Now you can view this blog on your mobile phones! Give a try.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Western Aesthetics - Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

The term, "aesthetics" is derived from the Greek word, aisthetikos (sensitivity) which, in turn, was derived from the Greek word, aisthanomos, meaning "to perceive" or "to understand". The actual concept of aesthetics was first given by Immanuel Kant.

Kant was a German philosopher from Konigsberg (today known as Kaliningrad of Russia). He was educated at the University of Konigsberg, where he studied philosophy under Martin Knutzen, a rationalist, who introduced him to the ideas of Newton. Kant's magnum opus, the Critique of Pure Reason , first published in 1781, was a critique on the theories put forth by Newton. Kant understood that human beings were, basically, made up of Hydrogen and Nitrogen, as were all other things on Earth. He sought to find an explanation regarding the possibility of a Hydrogen-Nitrogen Being studying other objects made of different densities of the same substance.He eventually came to terms with the idea by explaining that it was indeed possible to do so, however, only through momentary glances.

In 1788, Kant wrote Critique of Practical Reason, which was a critique on the theories formulated by Bentham, Mill and Berkley, all of whom were British empiricists. Kant emphasised the fact that the social world is known through human experiences. This critique has had notable influence over subsequent practices in the fields of ethics and moral philosophy.

In 1790, Kant wrote his third Critique, titled,Critique of Judgement. The first half of this Critique deals with the idea of Aesthetics and the four "reflective judgements" (the agreeable, the beautiful, the sublime and the good). It is this that has led to today's idea of aesthetics. The second half of the Critique of Judgement discusses teleological judgement, which is the way of judging things according to its end.

No comments: