Herder's Naturalist Aesthetics

by Rachel Zuckert
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Publication Date: April 25, 2019

ISBN: 9781108593229

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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In this book, Rachel Zuckert provides the first overarching account of Johann Gottfried Herder's complex aesthetic theory. She guides the reader through Herder's texts, showing how they relate to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European philosophy of art, and focusing on two main concepts: aesthetic naturalism, the view that art is natural to and naturally valuable for human beings as organic, embodied beings, and - unusually for Herder's time - aesthetic pluralism, the view that aesthetic value takes many diverse and culturally varying forms. Zuckert argues that Herder's theory plays a pivotal role in the history of philosophical aesthetics, marking the transition from the eighteenth-century focus on aesthetic value as grounded in human nature to the nineteenth-century focus on art as socially significant and historically variable. Her study illuminates Herder's significance as an innovative thinker in aesthetics, and will interest a range of readers in philosophy of art and European thought.