Greek Aesthetics and Medieval Aesthetics
DOI link for Greek Aesthetics and Medieval Aesthetics
Greek Aesthetics and Medieval Aesthetics book
A general characteristic dominates Greek aesthetics from the time of the early beginnings in the Memorabilia of Xenophon up to its efflorescence in the Enneads of Plotinus: beauty is an attribute of things. The three giants of Greek philosophy, Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus, agree in saying, for reasons proper to each, that we grasp the beauty of things by a knowledge superior to that which the simple sensation furnishes. The Platonic-Aristotelian and the Neo-Platonic aesthetics survived Greek civilization. They were collected by the Fathers of the Church, and through St. Augustine and Pseudo-Dionysius they contribute the numerous allusions of these to the formation of medieval ideas. In remaining objectivist, medieval aesthetics, like that of the Greeks, gives the psychological element a primordial place, and thus beauty ceases to be a simple attribute of things. In the same way the philosophers of the Middle Ages emphasized the intellectual aspect of their doctrine.