Author(s): Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
No philosopher has held a higher opinion of art than Hegel, yet nor was any so profoundly pessimistic about its prospects despite living in the German golden age of Goethe, Mozart and Schiller. For if the artists of classical Greece could find the perfect fusion of content and form, modernity faced complicating and ultimately disabling questions. Christianity, with its code of unworldliness, had compromised the immediacy of man's relationship with reality, and ironic detachment had alienated him from his deepest feelings. Hegel's "Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics" were delivered in Berlin in the 1820s and stand today as a passionately argued work that challenged the ability of art to respond to the modern world.
Hegel (1770-1831) is one of hte most important of modern philosophers, due to his relation to Marx and the support his philosophy seemed to offer to theories of nationalism and social democracy, and his impact on a range of humanities. He is best known for The Phenomenology of Spirit, The Science of Logic, The Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences, and The Philosophy of Right, as well as his lectures, which were published posthumously by his friends. Bernard Bosanquet was a Fellow of University College, Oxford teaching philosophy and ancient history. From 1903 to 1908 he held the chair of moral philosophy at St Andrews. He died in 1923.
The range of aesthetic defined, and some objections against the philosophy of art refuted; methods of science applicable to beauty and art; the conception of artisitc beauty; historical deduction of the true idea of art in modern philosophy; division of the subject.