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The Foundations of Æsthetics

    Abstract

    The aim of the authors of this short treatise on aesthetics, as stated by themselves, is to present in a condensed form the greater part of accredited opinion on the subject while relating it to the main positions of the theory of art criticism. The various theories are not brought into opposition, but are distinguished to allow to each its separate sphere of validity. Beauty is thus discussed as intrinsic, in relation to the medium, to mysticism, and to its social effects and the like. They themselves find the solution of the problem in synaesthesis, a term covering a state of equilibrium and harmony in which the percipient becomes more fully himself and at the same time is in sympathetic understanding with other personalities. Hence arises the educative value of art. This theory is acceptable so far as it goes, but, like much of the current theory of aesthetics, in describing the “how”it fails to answer the question “why,” a matter in which the anthropologist, censured by the authors, may be able to assist, in view of the current vogue of non-European art.

    The Foundations of Æsthetics.

    C. K.

    Ogden

    I. A.

    Richards

    James

    Wood

    By. Pp. 95 + pl. I-XV. (London: G. Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 1922.) 7s. 6d. net.

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