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A History of Modern Aesthetics

A History of Modern Aesthetics
3 Volume Set

$403.00 (R)

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  • Author: Paul Guyer, Brown University, Rhode Island
  • Date Published: March 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Multiple copy pack
  • isbn: 9781107643222

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About the Authors
  • A History of Modern Aesthetics narrates the history of philosophical aesthetics from the beginning of the eighteenth century through the twentieth century. Aesthetics began with Aristotle's defense of the cognitive value of tragedy in response to Plato's famous attack on the arts in The Republic, and cognitivist accounts of aesthetic experience have been central to the field ever since. But in the eighteenth century, two new ideas were introduced: that aesthetic experience is important because of emotional impact – precisely what Plato criticized – and because it is a pleasurable free play of many or all of our mental powers. This book tells how these ideas have been synthesized or separated by both the best-known and lesser-known aestheticians of modern times, focusing on Britain, France, and Germany in the eighteenth century; Germany and Britain in the nineteenth; and Germany, Britain, and the United States in the twentieth.

    • The most comprehensive history of aesthetics in more than half a century, and the first focusing on the modern period
    • Offers both biographical information and extensive interpretation not only of the best-known figures in the field but also of many now less well-known but fascinating thinkers
    • Illustrates its discussion with ample quotation, often providing the first English translation of passages from important works in aesthetics in German, Latin and French
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    • Winner of the 2015 Monograph Prize, American Society for Aesthetics

    Reviews & endorsements

    Praise for Volume 1:
    "In this splendid study, Paul Guyer knits together the controversies of the eighteenth century, placing in dialogue the influential theorists - some famous, some forgotten - of Britain, France, and Germany. Not only is this a work of stunning historical scholarship, it is also a compelling and distinctive analysis of the complex character of modern aesthetics."
    Carolyn Korsmeyer, University at Buffalo, State University of New York

    Praise for Volume 2:
    "With a remarkable blend of comprehensiveness and concision, Guyer traces the evolving interplay between competing conceptions of the aesthetic - as play, emotional arousal, and higher cognition. German philosophers, many relatively obscure, are united in a single narrative with artists and critics from the English-speaking world. A unique contribution to the field."
    Christopher Janaway, University of Southampton

    Praise for Volume 3:
    "By weaving its story around the questions of whether and how twentieth-century philosophy accommodates all the elements of the experience of art - engaging the imagination, stimulating cognition, and producing pleasure - the third volume of Paul Guyer's monumental history of aesthetics, like its predecessors, is not just an encyclopaedic account of various views (which it certainly is): it is a work of original philosophy in its own right."
    Alexander Nehamas, Princeton University

    "Never faltering across 750,000 words, Guyer's writing exemplifies the scrupulous honesty of the finest scholarship."
    Ian Ground, The Times Literary Supplement

    '… Although Guyer is understandably best known for his several decades of Kant scholarship, A History of Modern Aesthetics is his crowning achievement. By embedding aesthetic theory in the history of aesthetics, he has shown the difficulty, but also the essential dignity, of each.' Christopher T. Williams, Philosophy in Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2014
    • format: Multiple copy pack
    • isbn: 9781107643222
    • length: 1752 pages
    • dimensions: 243 x 172 x 127 mm
    • weight: 2.93kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Volume 1. The Eighteenth Century:
    1. Prologue
    Part I. Aesthetics in Britain, 1725–1800:
    2. Hutcheson to Hume
    3. Hogarth, Burke, and Gerard
    4. From Kames to Alison and Stewart
    Part II. French Aesthetics in Mid-Century:
    5. André to Rousseau
    Part III. German Aesthetics between Wolff and Kant:
    6. The first generation of Wolffian aesthetics
    7. German aesthetics at mid-century
    8. Coming closer to Kant
    Part IV. Kant and After:
    9. Kant
    10. After Kant. Volume 2. The Nineteenth Century: Part I. German Aesthetics in the First Half of the Nineteenth-Century:
    1. Early Romanticism and idealism
    2. In the shadow of Schelling
    3. The high tide of idealism
    4. In the wake of Hegel
    Part II. (Mostly) British Aesthetics in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century:
    5. Ruskin
    6. Aestheticism
    7. Bosanquet and Tolstoy
    Part III. German Aesthetics in the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century:
    8. In the shadow of Schopenhauer
    9. Neo-Kantian aesthetics
    10. Psychological aesthetics: play and empathy. Volume 3. The Twentieth Century: Part I. German Aesthetics in the Twentieth Century:
    1. German aesthetics between the wars: Lukács and Heidegger
    2. German aesthetics after World War II
    Part II. Aesthetics in Britain until World War II:
    3. Bloomsbury, Croce, and Bullough
    4. First responses to Croce
    5. Collingwood
    Part III. American Aesthetics in the First Half of the Twentieth Century:
    6. Santayana
    7. The American reception of expression theory I: Parker to Greene
    8. Dewey
    9. The American reception of expression theory II: Cassirer and Langer
    10. After Dewey and Cassirer
    Part IV. Wittgenstein and After: Anglo-American Aesthetics in the Second Part of the Twentieth Century:
    11. Wittgenstein
    12. The first wave
    13. The second wave.

  • Author

    Paul Guyer, Brown University, Rhode Island
    Paul Guyer is the inaugural Jonathan Nelson Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at Brown University, Rhode Island. He is author of nine books, and editor of six collections on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, including four focusing on Kant's aesthetics. He has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and prizes, including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Prize. A History of Modern Aesthetics was facilitated by a Laurance Rockefeller Fellowship at the Princeton University Center for Human Values. Professor Guyer is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been president of both the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association and the American Society for Aesthetics.


    • Winner of the 2015 Monograph Prize, American Society for Aesthetics
    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2015

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