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Shaftesbury. Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury 1671-1713. Introduction. The birth of Modern Aesthetics. German Philosopher Alexander Baumgerten (1714-1762) gave us the name “aesthetics”.

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shaftesbury

Shaftesbury

Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury

1671-1713

introduction
Introduction

The birth of Modern Aesthetics.

German Philosopher Alexander Baumgerten (1714-1762) gave us the name “aesthetics”.

Doctrine of Mental Faculty: each behavior or mental phenomena (perception, memory, imagination, desire, etc.) corresponded to a specific mental faculty.

baumgarten
Baumgarten

Art corresponds to the mental faculty BELOW the sensory faculty and, of course, the intellectual faculty.

Artistic behavior, therefore, is at the lowest spectrum of the human mental faculties.

Hence, TASTE/FEELINGS

what about beauty
What about Beauty?

Beauty is apprehended by this low-level mental faculty.

Beauty then becomes a matter of TASTE/FEELING.

What are the philosophical implications of this?

How does this differ from Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine?

beauty extreme views
Beauty (Extreme Views)

Objective

Subjective

Beauty is a pure invention of our minds.

It is 100% mind dependent.

The external world is irrelevant to beauty.

  • Beauty is a something we discover.
  • Beauty is a property of things exterior to us.
  • Beauty (its existence) is independent of our minds
subjectized objectivism
Subjectized Objectivism

Beauty is NOT mind independent.

Beauty is NOT 100% mind dependent

Beauty is dependent on both mind and the external world.

Beauty is a property that arises from our mind’s interaction with the external world.

analogy
Analogy

Locke’s secondary properties

secondary qualities
Secondary Qualities

The power in objects to produce in us various sensations by the primary qualities.

The sensations they produce exist only in the sensations and not in the objects.

Examples of secondary qualities are sounds, colors, taste, warmth, cold, pain, etc.

The existence of these sensations depends on a specific faculty and the external world.

beauty as a sq
Beauty as a SQ

Homogeneous sensations depend on a unique and real external world (the same external world for all of us) and on an identical “sense/faculty of beauty” (like a “sense of color” or eye), (i.e., a faculty that detects beauty when it is there).

If this theory is to work, then we must have some special Aesthetic Faculty

shaftesbury 1671 1713
Shaftesbury (1671-1713)
  • Characteristics
  • The Moralists
  • Miscellaneous Reflections
  • Second Characters
  • “The beautiful is that which calms the desires, by being seen or known.”
works
Works
  • Characteristics
  • The Moralists
  • Miscellaneous Reflections
  • Second Characters
  • “The beautiful is that which calms the desires, by being seen or known.”
shaftesbury beauty
Shaftesbury-Beauty

Platonic Theory (cognitive)

Theory of faculty of taste (not intellectualist)

Aesthetics Judgments – Ethical judgments share the same mental faculty- “a faculty of taste and relish”

Sublime

Disinterestedness

disinterestedness
Disinterestedness

In ethics, moral goodness is incompatible with interestedness.

So if one acts rightly but is motivated only by self-interest, then there is no moral praiseworthiness in one’s act.

Hence, moral action requires disinterestedness.

aesthetics
Aesthetics

The desire to possess…x (self-interest governs)

The contemplation of …x (for the thing’s sake)

(1) These are distinct?

(2) These are incompatible?

(selfish or interested desire are destructive of the

appreciation of beauty)