Diotima's Children: German Aesthetic Rationalism from Leibniz to Lessing

Diotima's Children: German Aesthetic Rationalism from Leibniz to Lessing

By: Frederick C. Beiser (author)Hardback

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Diotima's Children is a re-examination of the rationalist tradition of aesthetics which prevailed in Germany in the late seventeenth and eighteenth century. It is partly an historical survey of the central figures and themes of this tradition But it is also a philosophical defense of some of its leading ideas, viz., that beauty plays an integral role in life, that aesthetic pleasure is the perception of perfection, that aesthetic rules are inevitable and valuable. It shows that the criticisms of Kant and Nietzsche of this tradition are largely unfounded. The rationalist tradition deserves re-examination because it is of great historical significance, marking the beginning of modern aesthetics, art criticism, and art history.

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About Author

Frederick Beiser was educated at Oriel College Oxford (B.A. 1972-74) and Wolfson College Oxford (1975-1981). He has had several major research fellowships: NEH, Guggenheim, Thyssen and Humboldt and has taught at seven US universities: Harvard, Yale, Colorado, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Syracuse. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at Syracuse University.


Introduction: Reappraising Aesthetic Rationalism ; 1. Leibniz and the Roots of Aesthetic Rationalism ; 2. Wolff and the Birth of Aesthetic Rationalism ; 3. Gottsched and the Highnoon of Rationalism ; 4. The Poets' War ; 5. Baumgarten's Science of Aesthetics ; 6. Winckelmann & Neo-Classicism ; 7. Mendelssohn's Defense of Reason ; 8. Lessing and Aesthetic Rationalism ; Bibliography

Product Details

  • publication date: 29/10/2009
  • ISBN13: 9780199573011
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 306
  • ID: 9780199573011
  • weight: 634
  • ISBN10: 0199573018

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