Mihir Bholey, PhD
Assoc. Senior Faculty &
Coordinator, PG Science & Liberal Arts
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, ...
Comparative Aesthetics
• Comparative aesthetics: a branch of philosophy which indulges into
comparing aesthetic concepts, ...
Aesthetics Defined
• Aesthetics, (sometimes spelled esthetics) is the
philosophical study of beauty and taste
• Also refer...
• The Greek original of this word „aisthesis‟ means „
sensation‟ and „reaction to external stimuli‟
• Semantically in mode...
• The word aesthetics, derived from Greek „aisthanomai‟ is
attributed to Alexander Baumgarten (1714-1762)
• Baumgarten int...
• Even without a nomenclature aesthetics was integral to
philosophy
• In the Platonic discourse the educational value of t...
• Aristotle (384-322 BC) tried to defended art and
aesthetics in Poetics
• He contrariwise felt that arts, or at least poe...
• Plato‟s theory of Mimesis, says by nature all art is
mimetic; it‟s an imitation of life
• He considered „idea‟ as the ul...
Is Plato Antagonistic to Poetry and Aesthetics?
• Plato calls poetry an imitation thrice removed from the
truth, and Homer...
• Despite his apparent expulsion of the poets and poetry
in the Republic he even says:
“And I suppose we shall also allow ...
• A great deal of misunderstanding about Plato's views
about poetry is due to the partial examination of his
writings and ...
• Much of the conflict in Plato‟s doctrine on art is on account
of „original‟ and „imitation‟
• Philosophy being more orig...
Longinus and the Idea of Sublime
• Cassius Longinus‟s (Circa 1st -3rd Century AD) treatises were
first published in mid 16...
• Longinus established the idea and the purpose of
sublime in art. In his view artistic genius was the skill of
metaphor
•...
• Longinus believed “Nothing is poetry unless it transports”,
thereby explained the meaning of sublime
• In other words, t...
Sources of Sublimity
Sublimity has five cardinal sources:
1. Grander of thought
2. Capacity for strong emotions
3. Certain...
Obstacles to Sublimity
Longinus finds four obstacles namely:
1. turgidity- the use of bombastic language
2. puerility- the...
Measuring Sublimity of a Work
Longinus gave the following criteria to measure sublimity
of a work. He asks to imagine:
1. ...
Comparative Aesthetics:
Occidental and Oriental
Source: Google Images (For academic illustration only.)
Mihir Bholey, PhD ...
"A thought in its naked simplicity, even though unuttered,
is sometimes admirable by the sheer force of sublimity."
(On th...
The Idioms and Idiosyncrasies
• Any systematic comparative study of the western and
Indian aesthetics begins from Aristotl...
• Similarly , to appreciate Indian contemplation on
aesthetics Bharata and Natyasastra is still pivotal
• In other words, ...
Natyasastra: the Indian Treaties on Aesthetics
• According to Alamkar Sastra artistic beauty cannot exist
unless the heart...
• Brahma expressed that the theme of the Natya or drama
should be acceptable to all and comprise of different
sentiments a...
• It‟s believed that Brahma created Natyaveda, the fifth Veda
borrowing elements from the four earlier Vedas
• Brahma borr...
Natyasastra: the Historical Backdrop
• Believed to be composed somewhere between 2nd Century BC – 2nd
Century AD. Contains...
Aesthetic Attributes of Natyasastra
• According to Alamkar Sastra artistic beauty cannot
exist unless the heart of a man o...
• Natyasastra talks about 10 Rupakas or types of play. Rupa
or Rupak is the term used for a play because it‟s primarily a
...
• Abhinaya Darpan has an interesting sloka which means:
“Eyes should follow the hand, mind should follow the eye
when the ...
Rasa and Bhava: the Cognitive Correlation
• The whole histrionics revolves around nine Rasas (Navaras) and
eight Bhavas
• ...
MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA
31
• Rasa is the cumulative result of Vibhava (stimulus) and Anubhava
(involuntary reaction) and Vyabhicharibhava (voluntary ...
Navrasa through Bhava. (Source: Dhananjayan on Indian Classical Dance, Delhi: B R Rhythms, pp 95)
MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmeda...
Rasas and their Associations
• Natyasastra associates the navrasas with different colours.
Besides, each Rasa has a prime ...
• The most important question is what exactly is meant by Rasa? The
answer is “What is relished is Rasa”
• Explaining Rasa...
• Natyasastra says that just as connoisseurs of food while eating
food prepared from various spices and ingredients taste ...
• Bhavas on the other hand are the emotional state. They‟re
called so since they produce the idea of poems by use of
words...
• Bhava – a psychological state is determined by two other factors :
Vibhava (Determinants) and Anubhava (Consequents)
• V...
Relevance of Rasa and Bhava
• Rasa-Bhava establishe a link between the performer and the
spectator. The ideal spectator is...
• By transmitting emotions the actor gradually opens inner
Bhava-Jagat of the character, creates an emotional
atmosphere, ...
Aesthetics: the Esoteric and Empirical
यो अथो ह्रदयसंवादी तथय भावो रसोद्भवाः I
शरीरं व्यापते तेन शुष्कं किष्ममवाििना II
(N...
• Aesthetics by nature is an esoteric experience but in
expression it has to be empirical since it is also about
cognition...
• Art is something which makes man function in a higher level of his
being, in his spirit, in his universal self or consci...
To Conclude
• Aesthetics deals with the notion of beauty and taste
• Shapes aesthetic judgment, attitude, understanding an...
• Aesthetic qualities of art, design, sculpture and architecture
reflects in the combination of the following: Unity – Pro...
Bibliography
• Costelloe, Timothy, M. (Ed.) The Sublime: From Antiquity to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Pr...
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Comparative Aesthetics: the Indian and Western Context

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Both aesthetics and the principles of aesthetics evolve in their respective cultural context. In order to appreciate the diverse aesthetic expressions in different genres understanding of their cardinal principles is imminent.Comparative aesthetics precisely does that.

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Comparative Aesthetics: the Indian and Western Context

  1. 1. Mihir Bholey, PhD Assoc. Senior Faculty & Coordinator, PG Science & Liberal Arts National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, INDIA
  2. 2. Comparative Aesthetics • Comparative aesthetics: a branch of philosophy which indulges into comparing aesthetic concepts, principles and practices in diverse cultural settings • It discusses the manner in which the idea of aesthetics and beauty are perceived and conceived in different cultures around the world and how they influence people‟s attitude towards refinement of expression • It‟s a kind of critical attitude towards appreciating the esoteric and intrinsic nature of art beyond the psychological and cultural conditioning of mind • As a branch of philosophy it compares the aesthetic concepts and practices of different cultures. It explores how cultures conceive of the aesthetic dimension of life in general and art in particular and what they consider sub-standard and what sublime MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 2
  3. 3. Aesthetics Defined • Aesthetics, (sometimes spelled esthetics) is the philosophical study of beauty and taste • Also refers to the philosophy of art concerned with the nature of art and the concepts which help interpret and evaluate individual works of art • As a philosophy, aesthetics refers to the study of sensory principles – in other words judgment or evaluation by the senses MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 3
  4. 4. • The Greek original of this word „aisthesis‟ means „ sensation‟ and „reaction to external stimuli‟ • Semantically in modern English it means something that can appeal to the senses • As the meaning is subjected to sensory perception, the definitions are often fluid, varied and subjective, differing between people and cultures MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 4
  5. 5. • The word aesthetics, derived from Greek „aisthanomai‟ is attributed to Alexander Baumgarten (1714-1762) • Baumgarten introduced aesthetics in his Halle master's thesis to mean „epistêmê aisthetikê‟, or the science of what is sensed and imagined (Baumgarten, Meditationes CXVI, pp. 86-7) • Aesthetics consists of two parts: the philosophy of art, and the philosophy of the aesthetic experience and character of objects or phenomena that are not art Aesthetics: the Western Tradition MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 5
  6. 6. • Even without a nomenclature aesthetics was integral to philosophy • In the Platonic discourse the educational value of the works of art was questioned in the Republic (380 BC) • Plato's (427-347 BC) main opposition to art was its cognitively uselessness, trading in mere images of particulars rather than universal truths • "All mimesis are ruinous to the understanding of the hearers, and the knowledge of their true nature is the only antidote to them" (595a, Book X) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 6
  7. 7. • Aristotle (384-322 BC) tried to defended art and aesthetics in Poetics • He contrariwise felt that arts, or at least poetry, depict universal truths in more palpable forms, unlike for example, history, which concerns only with particular facts (Aristotle, Poetics, Chapter-9) • The arts can also be important to the development of morality by revealing important moral truths; the other pole of Plato's doubts MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 7
  8. 8. • Plato‟s theory of Mimesis, says by nature all art is mimetic; it‟s an imitation of life • He considered „idea‟ as the ultimate reality and since art imitates idea it becomes imitation of reality • Gave more credence to philosophy as philosophy deals with the ideas while poetry with illusion • Thus to Plato arts of all kind become things which are twice removed from reality MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 8
  9. 9. Is Plato Antagonistic to Poetry and Aesthetics? • Plato calls poetry an imitation thrice removed from the truth, and Homer as well as the dramatic poets imitators • Nevertheless, he himself is an artist gifted with impressive poetic spirit, never misses a chance to quote poets • Sometimes even seems to attribute their art to divine inspiration or a kind of madness • In his ideal state a large part of the education of the young is based on the study of certain kinds of poetry MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 9
  10. 10. • Despite his apparent expulsion of the poets and poetry in the Republic he even says: “And I suppose we shall also allow those of her patrons who are lovers of poetry without being poets to advocate her cause in prose by maintaining that poetry is not only pleasurable, but profitable in its bearings upon governments and upon human life; and we shall listen to everybody. For we shall be gainers, I presume, if poetry can be proved to be profitable as well as pleasurable.” (Republic: Chapter X, Pg. 340) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 10
  11. 11. • A great deal of misunderstanding about Plato's views about poetry is due to the partial examination of his writings and to assume it the core of Platonic philosophy • There‟re people who consider that the Republic only lambasts the poets and denies poetry all access to truth • There‟re others who think contrary to Republic Plato‟s Phaedrus is the apotheosis of poetic madness, and with Phaedrus Plato intended to dethrone the reason MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 11
  12. 12. • Much of the conflict in Plato‟s doctrine on art is on account of „original‟ and „imitation‟ • Philosophy being more original than poetry • But when it comes to „divine madness‟ that often drives the poetry, the originality of idea can‟t be questioned • „Divine madness‟ being a gift of gods, some of the best things we have including poetry • The question is how does then one justify divine as imitation or copy? The Conflict of Original and Imitation MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 12
  13. 13. Longinus and the Idea of Sublime • Cassius Longinus‟s (Circa 1st -3rd Century AD) treatises were first published in mid 16th century • His concept of sublime which became more popular during the 18th century; overwhelms the theory of art, aesthetic and philosophy of the western world • Takes the philosophical and metaphysical discussion of Plato and Aristotle on art to a more realistic and measurable plane • In other words; offers methods to convert the esoteric into empirical MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 13
  14. 14. • Longinus established the idea and the purpose of sublime in art. In his view artistic genius was the skill of metaphor • Reiterated Plato and Aristotle in a way but differed from their notion of the elements of literary style as ornamental and subordinated to thought and passion • Longinus measured the effect of artistic genius through a kind of language which was expressive, lofty and elevated MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 14
  15. 15. • Longinus believed “Nothing is poetry unless it transports”, thereby explained the meaning of sublime • In other words, the purpose of poetry is to transport and elevate the soul • The characteristics of sublime are: it pleases; pleases immediately; pleases all; pleases all the time and place; and pleases forever • According to him true sublime is one which “arises out of lofty ideas clothed in lofty language” Sublime: What’s the Big Idea? MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 15
  16. 16. Sources of Sublimity Sublimity has five cardinal sources: 1. Grander of thought 2. Capacity for strong emotions 3. Certain kinds of figures of speech 4. Nobility of diction; and 5. Dignity of composition MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 16
  17. 17. Obstacles to Sublimity Longinus finds four obstacles namely: 1. turgidity- the use of bombastic language 2. puerility- the opposite of turgidity, thoroughly low in nature 3. frigidity- is about pedantic thought; and 4. false emotion- is about display of emotions where none exist MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 17
  18. 18. Measuring Sublimity of a Work Longinus gave the following criteria to measure sublimity of a work. He asks to imagine: 1. How would the great masters like Homer have said the same things or how Plato or Demosthenes would have invested it with sublimity? 2. If Homer and Demosthenes would have been alive, how would they react against it (a new piece of art)? 3. How will posterity take it? MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 18
  19. 19. Comparative Aesthetics: Occidental and Oriental Source: Google Images (For academic illustration only.) Mihir Bholey, PhD NID Ahmedabad INDIA 19
  20. 20. "A thought in its naked simplicity, even though unuttered, is sometimes admirable by the sheer force of sublimity." (On the Sublime: Chapter IX, Line No. 08) यथा बीजाद भवेद वृक्षो वृक्षात पुष्पपं फलम यथा । तथा मूलम रसााः सवे ततो भावा व्यविथथतााः ॥ (38, षष्ठोध्यायाः, Chapter VI) (Just as a tree grows from a seed and flowers and fruits from a tree, sentiment is the source of all psychological states and likewise psychological states exist as the source of all sentiments.) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 20
  21. 21. The Idioms and Idiosyncrasies • Any systematic comparative study of the western and Indian aesthetics begins from Aristotle’s Poetics and Bharata’s (200 BCE-200CE) Natyasastra • Poetics is imminent to understand the western concept of dramatic theory practice and aesthetics • Obsession of European scholars with the Greek perspective of aesthetics has rendered them oblivious of other traditions MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 21
  22. 22. • Similarly , to appreciate Indian contemplation on aesthetics Bharata and Natyasastra is still pivotal • In other words, what Aristotle is to the Greek and western tradition of aesthetics, Bharata is to the Indian tradition • The highest finding of Aristotle in Poetics is his doctrine of catharsis while for Bharata the essence of aesthetics lies in Rasa and Bhava MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 22
  23. 23. Natyasastra: the Indian Treaties on Aesthetics • According to Alamkar Sastra artistic beauty cannot exist unless the heart of a man of good taste is moved to delight by the fascination of its expression • Indian aesthetic tradition is rooted the doctrines of Bharata‟s Natyasastra • Besides its numerous offspring it is primarily celebrated for its concept of Rasa (sentiments) and Bhavas (emotions) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 23
  24. 24. • Brahma expressed that the theme of the Natya or drama should be acceptable to all and comprise of different sentiments and values • Pleasure for all should be the purpose it should aim to achieve • He ordained Natya in such a way as to ensure virtue, fame, longevity and also advise (message) to the audience • Natya was structured in such a way as to provide enough scope for the display of all forms of art and artifacts The Purpose of Natya MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 24
  25. 25. • It‟s believed that Brahma created Natyaveda, the fifth Veda borrowing elements from the four earlier Vedas • Brahma borrowed Pathya – the text from Rigveda. Gita or songs from Samveda. Abhinaya or acting from Yajurveda and finally Rasa or sentiments from Atharvaveda • He made Natyaveda accessible to people of all Varnas as against the earlier four. It‟s called Sarvavarnikam न वेदव्यवहारोयं संश्राव्याः शूद्रजितषु तथमात् सृजापरं वेदं पञ्चमं सावववर्णिकम (Natyasastra: Chapter-1, Sloka – 12) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 25
  26. 26. Natyasastra: the Historical Backdrop • Believed to be composed somewhere between 2nd Century BC – 2nd Century AD. Contains 6000 slokas (hymns) spread across 36-37 chapters • The written manuscript located so far roughly belong to the period between 12th – 18 century • The commentaries on Natyasastra date back from 6th to 7th century • The earliest surviving commentary on Natyasastra is by Abhinavagupta (10th century AD) followed by Saradatanya (12th- 13th century), Sarangadeva (13th century) and Kallinatha (16th century) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 26
  27. 27. Aesthetic Attributes of Natyasastra • According to Alamkar Sastra artistic beauty cannot exist unless the heart of a man of good taste is moved to delight by the fascination of its expression • Indian aesthetic and artistic expressions are rooted in the fundamental doctrines of Bharata’s Natyasastra which besides its numerous offsprings is celebrated for its concept of Rasa (sentiments) and Bhavas (emotions) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 27
  28. 28. • Natyasastra talks about 10 Rupakas or types of play. Rupa or Rupak is the term used for a play because it‟s primarily a visual representation • The ten types of plays are – Nataka, Prakaran, Samavakara, Ihamrga, Dima, Vyayoga, Anka, Prahasan, Bhana, and Vithi • Natyasastra enumerates four types of Abhinaya or acting (Chapter VIII) which are Angika – by body part motion, Vachika – by speech, Aharya – by costumes and makeup and finally Sattvika – by subtle movement of lips, eyebrows, ears etc MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 28
  29. 29. • Abhinaya Darpan has an interesting sloka which means: “Eyes should follow the hand, mind should follow the eye when the mind is applied, there is Bhava or expression and where there is expression, there is Rasa or sentiment.” • Rasa (sentiments) and Bhavas (emotions) explore the complex realm of human psychology and explain their fine distinction and interdependence in the context of aesthetics न भावहीनो अिथत रसो न भावो रथवर्णजताः । परथपरकृता िसििथतयोरिभनये भवेत ॥ (36, षष्ठोध्यायाः, Chapter VI) (Rasa can‟t be deprived of Bhava nor can Bhava be deprived of Rasa as together they make drama complete.) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 29
  30. 30. Rasa and Bhava: the Cognitive Correlation • The whole histrionics revolves around nine Rasas (Navaras) and eight Bhavas • There are only four basic Rasas according to Natyasastra which are Sringar, Vira, Raudra and Bibhatsa • The rest four- Hasya, Karuna, Adbhuta and Bhayanak are drawn from Sringara, Raudra, Vira and Bibhats respectively • Natyasastra also identifies eight Bhavas which correspond to the first eight Rasas MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 30 MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA
  31. 31. MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 31
  32. 32. • Rasa is the cumulative result of Vibhava (stimulus) and Anubhava (involuntary reaction) and Vyabhicharibhava (voluntary reaction) • All the Bhavas have their corresponding Rasas Bhavas Rasas Rati (Love) Śṛngāram (Love) Hasya (Mirth) Hasya (Comic) Soka (Sorrow) Karunam (Pathetic/Kindly) Krodha(Anger) Raudram (Furious) Utsaha (Energy) Viram (Heroic) Bhaya (Terror) Bhayanakam (Terrible) Jugupsa (Disgust) Bibhatsam (Odious) Vismaya (Astonishment) Adbhutam (Wonderful) Santam (Tranquility) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 32
  33. 33. Navrasa through Bhava. (Source: Dhananjayan on Indian Classical Dance, Delhi: B R Rhythms, pp 95) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 33
  34. 34. Rasas and their Associations • Natyasastra associates the navrasas with different colours. Besides, each Rasa has a prime deity too: Rasa Colour Prime Deity Sringara Dark Blue Vishnu Hasya White Pramata Raudra Red Rudra Karuna Pigeon Colour (Grey) Yama Vira Yellowish Indra Adbhuta Yellow Brahma Bibhatsya Blue Shiva Bhayanaka Dark Kala MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 34
  35. 35. • The most important question is what exactly is meant by Rasa? The answer is “What is relished is Rasa” • Explaining Rasa Natyasastra says as taste results from a combination of various spices, vegetables and other articles and as six tastes are produced by ingredients such as raw sugar, spices or vegetables, similarly the durable psychological states (sthayibhava) when come in contact with other psychological states attain the quality of a sentiment. That‟s the notion of Rasa भावािभनयसंयुक्ााः थथाियभावांथतथा बुधााः आथवादयितत मनसा तथमान्नाट्यरसा: थमृतााः (Natyasastra: Chapter VI, Sloka 33) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 35
  36. 36. • Natyasastra says that just as connoisseurs of food while eating food prepared from various spices and ingredients taste it, so do the learned people in their heart (manas) taste the durable psychological states viz. love, sorrow etc. The durable psychological state in a drama is called Rasa or sentiment. (Chapter VI : Sloka 32) • Natyasastra raises a fundamental question – does Rasa emanate from Bhava or vice-versa? Bharata confirms that though Rasa is produced from Bhava but both are interdependent न भावहीनो अिथत रसो न भावो रथवर्णजताः । परथपरकृता िसििथतयोरिभनये भवेत ॥ (Natyasastra: Chapter VI : Sloka 36) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 36
  37. 37. • Bhavas on the other hand are the emotional state. They‟re called so since they produce the idea of poems by use of words, gestures and mental attitude • Bhavas are called so because through words, gestures and representation of sattva they infuse (bhavayanti) among the audience the meaning of the drama • Bhava is an instrument of action; an action which instills Rasas िवभावैराहृतो योऽथवथतवनुभावेन गम्यते | वागंगसत्त्वािभनयै: स भाव इित संिित: || (Natyasastra: Chapter VII, Sloka 1) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 37
  38. 38. • Bhava – a psychological state is determined by two other factors : Vibhava (Determinants) and Anubhava (Consequents) • Vibhava (Determinants) : Its synonyms are karana, nimitta and hetu. Actions and feelings are evoked in connection with certain surrounding objects and circumstances, called Vibhava- So Bhava arises due to them. • Anubhava (Consequents) : Different mental and emotional states manifest themselves and become visible through universal physiological reactions called Anubhava–The determinants lead to consequents • Both Vibhava and Anubhava depend on human nature and the external world MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 38
  39. 39. Relevance of Rasa and Bhava • Rasa-Bhava establishe a link between the performer and the spectator. The ideal spectator is a sahrdaya, one who empathizes with the author • Success of spectacle is measured by the transference of intended experience (Rasa) among the audience, so spectator becomes a vital participant in the play • Bharata refers to human soul as Bhava-Jagat (the world of emotions). Actor is mere bearer, media and connector who connects audience with the emotions of the character MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 39
  40. 40. • By transmitting emotions the actor gradually opens inner Bhava-Jagat of the character, creates an emotional atmosphere, which can be experienced and relished • Spectator is introduced to the emotional atmosphere through actors • He transfers emotions of the character to the spectators. Spectator may relish Rasas collectively or individually • This way emotions are personified and translated from one person to many MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 40
  41. 41. Aesthetics: the Esoteric and Empirical यो अथो ह्रदयसंवादी तथय भावो रसोद्भवाः I शरीरं व्यापते तेन शुष्कं किष्ममवाििना II (Natyasastra) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 41
  42. 42. • Aesthetics by nature is an esoteric experience but in expression it has to be empirical since it is also about cognition • According to Coomarswamy (1877-1947) „it is not by sensibilities but by his intellect that man can be called an artist‟ • Referring to Plato he says that anything irrational can not be called art MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 42
  43. 43. • Art is something which makes man function in a higher level of his being, in his spirit, in his universal self or consciousness • Art is the „summum bonum‟ (highest good) of human existence • For Plato the purpose of art is „to attune our own distorted modes of thought to cosmic harmonies‟, „by an assimilation of the knower to the „to-be-known‟ • The (Rig) Vedic poets compare poetic hymn to a chariot (Ratha), which transported him to his God; art for them is the fiery chariot of contemplative thought MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 43
  44. 44. To Conclude • Aesthetics deals with the notion of beauty and taste • Shapes aesthetic judgment, attitude, understanding and emotion • Aesthetics manifests in several genres : poetry, music, drama, painting, design, architecture among others • The manner of evoking pleasure has been discussed in various treaties of aesthetics • Appreciation and expression of aesthetics are determined both psychologically and culturally • The nature of aesthetics is not universal, it‟s particular; thus an „emic category‟ in sociological terminology MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 44
  45. 45. • Aesthetic qualities of art, design, sculpture and architecture reflects in the combination of the following: Unity – Proportion – Scale – Balance – Symmetry and Rhythm “The beauty of art presents itself to sense, to feeling, to perception, to imagination; its sphere is not that of thought, and the apprehension of its activity and its productions demand another organ than that of the scientific intelligence. Moreover, what we enjoy in the beauty of art is precisely the freedom of its productive and plastic energy.” (Hegel; Philosophy of Fine Art) MihirBholey,PhDNIDAhmedabadINDIA 45
  46. 46. Bibliography • Costelloe, Timothy, M. (Ed.) The Sublime: From Antiquity to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. • Dwivedi, Hazari Prasad. Dwivedi, Prithvinath. Natyasastra Ki Parampara aur Dasroopak. (Hindi) Delhi: Rajkamal Prakashan, 2007. • Greene , William Chase. Plato's View of Poetry. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, Vol. 29 (1918), pp. 1-75, Department of the Classics, Harvard University. http://www.jstor.org/stable/310558 (Accessed on 10-7-2013) • Hegel, George W.F. The Introduction to Hegel‟s Philosophy of Fine Art. Bosanquet, Bernard (Translator), Kessinger Publishing, 2011. • Hussain, Mazhar. Wilkinson, Robert. (Editors). The Pursuit of Comparative Aesthetics. Hants, Ashgate Publishing Ltd. 2006. • Kumar, Pushpendra. Natyasastra of Bharatamuni. Delhi: New Bhartiya Book Corporation, 2010. • Megh, Ramesh Kuntal. Athato Saudaryajigyasa. (Hindi), Delhi: Vani Prakashan. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=Ssy_6oiGQj0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false (Accessed on 15-7-2013) • Prasad, Gupteshwar. I A Richards and Indian Theory of Rasa. Delhi: Sarup & Sons, 2007. • Raghavan, V. The Aesthetics of Ananda Coomaraswamy. Bangalore, Indian Institute of World Culture, 1982 • Robert, Wilkinson (Ed.) New Essays in Comparative Aesthetics. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007. • Vatsyayan, Kapila. Aestheics of Indian Dance. http://www.indologica.com/volumes/vol23-24/vol23- 24_art12_VATSYAYAN.pdf (Accessed on 10-7-2013) • Plato. Republic. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions Ltd. 1997. Mihir Bholey, PhD NID Ahmedabad INDIA 46
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