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I didn t completely agree with the ideas in this booke, but I rate it five stars because it made me think and it showed me ways of seeing that I didn t notice before He must have been quite the extrovert personality type, because he entirely associated the sublime and beautiful with external objects things for the five senses and he said nothing about beauty being in the eye of the beholder Burke mainly equates the sublime with terror, and contrasts it with beauty which he equates with t I didn t completely agree with the ideas in this booke, but I rate it five stars because it made me think and it showed me ways of seeing that I didn t notice before He must have been quite the extrovert personality type, because he entirely associated the sublime and beautiful with external objects things for the five senses and he said nothing about beauty being in the eye of the beholder Burke mainly equates the sublime with terror, and contrasts it with beauty which he equates with things that inspire us to love I can remember a time when love woke me up psychologically When love failed to continue, the sublime aspects of my anguish continued to wake me up psychologically So, both ends of the spectrum should be embraced beauty and love versus the sublime, terror, fear, anguish, impressiveness.This is where I felt disagreement, because every time he associated the sublime with terror, I wanted to remind myself that sublime is also associated with other things like being impressed, amazed, awe struck, and even anguished There is a terror association in all those, but there s a problem with contrasting terror with beauty The contrast makes us want to avoid the sublime Modern thought contrasts love with fear, and encourages us to avoid fear, but if we contrast love as beauty with terror as sublimity, we can see that the sublime has a wonderful place Burke writes about such things as the awesome ness of mountains and the darkness of heavy forests as being sublime and terror striking There s wonder in this, and it s heapsinteresting than the modern tendency to avoid fear in favor of love Beauty is what made me want to read this book, because I wanted to get a clue about what poets and artists mean when they speak so highly of beauty, and okay, I get it now I also understand now, from this book, that being awake psychologically can come from beauty being in love as much as from the sublime, being anguished and impressed upon Although that wasn t Burke s purpose in writing it, that s what I got from the book Here are some quotes from A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful Sympathy It is by the first of these passions that we enter into the concerns of others that we are moved as they are moved, and are never suffered to be indifferent spectators of almost any thing which men can do or suffer For sympathy must be considered as a sort of substitution, by which we are put into the place of another man, and affected in many respects as he is affected so that this passion may either partake of the nature of those which regard self preservation, and turning upon pain may be a source of the sublime It is by this principle chiefly that poetry, painting, and other affecting arts, transfuse their passions from one breast to another, and are often capable of grafting delight on wretchedness, misery, and death itself On closing this general view of beauty, it naturally occurs, that we should compare it with the sublime and in this comparison there appears a remarkable contrast For sublime objects are vast in their dimensions, beautiful ones comparatively small beauty should be smooth, and polished the great, rugged and negligent beauty should shun the right line, yet deviate from in insensibly the great in many cases loves the right line, and when it deviates, it often makes a strong deviation beauty should not be obscure the great ought to be dark and gloomy beauty should be light and delicate the great ought to be solid, and even massive They are indeed ideas of a very different nature, one being founded on pain, the other on pleasure I have before observed, that whatever is qualified to cause terror, is a foundation capable of the sublime to which I add, that not only these, but many things from which we cannot probably apprehend any danger have a similar effect, because they operate in a similar manner I observed too, that whatever produces pleasure, is fit to have beauty engrafted on it (((Download Epub))) ☟ A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful ☘ An eloquent and sometimes even erotic book, the Philosophical Enquiry was long dismissed as a piece of mere juvenilia However, Burke s analysis of the relationship between emotion, beauty, and art form is now recognized as not only an important and influential work of aesthetic theory, but also one of the first major works in European literature on the Sublime, a subject that has fascinated thinkers from Kant and Coleridge to the philosophers and critics of today As important as John Locke is to philosophy, his influence is sure to lead to the production of books like Burke s work on aesthetics The reader is warned early at least Burke proposes to outline aesthetics in scientific fashion because he truly believes its components must fall into line as the dictates of Reason do cringe Just as Locke believed morality and ethics would be broken down into perfectly mapped out sciences if we just stopped and properly defined our clear and distinct terms, As important as John Locke is to philosophy, his influence is sure to lead to the production of books like Burke s work on aesthetics The reader is warned early at least Burke proposes to outline aesthetics in scientific fashion because he truly believes its components must fall into line as the dictates of Reason do cringe Just as Locke believed morality and ethics would be broken down into perfectly mapped out sciences if we just stopped and properly defined our clear and distinct terms, Burke proceeds to catalog the aesthetic buzzwords that we can t go without Look, Locke s moral science didn t happen So this ain t happening either Think Hume s book on morality You re not getting any philosophical enquiry You re getting a handbook Kant s treatment of the sublime in Critique of Judgment makes any of Burke s attempt on the same useless no big shame, it is Kant, I guess Burke s idea of beauty runs like a checklist He only looks at constituents and comments hardly at all on the integration of those parts Barely anything on the subjective either which is ridiculous in aestheticshe acknowledges only subjective sensibility which is just degree of awareness of the checklist items The work never goes any deeper The reader can only hope to hit upon a departure point for his or her own aesthetic reflections at best An elegant work that expresses in words feelings and emotions that you knew but could never quite articulate. I think this is rather poor philosophy Essentially, Burke is just listing empirical psychological generalisations He says beautiful things are smooth, small, mild, clear, etc This is debatable in itself, but my larger problem with it is that it doesn t really go anywhere or tell us anything Why do we find such things beautiful What is the nature of beauty, and where does it come from These questions are not answered by Burke The closest we get to a definition of beauty is that it makes u I think this is rather poor philosophy Essentially, Burke is just listing empirical psychological generalisations He says beautiful things are smooth, small, mild, clear, etc This is debatable in itself, but my larger problem with it is that it doesn t really go anywhere or tell us anything Why do we find such things beautiful What is the nature of beauty, and where does it come from These questions are not answered by Burke The closest we get to a definition of beauty is that it makes us feel affection This is hardly sufficient His treatment of the sublime is a little better He says that the sublime comes from fear and terror, that is converted into feeling of delight or astonishment This fear and terror comes from the vastness, darkness, etc, of the object Imagine peering over a chasm there is fear that you could be in danger of falling, yet there is also a feeling of delight at the sheer scale of what you see It fills the mind, as Burke says I still dislike this method of treatment, though Again, it is all simply a list of empirical generalisations and observations from a rather primitive psychological viewpoint I suppose it is to be expected, considering Burke s philosophical tradition Some words that come to mind when describing this book are eloquent, overwhelming, thought provoking, confusing, and what have I just read On face value, the author seems to be merely defining and distinguishing the words, beautiful and sublime The title is pretty self explanatory and the book does what one would anticipate from it But well into the book, it becomes clear that there must be a larger plot Edmund Burke lays out our role in society and the way our passions work as in a congr Some words that come to mind when describing this book are eloquent, overwhelming, thought provoking, confusing, and what have I just read On face value, the author seems to be merely defining and distinguishing the words, beautiful and sublime The title is pretty self explanatory and the book does what one would anticipate from it But well into the book, it becomes clear that there must be a larger plot Edmund Burke lays out our role in society and the way our passions work as in a congruence with the divine insertion of the innate capacity to perceive beauty and to be drawn to the Sublime which is defined as a terrifying, awe inspiring notion The sublime is an experience that is so beyond the experience of the mundane beautiful that it carries us away from the world of images and clarities to the world of feelings and intense emotions Burke shows that our pleasures for what is beautiful worldly cannot come near the delight felt by the sublime unworldly , Godly experience The book has made me contemplate the standards of my taste and made me question the nature of my relationship to the most sublime being, God The question with this kind of book is what can the contemporary reader get out of it If you are looking for a book that will actually tell you something about the nature of beauty and sublimity, you ll probably find Burke s argument to be dated, strange, somewhat irrelevant, and sometimes unintentionally funny The best way to approach this book is as a historical document The Enquiry was an incredibly influential book in British and American aesthetic thought and is probably best studied in The question with this kind of book is what can the contemporary reader get out of it If you are looking for a book that will actually tell you something about the nature of beauty and sublimity, you ll probably find Burke s argument to be dated, strange, somewhat irrelevant, and sometimes unintentionally funny The best way to approach this book is as a historical document The Enquiry was an incredibly influential book in British and American aesthetic thought and is probably best studied in that light although it fell out of favor for a long time The reason why we have such a proliferation of new editions is scholars renewed interested in it over the past 30 or 40 years Burke s main argument can be summed up thus beauty smoothness, paleness, symmetry, smallness, gentle curves, etc clearly he s deriving this from the pale, curvy ideal of womanhood in mid 18th century Britain sublimity huge immeasurable, infinite, dangerous, dark obscure, loud think of the stormy ocean or a chasm in the Alps preferably viewed from a place of safety This argument is important because it locates the qualities of sublimity and beauty in things themselves That is, a vase is beautiful because it physically embodies these particular qualities The rival school of thought held that beauty is not located in the vase itself, but arises when I perceive it What Burke has to say about beauty and sublimity per se is probably not very interesting to us, but his way of thinking about it that is, his answer to the question of whether or not aesthetic qualities inhere in objects is still very relevant As evident from the title of the book, Burke questions and interprets the Sublime and Beautiful Namely, how it affects the individual, and possible reasons for the consequent feelings This latter point, in my opinion, is where Burke starts to think muchas Psychologist, and begins to link the mind body relationship for him, they are greatly connected.Part One begins with Burke highlighting the Novelty of life, its decline through life, and the inability for mere Novelty to excite the min As evident from the title of the book, Burke questions and interprets the Sublime and Beautiful Namely, how it affects the individual, and possible reasons for the consequent feelings This latter point, in my opinion, is where Burke starts to think muchas Psychologist, and begins to link the mind body relationship for him, they are greatly connected.Part One begins with Burke highlighting the Novelty of life, its decline through life, and the inability for mere Novelty to excite the mind In short, the occurrences of life, by the time we come to know it a little, would be incapable of affecting the mind with any other sensations than those of loathing and weariness, if many things were not adapted to affect the mind by means of other powers besides novelty in them, and of other passions besides curiosity in ourselves This is followed by his presenting of Pain and Pleasure, not as a spectrum, but as both individual spectrums both with indifference as the neutral point Burke defines indifference as the state neither of pain or pleasure This continues throughout Part 1, with multiple examples such as Joy and grief One particular example, which I believe is where he first introduces a psychological aspect, is his understanding that passions which concern self preservation rely on pain or danger This includes ideas of pain, sickness and death This is contracted by the small affect that life and health have on the individual This latter idea initialises his ideas of The Sublime huge, immeasurable, infinite, dangerous, dark obscure, loud A mention is made of his other passion category Society In short, it is the passions arising from gratifications and pleasure This contrasts self preservation, which arises from pain and danger I will not talk anyabout this as I believe it was just Burke s way of creating a universal idea Part Two focus on the idea of the Sublime The prerequisites, previously mentioned, are explained in this chapter Astonishment, he thinks, is the effect of the sublime in its highest degree the inferior effects are admiration, reverence, and respect Although he doesn t actually directly tackle astonishment, he attributes it to factors such as Privation of darkness, solitude and silence This lack of, which Burke recognises to cause obscurity, is a key factor in the feeling of the Sublime The thought of obscurity also plays a vital role in Beauty but in this case, it is the completeness A particular prerequisite for the Sublime, which I feel is perhaps one of the most important Kant will agree, is the idea of Vastness Greatness of dimension is a powerful cause of the sublime This is followed by the idea of Infinity Infinity has a tendency to fill the mind with that sort of delightful horror, which is the most genuine effect, and truest test of the sublime But the eye not being able to perceive the bounds of many things, they seem to be infinite, and they produce the same effects as if they were really so We are deceived in the like manner, if the parts of some large object are so continued to any indefinite number, that the imagination meets no check which may hinder its extending them at pleasure Part Three outlines the idea of Beauty In broadest terms, the essentials are smoothness, paleness, symmetry, smallness, and gentle curves Interestingly, he disagreed with the notion of proportions being a cause of beauty Using somewhat strange metaphors, such as the proportions seen in vegetables and different species of Birds, he presents that we humans do not find universal proportions beautiful, and that they differ with everything we see Burke also disagrees that the fitness adaptability of an animal causes it to be seen as beautiful He presents his rationale by giving examples such as the swine Having moved away from these factors, he focuses on properties of the object This is important as he locates the qualities of beauty in the things themselves, rather than the object is beautiful because the perceiver views it to be.One particular example for the effect of Gradual variation on Beauty Observe that part of a beautiful woman where she is perhaps the most beautiful, about the neck and breasts the smoothness, the softness, the easy and insensible swell the variety of the surface, which is never for the smallest space the same the deceitful maze through which the unsteady eye slides giddily, without knowing where to fix, or whither it is carried Is not this a demonstration of that change of surface, continual, and yet hardly perceptible at any point, which forms one of the great constituents of beauty Part Four is where Burke truly blossoms Before, he had given needs for the sublime and beautiful, but had better explained what the causes were, and the reasons why Some excerpts from this section Why visual objects of great dimensions are sublime Vision is performed by having a picture, formed by the rays of light which are reflected from the object, painted in one piece, instantaneously, on the retina, or last nervous part of the eye all the light reflected from a large body should strike the eye in one instant yet we must suppose that the body itself is formed of a vast number of distinct points, every one of which, or the ray from every one, makes an impression on the retina So that, though the image of one point should cause but a small tension of this membrane, another, and another, and another stroke, must in their progress cause a very great one, until it arrives at last to the highest degree and the whole capacity of the eye, vibrating in all its parts, must approach near to the nature of what causes pain, and consequently must produce an idea of the sublime Similar logic to the above is used in the creation of Sublime through the repetition of noise My opinions on Burke s workI can definitely see why he is an important figure in the development of the Aesthetic, particularly the idea of the Sublime and Beautiful His somewhat psychological development into the reasons of the feelings we encounter definitely made it in an interesting read For example, his mentioning of how things beautiful have the ability to decrease an individual s nerves foreshadows what we now know from Neuroscience Having read a bit of Kant s book on the Sublime, and he greatly focuses on the greatness and infinite , which I too, believe are the best sections of this book I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know about the development of the Aesthetic, and or has an interest in the Romantic notion of feelings and how nature, normally, affects Humans 3.25 stars Not something I d read for fun, but I think I m smarter for having finished it It is a solid philosophical inquiry into the origin of our ideas of the sublime and beautiful, as you may have been able to guess from its title It is apparently a foundational text for the aesthetics of the Romantics, and apparently Burke who knows at least four languages wrote it when he was nineteen, so if you want to feel like your life is passing you by, this is a good one.