By Dietrich von Hildebrand, Robert E. Wood, John F. Crosby, Dana Gioia
Foreword by way of Dana Gioia, Preface via Robert E. wooden, creation by means of John F. Crosby.
Dietrich von Hildebrand understood the centrality of attractiveness now not in basic terms to artwork yet to philosophy, theology, and ethics. In his formidable and finished Aesthetics, now translated into English for the 1st time, Hildebrand rehabilitates the concept that of good looks as an aim fairly and simply subjective phenomenon. His systematic account renews the Classical and Christian imaginative and prescient of attractiveness as a competent mode of conception that leads humanity towards the genuine, the nice, and finally the divine. there is not any extra very important factor in our culture--sacred or secular--than the recovery of attractiveness. and there's no higher position to begin this pressing firm than Dietrich von Hildebrand's Aesthetics. - Dana Gioia | From the Foreword
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It is worth noting that metaphysical beauty also plays a role in Hildebrand’s magisterial treatise The Nature of Love. He insists at the beginning of that work that love is a value-response, which means that it is awakened by the sight of some personal value in the beloved person. He then develops the idea that this value, though not a value that is in the first place an aesthetic value, is perceived by the one who loves as being radiant with beauty, and that it is only in this aesthetically potent way that it awakens love.
It is not at all acceptable to apply the term “luxury” to everything that is superfluous in the sense of superabundant; it reveals a blindness to values, a purely utilitarian attitude, a radical philistinism. To call such things luxury is, as I said, to extend the concept to embrace the totality of culture, the world of beauty, and even moral values, that is, things that are much more important, more necessary, and more serious than all those things that are merely useful. This is a typical instance of an unjustified term which is essentially flawed, indeed based on a contradiction: it takes something that is profoundly meaningful and absolutely necessary, and calls it superfluous and unnecessary.
He is able to speak about the peculiarities of many natural environments and of the interplay between the natural and the built environment in the great cities of Europe, especially in Italy. Regarding nature, Hildebrand appreciates the various animal forms and what they each contribute to the beauty of their environments; nonetheless, for him lions and horses stand at the top of the hierarchy of beautiful animal types, with hippopotamuses and hyenas at the bottom. In all the aesthetic regions he explores, he is always after evaluation and consequent hierarchical ranking, which most people would not be in a position to dispute.
Aesthetics by Dietrich von Hildebrand, Robert E. Wood, John F. Crosby, Dana Gioia