Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten

Infobox Philosopher
region = Western Philosophy
era = 18th-century philosophy
color = #B0C4DE

image_size = 150px
name = Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten
school_tradition = Enlightenment philosophy
birth = July 17, 1714
death = May 26, 1762
influences = Leibniz, Wolff
influenced = Kant

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten (July 17, 1714 – May 26, 1762) was a German philosopher. Baumgarten was born in Berlin as the fifth of seven sons of the pietist pastor of the garrison, Jacob Baumgarten and his wife Rosina Elisabeth.Both his parents died early and he was taught by Martin Georg Christgau where he learned Hebrew and got interested in Latin Poetry.Whilst words may change their meaning through cultural developments anyway, Baumgarten's reappraisal of aesthetics is often seen as the key moment in the development of aesthetic philosophy. Previously the word had merely meant 'sensibility' or 'responsiveness to stimulation of the senses' in its use by ancient writers. With the development of art as a commercial enterprise linked to the rise of a "nouveau riche" class across Europe, the purchasing of art inevitably lead to the question, 'what is good art'. Baumgarten developed aesthetics to mean the study of good and bad "taste," thus good and bad art, linking good taste with beauty.

By trying to develop an idea of good and bad taste, he also in turn generated philosophical debate around this new meaning of aesthetics. Without it, there would be no basis for aesthetic debate as there would be no objective criterion, basis for comparison, or reason from which one could develop an objective argument.

Baumgarten's Aesthetics

Baumgarten re-coined the word aesthetics to mean taste or "sense" of beauty, thereby inventing its modern usage. The word had been used differently since the time of the ancient Greeks to mean the ability to receive stimulation from one or more of the five bodily senses. In his "Metaphysic", § 451, Baumgarten defined taste, in its wider meaning, as the ability to judge according to the senses, instead of according to the intellect. Such a judgment of taste is based on feelings of pleasure or displeasure. A science of aesthetics would be, for Baumgarten, a deduction of the rules or principles of artistic or natural beauty from individual "taste."


In 1781, Kant declared that Baumgarten's aesthetics could never contain objective rules, laws, or principles of natural or artistic beauty.

Nine years later, in his "Critique of Judgment", Kant use the word "aesthetic" in relation to the judgment of taste or the estimation of the beautiful. For Kant, an aesthetic judgment is subjective in that it relates to the internal feeling of pleasure or displeasure and not to any qualities in an external object.

ee also

* Aesthetics


* "Dissertatio chorographica, Notiones superi et inferi, indeque adscensus et descensus, in chorographiis sacris occurentes, evolvens" (1735)
* "Meditationes philosophicae de nonnullis ad poema pertinentibus" (1735)
* "De ordine in audiendis philosophicis per triennium academicum quaedam praefatus acroases proximae aestati destinatas indicit Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten" (1738)
* "Metaphysica" (1739)
* "Ethica philosophica" (1740)
* "Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten eröffnet Einige Gedancken vom vernünfftigen Beyfall auf Academien, und ladet zu seiner Antritts-Rede [...] ein" (1740)
* "Serenissimo potentissimo principi Friderico, Regi Borussorum marchioni brandenburgico S. R. J. archicamerario et electori, caetera, clementissimo dominio felicia regni felicis auspicia, a d. III. Non. Quinct. 1740" (1740)
* "Philosophische Briefe von Aletheophilus" (1741)
* "Scriptis, quae moderator conflictus academici disputavit, praefatus rationes acroasium suarum Viadrinarum reddit Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten" (1743)
* "Aesthetica" (1750)-1758)
* " [ Initia Philosophiae Practicae. Primae Acroamatice] " (1760)
* "Acroasis logica in Christianum L.B. de Wolff" (1761)
* "Ius naturae" (posthum 1763)
* "Sciagraphia encyclopaedia philosophicae" (ed. Johs. Christian Foerster 1769)
* "Philosophia generalis" (ed. Johs. Christian Foerster 1770)
* "Alex. Gottl. Baumgartenii Praelectiones theologiae dogmaticae" (ed. Salomon Semmler (1773)
* "Metaphysica" (übers. Georg Friedrich Meier 1776)
* "Gedanken über die Reden Jesu nach dem Inhalt der evangelischen Geschichten" (ed. F.G. Scheltz & A.B. Thiele; 1796-1797)

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten — (* 17. Juli 1714 in Berlin; † 27. Mai 1762 in Frankfurt (Oder)) war ein deutscher Philosoph, der in der Tradition der Leibniz Wolff schen Aufklärungsphilosophie stand. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten — Nacimiento 17 de julio de 1714 Berlín Fallecimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Baumgarten. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, né à Berlin en 1714, décédé en 1762, philosophe allemand, disciple de Leibniz et de Christian Wolff. Son frère est Jacques Sigismond Baumgarten. Il enseigna la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb — ▪ German philosopher born July 17, 1714, Berlin, Prussia [Germany] died May 26, 1762, Frankfurt an der Oder       German philosopher and educator who coined the term aesthetics and established this discipline as a distinct field of philosophical… …   Universalium

  • Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb — (1714–1762) German aesthetician. Baumgarten was born in Berlin and educated at Halle, where he became professor before moving in 1740 to a chair at Frankfurt. He taught a modified Leibnizian system, very much in the spirit of Wolff . He is… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb — ► (1714 62) Filósofo alemán. Sistematizó la filosofía de lo bello, a la que dio el nombre de Estética …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BAUMGARTEN, ALEXANDER GOTTLIEB —    professor of Philosophy at Frankfort on the Oder; disciple of Wolf; born at Berlin; the founder of Æsthetics as a department of philosophy, and inventor of the name (1714 1762) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Alexandre Gottlieb Baumgarten — Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten Pour les articles homonymes, voir Baumgarten. Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, né à Berlin en 1714, décédé en 176 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Baumgarten (Familienname) — Baumgarten ist ein deutscher Familienname. Bekannte Namensträger Inhaltsverzeichnis A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Baumgarten — ( de. tree garden) may refer to: * places in Austria: **Baumgarten, Burgenland, Austria **Baumgarten, Vienna, Austria **Baumgarten an der March, Austria *Baumgarten, Germany, a municipality in Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Germany * Baumgarten Prize,… …   Wikipedia

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