On Johann Gottfried von Herder’s “The Causes of Sunken Taste among the Different Peoples in Whom It Once Blossomed” (1775), “On the Influence of the Belles Lettres on the Higher Sciences” (1781), “Does Painting or Music Have a Greater Effect? A Divine Colloquy” (1785), and some of Critical Forests: Fourth Grove (written 1769). With guest rock god John “Jughead” Pierson.
What is aesthetic taste, and why do some societies (e.g., ancient Greece) seem rife with genius while others are not? Herder has some definite ideas about aesthetic, sensual education as grounding for abstract thinking, rages against attempts to copy another culture’s art forms, and likes melody over harmony. Plus he coined the term “zeitgeist”!
End song: “Dear Resonance” by John’s band Even In Blackouts. Hear him interviewed about his music on Nakedly Examined Music #58.
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