By Edmund Burke

ISBN-10: 0192835807

ISBN-13: 9780192835802

In 1757 the 27-year-old Edmund Burke argued that our aesthetic responses are skilled as natural emotional arousal, unencumbered by means of highbrow issues. In so doing he overturned the Platonic culture in aesthetics that had prevailed from antiquity until eventually the eighteenth century, and changed metaphysics with psychology or even body structure because the foundation for the topic. Burke's thought of attractiveness encompasses the feminine shape, nature, artwork, and poetry, and he analyses our get pleasure from elegant results that thrill and excite us. His revolution in process keeps to have repercussions within the aesthetic theories of this present day, and his revolution in sensibility has cleared the path for literary and creative activities from the Gothic novel via Romanticism, twentieth-century portray, and past.

Readership: scholars of philosophy, aesthetics, paintings historical past, English literature, the Romantics, comparative literature, and normal readers drawn to the background of responses to good looks and the guidelines of Edmund Burke.

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Additional info for A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (Oxford World's Classics)

Sample text

For if, previous to the pain, I do not feel any actual pleasure, I have no reason to judge that any such thing exists; since pleasure is only pleasure as it is felt. The same may be said of pain, and with equal reason. I can never persuade myself that pleasure and pain are mere relations, which can only exist as they are contrasted: but I think I can discern clearly that there are positive pains and pleasures, which do not at all depend upon each other. Nothing is more certain to my own feelings than this.

But he often found himself greatly at a loss; he found that he was far from having any thing like an exact theory of our passions, or a knowledge of their genuine sources; he found that he could not reduce his notions to any fixed or consistent principles; and he had remarked, that others lay under the same difficulties. He observed that the ideas of the sublime and beautiful were frequently confounded; and that both were indiscriminately applied to things greatly differing, and sometimes of natures directly opposite.

We are as far from conferring with such a person upon Tastes, as from reasoning concerning the relations of quantity with one who should deny that all the parts together were equal to the whole. We do not call a man of this kind wrong in his notions, but absolutely mad. Exceptions of this sort in either way, do not at all impeach our general rule, nor make us conclude that men have various principles concerning the relations of quantity, or the Taste of things. So that when it is 14 I N T R O D U C T I O N O N TASTE said, Taste cannot be disputed, it can only mean, that no one can strictly answer what pleasure or pain some particular man may find from the Taste of some particular thing.

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A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (Oxford World's Classics) by Edmund Burke


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