Abstract and Keywords
For most of its history, philosophers employed a cognitivist approach to the nature and value of aesthetic experience. In the eighteenth century, free play and emotional impact were also recognized as aspects of aesthetic experience. But Kant synthesized only the first and not the second of these with the cognitivist approach, and following Kant the German Idealists even rejected the idea of free play and returned to a cognitivist approach. As the century wore on, a Hegelian like Friedrich Theodor Vischer and a non-Hegelian like Friedrich Nietzsche recognized the importance of free play, but it was only at the end of the century that Wilhelm Dilthey achieved a threefold synthesis of these approaches to aesthetics.
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