Emilia Dilke on Aesthetics
- Číslo 1 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
Helsinki University Press
Source documentEstetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics
Periodical publication year: 2023
Periodical Volume: 2023
Periodical Issue: 1
Rights and license termsThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of theCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords (English)Emilia Dilke, aestheticism, historicism, history of women philosophers, nineteenth-century, British aesthetics
This article contributes to recovering the history of women’s contributions to aesthetics by examining Emilia Dilke’s writings on aesthetics from the mid-1860s to the early 1870s. Initially, Dilke took the historicist view that artworks are inescapably the products and expressions of their social and historical circumstances and that art is better, as art, the more it distils its time. Dilke also thought that in the modern world art had separated inexorably from morality and religion. On that basis she came to endorse aestheticism, arguing that art should be made for beauty’s sake and not subordinated to moral purposes. However, this ultimately led to some tensions between her aestheticism and historicism. In the end she resolved these tensions by distinguishing between various kinds of value, or uses, that artworks can have. The best artworks have properly aesthetic value and transcend history, whereas the majority of artworks have only historical value as expressions of their eras. Overall, Dilke put forward a forceful defence of aestheticism and negotiated between aestheticism and historicism in a unique way. She deserves recognition as a significant female figure in the history of aesthetics.
MetadataShow full item record
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of theCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.