Studies in Recent Aesthetic

Studies in Recent Aesthetic

Studies in Recent Aesthetic

Studies in Recent Aesthetic

Excerpt

This little book contains six essays on the philosophy of beauty. The complexity of the subject, a complexity which seemed to grow under my eyes like the tiny Japanese paper-flowers children plant in a bowl of water, deterred me for the time being from the presumption of a systematic treatment. My best hope for getting a complete vision of the various aesthetic theories seemed to be to "fumble for the whole" by "once fixing on a part however poor." So the present work is confined to the literature since 1890 on the supposition that the ideas of our contemporaries are the most readily intelligible to us, and within that body of material I have selected a few special points and writers for discussion.

Yet I think I may plausibly claim for what I have written more unity and centrality than are at once manifest. I have tried to avoid the mere ingenuities and curiosities of aesthetic speculation, and to aim always at the higher obvious. The problems handled are those we are always at and never done with. The problem of the relation of the sensuous to the ideal in beauty is the theme of the papers on expres-

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