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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the approaches taken by eighteenth-century British writers to the relationship between aesthetic judgments of beauty, sublimity, and the picturesque, and the faculty of taste that makes them possible. Writers in the tradition emphasize the fit between qualities in objects so judged and a capacity to be affected by them. This common theme unites the various contributions, but they can be divided in terms of the faculty on which different writers place emphasis. A first group isolates an internal sense (Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, and Reid); a second emphasizes the imagination (Addison, Hume, and Hogarth), and a third appeals to principles of association (Gerard and Alison). Each group is discussed in turn and details of the respective positions explored.

Keywords: aesthetic judgment, association, beauty, imagination, internal sense, picturesque, sublime, taste

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