Imitation and Society: The Persistence of Mimesis in the Aesthetics of Burke, Hogarth, and Kant

Imitation and Society: The Persistence of Mimesis in the Aesthetics of Burke, Hogarth, and Kant

by Tom Huhn
     
 

ISBN-10: 0271024682

ISBN-13: 9780271024684

Pub. Date: 09/28/2004

Publisher: Penn State University Press

This book reconsiders the fate of the doctrine of mimesis in the eighteenth century. Standard accounts of the aesthetic theories of this era hold that the idea of mimesis was supplanted by the far more robust and compelling doctrines of taste and aesthetic judgment. Since the idea of mimesis was taken to apply only in the relation of art to nature, it was judged to

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Overview

This book reconsiders the fate of the doctrine of mimesis in the eighteenth century. Standard accounts of the aesthetic theories of this era hold that the idea of mimesis was supplanted by the far more robust and compelling doctrines of taste and aesthetic judgment. Since the idea of mimesis was taken to apply only in the relation of art to nature, it was judged to be too limited when the focus of aesthetics changed to questions about the constitution of individual subjects in regard to taste. Tom Huhn argues that mimesis, rather than disappearing, instead became a far more pervasive idea in the eighteenth century by becoming submerged within the dynamics of the emerging accounts of judgment and taste. Mimesis also thereby became enmeshed in the ideas of sociality contained, often only implicitly, within the new accounts of aesthetic judgment.

The book proceeds by reading three of the foundational treatises in aesthetics—Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty, and Kant’s Critique of Judgment—with an eye for discerning where arguments and analyses betray mimetic structures. Huhn attempts to explicate these books anew by arguing that they are pervaded by a mimetic dynamic. Overall, he seeks to provoke a reconsideration of eighteenth-century aesthetics that centers on its continuity with traditional notions of mimesis.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271024684
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Series:
Literature and Philosophy
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Burke and the Ambitions of Taste

Prologue

I. Introducing Taste

II. Delight, or the Labor Theory of Pleasure

III. Sensation and Sensibility

IV. Shaftesbury and the “Charm of Confederation”

V. Sympathy

VI. Ambition

VII. Spectatorship

2. Hogarth and the Lineage of Taste

Prologue

I. The Epistemology of Lines

II. The Eye for Pleasure

III. Dance and the Movement from Vision to Imagination

IV. Eye and Mind

3. Kant and the Pleasures of Taste

Prologue

I. Activating Sensibility

II. Determining Reflective Judgment

III. Phantom Sensations and Mistaken Subjects

IV. Representative Pleasures

V. Opaque Pleasures

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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