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Diotima's ChildrenGerman Aesthetic Rationalism from Leibniz to Lessing$
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Frederick C. Beiser

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573011.001.0001

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Leibniz and the Roots of Aesthetic Rationalism

Leibniz and the Roots of Aesthetic Rationalism

Chapter:
(p.31) 1 Leibniz and the Roots of Aesthetic Rationalism
Source:
Diotima's Children
Author(s):

Frederick C. Beiser (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573011.003.0002

This chapter examines the aesthetic dimension of Leibniz's philosophy. It begins with a discussion of his definition of beauty. It then considers his account of sensible qualities in general. While Leibniz did not limit beauty to the pleasures of sense, he fully recognized that many characteristic aesthetic qualities are sensible. Leibniz's account of sensible qualities is fundamental for the entire rationalist aesthetic tradition, especially for those who held that beauty is a sensible pleasure. The chapter also discusses his principle of ‘the classical trinity’, i.e. the unity of truth, beauty, and goodness. Although Leibniz does not explicitly defend or elaborate this principle, it is essential to, and implicit in, his entire metaphysics.

Keywords:   Leibniz, aesthetic rationalism, sense, classical trinity, truth, definition of beauty, goodness

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