Doctrine associated with late 19th-century writers and artists, including Walter Pater, James McNeill Whistler, and especially Oscar Wilde. It holds that the appreciation of art and beauty is the highest aim of human life, and especially that the pursuit of such experience is not constrained by ordinary moral considerations. Art itself serves no ulterior moral or political purpose. The ‘Aesthetic Movement’ was a useful reaction against the didactic religious and moral art of the time and helped artists and critics to concentrate upon the formal and internal qualities of works of art. The movement had its exaggerated side, parodied by Gilbert and Sullivan in the opera Patience (1881).

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • AEstheticism — [AE]s*thet i*cism, n. The doctrine of [ae]sthetics; [ae]sthetic principles; devotion to the beautiful in nature and art. Lowell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • aestheticism — (n.) 1855, from AESTHETIC (Cf. aesthetic) + ISM (Cf. ism) …   Etymology dictionary

  • aestheticism — [es thet′i siz΄əm] n. 1. the doctrine that aesthetic principles underlie all human values 2. a) sensitivity to art and beauty b) the artificial cultivation of artistic sensitivity …   English World dictionary

  • Aestheticism — This article is about aestheticism, a term with a root meaning of sensuous; Not to be confused with the religious practice of asceticism: an abstinence from the sensual. The Aesthetic Movement is a loosely defined movement in literature, fine art …   Wikipedia

  • aestheticism — /es thet euh siz euhm/ or, esp. Brit., /ees /, n. 1. the acceptance of artistic beauty and taste as a fundamental standard, ethical and other standards being secondary. 2. an exaggerated devotion to art, music, or poetry, with indifference to… …   Universalium

  • AESTHETICISM —    Yuibi shugi or tanbi shugi (aestheticism) is a term used to describe the narrow aesthetic focus of late 19th century Western Romanticism (and later modernism) that found its way to Japan. Embodied in the phrase “art for art’s sake,”… …   Japanese literature and theater

  • aestheticism — aesthetic (US also esthetic) ► ADJECTIVE 1) concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. 2) of pleasing appearance. ► NOUN ▪ a set of principles underlying the work of a particular artist or artistic movement. DERIVATIVES aesthetically… …   English terms dictionary

  • aestheticism — also estheticism noun Date: 1855 1. a doctrine that the principles of beauty are basic to other and especially moral principles 2. devotion to or emphasis on beauty or the cultivation of the arts …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • aestheticism — noun A doctrine which holds aesthetics or beauty as the highest ideal or most basic standard. See Also: aesthete, aesthetics …   Wiktionary

  • aestheticism — doctrine that beauty is central to other moral principles Philosophical Isms …   Phrontistery dictionary

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