Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb
BAUMGARTEN, ALEXANDER GOTTLIEB, a German philosopher, born at Berlin in 1714. He'studied at Halle, and afterwards became professor of philosophy at Frankfort on the Oder, in which city he died in the year 1762. He was a disciple of Leibnitz and Wolff, and was particularly distinguished for his arsthetica1 speculations, having been the first to develop and establish the Theory of the Beautiful as an independent science. Baumgarten, of course, is not to be looked upon as the founder of msthetics, but he did good service in severing it from the other philosophic disciplines, and in marking out a definite object for its researches. The very name (esthetics) which Baumgarten was the first to use for the science of the Beautiful, though now very generally adopted for the sake of convenience, indicates the imperfect and partial nature of his analysis, pointing as it does to an element so variable as feeling or sensation as the ultimate ground of judgment in questions pertaining to beauty. The principal works of Baumgarten are the following : Disputationes de nonnullis ad poema pertinentibus ; ./Esthetica ; Metaphysica ; Ethica pltilosophica ; Innis philosophise practicoe prima:. For an account of his speculations on the theory of the Beautiful See /ESTHETICS, vol. i. p. 217.