Bernard Bolzano: On the Concept of the Beautiful : A Philosophical Essay

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A neglected gem in the history of aesthetics, Bolzano’s essay on beauty is best
understood when read alongside his other writings and philosophical sources.
This introduction is designed to contribute to such a reading. In Part I, I identify
and discuss three salient ways in which Bolzano’s account can be misunderstood. As a lack of familiarity with Bolzano’s background assumptions
is one source of these misunderstandings, in Part II, I elucidate some of his ideas about the psychological processes involved in the contemplation and enjoyment of beauty. In Part III, I situate Bolzano’s discussion of beauty within the more general framework of his ideas about the nature of philosophy, the relation between philosophy and aesthetics, and the place of the concept of beauty within the latter. Part IV is devoted to Bolzano’s discussion of some of his philosophical antecedents, including Kant. In Part V, I raise some objections to Bolzano’s account and indicate how his advocates might respond to them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-266
Number of pages64
JournalEstetika: the central european journal of aesthetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2015


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