Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten

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Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb


Born June 17, 1714, in Berlin; died May 26, 1762, in Frankfurt an der Oder. German philosopher belonging to the school of C. Wolff. Originator of aesthetics as an independent philosophical discipline.

Baumgarten was a professor at the University of Frankfurt an der Oder. In the field of gnoseology, following the German thinkers Leibniz and Wolff, he distinguished between higher (rational) knowledge—the subject of logic—and lower (sense-derived) knowledge, the theory of which Baumgarten was the first to call aesthetics. The latter at the same time seemed to Baumgarten to be a theory of the beautiful inasmuch as the sensory, indistinct perception of perfection was connected by him with pleasure in the beautiful. He maintained that the perfection or beauty of a phenomenon lies in the harmonious agreement of three basic elements—content, order, and expression.

The consideration of aesthetic phenomena from the point of view of the theory of knowledge, which was first done by Baumgarten, had a special importance for the subsequent development of German classical aesthetics. Baumgarten made a great contribution to the development of philosophical terminology; he made wide use of the terms “subjective” and “objective,” “in itself” and “for itself,” the introduction of which has often been mistakenly attributed to Kant.


Aesthetica, vols. 1–2. Frankfurt an der Oder, 1750–58.
Metaphysica. Halle an der Saale, 1739.
Istoriia estetiki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1964. Pages 449–65.


Asmus, V. F. Nemetskaia estetika XVIII v. Moscow, 1963. Pages 3–56.


References in periodicals archive ?
Le habria llegado, al menos, a partir de dos autores: Christian Wolff y Alexander Baumgarten.
La mayor parte de los esteticos del siglo XVIII siguio las pautas subjetivistas de Descartes y Spinoza, pero el padre de la estetica en tanto disciplina autonoma, Alexander Baumgarten, siguio a Leibniz>>; cfr.
He argues in, contra Alexander Baumgarten (1735), that the aesthetic is concerned with thought itself, not just with the sense that leads to thought.
Alexander Baumgarten and the Context of the Birth of Aesthetics".
In the 18th century, German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten created the modern usage of 'aesthetics'.
In fact, museums are responsible for the rise of formalism in philosophy of art (at least in the Western context); and formalism is responsible for the origin of the modifier aesthetic that stresses the sensory aspects of experience, right from Alexander Baumgarten to Stolnitz through Lord Shaftesbuy, Francis Hutcheson, Immanuel Kant and Arthur Schopenhauer: If Kant believed that by one's aesthetic attitude (disinterested perception) one would be in a position to make "correct" aesthetic evaluation, Schopenhauer and Stolintz replaced this correct aesthetic evaluation by focusing on the conditions for aesthetic experience.
Do they deepen our sense of what Alexander Baumgarten called "sensate-objectivity" and show that the expressive possibilities of "aesthetic painting" were not exhausted by its last great surge in post-painterly abstraction?
Kant at first defended this original perceptual meaning of the term against changes proposed by a fellow philosopher, Alexander Baumgarten.
Chapter one offers a short preliminary discussion of Kant's project, while chapter two gives an excellent survey of its cultural and philosophical context, demonstrating to what extent Kant was indebted not only to well-known figures like Newton, Leibniz and Wolff, but also to unjustly ignored ones, such as Christian Thomasius, Alexander Baumgarten and Martin Knutzen (Christian August Crusius should be added here).
Como se sabe, Alexander BAUMGARTEN caracterizo la Estetica como la "ciencia del conocimiento sensible" (1750-1758, &1).
By contrast, Alexander Baumgarten, who is more often than not considered the "godfather" of aesthetics (and who certainly invented the name of the discipline) must be clearly placed inside a tradition that goes from Leibniz to Kant.