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In this seminal study, Robert Wicks provides a sweeping survey of European Aesthetics over the last two hundred years. Presenting the theories of sixteen important continental thinkers including Kant, Nietzsche, Freud, and Derrida, this the only comprehensive study of the evolution of continental thought in this key area of philosophy.
Highlighting European ambivalence towards reason in the aftermath of the violence of the French Revolution, Wick shows how each philosopher deals with the tension between the ideals of scientific rationalism on one side and creativity and human instinct on the other. Should art be evaluated objectively in terms of its form and dimensions, or should we value it because of how it makes us feel? With a colour plate section and written in a lively but objective tone, this book will prove essential for students in Philosophy, Art, and English Literature.
Robert Wicks is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Auckland. He has written books on Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Kant and is a regular contributor to the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.