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By Monroe C. Beardsley

ISBN-10: 0817389768

ISBN-13: 9780817389765

“Beardsley’s ebook accomplishes to perfection what the author meant. It illuminates a space of heritage from a undeniable standpoint as was once by no means performed sooner than. . . . The distinguishing characteristic of his ebook is a n pleasure over every little thing I aesthetics that has to do with symbols, meanings, language, and modes of interpretation. And this pleasure has dropped at gentle aspects of the heritage f the topic by no means spotted ahead of, or at the least, no longer so clearly.”

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Lamb). But some of the aesthetic questions that Plato raised he may well have been the first to formulate, and he certainly was the first to formulate so clearly and penetratingly. In any case, Plato asked an extraordinary number of the right -the necessary and the illuminating-questions about beauty and the arts. Some of them he asked in language, and with presuppositions, deriving from his own metaphysical theories. Others owe little or nothing to his metaphysics, and must be faced by any aesthetician, whatever his metaphysical persuasionbut it must also be conceded that Plato's metaphysics, whatever its ultimate truth or falsity, led him to open up important lines of inquiry that he might otherwise have missed.

If we now reconsider the artist and his creative power from 44 Aesthetics from Classical Greece to the Present this new point of view, the irrationality that seemed so prominent in him considered as a fabricator of illusions may appear as a higher sort of wisdom, his madness as something approaching divine inspiration. The suggestions about this in the Ion are embedded in so ironic a context that we would not be sure from that dialogue alone whether Socrates is at all serious when he tells Ion that his undoubted gift is an "inspiration," that he is moved by a "divine power" as a magnet moves the iron (533d; trans.

Aristotle is not at all explicit about his method, but it must be basically similar to that employed in the Nicomachaean Ethics to determine the end, or good, of man. People go to see tragedies because they want to, not because they have to, and evidently derive enjoyment from this experience. And the perpetuation of the institution of tragic performance shows, too, that no substitute for it has been found-that it affords a unique sort of enjoyment. A study of tragedies in general should show what this enjoyment is like-what is the "proper pleasure" (oikeia hedone) of tragedy (chs.

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Aesthetics from Classical Greece to the Present by Monroe C. Beardsley

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