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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
January 2024
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Book description

Organized around eight themes central to aesthetic theory today, this book examines the sources and development of Kant's aesthetics by mining his publications, correspondence, handwritten notes, and university lectures. Each chapter explores one of eight themes: aesthetic judgment and normativity, formal beauty, partly conceptual beauty, artistic creativity or genius, the fine arts, the sublime, ugliness and disgust, and humor. Robert R. Clewis considers how Kant's thought was shaped by authors such as Christian Wolff, Alexander Baumgarten, Georg Meier, Moses Mendelssohn, Johann Sulzer, Johann Herder, Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, Edmund Burke, Henry Home, Charles Batteux, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Voltaire. His resulting study uncovers and illuminates the complex development of Kant's aesthetic theory and will be useful to advanced students and scholars in fields across the humanities and studies of the arts.


‘… a dense history of aesthetics and a close reading of Kant’s philosophy at the same time - which makes it interesting to scholars who are quite familiar with Kant’s predecessors and contemporaries as well as with the work of scholars who specialise on Kant. However, it might prove to be a compass to young scholars as well who are beginning to navigate Kant’s philosophy. … Clewis’s monograph needs to be read for its innovative practice of turning a work of art theory into a text in itself that needs to be supplemented with a number of other sources rather than being taken for granted.’

Soni Wadhwa Source: Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics

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