Eighteenth-Century British Aesthetics: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Eighteenth-Century British Aesthetics

1st Edition

By Dabney Townsend


496 pages

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In "Eighteenth Century British Aesthetics", editor Dabney Townsend has brought together the work of such well-known writers as John Dryden, Joshua Reynolds, David Hume, and Samuel Johnson with the more obscure works of aestheticians such as Uvedale Price, Daniel Webb, John Baillie, and James Harris, whose work is difficult to find, but is nonetheless important, informative, and interesting. These twenty-two selections, accompanied by Dabney Townsend's historical essay on the development of eighteenth century aesthetics, make the history of aesthetics accessible to both students and specialists alike.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Aesthetics in the Eighteenth Century

Chapter 1

John Dryden: "Introduction" to Charles du Fresnoy, De Arte Graphica (1695)

Chapter 2

John Dennis: A Large Account of the Taste in Poetry, and the Causes of the Degeneracy of It (1702)

Chapter 3

Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury: Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times (1711)

Chapter 4

Joseph Addison: The Spectator (1712)

Chapter 5

Francis Hutcheson: Reflection on Laughter (1725)

An Inquiry Into The Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725)

Chapter 6

James Harris: Three Treatises (1744)

Chapter 7

John Baillie: An Essay on the Sublime (1744)

Chapter 8

Samuel Johnson: The Rambler (1751)

Chapter 9

William Hogarth: Analysis of Beauty, Written with a View of Fixing the Fluctuating Ideas of Taste (1753)

Chapter 10

David Hume: Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion (1742)

Of Tragedy (1757)

Of the Standard of Taste (1757)

Chapter 11

Edmund Burke: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757/1759)

Chapter 12

Alexander Gerard: An Essay on Taste (1759)

Chapter 13

Joseph Priestly: A Course of Lectures on Oratory and Criticism (1759/1777)

Chapter 14

Daniel Webb: An Inquiry into the Beauties of Painting and into the Merits of the Most Celebrated Painters, Ancient and Modern (1760)

Chapter 15

Henry Home, Lord Kames: Elements of Criticism (1762)

Chapter 16

Sir Joshua Reynolds: The Idler, No. 76, 79, 82 (1757)

Discourses on Art (1776)

Chapter 17

James Beattie: Essays on Poetry and Music, as They Affect the Mind (1762)

Chapter 18

Hugh Blair: Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres (1783)

Chapter 19

Archibald Alison: Essay on the Nature and Principles of Taste (1790)

Chapter 20

William Gilpin: Three Essays (1791)

Chapter 21

Uvedale Price: An Essay on the Picturesque as Compared with the Sublime and Beautiful (1794)

Chapter 22

Adam Smith: Of the Nature of that Imitation which Takes Place in What are Called the Imitative Arts ((1795)


About the Author

Dabney Townsend is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Humanities at the University of Texas at Arlington.

About the Series

Foundations and Frontiers in Aesthetics Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health