Limit search to available items
Author Alison, Archibald, 1757-1839.

Title Essays on the nature and principles of taste / by Archibald Alison
Published Boston : Cummings and Hilliard, 1812
(Cambridge : Printed by Hilliard & Metcalf)
Online access available from:
PsycBooks    View Resource Record  


Description 1 online resource ( xii, [17]-434pages)
Summary "Taste is in general considered as that faculty of the human mind, by which we perceive and enjoy whatever is beautiful or sublime in the works of nature or art. The perception of these qualities is attended with an emotion of pleasure, very distinguishable from every other pleasure of our nature, and which is accordingly distinguished by the name of the emotion of taste. The distinction of the objects of taste, into the sublime and beautiful, has produced a similar division of this emotion, into the emotion of sublimity and the emotion of beauty. The inquiries made in this book naturally divide themselves into the following parts; and are to be prosecuted in the following order: (I) I shall begin with an analysis of the effect which is produced upon the mind, when the emotions of beauty or sublimity are felt. I shall endeavour to show, that this effect is very different from the determination of a sense; that it is not in fact a simple, but a complex emotion. The prosecution of the subject will lead to another inquiry of some difficulty and extent, viz. into the origin of the beauty and sublimity of the qualities of matter. (II) From this examination of the effect I shall proceed, in the second part, to investigate the causes which are productive of it; or, in other words, the sources of the beautiful and the sublime in nature and art. The prosecution of the subject, will lead me to the principal object of the inquiry, to show what is that law of mind, according to which, in actual life, this exercise or employment of imagination is excited; and what are the means by which, in the different fine arts, the artist is able to awaken this important exercise of imagination, and to exalt objects of simple and common pleasure, into objects of beauty or sublimity. (III) From the preceding inquiries I shall proceed, in the last part, to investigate the nature of that faculty by which these emotions are perceived and felt. I shall endeavour to show, that it has no resemblance to a sense; that as, whenever it is employed, two distinct and independent powers of mind are employed, it is not to be considered as a separate and peculiar faculty, and that it is finally to be resolved into more general principles of our constitution"--Introduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)
Notes "From the Edinburgh edition of 1811."
Also issued in print
Subject Aesthetics.
Genre/Form Art.
Form Electronic book
Author 1812
Boston (Mass.)
Maser, Frederick E., donor
Kirkland, J.T., 1814, inscribed donor, for Harvard College
[Harvard College], inscribed donor
Flint, Waldo, inscribed donee
Flint, Waldo, signature
Leicester Public Library, bookstamp
Maser, F[rederick] E., bookplate