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By Dietrich von Hildebrand, Robert E. Wood, John F. Crosby, Dana Gioia

Foreword via Dana Gioia, Preface through Robert E. wooden, advent through John F. Crosby.

Dietrich von Hildebrand understood the centrality of good looks no longer only to paintings yet to philosophy, theology, and ethics. In his formidable and complete Aesthetics, now translated into English for the 1st time, Hildebrand rehabilitates the idea that of good looks as an target really and only subjective phenomenon. His systematic account renews the Classical and Christian imaginative and prescient of attractiveness as a competent mode of belief that leads humanity towards the real, the great, and finally the divine. there is not any extra very important factor in our culture--sacred or secular--than the recovery of good looks. and there's no higher position to begin this pressing firm than Dietrich von Hildebrand's Aesthetics. - Dana Gioia | From the Foreword

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He had received Husserlian phenomenology not only through Husserl himself but also through his revered teacher, Adolf Reinach, who from the beginning had given phenomenology a distinctly realist interpretation. But much as Hildebrand owed to the early Husserl, he owed far more to Max Scheler, whom he first met in Munich in 1907 and with whom he was bound in a very close friendship for some fifteen years. Hildebrand entirely shared Scheler’s interests in an ethical personalism and in the philosophy of religion.

He often gave courses on aesthetics throughout his teaching career (which began in Munich in 1918 and ended at Fordham University in New York in 1960). His strong ethical and religious interests and commitments did not in any way weaken his lived relation to beauty and art or his passion for the problems of aesthetics. And so toward the end of his life, when he was eighty, he set out to write the treatise on aesthetics that had been growing in him throughout his life. It came to a work of one thousand pages and was published posthumously in two volumes under the title Äesthetik.

Though he did not usually write during the summers — being busy giving talks and visiting family and friends — his reflections continued to mature in his mind. I still remember, on a visit to my parents in my native Belgium, the striking remarks he made about the mystical character of Flemish landscapes. We returned to America in late August. As soon as he had overcome the jetlag, he was back at his desk working on volume two (which, by the way, contains an entire chapter on the beauty of landscapes).

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