Hegel’s Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art

T. M. Knox translation. First published by Oxford University Press in 1975. Download link updated on 27. June 2021.

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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s Aesthetics, or Philosophy of Fine Art, is part of a rich German aesthetic tradition that stretches from the middle of the 18th century into the modern era. Hegel wrote this work early in the German exploration of aesthetics, and it served as a foundation piece for the philosophies of all who followed him. Hegel, with Aesthetics and other works, had a profound impact on the philosophies of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Adorno.

In this work, he explores the nature of beauty and the historical development of art. Hegel addresses each style of art in turn, considering architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and poetry in detail. He also offers distinct and in-depth analyses of Egyptian art, Greek sculpture, and both ancient and modern tragedy. Philosophy of Fine Art is regarded as one of the greatest aesthetic theories produced since Aristotle’s Poetics.


G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831) is one of the great figures in the history of Western thought, and the most important philosopher of his time. He spent his life in his native Germany, elaborating an enormously ambitious and broad-ranging philosophical system which has exerted a continuing influence on European and Anglo-American philosophy. Sir Malcolm Knox was Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews from 1936 to 1953, and then Principal of that university until 1966. He published translations of many of Hegel’s philosophical, theological, and political writings. He died in 1980.

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