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Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine Sumy State University A. Yu. Perelomov




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Ministry of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of Ukraine


Sumy State University


A. Yu. Perelomov

A. O. Synach


AESTHETICS

Lectures with guidelines

for foreign students


Approved

by the session of the

Philosophy Department

as a course of lectures

on Aesthetics.

Minutes № 01 of 31.09.2011 p.


Sumy

Sumy State University
2011



Aesthetics: lectures with guidelines for foreign students / compilers A. Yu. Perelomov, A. O. Synach; editor-in-chief V. M. Vandyshev. – Sumy State University, 2011. – 63 p.


Philosophy Department


This book presents a vision of aesthetics, created on the basis of the artistic experience of the classical art of the past and the art of the twentieth century. It gives a brief, complete description of the main provisions of aesthetics as a science, orientating on human values and humanistic understanding of the overall aesthetic of the material world and culture.

Given material comes along with illustrations, which help understand information in the best possible way.

The lectures were prepared according to The State National programme «Education», Doctrine of National Education as well as experience of compiling similar programme of the Centre of humanities of Ukraine, the philosophical faculty of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University and Vasyl Karazin Kharkiv National University


Contents


  1. The subject and the history of Aesthetics….………………….………4

  2. Ancient Aesthetics…………..………………………………….………11

  3. The medieval Aesthetics……………..……………………….……….30

  4. The aesthetics of renaissance and romantism …………….……….35

  5. Modern Aesthetics…………………………………………...…………48

  6. The aesthetical ideas of Russian and Ukrainian culture……………54

  7. Notions…………….……………………….………………….………...61



Topic №1. The subject and the history of aesthetics


Plan

1. The subject of aesthetics and the problem of terminology

2. The subject of aesthetics and the formation of science perspective

3. The emergence of aesthetics as an independent science

4. Aesthetics in the structure of interdisciplinary relationships


§1. The subject of aesthetics and the problem of terminology

The ideas of liberalization and humanization of education find its practical implementation in the teaching of disciplines, aimed at a holistic examination of the role and man's place in the history of world civilization. Thus it is a task that got to be executed by such disciplines as aesthetics, ethics, culturology and the history of world and homeland culture. These are so called culturological disciplines.

The aim of study of the discipline

Society cannot exist without a highly developed human and technological culture. Without the moral and cultural landmarks man loses the general orientation of his life. That is why the course is designed for aesthetic education of a healthy sense principle in man.

Aesthetics is multifaceted and diversified science. People study the aesthetics, not only to find out what art in general and art in particular is, and most importantly to be a cultured and educated man.

The aim of the study of aesthetics is a conscious attitude to the cultural heritage of humanity and his nation.

The course introduces students to the main stages of the aesthetics, concepts and categories of aesthetics.

The task of course is to learn the theoretical information about the peculiarities of sensory.

Aesthetics is the science of the general laws of artistic development and knowledge of reality, the laws of development of art and its role in society. It covers the entire scope of human emotions, exploring the relationship between man and the world, influences the formation of the aesthetic consciousness.

Students must learn the notion of specificity of aesthetic understanding of reality, the historical pattern of artistic development, a typology of historical art, as well as aesthetic feature alternatives.

Aesthetics in its most general sense of the word can be defined as the science of beauty in all its forms and modifications of the aesthetic-relativistic relation of man to reality, which is realized in his mind, and in various areas of practice.

The issue of aesthetics has developed long before the "official recognition" of aesthetics in science. Aesthetic problems arose and developed in the bosom of mankind's spiritual culture as integral aspects of philosophy, theology, literature, art, everyday practices of people – in the field of material production, social and political relations in other spheres of life and practice.

However, only in the XVIII century aesthetics has found, finally, the status of self-autonomy of scientific disciplines.

What exactly is studying aesthetics, what is its object? In the history of aesthetic thought in the modern literature one can find many different definitions of the science. The subject of aesthetics is the whole world, viewed in terms of value, the value of its effects for humanity.


§2. ^ The subject of aesthetics and the formation

of science perspective

The content of the subject of aesthetics defined the terms of the problems that explores this science. Briefly list the main ones.

The aesthetic relation of man to reality, his essence, origin, analysis of the various approaches to solving this problem.

Aesthetic human activity, its significance and specific characteristics, the main areas (labor, material production, socio-political, family and everyday attitudes, behavior and communication, play, art, etc.).

Aesthetic consciousness of man, its structure (the need for an aesthetic, an aesthetic emotion, aesthetic sense, aesthetic taste, the aesthetic ideal), especially the functioning and development.

The main categories of aesthetics, the beautiful and ugly, sublime and base, the tragic and the comic, the aesthetic and artistic, and others, the evolution of their content, especially in the use of various "aesthetic contexts."

Art, artistic activities of man in all its diversity (aesthetic and social characteristics, the basic functions of the system and the arts, especially art and aesthetic perception of works of art, etc.).

Aesthetic culture of the individual and society (culture behavior and communication, the aesthetic potential of the individual and society, etc.).

History of aesthetic doctrines, modern aesthetic concepts, the emergence and development of ideas about beauty in different historical periods, the formation of aesthetic concepts, and their interaction in the system of spiritual values of man.

Aesthetics is a science of formation of sensate culture of a man. (Aesthetics (also spelled aesthetics or esthetics) is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature." Aesthetics is a subdiscipline of axiology, a branch of philosophy, and is closely associated with the philosophy of art. Aesthetics studies new ways of seeing and of perceiving the world.)

The subject of aesthetics is the organic union of two parts: 1) identification of the dialectics of the process of development, the specificity of the aesthetic as a manifestation of the value relationship of man to reality, and 2) the artistic activity of man.

These parts are closely linked, although they are relatively independent. The first part examines the nature and specificity of the creative potential of the aesthetic, the categories of aesthetics – a beautiful, tragic and comic. The second part examines the structure and functional characteristics, the nature of artistic talent, types, genre and stylistic originality of art.

The process of finding an adequate balance between these parts is exactly a history of the formation of aesthetics.

Such notions as the beautiful, perfect, harmony, value, philosophy of art combine these two parts. For centuries, aesthetics has been and is "the science of the beautiful", "science of the perfect", "science of the laws of art."

The complexity of determining the object of aesthetics draws our attention to the problem of terminology.

The term "aesthetics" was coined in the German form Æsthetik (modern spelling Ästhetik) by Alexander Baumgarten in 1735. It was derived from the Greek αισθητικός (aisthetikos, meaning "esthetic-sensitive-sentient"), which in turn was derived fromαίσθηση-αισθάνομαι (aisthese-aisthanomai, meaning "to perceive-feel-sense").

It’s also necessary to consider such greek terms as /estanomai/, /estesi/, /estanome/.

These terms correspond to the notion of feelings. But it also absorbed the many shades of the individual human relationship to the object oriented person on their own visual, auditory, tactile sensibility, demanded trust to their own perception of the world.

Still, the aesthetic knowledge formed within philosophy as a kind of part, regardless of the appearance of certain terminology.


§3. ^ The emergence of aesthetics as an independent science

The adoption of aesthetics as an independent discipline occurred only in 18-th century. (German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten).

The formation of the first aesthetic ideas humanity connects with the importance that ancient Greek philosophy gave human feelings in general.

Pythagoras, Alcmaeon, Empedocles, Theophrastus in their reflections are trying to analyze and classify the senses, to determine their nature, clearly differentiate the feelings of the beautiful and ugly, tragic and comic. These were important components of their philosophical views. Gradually the aesthetics "rebuilt" its own subject of study.

Philosophical school, founded by Pythagoras (6th century BC) the so-called "Pythagoras school" made the first attempt to use feelings as a basis for understanding certain aesthetic phenomena. Pythagoras identified the concept of harmony, perfection, beauty. He considered the number as a basis of harmony. The harmony of numbers Pythagoras` followers found even in the arrangement of the planets. Among the arts, the highest carrier of harmony proclaimed music. Music in his understanding is the bearer of equanimity; it stimulates the peace of mind.

The immortality of the soul also found reflection in the philosophical views of Pythagoras. Specifically, he believed that the soul can reincarnate into any body (metempsychosis).

Reincarnation is believed to occur when the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, comes back to Earth in a newborn body. This phenomenon is also known as transmigration of the soul.

But in order to be alive and move, in his opinion, should undergo purification (catharsis), the highest form of which is the takeover of musical-numeric structure of space.

The followers of Pythagoras brought the concept of tetraktide (1+2+3+4=10 it includes the main intervals: octave (2:1), quint (3:2) and quart (4:3)).

Famous physician and natural philosopher Alcmaeon (I part of V century B.C.) was the first scientist of Greece, who devided the thinking and feeling. He argued that the perception – is a complex process of movement from sensory nerves to the senses and then to the brain.

Theoretical reflections on the feelings expressed also Empedocles (490-430 years. BC). The lowest level of emotions he believed feelings that operate on the principle of "similar is cognized be the similar".

The unity “feelings-perception” generates greater forces – Love and Hatred. Cyclical course of world process driven by the alternation of the priorities of these forces, which are not material, but they are spatially defined, in the view of Empedocles.

Thus Empedocles continues the tradition of the previous study of the nature and significance of feelings. He introduced the concept of catharsis, with emphasis on moral and ethical nature of purification.

In the III century BC the theory of emotions finally came to the time of presentation in the works of the famous ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus. His works "About feelings," "Ethical character", "The dignity" are in sensuous direction.

In the historical process of forming the subject of aesthetic science attracts the attention of "the principle of the golden section" (another names: “Golden ratio”, “Golden Cut” “Golden Proportion”) – a geometric-mathematical ratio of proportions. Its essence is that when crossing the whole also correlated well with its bigger part, as bigger with less. In the geometric form, this principle appears as a ratio: 5:8 = 8:13 = 13:21 = 21:34 = 34 ... and so on.

Greek science, believed that any body, object, geometric figure, the ratio of parts of which corresponds to a ratio is proportional and make a good impression.

The Greek Parthenon, marble columns which divide the church on the principle of "golden section" is the most persuasive example of the practical use of the principle.

In the Renaissance, the law of "golden section" was seen as a mandatory law of architecture, painting and sculpture. Theorists and the creators of that time were trying to find the absolute, perfect geometric basis of beauty.

A treatise of the famous Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli LA called "On the Divine Proportion." He was absolutely convinced that the rule of the golden section is defined aesthetic value "of all earthly things." But absolutisation of this principle is mistaken. The proportion for the proportions formalizes beauty, mechanizes this complex concept. But still, the rule of golden ratio emphasizes the importance of human visual capacity in the formation of aesthetic sense. Why the ratio of 5:8 is the basis for the interpretation of mathematical proportions? The proportion of 5:8 is the intersection of horizontal and vertical angles of view of human two eyes. Consciously or intuitively Greeks came to the principle of "golden section" due to an innate capacity of human vision. Thus nature is "presented" humans direct and unmistakable way to a sense of proportion and harmony.


§4. ^ Relationship of aesthetics to other sciences

It must be borne in mind that aesthetic issues important place on the methodology of aesthetic cognition and activities, as well as communication and interaction with other aesthetic spiritual values of human.

Relationship with the philosophy of aesthetics, its philosophical nature of the "issues" and himself an aesthetic of categories of science, which are widely used in such philosophical categories as "objective" and "subjective", "content" and "form", "progress" and "regress" and number of other categories.

Of course, one should not literally identify the aesthetics and philosophy. And she and the other spheres of spiritual life retain their specificity. It is only on this interaction of which creates a certain way as philosophical and aesthetic attitudes. Philosophy, in particular, "arming" the aesthetics of a systematic approach helps to consider aesthetic objects, like a certain integrity that has one or other specific aesthetic features.

In turn, the aesthetic philosophy helps to create a universal conception of man, his opportunities, reveals the inner harmony of the human world, points to the creative nature of all aspects of his life, the possibility of their transformation under the laws of beauty. In aesthetics are actively used by a variety of philosophical and scientific methods.

One of the most important features of aesthetics lies in its connection with the theory and practice of world culture, which is a powerful source of supply as the aesthetics of ideas, thoughts, and the most important concrete material for the analysis of various aspects of man's spiritual activity. Aesthetics at the same time seeks to identify and investigate the general laws of artistic creation and development of art as a kind of spiritual whole, establishes its connection with life, social and personal practices of people who identify very specific artistic activity, which is extremely difficult to understand, while remaining within the limits of any one of Arts

Very close is the relationship between aesthetics and psychology, which investigates and reveals mechanisms for the occurrence, operation, transformation of emotions, including aesthetic and underlying comprehension of human beauty. The role of psychology in the study of this problem is so significant that some scholars have almost equate these two sciences, or at least, are ready to interpret the psychology of the part, which is associated with the aesthetic as an experimental aesthetics. The basis of this belief is the idea that pleasure of beauty is the communication process.

Rejecting the extremes of such a comparison of these sciences, we should recognize that their cooperation is indeed extremely valuable for both sides. This interaction is effectively implemented in the investigation of psychology of the creative process of artistic creation of values, analysis of works of art themselves, a process of aesthetic perception of the recipient (viewer, listener, reader).

In recent decades, the methodology of aesthetics and more persistently penetrate trends associated with the era of scientific and technological revolution. Are increasingly being used in aesthetic research methods of science, cybernetics, mathematics, etc. This is especially true for these two broad fields of aesthetic, the art and the aesthetic design of a man of his environment. Increasingly "invade" the aesthetics and methods of cybernetics. With their help it is possible to simulate some aspects of the processes of artistic creation. Machines (more precisely, the program contained in them), write music, write poetry, play chess, etc.

For example, in art semiotics (science of signs and sign systems), helps to investigate the structure of the artwork. Patterns of sign systems, semiotics of disclosures, allow to identify specific connections between literary works and their meanings (semantics), the structural relations between the elements forming the aesthetic and artistic point (syntactic), the communicative function of art (pragmatics). Semiotic analysis clarifies the content and the relationship of such traditional notions of art as an artistic image, type, form, allegory, metaphor, etc. Semiotics claims and a more active part in the study of aesthetic problems. Semiotic approach may have some importance for understanding the structure of aesthetic values and aesthetic attitude toward them.

Later, the terms «estanome», «estanomai», «eisentikos» have lost their direct link with the concept of feelings, the subject began to make sense of aesthetics much broader in scope and content: perfect, proportional, harmonious, beautiful and aesthetical.

Therefore it is necessary to consider the history of aesthetics, which has a long and deep roots.

The first shoots of artistic knowledge and understanding of reality can already be found in mythological texts. The formation of aesthetic knowledge is not linked to any one specific country, as it is characteristic of both Greek philosophy and the philosophy of China, India, the Arab-Muslim world, the Byzantine Empire.


Questions

  1. Give the definition of art

  2. What is the subject of aesthetics?

  3. Explain the principle of «Golden cut»

  4. What is harmony?


Topic №2. ANCIENT AESTHETICS


Plan

  1. The aesthetics of Ancient Greece

  2. Islamic aesthetics

  3. Indian aesthetics

  4. Chinese aesthetics

  5. African aesthetics


§1. The aesthetics of Ancient Greece

Already in the 5th century BC replaced by sense-observation approach to reality, the rule of cosmology (the perception of space as a harmony, usefulness, and beauty) comes to sharpening of interest to the person who is able to learn and explore the world around us.

Theoretical views of Socrates relied on the political and ethical basis for attempts to define the concept of good and evil. Criticizing the Athenian democracy, Socrates insisted on the best transfer of power, that is highly moral members of society.

Morality, in his view, should serve pledge fairness, integrity, nobility of man.

Taking as a basis the principle of expediency, Socrates attempts to discover the relationship between ethical and aesthetic, beautiful and useful. He called this ratio Kalos kagathos – the union of the old Greek word "beautiful and good (perfect)

The adjective καλός means beautiful and encompasses meanings equivalent to English "good", "noble", and "handsome". The form given by convention is the masculine, but it was equally used of women (the feminine form is καλή) and could also describe animals or inanimate objects.

Plato, in his work Republic, used the term τό καλόν (the neutral form) in his attempts to define ideals. However, his protagonist in the dialogue, Socrates, stated that he did not fully comprehend the nature of this καλόν.

This second adjective «agathos» means good and had no particular physical or aesthetic connotations, but could describe a person's excellence of character (ethical virtue) for example their bravery. Again, around the 4th century, it had become politically meaningful, and carried implications of dutiful citizenship.

This is one of the most important concepts of classical aesthetics, which meant the harmony of external and internal that is the condition of the individual beauty.

This term was interpreted differently in different times. Pythagoras followers understood Kalos kagathos as an external human behavior, which simultaneously determines its internal quality. Herodotus connected Kalos kagathos with religious rituals, the priests of morality.

Herodotus linked Kalos kagathos with religious rituals, morals of the priests.

Plato believed that the principle kalos kagathos is directly related to the profession of soldiers, the notion of military honor and morality. Later, the Greeks are increasingly begun to transform this concept into the sphere of education, education rights. Since then began philosophical understanding of the concept.

The trend was directly related to the concept of Aristotle, who interpreted the Kalos kagathos as the outer and inner harmony. Under the inner, he understood wisdom, which leads a person to a deep understanding of the unity of beauty and goodness, the aesthetic and moral, that is, the harmony, which should become the norm of human existence.

Man cannot attain the ideal, but it must at least through the self-improvement strive for this. The principle of Kalos kagathos art sought to realize their creative property. (Phidias, Sophocles, Polycleitus).

In subsequent historical periods principle of kalos kagathos was forgotten, and the ethics and aesthetics more were separated and each of them to choose its own path of development.

The problem of link of these sciences has moved into the sphere of art, and the most typical aspect of studying the interaction of ethics and aesthetics was the problem of "art and morality."

The name of Sophocles related statement of problem of the relationship between the beautiful and useful, as well as an attempt to as closely as possible to determine what is ideal.

Aesthetic views of Socrates got a creative continuation of the philosophical concept of an outstanding representative of ancient philosophy – Plato (427-347 BC)

He investigated the nature of perception of beauty, sources of talent, the problems of aesthetic education. He paid particular attention the study of art, because it played a special role in the life of Athens t VI-V BC. Athenian democracy won the right to free access to the theater, the whole people enjoyed the work of respected poets and musicians. Plato and Socrates as linked the influence of art with the formation of the moral world of human: it brings both positive and negative qualities.

He expanded the aesthetic perspective. In his theoretical dialogues present ideas about the relativity of beauty, of the absolute best ways to achieve beauty, which exists only as an idea, but the very possibility of movement from simple to complex in the formation of fine opens the way for future theoretical developments in the field of aesthetic.

It was Plato, who set the contradictions in the formulation and solution of some aesthetic problems that in the future in different historical periods have become the basis for the formation of new philosophical concepts.

In the dialogs "Ion", "State" Plato admires the one hand, "divine power" of the artist, on the other side – deliberately humiliates him through the lack of utility of the results of its activities. According to Plato the poet and the doctor or craftsmen should be given an advantage because of their significant work in practice. The problem of the role of art in the spiritual development of man, the formation of his sensate culture is not formed theoretically, and at the level of identification of art and craft activities art loses its identity and self-worth.

Comparing God – the poet – rhapsode – spectator, Plato ascribed to the poet the role of an intermediary, who passed from God the benefit to human. This is a formal function, considered a philosopher, thus, high levels of creativity is lost.

Another controversial problem was Plato’s attempt to identify the subject of Aesthetics. This is thinking and watching man, and the world of the absolute idea, the world of soul, that are able to comprehend the essense.

While acknowledging that universal beauty created by God, and beautiful objects – it is only an imperfect copy of the universal beauty, Plato notes in the dialogue "Hippias Major", "Great - it's hard".

The pinnacle of ancient aesthetics is considered theoretical legacy of Aristotle (384-322 BC). His work "Poetics", "Rhetoric," "Politics", "Metaphysics," "ethics" covers a wide range of aesthetic problems.

Aristotle was fond of the cosmos as a carrier of harmony, order and integrity.

Aesthetic perception and art he saw as a reflection of world harmony. Aristotle first gave detailed structure of aesthetic categories, offered his own understanding of the beautiful, tragic, comical. He explained the basic principle of the creative activity of the artist – mimesis. He believed that mimesis is peculiar to man from childhood. Man is distinguished from the animal due to the ability to inheritance.

Mimesis (Greek: μίμησις (mīmēsis), from μιμεῖσθαι (mīmeisthai), "to imitate," from μῖμος (mimos), "imitator, actor") is a critical and philosophical term that carries a wide range of meanings, which include: imitation, representation, mimicry, imitatio, receptivity, nonsensuous similarity, the act of resembling, the act of expression, and the presentation of the self.

In ancient Greece, mimesis was an idea that governed the creation of works of art, in particular, with correspondence to the physical world understood as a model for beauty, truth and the good. Plato contrasted mimesis, or imitation, with diegesis, or narrative. After Plato, the meaning of mimesis eventually shifted toward a specifically literary function in ancient Greek society, and its use has changed and been re-interpreted many times since then.

One of the best-known modern studies of mimesis, understood as a form of realism in the arts, is Erich Auerbach's Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Published in 1946 and written while the author was in exile from Nazi Germany, the book opens with a famous comparison between the way the world is represented in Homer's Odyssey and the way it appears in the Bible. From these two seminal Western texts, Auerbach builds the foundation for a unified theory of representation that spans the entire history of Western literature, including the Modernist novels being written at the time Auerbach began his study.

The Frankfurt school critical theorist T.W. Adorno made use of mimesis as a central philosophical term, interpreting it as a way in which works of art embodied a form of reason that was non-repressive and non-violent.

The concept of mimesis, was later transformed into the development of cognitive and emotional functions of art. According to Aristotle inheritance promotes knowledge, creates a feeling of satisfaction, and stimulates the imagination. This property was used as a mimesis peculiar link to introduce the figurative and symbolic conception in the Middle Ages. Aristotle's aesthetic views are associated not only with aesthetic issues, but also to pedagogy, elements of psychology art criticism (genera, genres of literature).

Both Plato and Aristotle saw in mimesis the representation of nature. Plato wrote about mimesis in both Ion and The Republic (Books II, III and X). In Ion, he states that poetry is the art of divine madness, or inspiration. Because the poet is subject to this divine madness, it is not his/her function to convey the truth. As Plato has it, truth is the concern of the philosopher only. As culture in those days did not consist in the solitary reading of books, but in the listening to performances, the recitals of orators (and poets), or the acting out by classical actors of tragedy, Plato maintained in his critique that theatre was not sufficient in conveying the truth. He was concerned that actors or orators were thus able to persuade an audience by rhetoric rather than by telling the truth.

In Book II of The Republic [377], Plato describes Socrates' dialogue with his pupils. Socrates warns we should not seriously regard poetry as being capable of attaining the truth and that we who listen to poetry should be on our guard against its seductions, since the poet has no place in our idea of God.

In developing this in Book X, [596–599] Plato tells of Socrates' metaphor of the three beds: one bed exists as an idea made by God (the Platonic ideal); one is made by the carpenter, in imitation of God's idea; one is made by the artist in imitation of the carpenter's.

So the artist's bed is twice removed from the truth. The copiers only touch on a small part of things as they really are, where a bed may appear differently from various points of view, looked at obliquely or directly, or differently again in a mirror. So painters or poets, though they may paint or describe a carpenter or any other maker of things, know nothing of the carpenter's (the craftsman's) art, and though the better painters or poets they are, the more faithfully their works of art will resemble the reality of the carpenter making a bed, nonetheless the imitators will still not attain the truth (of God's creation).

Similar to Plato's writings about mimesis, Aristotle also defined mimesis as the perfection and imitation of nature. Art is not only imitation but also the use of mathematical ideas and symmetry in the search for the perfect, the timeless, and contrasting being with becoming. Nature is full of change, decay, and cycles, but art can also search for what is everlasting and the first causes of natural phenomena. Aristotle wrote about the idea of four causes in nature. The first formal cause is like a blueprint, or an immortal idea. The second cause is the material, or what a thing is made out of. The third cause is the process and the agent, in which the artist or creator makes the thing. The fourth cause is the good, or the purpose and end of a thing, known as telos.

Aristotle's Poetics is often referred to as the counterpart to this Platonic conception of poetry. Poetics is his treatise on the subject of mimesis. Aristotle was not against literature as such; he stated that human beings are mimetic beings, feeling an urge to create texts (art) that reflect and represent reality.

Aristotle considered it important that there be a certain distance between the work of art on the one hand and life on the other; we draw knowledge and consolation from tragedies only because they do not happen to us. Without this distance, tragedy could not give rise to catharsis. However, it is equally important that the text causes the audience to identify with the characters and the events in the text, and unless this identification occurs, it does not touch us as an audience. Aristotle holds that it is through "simulated representation", mimesis, that we respond to the acting on the stage which is conveying to us what the characters feel, so that we may empathize with them in this way through the mimetic form of dramatic role-play. It is the task of the dramatist to produce the tragic enactment in order to accomplish this empathy by means of what is taking place on stage.

In short, catharsis can only be achieved if we see something that is both recognizable and distant. Aristotle argued that literature is more interesting as a means of learning than history, because history deals with specific facts that have happened, and which are contingent, whereas literature, although sometimes based on history, deals with events that could have taken place or ought to have taken place.

Aristotle thought of drama as being "an imitation of an action" and of tragedy as "falling from a higher to a lower estate" and so being removed to a less ideal situation in more tragic circumstances than before. He posited the characters in tragedy as being better than the average human being, and those of comedy as being worse.

The poets, beginning with Homer, far from improving and educating humanity, do not possess the knowledge of craftsmen and are mere imitators who copy again and again images of virtue and rhapsodise about them, but never reach the truth in the way the superior philosophers do.

Plato’s “Theory of Creativity” emphasized the mystical, beyond the reality stimuli of talents, the Aristotle’s “Poetics” appeals to generalize the artistic image, transfer it to others during their upbringing and education.

Aristotle developed a new ethical concepts, as well as the theoretical basis of existing (mimesis, Kalos kagathos, catharsis). It includes in the analysis of theoretical concepts such notions as "canon" – a system of norms and rules in the development of art, "hedonism" (pleasure) – the emotional and sensual nature of the arts, "allegory" – imaginative way of saying, “measure", "proportion" "association". Aristotle not only enriches the perspective of science, but also develops his own categories and concepts. Based on these concepts and categories aesthetics could subsequently become an independent science.


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