Elements of Criticism

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Graphic Arts Books, 2021 M11 16 - 646 pages
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Elements of Criticism (1762) is a philosophical work by Henry Home, Lord Kames. Published at the height of his career as a leading legal and cultural figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, Elements of Criticism has been credited as a crucial academic work in the development of modern English literary studies. “The science of criticism tends to improve the heart not less than the understanding...A just taste in the fine arts, by sweetening and harmonizing the temper, is a strong antidote to the turbulence of passion and violence of pursuit. Elegance of taste procures to a man so much enjoyment at home, or easily within reach, that in order to be occupied, he is, in youth, under no temptation to precipitate into hunting, gaming, drinking; nor, in middle age, to deliver himself over to ambition; nor, in old age, to avarice.” Although he is largely unheard of today, Henry Home was an integral figure in the elevation of the art of literary criticism as a subject in universities around Britain and the world. His central thesis is that criticism itself stems from the senses and directly relates to humanity’s capacity for reason. Through art, Home believed, humanity could live both morally and in harmony with the natural world, thereby creating a civilization rooted in virtue and creativity. With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Henry Home, Lord Kames’ Elements of Criticism is a classic of English literature reimagined for modern readers.

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
PERCEPTIONS AND IDEAS IN A TRAIN
EMOTIONS AND PASSIONS
BEAUTY
GRANDEUR AND SUBLIMITY
MOTION AND FORCE
NOVELTY AND THE UNEXPECTED APPEARANCE OF OBJECTS
RISIBLE OBJECTS
CUSTOM AND HABIT
EXTERNAL SIGNS OF EMOTIONS AND PASSIONS
SENTIMENTS
LANGUAGE OF PASSION
BEAUTY OF LANGUAGE
VOLUME III
COMPARISONS
FIGURES

RESEMBLANCE AND CONTRAST
OF UNIFORMITY AND VARIETY
VOLUME II
CONGRUITY AND PROPRIETY
OF DIGNITY AND MEANNESS
RIDICULE
XIII
NARRATION AND DESCRIPTION
EPIC AND DRAMATIC COMPOSITIONS
THE THREE UNITIES
GARDENING AND ARCHITECTURE
STANDARD OF TASTE
Copyright

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About the author (2021)

Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782) was a Scottish judge, philosopher, and agriculturalist. Born at Kames House in Berwickshire, Home was educated by a private tutor until the age of 16. In 1712, he was apprenticed to a lawyer in Edinburgh. Called to the Scottish bar in 1724, he gained a reputation as a legal scholar and leading philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment. In addition to his legal work, for which he was named Lord Kames in 1752, Home was involved with the manufacture of linen in Scotland as a prominent shareholder and director of the British Linen Company. Much of his writing is focused on property and the historical development of human society, making him an important early figure in anthropology and sociology. His book Elements of Criticism (1762) has been designated a landmark text in the development of the academic discipline of English literature. Home was a founding member of the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh and a patron to David Hume, Adam Smith, and James Boswell.

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