Kant and Herder on Baumgarten's Aesthetica

Angelica Nuzzo
Brooklyn College (CUNY)
Angelica Nuzzo - Kant and Herder on Baumgarten's Aesthetica - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:4 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.4 577-597 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Kant and Herder on Baumgarten's Aesthetica Angelica Nuzzo While philosophers since antiquity have offered reflections and theories on subjects such as the beautiful, the sublime, art, and its appreciation, "aesthetics" as a discipline in its own right dates back only to the second half of the eighteenth-century. We owe to Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten the introduction of 'aesthetics' into philosophical discourse. At the moment of its inception, however, this discipline had little to do with art and was not primarily concerned with the beautiful. It was instead a theory of the cognitive value of human sensibility—a doctrine of "sensible cognition." A general historical and systematic question presents itself at this point: How shall human sensibility be conceived in order for aesthetics as a theory of sensibility to gain an independence of its own in philosophical discourse? And accordingly: How shall the human being be conceived in order for our aesthetic experience to claim a philosophical value of its own? In this essay, I elaborate the results of the hypothesis that I submit in response to these questions. My claim is that the mind/body dualism dominating the rationalist tradition of modern philosophy is the principal obstacle...
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2006.0070
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