Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb (1714–62)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-M013-2
Version: v2,  Published online: 2021
Retrieved May 18, 2024, from

Article Summary

Article Summary

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten is known primarily for his introduction of the word ‘aesthetics’ to describe the affects of art and nature which in the course of the seventeenth century replaced the classical theory of beauty. Baumgarten derived the term from the Greek aisthanomai, which he equated with the Latin sentio (Aesthetica, para.1, p. 79). He understood it to designate the outer, external, or bodily sense as opposed to the inner sense of consciousness. Thus aesthetics is the realm of the sensate, of sense perception and sensible objects. Baumgarten understood his usage to be consistent with classical sources, but he was aware also that he is was extending logic and science into a new realm. Baumgarten is an important figure in adapting the rationalism of Leibniz and especially Christian Wolff to the study of art and what comes to be thought of after Immanuel Kant as aesthetics.

Citing this article:
Townsend, Dabney. Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb (1714–62), 2021, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-M013-2. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

Related Articles