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Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics (Penguin Classics)


Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics (Penguin Classics) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A beloved multidisciplinary treatise comes to Penguin Classics

Rare is the work of philosophy that invites both the casual reader and the academic. Rare, too, is the text so universal that luminaries across an array of fields lay claim to it. Yet, that is precisely the case with Gaston Bachelards The Poetics of Space. A rumination on the spaces we inhabit and the dreams and memories that fill them, this seminal work continues to be studied and enjoyed by philosophers, architects, writers, and literary theorists alike.

This new edition features a foreword by Mark Z. Danielewski, whose bestselling novel House of Leaves drew inspiration from Bachelards writings, and an introduction by internationally renowned philosopher Richard Kearney who explains the books enduring importance and its role within Bachelards remarkable career.


Delivered in Berlin in the 1820s, these lectures are a classic introduction to the subject. Hegel prefaced these lectures with a summary of their main doctrines, and this introduction has itself become a classic in its own right, as well as constituting a prolegomenon to the thought of Hegel.

About the Author

Gaston Bachelard (1884–1962) was the son of shoemakers who went on to have an illustrious academic career. He is credited with a renewal of emphasis on symbol and poetic meaning in architecture.

Mark Z. Danielewski is the bestselling author of several novels, including House of Leaves and the National Book Award Finalist Only Revolutions. He lives in New York City.

Richard Kearney is an author, a philosopher, and the Charles B. Seelig Chair of Philosophy at Boston College.

Table of Contents

Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics Introduction

A Note on the Translation and Commentary


Chapter I: The Range of Aesthetic Defined, and Some Objections against the Philosophy of Art Refuted

[α Aesthetic confined to Beauty of Art

β Does Art merit Scientific Treatment?

γ Is Scientific Treatment appropriate to Art?

δ Answer to β

ε Answer to γ]

Chapter II: Methods of Science Applicable to Beauty and Art

[1. Empirical Method - Art-scholarship

(a) Its Range

(b) It generates Rules and Theories

(c) The Rights of Genius

2. Abstract Reflection

3. The Philosophical Conception of Artistic Beauty, general notion of]

Chapter III: The Conception of Artistic Beauty

Part I - The Work of Art as Made and as Sensuous

1. Work of Art as Product of Human Activity

[(a) Conscious Production by Rule

(b) Artistic Inspiration

(c) Dignity of Production by Man

(d) Man's Need to produce Works of Art]

2. Work of Art as addressed to Man's Sense

[(a) Object of Art - Pleasant Feeling?

(b) Feeling of Beauty - Taste

(c) Art-scholarship

(d) Profounder Consequences of Sensuous Nature of Art

(α) Relations of the Sensuous to the Mind

(αα) Desire

(ββ) Theory

(γγ) Sensuous as Symbol of Spiritual

(β) The Sensuous Element, how Present in the Artist

(γ) The Content of Art Sensuous]

Part II - The End of Art

3. [The Interest or End of Art

(a) Imitation of Nature?

(α) Mere Repetition of Nature is -

(αα) Superfluous

(ββ) Imperfect

(γγ) Amusing Merely as Sleight of Hand

(β) What is Good to Imitate?

(γ) Some Arts cannot be called Imitative

(b) Humani nihil - ?

(c) Mitigation of the Passions?

(α) How Art mitigates the Passions

(β) How Art purifies the Passions

(αα) It must have a Worthy Content

(ββ) But ought not to be Didactic

(γγ) Nor explicitly addressed to a Moral Purpose

(d) Art has its own Purpose as Revelation of Truth]

Chapter IV: Historical Deducation of the True Idea of Art in Modern Philosophy

1. Kant

[(a) Pleasure in Beauty not Appetitive

(b) Pleasure in Beauty Universal

(c) The Beautiful in its Teleological Aspect

(d) Delight in the Beautiful necessary though felt]

2. Schiller, Winckelmann, Schelling

3. The Irony

Chapter V: Division of the Subject

[1. The Condition of Artistic Presentation is the Correspondence of Matter and Plastic Form

2. Part I - The Ideal

3. Part II - The Types of Art

(α) Symbolic Art

(β) Classical Art

(γ) Romantic Art

4. Part III - The Several Arts

(α) Architecture

(β) Sculpture

(γ) Romantic Art, comprising

(i) Painting

(ii) Music

(iii) Poetry

5. Conclusion]


Product Details

Bosanquet, Bernard
Bosanquet, Bernard
Kearney, Richard
Inwood, Michael
Danielewski, Mark Z.
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich
Jolas, Maria
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedri
Bachelard, Gaston
Wilhelm, Georg
Penguin Books
London ;
History & Surveys - Modern
Art - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Penguin Classics
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.75 x 5.06 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Painting » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism
Humanities » Philosophy » Aesthetics
Humanities » Philosophy » General

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Product details 304 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140433357 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Delivered in Berlin in the 1820s, these lectures are a classic introduction to the subject. Hegel prefaced these lectures with a summary of their main doctrines, and this introduction has itself become a classic in its own right, as well as constituting a prolegomenon to the thought of Hegel.
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