The Century of Taste: The Philosophical Odyssey of Taste in the Eighteenth Century

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Oxford University Press, Jan 4, 1996 - Philosophy - 168 pages
The Century of Taste offers an exposition and critical account of the central figures in the early development of the modern philosophy of art. Dickie traces the modern theory of taste from its first formulation by Francis Hutcheson, to blind alleys followed by Alexander Gerard and Archibald Allison, its refinement and complete expression by Hume, and finally to its decline in the hands of Kant. In a clear and straightforward style, Dickie offers sympathetic discussions of the theoretical aims of these philosophers, but does not shy from controversy--pointing out, for instance, the obscurities and inconsistencies in Kant's aesthetic writings, and arguing that they have been overrated.

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Francis Hutcheson
Alexander Gerard
Archibald Alison
Immanuel Kant
David Hume
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Page 126 - That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see'st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
Page 133 - Strong sense, united to delicate sentiment, improved by practice, perfected by comparison, and cleared of all prejudice, can alone entitle critics to this valuable character; and the joint verdict of such, wherever they are to be found, is the true standard of taste and beauty.
Page 58 - When any object, either of sublimity or beauty, is presented to the mind, I believe every man is conscious of a train of thought being immediately awakened in his imagination, analogous to the character or expression of the original object.
Page 61 - The scenes themselves may be little beautiful, but the delight with which we recollect the traces of their lives blends itself insensibly with the emotions*, which the scenery excites ; and the admiration which these recollections afford seems to give a kind of sanctity to the place where they dwelt, and converts every thing into beauty which appears to have been connected with them,
Page 126 - In me thou see'st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west ; Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by. This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Page 62 - On the other hand, I think it must be allowed, that matter in itself is unfitted to produce any kind of emotion. The various qualities of matter are known to us only by means of our external senses ; but all that such' powers of our nature convey, is sensation and perception ; and whoever will take the trouble of attending to the effect which such qualities, when simple and unassociated, produce upon his mind, will be satisfied, that in no case do they produce emotion, or the exercise of any of his...
Page 12 - Papers, the Word Beauty is taken for the Idea rais'd in us, and a Sense of Beauty for our Power of receiving this Idea.
Page 34 - We always contemplate objects and ideas with a disposition similar to their nature. When a large object is presented, the mind expands itself to the extent of that object, and is filled with one grand sensation...

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