Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic

By Benedetto Croce; Douglas Ainslie | Go to book overview

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

THIS volume is composed of a theoretical and of a historical part, which form two independent but complementary books.

The nucleus of the theoretical part is a memoir, bearing the title Fundamental Theses of an Æsthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic, which was read at the Accademia Pontaniana of Naples during the sessions of February 18 and May 6, 1900, and printed in vol. xxx. of its Acts. The author has added few substantial variations, but not a few additions and amplifications in rewriting it, also following a somewhat different sequence with a view to rendering the exposition more plain and easy. The first five chapters only of the historical portion were inserted in the Neapolitan review Flegrea ( April 1901), under the title Giambattista Vico, First Discoverer of Æsthetic Science, and these also reappear amplified and brought into harmony with the rest.

The author has dwelt, especially in the theoretical part, upon general questions which are side-issues in respect to the theme that he has treated. But this will not seem a digression to those who remember that, strictly speaking, there are no particular philosophical sciences, standing by themselves. Philosophy is unity, and when we treat of Æsthetic or of Logic or of Ethics, we treat always of the whole of philosophy, although

-xxvii-

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