Aesthetic Consciousness - The Basics of Philosophy

Aesthetic Consciousness

The concepts of Truth and Good are incomplete without Beauty, and it, in turn, is manifested where the mind has approached the truth, and the will is directed to good. "I am convinced," Hegel wrote, "that the supreme act of the mind, embracing all ideas, is an aesthetic act, and that truth and good are joined together in bonds only in beauty" . In no field can one be spiritually developed without an aesthetic sense.

Antiquity actively reflected on its spiritual activities, not only its content, but also its form, which was manifested in the introduction of aesthetic concepts of beauty, measure, harmony, perfection in the composition of the main categories of being.

The ancient thinkers attributed their adherence to aesthetics to the fact that only this form adequately expresses being and the world as a whole, which is fundamentally hidden behind things, in seemingly chaotic forms, the fundamental principle of harmony and beauty. Beauty for Antiquity was an attribute of the world itself, and not just a person looking at this world. In addition, beauty and harmony were also synonymous with the rational, for it is clear that the world organized according to the laws of beauty can not be arranged unreasonably. The doctrine of beauty in ancient aesthetics was in essence not separated from the doctrine of being, and this means that the questions about Truth, Beauty and Good were not in classical Antiquity different questions - they merged into an indivisible unity.

Special reflection on the aesthetic began in the Renaissance, when the first place was put forward by a man. The authority of the aesthetic rose sharply, and it returned to the composition of philosophical knowledge. The fact of isolation of aesthetics as an independent form of spiritual activity naturally led to the isolation of Beauty, which used to intrinsically penetrate and thus synthetically unite Truth and Good, and now enters as an equal character in the developing historical drama, in the struggle for the leading position. Beauty is declared the perfection of sensory cognition, and the place of Beauty's stay is no longer the world itself (as it was in Antiquity), but art as the result of man's creative activity.

Recognition of the aesthetic property of art alone deprived the aesthetic consciousness of its synthesizing function, detached the aesthetics from all other activities, from social life in general, turned art into an end in itself. From this point of view, the truth refers to the world, and beauty - to human creativity or to the beauty of nature taken outside the society. For the first time in history, between Truth and Beauty, there was a logical abyss, the same abyss that separates nature and the creative spirit of man.

The most extensive substantiation of this point of view was given by romantic philosophers, then it was developed in classical German idealism, in Neo-Kantianism of the 19th and 20th centuries. Similar constructions are at the basis of all the varieties of the purely aesthetic theory of "pure art", i.e. art for art's sake. Beauty is placed above both Truth and Good. Art, according to B. Croce, is the highest reality, it is outside knowledge and outside morality. The real world of the spirit, the supreme reality of being, is the world of art (Sh. Baudelaire, O. Wilde), which alone can compensate for the insufficiency and defectiveness of social life (United States symbolism) and which eclipses all "doomed to failure" attempts of natural and social sciences to penetrate into the deep, essential nature of man himself (J. P. Sartre).

According to IV Goethe, between Truth and Beauty there is no sharp border, on the contrary, Beauty is Truth; it is a manifestation of the deep laws of nature, which, without finding them in phenomena, would forever remain hidden for our gaze. The laws of nature and the laws of Beauty ns can be separated from each other. According to Goethe, the one to whom nature begins to reveal its secrets, is experiencing an irresistible, passionate striving for its most worthy interpretation of the means of art.

The Age of Enlightenment and virtually the entire official ideology of the early nineteenth century. were imbued with rationalism, i.e. were inclined to entrust the solution of the basic questions of being to the natural-scientific mind; From this point of view, art was not considered a means of knowing the world, but only a form of human self-affirmation. Since the end of XIX century. European philosophers persistently began to talk about the "crisis of rationalism", about the need to return to culture the principle of the triunity of reason, will and feeling, i.e. Truth, Goodness and Beauty.

For United States culture of the XIX century. was characteristic of Goethe's view of the essence of beauty, and if in Western European aesthetic teachings more emphasis was placed on the conformity of the laws of Beauty and the laws of nature, and the laws of Beauty were still considered an attribute of human activity alone, then the pathos of United States culture went further. VG Belinsky, DI Pisarev, NA Dobrolyubov, LN Tolstoy saw in art primarily a means of moral influence and moral convergence of people, and FM Dostoevsky emphasized the religious significance of beauty.


An aesthetic aspect of aesthetic consciousness is aesthetic feelings. Aesthetic feeling is an enlightened feeling of enjoying beauty. Emotions of art are smart emotions. Instead of manifesting itself in the clenching of the kulaks and in tremors, they are resolved predominantly in images of fantasy . Aesthetic feelings are related to the higher forms of psychic experience. They assume a conscious or unconscious ability to be guided by the concepts of beauty when perceiving the phenomena of the surrounding reality, works of art. Aesthetic feelings, like any positive emotions, border on revelation. They differ in degree of generalization and in strength. Starting from a sense of moderate pleasure, a person can go through a series of steps, up to aesthetic delight.

The developed aesthetic sense makes the personality of the individual individually unique, differentiates his inner world and at the same time harmoniously combines spiritual qualities in him. A person with a developed aesthetic sense is a man of creative impulse, creative attitude to life.

It is characteristic that a person with developed healthy aesthetic needs permanently retains not only spiritual, but also physical youth, since the creative, active impulse of his life increases the general tone of his body's vital activity. Indeed, constant communication with nature, the ability to see and create beauty in work, in relationships between people, the ability to deeply feel and understand art - all this enhances the vitality of a person, freeing him from many unnecessary negative emotions and experiences. Developed aesthetic needs make a higher overall culture of feelings, purifying them from vulgar, primitive and gross experiences.

Aesthetic consciousness can exist in every act of human activity, whether it be scientific thinking, sensory contemplation, production activity or even the domestic sphere. A person can evaluate from the aesthetic point of view any manifestation, every objective phenomenon opposing him, in short, everything that is only involved in the sphere of his experience.

Art is a professional sphere of activity in which the aesthetic consciousness of the accompanying element turns into the main goal. No matter how strong the aesthetic moment necessarily present in an activity, for example, a scientist, he does not determine the main content of his research. In art, aesthetic consciousness becomes the main thing.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)