A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
This eloquent 1757 treatise on aesthetics explores how interactions with the physical world affect the formulation of ideals related to beauty and art. Edmund Burke's landmark study not only proved tremendously influential on the development of aesthetic theory, but also offered the first complete philosophical exposition for separating the beautiful and the sublime into their own respective rational categories.
The beautiful, according to Burke, comprises that which is well formed and aesthetically pleasing. The sublime, on the other hand, possesses the power to compel and destroy. This distinction bears a noteworthy historical relevance, since the popular preference for the sublime rather than the beautiful indicates the transition from the Neoclassical to the Romantic era. Burke's dissertation is both a precursor of his later political writings and one of the first major works in European literature to explore the concept of the sublime—a topic as fascinating to eighteenth-century thinkers as it is to modern philosophers and critics.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and ...
Limited preview - 1759
admiration affected agreeable Albunea anatomist animals appear arises Arthur Baker attended beau belong body Bohemia called capable cause of beauty clear colors common concerning considerable considered danger darkness degree delight disposition distinct efficient cause emotion enquiry examine excite extremely feeling figure fitness frequently human idea of beauty illustrations images imagination imitation impression infinite infinity INTRODUCTION ON TASTE judgment kind light Lucretius mankind manner Mark Twain means measures mind Mineola motion nature never obscure observed operate pain painter painting papillę particular passions perceive perfect Phlegethon pleased poetry positive pleasure Priam principle produce proportion purpose qualities reason regard relaxation remarkable Samuel Johnson SECTION seems sense sensible siderable sight smooth soft sophism sort sounds species strength striking strong sublime and beautiful suppose sweet tension terrible terror things tion uniform unoperative ural violent Virgil virtues whilst whole words