|Aesthetica Preprint, 22 (December 1988)
At plenary sessions of the Prussian Academy of Science in Berlin, of which he was a member, F. D. Schleiermacher (1768-1834) read two "Memoirs" entitled Ueber den Umfang des Begriffes der Kunst in Bezug auf die Theorie derselben on 11 August 1831 and 2 August 1832. The manuscripts of these talks were only published after the death of the philosopher, as part of his complete works, together with a third manuscript, which remained just a fragment but should have become a third lecture on aesthetics which was never held.
These texts, which are presented here for the first time in an Italian translation, are extremely interesting for anyone wishing to study Schleiermacher's aesthetics. While Aesthetics was written in 1819 and hence represents Schleiermacher's first systematic reflections on aesthetics, these memoirs belong to the last period of the philosopher's career and make it possible to follow the development of his speculations more faithfully than is possible through the Aesthetics lectures held in 1832, but reconstructed through students' notes and not on the basis of his own notes. The lecture On the Concept of Art are an excellent introduction to Schleiermacher's aesthetics, showing his originality and his independence of the trends predominant in his time. They are an exhaustive and accessible synthesis of almost all his fundamental aesthetic ideas.
Paolo D'Angelo's "Presentation" first of all places the text within the author's work on aesthetics, dwells on the salient points in the theory proposed, showing the connections with Schleiermacher's philosophy taken as a whole, and also emphasizes the elements that still make these writings interesting and stimulating for the contemporary aesthetic debate.