A careful study of the asthetic theories of the Western thinkers from Sophist Gorgias ( about 470 B. C. ) and Socrates" (469-399 B. C.) to Croce ( 1866-1952) produces an impre- ssion on the mind of one who is familiar with Indian AEsthe- tics that the East and the West have thought on the problem of the beautiful in ways which have marked similarity and. therefore, there is ample scope for a comparative approach to the problem of esthetics. Such an impression has been respon- sible for my thesis "Comparative .AEsthetics".
To prove the correctness of the thesis, this Volume presents the imitative, hedonistic, pedagogic, kathartic, -mystic, inte- llectualistic, emotive, transcendental, absolutist, intuitive and other allied theories of art generally in a chronological order. grouping together the thinkers of a particular country; shows how each resthetic thinker influenced his successors; states in the beginning of each chapter the points of similarity bet. ween the aesthetic thought of a Western thinker and that of an Indian; and in the concluding chapter gives a summary of comparative approach.
A detailed comparison of Western esthetic thought, past and contemporary, with Indian, is the subject-matter of the Third Volume, Indian and Western .AEsthetics .
AEsthetics is a part of philosophy. The majority of estheticians have been influenced in their theories of art by their metaphysical. epistemic, psychological and ethical views. The relevant aspects of the philosophy of every important thinker, who propounds his own .system or follows an already existing school of thought, therefore, have been given as the background of his asthetic theory and it has been shown how he was influenced in his theory of art by his general philosophical outlook.
In the present work also as in the earlier, fidelity to the original texts has been the guiding principle. In order to convince the reader of this fact, foot-notes have been given indicating the texts on the basis of which the statements have been made in the body of the book. The foot-notes are of two kinds, with asterisks and without them. The former refer to the Sanskrit texts, the quotations from which are given in Appendix A. The latter refer to the texts in or translations into English. The original texts of many Western aesthetic thinkers have been accessible to me in their English translations only, as I do not know all the languages, in which they were written by their respective authors. The reader, therefore, I hope, will excuse me for any inaccuracy that may be due to this short-coming.
The present volume, like the earlier, has benefited very much from the learned suggestions of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the Vice-President of India. It is, therefore, my sacred duty to acknowledge respectfully my deep debt of gratitude to him.
My sincere thanks are due to Professor N. K. Sidhanta for help in dealing with Aristotle ; to Professor E. Ahmad Shah for going through the typescript and giving many help- ful suggestions; to Professors K. A. S. Iyer, Kali Prasad, A. V. Rao and Dr. Raj Narain for occasional help-; to my research assistants, Mr. Aditya Prakash Misra, Mr. A. K. Banerjee and Mrs. Lila Pandey. for their wholehearted devotion to work; and above all to my late learned guide, Professor N. N. Sengupta, who helped me in understanding such difficult texts as Kant's Three Critiques.
It is the greatest satisfaction of my lift that my works in the field of Comparative AEsthetics and Saiva Philo- sophy have aroused such an interest in the scholars, both in India and abroad, that the second editions of all of them are in demand. The second editions of Abhinavagupta: An Historical and Philosophical Study and Comparative AEsthetics Vol. 1, Indian AEsthetics, have already been published. I am very happy to be able to present to my Learned readers the second edition of Comparative AEsthetics Vol. II, Western AEsthetics.
Earlier, aesthetics was recognised to be exclusively a subject of the West. Histories of AEsthetics, written by Bernard Bosanquet, Benedetto Croce, and Gilbert and Kuhn, confined themselves to the presentation of aesthetic currents in the West only. They completely ignored oriental easthetics; probably because they thought that such a subject does not exist in the East.
Internationalism in (aesthetics, however, made a start with the first International Congress of AEsthetics., held in 1913 in Berlin. But it was confined to the nations in the West. The gap between the occidental and the oriental (aesthetics remained as ever before. About this time scholars in the East, particularly in India, China and Japan, and orientalists in the West started writing on oriental arts and aesthetics in English and other European languages. Their works made the Western estheticians recognise that "Oriental art contains important values not attained by art in the West"; (Thomas Munro : Oriental AEsthetics-. P. 13) led to the discovery of important insights in oriental aesthetics, applicable to art and aesthetic experience everywhere and made many Western artists and critics believe that the Western art has much to learn from Eastern methods.
Names of some of the important orientalists, whose writings on arts and aesthetics have led •to the recognition of oriental aesthetics, aesthetic currents in India, China and Japan, are as follows :-
( i ) Writers on Indian arts and aesthetics:
Stella Kamrisch, R. Gnoli, S. K. De, G. C. O. Haas, Clay Lancaster, Anand Coomaraswamy, Philip Rawson, P. J. Chowdhury, O. C. Gangoly, V. Raghavan, Benjamin Rowland, Radha Kamal Mukerjee, Paul Mus, Alice Boner, A. L. Basham, Manomohan Ghosh and K. C. Pandey . on whose contribution to esthetics Professor Thomas Munro in his Oreintal AEstheties ( P. 29 ) makes the following observation :-
"The most comprehensive publication by a single author on the combined field of Indian and Western aesthetics, as far as I know, is the monumental series of volumes by Professor K. C. Pandey of Lucknow University on Compa- rative .AEsthetics. Volume I, recently enlarged in a second edition, is on Indian .AEsthetics; Volume II on Western AEsthetics. Dr. Pandey displays in Volume II a consider- able knowledge of European Philosophy from Plato through Croce."
( ii) Writers on Japanese arts and aesthetics:
M. Ueda, D. T. Suzuki. Shin’ichi Hisamatsu,
( iii ) Writers on Chinese arts and aesthetics: Osvald Siren, A. C. Soper, Wen Fong, E. R. Hughes, Achilles Fang.
Now esthetics is not regarded as an exclusively Western subject, but as a world-wide subject. And a plan is being sponsored by UNESCO to bring out Twenty Volumes pre- senting different esthetic currents including Russian, Japa- nese, Chinese, Indian etc. under the common title "Sources of AEsthetics". Porfessor Jan Aler of the University of Amsterdam is the general editor of this series and I am contributing to it a volume on Indian AEsthetics.
I must apologise to my learned readers for my inability to make a substantial addition to the present edition because of my preoccupation with the aforesaid work, a typescript of which has already been submitted to the general editor; and the Svatantrakala Sastra Vol. II, Pascatya, which. I hope will be published soon to meet the demand of Indian readers for a book, presenting the aesthetic currents of the West, in Hindi, the national language of the country .
I am very happy to see that the Abhinavagupta Institute of AEsthetics and Saiva Philosophy, Lucknow University, is beginning to realise its aim of publishing a series of volumes on the two subjects in which it specialises and that this work of mine is the first contribution to it.
My most sincere thanks are due to Professors S. Radha- krishnan, I. A. Richards, L. Renou, Charles Morris, J, Brough and to the editors of the Journals-the Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, University of Buffalo, U. S. A., the Journal of AEsthetics and Art Criticism, Western Reserve University, U. S. A., the Visvabharati Quarterly, Santini- ketan, the Calcutta Review, the Annals af Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, whose considered opinions on and learned reviews of the first edition of this book drew the attention of the lovers of AEsthetics to it : to Mrs. Lila Pandey for her selfless help in seeing this edition through the press: to Sri Mohan Das Gupta and Sri Bitthal Das Gupta, Directors, Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series,for thier keen interest and careful guidance of the pressmen,: to the University Grants Commission, the U: P. Government and the Lucknow University for the much needed help to establish the Abhi- navagupta Institute of AEsthetics and Saiva Philosophy so as to enable it to start publication of the results oj the research that is carried on here.
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