The New Student's Reference Work/Æsthetics
Æsthetics (ēs-thet′-iks), a term signifying perceptible to the senses, and denoting the science of the beautiful in nature and the fine arts (Greek, æsthetikos). The term aesthetics, though a modern German one, is one which, in its meaning, was familiar to the ancient Greek philosophers, especially to Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. What they meant by the term was the quality in the beautiful that produces to the mind as well as to the eye a certain pleasing effect and a refined pleasure. When we speak of æsthetic ideas, studies or emotions we mean those things that appeal to our sense of the beautiful, or that treat of the expression and embodiment of beauty by art. See Schiller’s Treatise on Æsthetics; Cousin on The True, the Beautiful and the Good, and Alison’s essay on The Nature and Principle of Taste.