Friday, July 12, 2019

The restoration of beauty …

… Ethika Politika | Review: Aesthetics by Detrich von Hildebrand. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

While I am partial to phenomenology myself, I do think Hildebrand’s project lacks a proper foundation in metaphysics. He speaks, for example, of works of art being “a curious quasi-substance of a spiritual kind” which strikes me as rather nonsensical statement. This lack in metaphysics becomes even clearer as Hildebrand seeks to distance himself from the Thomists. He writes that “Beauty presents itself unambiguously as a property of an object - more specifically, as a value.” And while I first read that to mean that beauty is ontological in the classical understanding, he later writes that “metaphysical beauty is not in the least a transcendental property of being in the sense that this term possesses in Thomistic philosophy.”
I studied phenomenology — to which I am also partial — in a Thomist context, so I don't see what Hildebrand's problem was exactly. Which is why I plan on reading the book.

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