Aesthetic (2)

over 10 years ago

1798 W. TAYLOR in Monthly Rev. XXV. 585 In the dialect peculiar to Professor Kant..his receptivity for aesthetic gratification [is] not delicate. [mod. ad. Gr., of or pertaining to, things perceptible by the senses, things material (as opposed to things thinkable or immaterial), also ‘perceptive, sharp in the senses’; f. vb. stem - ‘feel, apprehend by the senses’. Applied in Germ. by Baumgarten (1750-58, Æsthetica) to ‘criticism of taste’ considered as a science or philosophy; against which, as a misuse of the word found in German only, protest was made by Kant (1781, Crit. R.V. 21), who applied the name, in accordance with the ancient distinction of and, to ‘the science which treats of the conditions of sensuous perception,’ a sense retained in the Kantian philosophy, and found in English c1800. But Baumgarten's use of æsthetik found popular acceptance, and appeared in Eng. after 1830, though its adoption was long opposed. (See below.) Recent extravagances in the adoption of a sentimental archaism as the ideal of beauty have still further removed æsthetic and its derivatives from their etymological and purely philosophical meaning. ‘The pronunciations ({ope}s{sm}{vdftheta}{ope}t{shti}k, i{lm}s{sm}{vdftheta}{ope}t{shti}k, {ope}s{sm}{vdftheta}i{lm}t{shti}k, i{lm}s{sm}{vdftheta}i{lm}t{shti}k), are all in use; the second is at present most common in London’ (N.E.D., 1884).]

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