In his Aesthetics Hegel gives full expression to his seminal theory of art. He surveys the history of art from ancient India, Egypt, and Greece through to the Romantic movement of his own time, criticizes major works, and probes their meaning and significance; his rich array of examples gives broad scope for his judgement and makes vivid his exposition of his theory.
The substantial Introduction is Hegel's best exposition of his general philosophy of art, and provides the ideal way into his Aesthetics. In Part I he considers the general nature of art: he distinguishes art, as a spiritual experience, from religion and philosophy; he discusses the beauty of art and differentiates it from the beauty of nature; and he examines artistic genius and originality. Part II provides a sort of history of art, divded into three periods called Symbolic (India,
Persia, Egypt), Classical (Greece), and Romantic (medieval and post-medieval up to the end of the eighteenth century). Part III deals individually with architecture, scuplture, painting, music, and literature.
G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) is one of the great figures in the history of Western thought, and the most important philosopher of his time. He spent his life in his native Germany, elaborating an enormously ambitious and broad-ranging philosophical system which has exerted a continuing influence on European and Anglo-American philosophy. Sir Malcolm Knox was Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews from 1936 to 1953, and then Principal of that university until 1966. He published translations of many of Hegel's philosophical, theological, and political writings. He died in 1980.
VOLUME I: TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE; INTRODUCTION; PART I: THE IDEA OF ARTISTIC BEAUTY, OR THE IDEAL; PART II: DEVELOPMENT OF THE IDEAL INTO THE PARTICULAR FORMS OF ART; SECTION I: THE SYMBOLIC FORM OF ART; SECTION II: THE CLASSICAL FORM OF ART; SECTION III: THE ROMANTIC FORM OF ART