Decorated initial K

ant defines the beautiful as that which pleases generally and not generally: —generally, inasmuch as it satisfies not a particular faculty of the mind, but the whole mind; and not generally, inasmuch as the pleasure which it affords is not mediatized by abstract or general ideas. Does anybody see better for such a definition? Or take it in the terms set forth by Schiller. Beauty is a quality which stands in relation to the entirety of our powers, not to any one in particular. Who of us after reading such phrases can lay his hand upon his heart and say honestly that now he knows more about beauty than he did before? Said Goethe to Eckermann, “I cannot help laughing at the aesthetical folks who torment themselves in endeavouring by some abstract words to reduce to a conception that inexpressible thing, to which we give the name of beauty. Beauty is a primeval phenomenon which itself never makes its appearance, but the reflection of which is within a thousand different utterances of the creative mind, and is as various as nature herself.”

In point of fact the utmost that science can i reach, in dealing with this difficult subject, is a scientific ignorance. We are ignorant, and we ought to know our ignorance. [104-05]


Dallas, Eneas Sweetland . The Gay Science. 2 vols. London: Chapman and Hall, 1866. A HathiTrust online version of a copy in the Harvard University Library. Web. 30 April 2022.

Last modified 3 May 2022