Hermann Lotze’s Teleological Conception of Beauty

Dariusz Pakalski

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/szhf.2013.010


In Germany the positivistic tendencies in sciences in the second half of the 19th century gave rise to attempts of establishing metaphysics on the empirical ground. In his philosophy Hermann Lotze takes the laws of nature as a starting point and considers them from the point of the fundamental teleological principle. The sense of beauty, being an important element of this teleology, consists in the feeling of compatibility of the cognitive faculties and the material of cognition, the latter reaching beyond the content of purely intellectual cognition. Following Kant Lotze describes it as a vital feeling which enables him to postulate the existence of spiritual principle governing the mechanism of the material world.


teleology; beauty; metaphysics; value; spiritual principle

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