and style. Yet this striving after new forms is not without a certain justification. A somewhat widespread theory, which may be called "Akallism", rejects the old doctrine of the beauty of a true work of art, and aims to set that which has character, or meaning, in the place of the beautiful. As a matter of fact, nearly all writers on æsthetics have made the idea of beauty the foundation of the whole system, and even Jungmann found it impossible to devise a symmetrical system of æsthetics without that idea. There is no need to deny the possibility of devising such a system, but the witness of history is on the side of the so-called æsthetics of beauty. Akallism, however, as a rule, aims at replacing the beautiful not by the great, but by that which is strikingly characteristic, or brutally realistic. Subjectivism threatens scientific æsthetics with an entirely new danger. The forcible emphasis of the subjective side of art, and of the psychological and physiological conditions of artistic expression, is undoubtedly an advance—provided objective conditions and norms suffer no diminution of their rightful sphere. Yet there is a growing tendency to regard all æsthetic principles and judgments as mere fluctuating opinions, and reject all that constitutes system, principle, or definition. Such scepticism, born of spiritual weakness and cowardice, makes an end, once for all, of all science.
A word must be added here concerning the various methods of æsthetics. The older, abstract, treatment of the subject is no longer available, in view of the abundant facilities which perception now has at its disposal. Mere sense-training, however, leads, in its turn, to very superficial knowledge; it is the chief function of perception to prepare the way for mental insight and ideal conception. Nor can we dispense with either the systematic arrangement of the history of art, or the quasi-philosophical basis of æsthetics. The introduction of natural-science methods into æsthetics (Taine, Grant Allen, Helmholtz, Fechner), as well as the close connection between theoretical and practical instruction, and artistic expression (Ruskin), offers great advantages, if not relied on exclusively. At the same time, it remains true that high art can never be wholly dissected by the methods of the exact sciences, but rather itself lays down in turn the governing norms which art expression should follow and, having once attained its proper perfection, is not longer dependent on such expression. The proper subject; therefore, of æsthetics is the great arts; the technique and the theories of the lesser arts have a narrower range of material. As a matter of method, it is advisable to set poetry in the foreground of any discussion concerning art, since it is thereby easier to keep the æsthetics of the other arts from becoming mere technique.
History of Æsthetics.—Socrates, in Xenophon's "Memorabilia" and "Symposium", makes no distinction between the good and the beautiful, and the same indefiniteness extends to Plato's philosophy (The Republic, Phædrus, Philebus) and that of Plotinus (Ennead, I, vi). The idealism of this philosophy not only gave rise to the work of Longinus concerning "The Sublime", but also inspired Dionysius the Areopagite (De Divinis Nominibus) and several Fathers of the Church. Aristotle, on the other hand, gravely analyzed the form and properties of the beautiful as, in his "Poetics", he analyzed the art of epic, tragic, and comic poetry. The acute incidental comments of St. Thomas Aquinas are chiefly confined to the notion of the beautiful and of art, and to the artistic idea. The systematic treatment of æsthetics begins with A. G. Baumgarten's "Æsthetica" (1750–58). However little philosophical value his canons of taste, founded on "confused ideas" and "sensitive perceptions" may possess, as a matter of fact, his book had a stronger influence upon the further development of æsthetics than both English and French philosophy had prior to his time. The former, starting from a Platonic idealism, sank further and further into empiricism and sensualism, and insisted, not too philosophically, on the principle of common sense (Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Reid, Hume, Burke). Hogarth devoted himself to painting and proposed as the "line of beauty" the curve which bears his name. Among the French, Batteux, following Aristotle, devised a system of the fine arts, which, however, clung somewhat too closely to the principle of imitating nature. Diderot did the same to an even more marked extent, whereas the later French æsthetics approximated to idealism (Cousin). In Germany æsthetics came to be treated of with much zeal after Baumgarten's time, both in a philosophical and in a popular fashion. To allude here only to the first, the art-critics Winckelmann and Lessing were among the numerous followers of the Baumgarten school, the former directing his special attention to the art of sculpture. Kant, again, obtained great influence, and, though his pet theory, that beauty is merely a subjective, formal fitness, found no followers, he stimulated activity in many quarters by means of self-contradictory concatenation of various systems. From him, then, is derived the abstract idealism of Schelling and Schopenhauer, wherein the general idea of beauty is not sufficiently absorbed in the form of its manifestation. Concrete idealism also (that of Hegel and Schleiermacher) owes its origin to Kant. It regards beauty not as a universal idea, but as an individual-evolution. To him, too, may be traced the æsthetic formalism of Herbart and Zimmermann, and "æsthetics of feeling" (Kirchmann).
Hegel, Vorlesungen über die Æsthetik (Berlin, 1835–38); Th. Vischer, Æsthetik, oder Wissenschaft des Schönen (Reutlingen, 1846–57); Deutinger, Kunstlehre (Ratisbon, 1845); Kostlin, Æsthetik (Tübingen, 1863–68); Carriere, Æsthetik (Leipzig, 1885); Idem, Die Kunst im Zusammenhange der Kulturentwicklung (3d ed. Leipzig, 1877–86); Zimmermann, Æsthetik als Formwissenschaft (Vienna, 1865); Jungmann, Æsthetik (3d ed., Freiburg, Baden, 1886); Konr. Lange, Wesen der Kunst (1901); Gietmann-Sorensen, Kunstlehre (Freiburg, Baden, 1899–1903).—In England Ruskin's Modern Painters has had a wide circulation, as have his other numerous works. The following French works may be mentioned: Sutter, Esthétique générale et appliquée (Paris, 1865); Longhaye, Théorie des belles lettres (Paris, 1885).—For the history of Æsthetics: Müller, Gesch. der Theorie der Kunst bei den Alten (Breslau, 1834–37); Zimmermann, Gesch. der Æsthetik (Vienna, 1858); Schasler, Kritische Gesch. der Æsthetik (Berlin, 1872); Von Hartmann, Die deutsche Æsthetik seit Kant (Leipzig, 1886).—For the history of Art: Kraus, Gesch. der christl. Kunst (Freiburg, Baden, 1896–97); Springer, Handb. der Kunstgesch. (6th ed., Leipzig, 1901–2); Kuhn, Allgem. Kunstgesch. (Einsiedeln, 1891, incomplete in 1906); Woermann, Gesch. der Kunst aller Zeiten u. Völker (Leipzig, 1905)—not yet complete.
Æterni Patris, The Apostolic Letter, of Pius IX, by which he summoned the Vatican Council. It is dated Rome, 29 June, 1868. It begins with the same words, and is therefore quoted under the same title, as the Encyclical of Leo XIII on scholastic philosophy. But their purpose and substance are very different. This letter begins by pointing out the provision which Christ made to have His faith and morals taught, and unity in both secured. He commissioned the Apostles to teach. He placed St. Peter at their head, as Prince of the Apostles. It was an office for the sake of the Church, and, after St. Peter had died, should live on in the persons of a series of successors, one after the other. Hence the same supreme power, jurisdiction, and primacy are transmitted to the Roman Pontiffs who sit in the Chair of Peter. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have always, as their office demands, guarded the Christian faith and Christian morals. Hence, as occasion required, they have summoned General Councils to meet grave needs of the Church. Then