The Sense of Beauty: Being the Outline of Aesthetic Theory

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Courier Dover Publications, 1955 - 168 pagine
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It is remarkably appropriate that this work on aesthetics should have been written by George Santayana, who is probably the most brilliant philosophic writer and the philosopher with the strongest sense of beauty since Plato. It is not a dry metaphysical treatise, as works on aesthetics so often are, but is itself a fascinating document: as much a revelation of the beauty of language as of the concept of beauty.
This unabridged reproduction of the 1896 edition of lectures delivered at Harvard College is a study of "why, when, and how beauty appears, what conditions an object must fulfill to be beautiful, what elements of our nature make us sensible of beauty, and what the relation is between the constitution of the object and the excitement of our susceptibility."
Santayana first analyzes the nature of beauty, finding it irrational, "pleasure regarded as the quality of a thing." He then proceeds to the materials of beauty, showing what all human functions can contribute: love, social instincts, senses, etc. Beauty of form is then analyzed, and finally the author discusses the expression of beauty. Literature, religion, values, evil, wit, humor, and the possibility of finite perfection are all examined. Presentation throughout the work is concrete and easy to follow, with examples drawn from art, history, anthropology, psychology, and similar areas.

  

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Review: The Sense of Beauty

Recensione dell'utente  - Aidan Sawyer - Goodreads

Beautifully written. Makes some really interesting points on aesthetic theory. Directed poetry. Guy's amazing. Leggi recensione completa

Review: The Sense of Beauty

Recensione dell'utente  - Muzzy - Goodreads

Santayana begins with the assumption that truth and beauty are the same thing. That's where he lost me. Leggi recensione completa

Indice

THE NATURE OF BEAUTY
11
Preference is ultimately irrational
13
Contrast between moral and ęsthetic
16
Work and play
17
All values are in one sense ęsthetic
19
Ęsthetic consecration of general principles
21
Ęsthetic and physical pleasure
23
The differentia of ęsthetic pleasure not its disinterestedness
24
Illusion of infinite perfection
90
Organized nature the source of apperceptive forms example of sculpture
94
Utility the principle of organization in nature
96
The relation of utility to beauty
97
Utility the principle of organization in the arts
99
Form and adventitious ornament
101
Form in words
103
Syntactical form
105

The differentia of ęsthetic pleasure not its universality
26
The differetia of ęsthetic pleasure its objectification
28
The definition of beauty
31
THE MATERIALS OF BEAUTY
35
The influence of the passion of love
37
Social instincts and their ęsthetic influence
40
The lower senses
42
Sound
44
Colour
46
Materials surveyed
48
FORM
53
Physiology of the perception of form
55
Values of geometrical figures
57
Symmetry
58
Form the unity of a manifold
61
Multiplicity in uniformity
62
Example of the stars
64
Defects of pure multiplicity
67
Ęsthetics of democracy
69
Values of types and values of examples
71
Origin of types
73
The average modified in the direction of pleasure
76
Are all things beautiful?
79
Effects of indeterminate organization
82
Example of landscape
83
Extensions to objects usually not regarded ęsthetically
86
Further dangers of indeterminateness
88
Literary form The plot
107
Character as an ęsthetic form
109
Ideal characters
111
The religious imagination
114
EXPRESSION
119
The associative process
122
Kinds of value in the second term
124
Ęsthetic value in the second term
127
Practical value in the same
128
Cost as an element of effect
130
The expression of economy and fitness
132
The authority of morals over ęsthetics
134
Negative values in the second term
136
Influence of the first term in the pleasing expression in evil
139
Mixture of the expressions including that of truth
140
The liberation of self
143
The sublime independent of the expression of evil
146
The comic
150
Wit
153
Humour
155
The grotesque
156
The possibility of finite perfection
158
The stability of the ideal
160
Conclusion
162
INDEX
165
Copyright

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Informazioni sull'autore (1955)

A gentle philosopher-poet, born and reared in Spain, educated at Harvard University and later professor of philosophy there, George Santayana resided in England, France, and Italy after 1914. At the beginning of World War II, he entered the nursing home in Rome managed by nuns known as the Blue Sisters and remained there until his death. His last book, The Poet's Testament (1953), contains a few unpublished lyrics, several translations, and two plays in blank verse. The title comes from the poem read at his funeral, which begins: "I give back to the earth what the earth gave/All to the furrow, nothing to the grave." Santayana wrote philosophy in an inimitable prose, enriched with imagery and metaphor. His meanings were always complex and often ironic. In this style, so untypical of the professionalized philosophy common in the English-speaking world during his lifetime, Santayana nevertheless articulated an epistemological critical realism and an ontology of essence and matter that drew the attention and admiration of philosophers and scholars. His first published philosophical book, The Sense of Beauty (1896), was an important contribution in aesthetics, a classic text that is still in use. His multivolume work The Life of Reason expresses his naturalistic philosophy of history and culture. It states the essence of his attitude toward nature, life, and society. Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923) presents his theory of knowledge and also serves as an introduction to his system of philosophy, Realms of Being (1927--40). The titles of the separate volumes of this remarkable work, now out of print, reveal the lineaments of his system: Realm of Essence (1927), Realm of Matter (1930), Realm of Truth (1937), and Realm of Spirit (1940). His ideas were "popularized" in his only novel, The Last Puritan, which became a surprise bestseller overnight. According to the New York Times, "He came into a changing American scene with a whole group of concepts that enormously enriched our thinking. He gave a moving vitality to what had often been obscure abstractions . . . he made the whole relationship of reason and beauty, each to the other, come alive and stay alive." Although Santayana's Complete Poems (1975) is out of print, several volumes of his poetry are available and are listed below. Publication of The Complete Works of George Santayana, under the general editorship of Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr., is in progress. Conforming to the guidelines of a critical edition, The Complete Works is a long-range multivolume project of which a few volumes have already appeared to critical acclaim.

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