ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

307. Esthetic Problems (57). -- The beautiful is a complex notion, an impression (subjective aspect) having its cause in an object adapted to produce it (objective aspect).{1}

This impression may be analyzed into disinterested contemplation by the intellectual faculty, accompanied by a specific enjoyment. In this way scholastic esthetics improves upon the esthetics of Aristotle.

Scholasticism also perfects the Aristotelian notion of objective beauty. Entire and complete order, which is the object of esthetic perception, is in fact connected with the substantial form of the being, with the principle of its unity.

Finally, scholasticism, by the theory of the "claritas pulchri," establishes between the objective and subjective elements of beauty a relation of causality, and an adaptation, not to be found in Aristotle: the "claritas pulchri" being that property of things in virtue of which the objective elements of their beauty (order, harmony, proportion) are revealed to the mind with distinctness, and elicit the full and free contemplation of the intelligence.

{1} "Pulchra enim dicuntur quae visa placent; unde pulchrum in debita proportione consistit" (S. Theol., i., 4, ad 1).

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