‘Hegel’s Æsthetics: A Critical Exposition’ by John Steinfort Kedney

Published by S. C. Griggs and Company, Chicago in 1885.


Hegel’s Æsthetics explains Hegel’s essential thought without going into minute detail or over ground that could be easily found elsewhere. It claims that one needs to understand Hegel’s philosophy of the Idea in order to fully understand his later philosophy of art.

The book is divided into three: I. the fundamental philosophy of Hegel’s aesthetic theory along with Kedney’s commentary, II. the logical and historical development of the “art impulse” in Hegel, and III. all of the various arts as treated by Hegel in his posthumous Lectures on the Philosophy of Art examined in detail—architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and poetry. This third section is by far the longest, as it was here that Kedney give his most important definitions and fundamental ideas on the application of aesthetic theory. 

John Steinfort Kedney (1819-1911) was an American church priest and theologian. His first book, The Beautiful and the Sublime: An Analysis of these Emotions and a Determination of the Objectivity of Beauty was published in 1880. Five years later, he published this close study of Hegel’s aesthetics.

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