The Quest for Certainty in the Age of Aesthetics

Stefan Niklas


In this paper I suggest conceiving the "Age of Aesthetics" and its theoretic attempts form Baumgarten to Hegel and from Lessing to Schiller as a quest for certainty within the utterly uncertain field of the sensuous. Though this quest may not be an exclusive trait of that age, I claim it is essential for understanding the driving forces of classical aesthetics. Drawing largely from Ernst Cassirer's reconstructions, I also try to link my conseption of the Age of Aesthetics to the recently discussed problem of intuitve understanding as articulated by Eckart Förster. Finally, I am giving a speculative outlook on the notion of "aesthetic certainty".


Age of Aesthetics; Quest for Certainty; Ernst Cassirer; Eckart Förster; intuitive understanding; cassical aesthetics; aesthetic certainty

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ISSN: 2352-2704