Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art, Volume 1

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Clarendon Press, 1975 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 1289 pages
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This is the second of two volumes of the only English edition of Hegel's Aesthetics, the work in which he gives full expression to his seminal theory of art. The substantial Introduction is his best exposition of his general philosophy of art. In Part I he considers the general nature of artas a spiritual experience, distinguishes the beauty of art and the beauty of nature, and examines artistic genius and originality. Part II surveys the history of art from the ancient world through to the end of the eighteenth century, probing the meaning and significance of major works. Part III(in the second volume) deals individually with architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and literature; a rich array of examples makes vivid his exposition of his theory.

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Review: Hegel's Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art. Volume 1 [Introduction & Parts 1-2]

User Review  - Peter - Goodreads

My dissertation is on Hegel's "Lectures on Aesthetics." It's very interesting, moving from concrete example to historical analysis to philosophical speculation seamlessly. Hegel has been called "the father of art history" by Gombrich. Read full review

Contents

Silenus with the Infant Bacchus frontispiece
1
ii The Work of Art as being for Apprehension by Mans
32
ii Schiller Winckelmann Schelling
61
Copyright

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About the author (1975)

Born the son of a government clerk in Stuttgart, Germany, George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel received his education at Tubingen in theology. Arguably the most influential philosopher of the nineteenth century, Hegel's lectures---most notably at the University of Berlin from 1818 to his death---deeply influenced not only philosophers and historians but generations of political activists of both the Right and Left, champions of the all-powerful nation-state on the one hand and Karl Marx on the other. His lectures at Berlin were the platform from which he set forth the system elaborated in his writings. At the heart of Hegel's philosophy is his philosophy of history. In his view, history works in a series of dialectical steps---thesis, antithesis, synthesis. His whole system is founded on the great triad---the Idea as thesis, Nature as antithesis, and the Spirit as synthesis. The Idea is God's will; Nature is the material world, including man; Spirit is man's self-consciousness of the Idea, his coming to an understanding of God's will. The formation over time of this consciousness is History. Spirit does not exist in the abstract for Hegel, but is comprehended in "peoples," cultures, or civilizations, in practice states. Hegelian Freedom is only possible in organized states, where a National Spirit can be realized. This National Spirit, a part of the World Spirit, is realized in History largely through the actions of World Historical Individuals, heroes such as Napoleon, who embody that Spirit. A profound misunderstanding of this doctrine led many German intellectuals to subvert it into a narrow, authoritarian nationalism that glorified the "state" as an end in itself. Although Hegel saw his philosophy as universal, applicable throughout the world, the focus and inspiration of his thought was European. And in his own even smaller world, he was content to support and work for the Prussian state, which he believed to be the highest development of history up to that time.

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