
which the artist follows are also ultimately founded
on reason and must be justified by reason. René Bray
expressed succinctly this interrelationship of the con-
cepts in the doctrine classique:

... eternal reason, universal beauty, unchanging rules, the
three terms are closely linked. The perennity of reason
imposes that of beauty, since if beauty were to change,
reason, which is the judge of beauty, would change also.
It imposes likewise the permanence of the rules, of which
it is the foundation

(Bray, 1927).

To the modern historian it is obvious that the norms
of classicism are in part not timeless and universal, but
related to a specific intellectual, historical, and social
structure; however, as far as the classical theory is
concerned, this relativity does not affect their norma-
tive value and hence the objective character of beauty.

The rules or norms are also related to the literary
or artistic genres; if the rules are satisfied, the genre
attains perfection, and the work is beautiful. One might
say that it is ultimately the link with the idea of per-
fection and the conception of beauty which explains
the great value attributed to rules and genres in classi-
cal literary and art theory.

The rules, most of which were derived from Aristotle
(or his Renaissance interpreters) and Horace, are
moreover sometimes justified by the model character
of classical antiquity; the rational and the historical
justification are generally linked together.

The works of classical antiquity are also considered
to be by themselves a guarantee of the objectivity of
beauty. They were said to be close to nature or to
represent the major and most probable occurrences of
life and the fundamental aspects of human nature.
Their perfection and beauty, their presentation of what
is essential and lasting had been tested by the unani-
mous judgment of centuries. In the domain of plastic
arts J. J. Winckelmann's (1717-68) enthusiastic and
eloquent praise of the exemplary beauty achieved in
Hellenic art (it embodied the very norm of beauty)
is a famous instance of the founding of beauty on the
art works of classical antiquity, an instance which was
all the more influential as Winckelmann wrote an
epoch-making history of the art of that period. His
perceptive, novel, and ingenious interpretations be-
came justly famous, and the two criteria “simplicity
and serenity,” which he added to the already estab-
lished norms of beauty, were still echoed in nine-
teenth-century classicism. It was Nietzsche who later
opposed the Dionysian element in Greek art to
Winckelmann's Apollonian vision; and the expression
of profound, universal emotion, as well as the sublime,
to the beauty of appearance and illusion.


3. Other Instances of the Objective Conception of

We find a simpler and often empirical notion
of objective beauty in the idea that the artist who
wishes to present perfect beauty selects out of many
examples the most beautiful parts of each, since one
cannot find one person whose every part is perfect.
The argument occurs already in Xenophon's Memora-
bilia of Socrates
(III, x, 1). In several cases this view
is modified by the principle that the sculptor, painter,
and poet must avoid the imitation of the individual
with his characteristic peculiarities and present a com-
posite image, formed after a model created in the mind.

The relationship between the beautiful and the use-
ful is defined in a variety of ways. The critics of beauty
as an innate idea, as a form of Being or, more generally,
as a metaphysical or ontological idea, often consider
the useful to be the foundation of beauty; empirical
and pragmatic reasons are to replace the so-called
obscure and vague notions.

Usefulness or utility is, however, also taken in the
sense of fitness and appropriateness, meaning the apti-
tude of proportion, form, or structure to the end pro-
posed. When the full realization of a potential in
human beings and the fitness of the parts to the design
for which each thing is formed are called beautiful,
no pragmatic or utilitarian idea is involved. The use
of utility by the Earl of Shaftesbury shows that the
concept can find a place even in a metaphysics of

The same features which make deformity create incom-
modiousness and disease. And the same shapes and propor-
tions which make beauty afford advantage by adapting to
activity and use. Even in the imitative or designing arts
the truth or beauty of every figure or statue is measured
from the perfection of Nature in her just adapting of every
limb and proportion to the activity, strength, dexterity, life
and vigor of the particular species or animal designed. Thus
beauty and truth are plainly joined with the notion of utility
and convenience, even in the apprehension of every inge-
nious artist, the architect, the statuary or the painter

( Char-
..., II, 267).

In all these instances the beautiful does not depend
upon the useful and is not derived from it, but is linked
or coexists with it. For a further discussion of Shaftes-
bury, see below, Section II, Paragraph 1, Metaphysical

4. The Subjective Approach to Beauty.

As observed
by several historians of aesthetics, a decisive shift of
perspective in the analysis of beauty occurred towards
the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the
eighteenth century. Beauty is no longer self-subsistent,
an essence, an objective nature, or a relation. Its foun-
dation is in the response of our feelings, emotions, or
our mind. The starting point of our reflections on
beauty is in our experience of a particular kind of
agreeableness. Two statements by David Hume show
this approach in its extreme form:

Beauty is no quality in things themselves: it exists merely
in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind
perceives a different beauty. One person may even perceive
deformity, where another is sensible of beauty; and every
individual ought to acquiesce in his own sentiment, without
pretending to regulate those of others

(Hume, Essays...,
I, 266).

And “pleasure and pain, therefore, are not only nec-
essary attendants of beauty and deformity, but consti-
tute their very essence” (Hume, 1886). But these
pseudo-precise pronouncements were not Hume's last
words on the matter. On the other hand it must be
said that pronouncements of this sort have obscured
the fact that the subjective approach may consist sim-
ply in a careful analysis and description of the nature
and causes of our aesthetic feelings and the way the
effect is achieved, without any claim being made that
there is nothing outside of us which corresponds to
the effect produced.

The subjective approach was to all probability pre-
pared by the emphasis on emotional appeal in works
of art, an emphasis which is one of the manifestations
of the currents of sensibilité in the eighteenth century.
Already Fénelon associated the beautiful with the
moving when he observed in his Letter to the Academy

According to Horace, it is little for a poem to be beautiful and brilliant; it must be moving, pleasing, and consequently simple, natural and passionate.
Non satis est pulchra esse poemata; dulcia sunto.
Et quocumque volent, animum auditoris agunto.
The beautiful which is only beautiful, that is, brilliant, is but partly beautiful. It must be an expression of the passions in order to inspire them. It must take hold of the heart in order to turn it toward the rightful aim of a poem.
The criticism of the merely brilliant occurs repeatedly
in the aesthetics of classicism. In this passage it is con-
nected, however, with a stress on the moving and
emotive power of poetry. Still, we should not overlook
the connotations of simple, pleasing, and natural in
Fénelon's statement, nor that the passage appears in
a criticism of bel esprit and contrived style.

The logical, rational, and metaphysical components
of the idea of beauty, as well as the corresponding
notions of formal relationships, proportion, objectivity
(adequatio rei), of perfection, goodness, truth, of variety
and unity, all of which are intellectually perceived,
are gradually replaced by beauty's direct appeal to our
sentiments, affections, and passions. In order to distin-


guish the specific aesthetic appeal from the general
effect, some authors have recourse to the conception
of a special inner sense. The most consequential and
influential statements on the identity of the beautiful
and the moving, as well as on the aesthetics of feeling,
are to be found in the Réflexions critiques sur la poésie
et sur la peinture
(1719) of the abbé Jean-Baptiste Du

The fact that the discussion of beauty is often con-
nected in the eighteenth century with that of taste is
a consequence of the subjective approach. This con-
nection had, however, a curious result: several authors,
who are ready to assert that beauty is a subjective
impression, are reluctant to do so in the case of taste.
The objective criteria which they defend in the latter
case are no longer based on reason, but on consensus
and on history (e.g., the universal and continuous ac-
knowledgment of the art and literature of classical
antiquity). It is this recognition which in many cases
leads to conflicts with the subjective approach to
beauty and thus to revisions of this approach.

In a more general way one might see in the shift
to the subjective approach an example of the passing
of aesthetic speculation from a method of synthesizing
ideas (Truth, Good, Beauty, Perfection, Unity, Har-
mony, Proportion), fitting them together, unifying,
systematizing, and objectifying them to a disjunctive
method of dissociating ideas and reflecting on their
origin in sense perceptions and in the working of the

“Aesthetic” is used intentionally in connection
with the subjective approach. The term was introduced
only in 1750 by A. G. Baumgarten, who rooted the
new “science” of aesthetics in psychology and epistemol-
ogy, but the notion existed already at the beginning of
the eighteenth century and is the result of the shift in
perspective we have mentioned. When our respon-
siveness to beauty became the center of interest, both
the faculty and the nature of responsiveness were made
the subject of analysis. We find a striking example of
this in Joseph Addison's articles in The Spectator (1712)
on “The pleasures of the imagination.” Addison was
conscious of the novelty of his approach when he set
off imagination as the proper organ of the response,
distinguishing it from that of the senses and the under-
standing, and observed that the “pleasures” were elic-
ited not only by what is beautiful but also by that
which is great and novel or uncommon (The Spectator,
Nos. 409, 412, 415), and that the causes for the pleasure
were to be found in nature, literature, and the repre-
sentative arts; in history, the sciences, and even in the
activity of the mind. Such latitude was clearly incom
patible with the traditional criteria of beauty. More
important still was the fact that the new values of the
sublime and the picturesque were put next to beauty
or were esteemed more highly than beauty. Even ugli-
ness ceases to be simply a negation of beauty and finds
a place in aesthetics. Its relationship to beauty is no
longer antithetical, but becomes dialectical, when the
subjective responses of pleasure—pain, pleasing—
displeasing were substituted for the objective opposi-
tion: beautiful—ugly. Edmund Burke shows that pain
and sorrow can become agreeable sensations and that
the ugly, when it is “united with such qualities as excite
strong terror” (Burke, 1958), evokes the feeling of the
sublime. Using one of the most fruitful principles in
the analysis of pain and pleasure, viz., conversion,
Hume demonstrates how the feelings of distress, terror,
and anxiety are transformed into pleasing emotions
(“Of Tragedy”).

It is not surprising that Burke, when he developed
in his essay on the sublime and beautiful a coherent
theory of the sublime, attacked and ridiculed the tradi-
tional principles of beauty: proportion, fitness, har-
mony, and perfection. He also opposed the close con-
nection between or unity of the True, the Good, and
the Beautiful and attributed beauty wholly to qualities
in objects: smallness, smoothness of surface, variety of
outline, delicacy and brightness as well as softness of
color, qualities which act mechanically through the
senses. Beauty had clearly lost its supremacy. Even
when its former criteria were maintained, as in William
Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty (1753), variety was con-
sidered to be the most important one and to include
the others. The line of beauty was the serpentine line,
which by its curves delighted the eye and gave play
to the imagination.

The conception of beauty also profited, however,
from the subjective approach, above all in the inquiries
into the working of the human mind, when it is faced
with aesthetic experience. The rapid development of
British empirical psychology in the eighteenth century
played the major role in these inquiries. Particularly
fruitful were the studies of the role which the mind's
capacity for association and transference played in
generating the feeling of beauty. By the analysis of the
response of our faculties to order, symmetry, succes-
sion, as well as to the interplay of uniformity and
variety, and by the study of the mental connections
which are provoked by resemblance, contiguity in
space or time, and repetition (or parallelism) in cause-
effect relations, a link was established again between
the operations of our mind and the conception of
objective beauty. Archibald Alison's inquiry into the
associations connected with angular and curved forms,


and his observation that the combination of uniformity
and variety is a natural tendency of our mind and is
represented by the winding line (Essays on the Nature
and Principles of Taste,
1790), and Henry Home's (Lord
Kames) discussion of the beauty of different geometri-
cal forms and the relation between the beauty of mo-
tion and the flow of our perceptions are examples of
associationalist responses to form.

Inasmuch as Kant deals with the phenomenon of
beauty not directly, but in the perspective of the foun-
dation and validity of our aesthetic judgment, his ap-
proach is subjective; he considers only the relation in
which the object stands to us. On the other hand, his
search for an a priori principle of the faculty of pleas-
ure and pain leads him to a criticism of the subjective
elements in the theories of his predecessors and to a
new conception of subjectivity, objectivity, and uni-
versality. In his methodological starting point Kant is
close to Home's statement: “Beauty which for its exist-
ence depends on the percipient as much as on the
object perceived, cannot be an inherent property of
either” (Home, 1788). He rejects the notion that beauty
is a power in the object and distinguishes the aesthetic
pleasure, which is disinterested, from other kinds of
pleasure. A pure aesthetic judgment is possible only
when we are free from the compulsion of want or need
and indifferent with regard to what is serviceable in
actual life, i.e., when we are at play. Kant also dissoci-
ates the idea of perfection from that of beauty and
states that the beautiful is not subject to a rationally
definable end.

Beauty created by art is free; it is not bound by the
rules of understanding nor by those of practical reason.
On the other hand, beauty does not give us knowledge
of things in themselves, i.e., of the transcendental world
of Reason.

And yet, Kant observes, we seem to perceive a
certain purposefulness in beauty; the objects of our
aesthetic judgment seem to be designed to stimulate
our faculties of apprehension to harmonious inter-
action, to unify understanding and senses in the work-
ing of imagination. Out of this harmonious cooperation
of our faculties springs the feeling of beauty. In the
judgment on beauty, there is also contained the idea
that others will concur with our feeling of beauty. This
conception of a universal voice has nothing to do with
empirical or statistical evidence; it can be fully
achieved only in the ideal. It is a postulate based on
the fact that all men share the same faculties, and it
is an imperative to transcend the subjectivity of pleas-
ure and the mixture of the good and the beautiful, and
to free ourselves from individual limitations. Here Kant
transforms the former objective universality of beauty,
which was rejected by empirical psychology and is
incompatible with his transcendental method, into a
subjective one.

His distinction of free and dependent beauty, often
criticized in the nineteenth century, may have a re-
newed meaning in the modern period: free beauty
exists only in idyllic nature, in flowers and in ara-
besques, i.e., in the purposeless play of forms; depend-
ent or appendant beauty presupposes the concept of
what the object should be in its perfection.

Kant's ideas on the significance of our aesthetic
judgment for the mediation of the sensuous and the
intelligible, the phenomenal and noumenal worlds, on
the role of imagination, and on the free play as well
as harmony of our faculties, exerted a deep influence
on Goethe, Schiller, and German romanticism and
idealism. The two schools of thought, in turn, contrib-
uted many ideas to English and French writings on
beauty. Kant's denial of the cognitive function of
beauty was rejected, however, by several of his follow-
ers. F. W. J. Schelling was one of the first to claim
that beauty gives to us a symbolic knowledge of the
world of the Mind and is the presentation of the Abso-
lute in the sensuous particular, an idea which is at the
root of later theories concerning the higher insights
granted to us by beauty.

Friedrich Schiller places the question of beauty into
the perspective of the harmonious development of
human nature and the formation of our “true human-
ity.” The beautiful does not result from the effect of
objects upon us, nor does it exist as a quality outside
of us; its origin is within us. One might say that Schiller
considers beauty to be an imperative, something which
we must achieve. Only after having fulfilled this task,
can we receive beauty. However, we cannot fulfill it
once and for all; there remains an “ideal” of beauty
as well as of achievement. Beauty is the result of the
harmonizing of the demands of man's sensuous and
rational nature, of the two fundamental motive im-
pulses, the material drive (Stofftrieb) and the form drive
(Formtrieb); or, to put it differently, beauty is neither
mere life nor mere form, but living form. The experi-
ence of living forms was decisive in the development
of Schiller's idea of beauty; it pointed to a recon-
ciliation of the realm of nature and that of freedom.

Schiller uses the term “drive” intentionally, for as
long as reason is taken to be a pure intellectual faculty
and to be radically different from the senses, no media-
tion is possible, whereas a sensuous and a rational drive
can act reciprocally. When they work in harmony, a
new impulse, the play impulse, results.

Play, a state in which we are free from the straining


of our will and from all pursuits that are directed
towards a specific goal, is of all man's conditions the
one that unfolds both sides of his nature at once and
makes him whole (Schiller, 1967). The realm of play
is not that of reality, but of semblance (Schein), a realm
in which man creates his own world, that of beauty
and the arts. (This presupposes that not only the prac-
tical world, but also reality and the metaphysical con-
notation of beauty, truth, are dissociated from beauty.)
We might say that beauty has its origin in and is the
object of the Spieltrieb, the aesthetic play-drive, in-
asmuch as the latter is the balanced unity between the
material drive and the form drive. Although play pre-
supposes a state of superfluity in man as in society,
its great import in man's life saves it from becoming
a sign of luxury and frivolity.

The refinement and ennoblement of the senses, the
connection of the idea of freedom with our aesthetic
formation, and the harmonization of man's faculties,
a harmonization which we achieve through our striving
for beauty and which in turn we receive from beauty,
have their effect also on ethics (by disposing us toward
moral conduct) and on our relationship to others.
Schiller's idea of the aesthetic education of man could
easily be extended to the unfolding of our feelings of
sympathy and social affections. This broader appli-
cation exists already to a certain extent in the last of
Schiller's letters on aesthetic education.

Herbert Spencer adopted Schiller's idea of the
play-impulse and transformed it to mean a new outlet
of man's energy in the state of leisure, after the use
of man's energy in maintaining life and the race has
been satisfied. Play of all kinds is for Spencer “this
tendency to superfluous and useless exercise of the
faculties that have been quiescent” (Spencer, 1887).

Charles Darwin also was interested in the play im-
petus and in the ethical as well as social connotations
of Schiller's idea of beauty. However, Darwin regards
play and beauty as natural phenomena, whereas
Schiller relates them to the world of freedom. Spencer
and Darwin, moreover, reject the limitation of the
sense of beauty to the world of human beings and find
this sense also among the animals.

The ideas on aesthetics of Hegel and Schiller have
in common the method of dialectical reconciliation of
opposites, the method of historical-philosophical con-
struction in their exposition of the realization (succes-
sion and development) of individual art forms of
beauty, and the principle of identity; as far as the idea
of beauty is concerned, both place beauty in art above
beauty in nature, in the same way as they place mind
above nature. For Hegel beauty in nature is, however,
only a dialectical moment in the development of the
ideal of beauty in art; one might say that natural beauty
is the reflection of beauty of mind, and that it is art
which gives to phenomenal appearances a higher real-
ity, i.e., a reality born of mind. This conception (as
also Schelling's idea that the beautiful is a symbolic
representation of the infinite) confirmed the “romantic”
dissociation of the world of art and beauty, from the
finite world, the world of our common experience,
which became the prosaic, trivial world, deficient in
all beauty and poetry.

In the unfolding of the absolute spirit (the identity
eternally subsisting in itself and returning to itself), art
is the contemplation of the absolute spirit and comes
before religion and philosophy; however, art is ulti-
mately surpassed by the two others. One notices,
moreover, in the early stages of Hegel's account of the
process of unfolding, a close relationship between the
development of art and religion, as well as the presence
of religious meaning in the working out of the particu-
lar aesthetic concepts.

In the process of the Absolute passing into self-
manifestation, beauty is the realization of the Absolute
in the relative; beauty discloses itself in the manifold
development of a formative power and in the life that
animates a perfectly developed form. In Hegel's dis-
cussion of the forms which beauty assumes, we find
again the principles of fitness of relation, definiteness
of proportion, and unity of the manifold. Yet beauty
in art is not for Hegel the expression of abstract ideas,
of a relationship, or of laws, but a concrete idea. In-
asmuch as the degree of beauty depends upon the
degree to which an object expresses the presence of
the Spirit and not merely the relationship to a subject,
Hegel can be said to reintroduce the conception of
an objective and definite existence of beauty.

Hegel's conception of beauty as a creation of the
Geist (“Mind” or “Spirit”) transcended the difference
between beauty as objectively founded and beauty as
resulting from a response of our faculties. The way was
open to consider beauty as a manifestation in objective
sensory form of man's mind and consciousness, or, more
generally, of his creativity and his deep-seated uncon-
scious forces. Beauty is defined as the complete expres-
sion of and participation in the fullness of life. In
dialectical materialist aesthetics this rather compre-
hensive notion is made more specific by the theory that
beauty is a product of historical and social forces. As
an outcome of the former, it will have a different
content in different periods and will reflect given his-
torical conditions; being the creation of man as a social
being, beauty will express changing social conditions
and play a decisive educational role in society. The
objective and productive character of beauty is stressed
in this conception, and is identified with the idea of


realism. Although beauty will still be manifested pre-
dominantly in works of art and artistic images, it will
also be expressed in life itself (as the realization of the
creative capabilities of all men) and in the creation
of social and economic conditions (in the revolutionary
reconstruction of society) which will permit to all a
full ability to appreciate and enjoy beauty. In this
conception the view that art is more perfect than life
is reversed; compared to the inexhaustible wealth of
life and its creativity, art is a poor second and can
be justified only inasmuch as it becomes one of the
expressions of this life.


The last section of this article, dealing with man's
inner disposition towards beauty, with the faculties that
perceive beauty, and with the effect of beauty, is re-
lated to the preceding section. Some of the points
discussed before will be touched upon again; they will
be placed, however, into a different context. We limit
ourselves, as previously, to the fundamental positions.

1. Metaphysical Foundation.

The most famous and
influential account of the apprehension of beauty is
in Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus. The primary
theme of the former work is love, and beauty is dis-
cussed in this perspective. Plato describes the way in
which the love of beauty is kindled and how it develops
in a sequence of steps. He seems to think that to
proceed in a sequence is essential. At the beginning
is the admiration of beauty in a human body; one
advances to the love of inward beauty, from there to
the contemplation of the beautiful as it appears in
observances, laws, and knowledge, and thence to the
study of the beautiful itself, “so that in the end he
comes to know the very essence of beauty” ( Sympo-
211), which is absolute, always the same, and of
which the multitude of beautiful things partakes. In his
Phaedrus Plato speaks of the “kind of madness which
is imputed to him, who, when he sees the beauty of
the earth is transported with the recollection of the
true beauty,” which he saw once, before passing into
the form of a human being (249-50). This reminiscence
is the reason for our yearning after beauty and explains
the awe and reverence we feel in the perception of
beauty. Love seeks beauty, and beauty in turn inspires
love, so that love becomes creative of beauty.

The ideas of a right process and of an ascent in our
knowledge of love (Plato uses the image of the ladder
which we climb, leaving the lower rung beneath us),
of a state of rapture and frenzy accompanying the
intellectual vision of the highest beauty, and of the
essential creativity of the love of beauty have formed
a powerful tradition; we find the themes again and
again, either singly or together, either in their original
form or modified, in later theories of beauty. In the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the renewal and
transformation of Plato's ideas in Shaftesbury's thought
is of fundamental importance.

For Shaftesbury the conditio sine qua non of our
response to beauty is that our perception be disinter-
ested, i.e., unselfish and without bias. Our knowledge
of the beautiful is contingent—as in Plato—on the
ascent from sensuous to intellectual perception; the
process is stated, however, in different terms and is
connected, in sharp contrast to Plato, with art.

The artist who wishes to bring perfection into his
work must have “the idea of perfection to give him
aim.” He must be above the world “and fix his eye
upon that consummate grace, that beauty of Nature,
and that perfection of numbers [harmony] which the
rest of mankind, feeling only by the effect whilst igno-
rant of the cause, term the je ne sçay quoy, the un-
intelligible...” (Advice to an Author, in Charac-
..., I, 214).

In The Moralists the steps of ascent are defined; from
the admiration of beautiful objects we rise to the in-
sight that it is art, the beautifying, which is beautiful;
from the love of beautiful bodies we pass to the recog-
nition that their beauty is founded not in the body qua
body, but in a forming power (or inward form), in
action and intelligence, i.e., in the mind. Ultimately,
we understand that the mind, in turn, is fashioned by
the principle which is the very source and fountain
of all beauty (ibid., II, 132-33).

Among the kinds of beauty formed by man are also
his sentiments, resolutions, principles, and actions.
Beauty, in turn, provokes and furthers our social and
sympathetic emotions, quickening a pulsation of bal-
anced, harmonious feelings.

Shaftesbury's emphasis on beauty as a creative force
in man, an emphasis which is even stronger than in
Plato, the strong bond which he establishes between
our feeling for beauty and the forming of the person-
ality of the “virtuoso,” the fact that he relates the
principles of order, harmony, and proportion on which
beauty is founded to the principles of the new mathe-
matical sciences, as well as the link between these ideas
and the “high strains” (II, 129) of creative enthusiasm,
make Shaftesbury's conception of our apprehension of
beauty and the effect of beauty on our life a unique
and highly influential combination of the ancient and
the modern.

The idea of the harmonizing effect of beauty has
been developed further by several thinkers and linked
with the inner state achieved in the contemplation of
Being: the restlessness and uneasiness of our inquiring,
searching mind, the strain and intricacy of discursive


thinking, our volitions and desires, all are resolved and
come to rest when we behold beauty. In its contem-
plation our faculties are attuned in free and harmonious
interplay; we find fulfillment in self-forgetfulness and

2. Immediate Perception.

The frequent occurrence
of the idea that beauty is perceived immediately can
be attributed probably to the common observation that
both the effect of and the response to natural beauty
are direct and are not based on the recognition of
prolonged application and preparation, or of achieve-
ment and action as is the case with virtues and abilities.
To some extent this observation holds true even for
the response to beauty in art. In aesthetic speculation
immediacy is, however, interpreted and justified in a
variety of ways.

According to empirical theory the eye and ear per-
ceive beauty as soon as the object or color, shape, and
sound are presented to them. The theory varies, how-
ever, as to whether beauty is placed into the object
itself or is considered to be the result of our sense
perception. There is further divergence in the expla-
nation of the process leading to the result. We find
the empirical conception occasionally even in meta-
physical theories of beauty; the perception is then
considered to apply to simple natural beauty (a faint
shadow of true beauty) and to be the first unreflected
step in our knowledge of beauty. The immediate per-
ception may be also an intuition ascribed to a special
sense or faculty, or to direct (not analytical or discur-
sive) knowledge.

The direct response to beauty is accounted for also
in terms of inner causation, as in the rousing of subcon-
scious, latent, deep-seated forces or emotions, whcih
cannot be analyzed. The argument of immediacy,
moreover, is used polemically against theories that
beauty is no primary datum, but is the result of sec-
ondary factors, such as utility, education, habit, or

3. The Process of Knowledge.

Opposed to the argu-
ment of immediate apprehension is the theory that the
notion of beauty is the result of a cognitive process,
in which quantity, quality, modality, and relation have
to be determined by comparison, by determination of
size and distance, and by the use of judgment. The
factors involved in the process vary according to the
conception of beauty. The faculty of judgment is pre-
dominant when norms, rules, and conformity form the
basis. Most of those who maintain the argument of
rational knowledge, posit a basic, direct response of
pleasure and emotion, which precedes, stimulates, and
accompanies the forming of knowledge.

There exists finally the opinion that owing to pro-
longed exercise of our aesthetic faculties and appli-
cation as well as cultivation of talent, the cognitive
process escapes notice, and we or others believe our
apprehension of beauty to be immediate.


1. Sources: Père André, Oeuvres philosophiques du Père
ed. Victor Cousin (Paris, 1843). Aristotle, Metaphys-
III, 13; Problemata, XVII, 1. 915b; Poetics, Chs. 6-8.
Saint Augustine, City of God, X, 14; Confessions, IV, 13,
15; X, 27; XI, 18; De musica; De Trinitate, VI, 10; VIII,
6; X, 1; Epistolae, I, 3. René Bray, La formation de la
doctrine classique en France
(Paris, 1927), p. 127; translated
by Herbert Dieckmann. Edmund Burke, A Philosophical
Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and
ed. J. T. Boulton (London, 1958), p. 119. Denis
Diderot, Oeuvres esthétiques, ed. Paul Vernière (Paris, 1965).
Étienne Gilson, Introduction à l'étude de Saint Augustin
(Paris, 1929), pp. 272-73; translated by Herbert Dieckmann.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Aesthetics (1835). Henry
Home (Lord Kames), The Elements of Criticism, 2 vols.
(Edinburgh, 1788), I, 208. David Hume, Essays moral, polit-
ical and literary,
ed. T. H. Green and T. H. Grose, 2 vols.
(London, 1882), I, 268-69; idem, A Treatise of Human Nature,
The Philosophical Works,
ed. Green and Grose (London,
1886), II, 96. Francis H. Hutcheson, An Enquiry into the
Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue
(1725). All
quotations are from Treatise I: “Of Beauty, Order, Harmony,
Design.” Immanuel Kant, Kant's Critique of Aesthetic Judg-
trans. J. C. Meredith (Oxford, 1911). Plato, Hippias
289-98; Phaedrus, 249-55; Symposium, 199-212;
Philebus, 25-26, 51-66; Nomoi, II, 665a. Plotinus, Enneads,
I, 6; II, 4; III, 6; V, 8. Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic
Education of Man
..., ed. and trans. E. M. Wilkinson and
L. A. Willoughby (Oxford, 1967), XV, §7; a bilingual edition.
Earl of Shaftesbury (Anthony Ashley Cooper), Charac-
teristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times,
..., ed. John
M. Robertson, 2 vols. (London, 1900). Hèrbert Spencer, The
Principles of Psychology,
2 vols. (New York, 1887), II, 630.

2. Further Readings. Bernard Bosanquet, A History of
(London and New York, 1892). E. F. Carritt, The
Theory of Beauty,
6th ed. (London and New York, 1962);
idem, What is Beauty? (Oxford, 1932). Katharine E. Gilbert
and Helmut Kuhn, A History of Esthetics (New York, 1953).
Water J. Hipple, Jr., The Beautiful, the Sublime, & the
Picturesque in Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic Theory
bondale, 1957). H. R. Jauss, ed., Die Nicht Mehr Schönen
Künste. Grenzphänomene des Aesthetischen
1968). William A. Knight, The Philosophy of the Beautiful,
2 vols. (New York, 1898). Charles Lalo, Introduction à
(Paris, 1912); idem, Notions d'esthétique (Paris,
1960). Charles Lévêque, La Science du beau, 2 vols. (Paris,
1872). George Santayana, The Sense of Beauty (New York,
1896). K. H. von Stein, Die Entstehung der neueren Ästhetik
(Stuttgart, 1886). Robert Zimmermann, Geschichte der
Aesthetik als Philosophischer Wissenschaft,
2 vols. (Vienna,
1858). The translation of Fénelon is by the author of this


[See also Art and Play; Beauty; Creativity; Neo-Platonism;
Platonism; Romanticism; Sublime; Taste.]