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Image for Facing Poetry : Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten's Theory of Literature

Facing Poetry : Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten's Theory of Literature

By: Berndt, Frauke

Part of the Paradigms series
3110623315 / 9783110623314
Published 21/09/2020
155 x 230 mm 230 pages, 1 Illustrations, black and white
Professional & Vocational  Learn More

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (1714-1762) is known in intellectual history for having established the discourse of philosophical aesthetics with his "Meditationes philosophicae de nonnullis ad poema pertinentibus" (Reflections on Poetry) and "Aesthetica" (Aesthetics), which consists of two books and is considered Baumgarten's most important work.

But this book amends that history. It shows that Baumgarten's aesthetics is a science of literature that demonstrates the value of literature to philosophy.

Baumgarten did not intend to pursue such a task, but in working on his philosophical texts and lectures, he ends up analyzing, synthesizing, and contextualizing literature.

He thereby treats it not as belles lettres or as a moral institution but rather as an epistemic object.

His aesthetics is thus the first modern literary theory, and his articulation of this theory would never again be matched in its complexity and systematicity.

Baumgarten's theory of literature has never been discovered.

It waits latently to take its place in intellectual history.


DSB Literary studies: general, PD Science: general issues

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