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Diotima's Children

Frederick C. Beiser

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199573011
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722202 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573011.001.0001
Diotima's Children

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This book is a re-examination of the rationalist tradition of aesthetics which prevailed in Germany in the late 17th and 18th century. It is partly an historical survey of the central figures and themes of this tradition, but it is also a philosophical defence of some of its leading ideas such as: that beauty plays an integral role in life; that aesthetic pleasure is the perception of perfection; and that aesthetic rules are inevitable and valuable. It shows that the criticisms of Kant and Nietzsche of this tradition are largely unfounded. The rationalist tradition deserves re-examination because it is of great historical significance, marking the beginning of modern aesthetics, art criticism, and art history.

Keywords: aesthetics; rationalist tradition; beauty; perfection; Kant; Nietzsche; art criticism; art history

Book.  320 pages. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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The Poets' War in Diotima's Children

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