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Schönes und Erhabenes

Zur Vorgeschichte und Etablierung der wichtigsten Einteilung ästhetischer Qualitäten

Zurück zum Heft: Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte. Band 47
DOI: 10.28937/9783787336777_2
EUR 16,90

Among the most important aesthetic concepts – especially in the 18th century – are those of the beautiful and the sublime. Yet, in the various aesthetic theories these two concepts are employed in conjunction with one another in very different ways. There is one system in which the beautiful is the fundamental aesthetic value and the sublime i.e. the great – including grandeur and dignity – is only one of a number of defining characteristics of the beautiful (Baumgarten). There is another system in which the sublime is the highest degree of the beautiful i.e. of the extraordinary precious (Mendelssohn). The most influential systems are dichotomous classifications of the respective aesthetic qualities. These classifications themselves exhibit differences: The beautiful and the sublime oppose each other as loveliness (that is small, fair etc.) creating affection on the one hand, and the astonishing-sublime (that is vast, obscure etc.) creating a shudder on the other, but which in some cases can be blended with the beautiful (Burke). Alternatively, the concepts of the beautiful and the sublime are disjunctive in a way that they exclude each other: The beautiful is limited and gives positive pleasure; the sublime is unlimited, it depresses and uplifts the viewer at the same time and therefore gives a negative pleasure (Kant). – The concepts of the beautiful and the sublime are obviously characterized according to the system in which they appear.