Recent scholarship on musical aesthetics, notably in analytical philosophy of music, commonly identifies the main ideas of Eduard Hanslick’s Vom Musikalisch-Schönen (“On the Musically Beautiful”, 1854) with Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft (“Critique of the Power of Judgment”, 1790), due to an ostensibly equivalent concept of ‘strict’ aesthetic formalism. Hanslick’s aesthetics is regarded as historically dependent on Kant’s theory and is further viewed as a concrete musical application of Kant’s more abstract formalism. This historical assumption, however, is mostly based on conceptual similarities between both texts that are regarded as ‘proof’ for immediate philosophical influences without carefully reflecting on contextual circumstances. Thus, my paper thoroughly examines the historical setting of mid-19th-century Vienna by taking into account the problematic reception of Kant’s works in Habsburg territories, the positivistic, anti-idealist orientation of Austrian science politics, as well as likely ‘local’ sources of Hanslick’s argument. Based on these observations concerning the historical contexts of Vom Musikalisch-Schönen, I analyze the palpable overlaps between Hanslick and Kant, but also show certain equally striking disparities between their aesthetic approaches. Ultimately, I conclude that their particular concepts of aesthetics, musical beauty, and music itself, as well as their philosophical methodologies are incompatible, even though Hanslick’s treatise implies an elementary familiarity with Kantian aesthetics, probably mediated by contemporary philosophers such as Bernard Bolzano, Johann Friedrich Herbart, and Robert Zimmermann.


[1] Questions regarding the intellectual foundations of Eduard Hanslick’s aesthetics represent a prevalent subject matter of Hanslick research. Who influenced Hanslick’s aesthetic outlook, who was the chief target of his partially polemical argument, and which philosophical movement stimulated the main ideas of his ‘strict’ aesthetic formalism? Different historical stages of Hanslick research have given very different answers to these complex questions, which will form the topic of my paper. Aesthetic scholars of the 19th century focused mainly on the ‘native’ Austrian contexts of Hanslick’s monograph, thereby locating it in the historical tradition of Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841). German-language scholarship in the middle of the 20th century, on the other hand, integrated Hanslick’s formalism into German discourse, consequently recognizing Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831)—the most prominent counterpart to Herbartian aesthetics in 19th-century philosophy—as the most significant predecessor to Hanslick’s approach. Recently, anglophone scholarship, particularly in analytical philosophy of music, has identified another source as the intellectual background of Hanslick’s treatise: Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft. However, all these sources share a common problem: they rely solely on conceptual similarities between Vom Musikalisch-Schönen and the authors named above. Scholars assume that Hanslick’s erudition warrants his exemplary knowledge of Herbart, Hegel, Kant, and other reputed sources of his text, without taking Hanslick’s Austrian contexts, his academic education, or his personal relations into serious account. My paper takes a different approach to Hanslick’s intellectual background, particularly concerning the widely held view of his dependence on Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft. I outline the scope of historical research on the various authors who are usually thought to be the primary sources of Vom Musikalisch-Schönen, I analyze Hanslick’s Austrian contexts in some detail, focusing primarily on the decisive factors in regard to Hanslick’s knowledge of Kant’s theory. I will show how Kant’s works were actively censored by Habsburg authorities, how Austrian science policies fostered positivistic procedures, opposing idealistic ‘speculation’, and how Herbartian thinking was declared the quasi-official philosophy at Habsburg universities. These contextual conditions render Hanslick’s first-hand knowledge of Kant’s system thoroughly problematic, making other authors—Herbart, Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848), Robert Zimmermann (1824–98)—more likely sources for certain features of Hanslick’s aesthetics. I will conclude by analyzing the presumed conceptual similarities between Vom Musikalisch-Schönen and Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft. In challenging the widespread evaluation of Kant’s ‘rigorous’ formalism, I will show that some conceptual similarities between him and Hanslick emerged initially not with Kant’s theory but with earlier authors, and how specific terminological congruencies do not hold up under scrutiny. A concluding investigation of the most important differences between Hanslick and Kant—focusing primarily on Hanslick’s concept of a specifically musical aesthetics and his objectivist approach—will reach the result that Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft cannot be viewed as a crucial source of Hanslick’s argument. Kantian elements, although markedly present in Vom Musikalisch-Schönen, are far more likely to stem from Kantian discourse of 19th-century Germany and from native Austrian writers such as Herbart and Bolzano, who, despite attitudes generally opposed to German idealism, adopted several central features of Kant’s theory.

Historical Research on Hanslick’s Philosophical Background: A Brief Outline

What theorists informed Eduard Hanslick’s aesthetic treatise Vom Musikalisch-Schönen (“On the Musically Beautiful”, Leipzig: Weigel, 1854)?[1] Questions related to Hanslick’s source material are as old as the book itself: ever since the original printing of the treatise, research regarding the intellectual influences on his approach to aesthetics has constituted a major topic in German-language Hanslick scholarship. Numerous candidates have been identified as the most significant predecessor to Hanslick’s formalism, ranging from German idealism—Kant, Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Schelling (1775–1854), Friedrich Theodor Vischer (1807–87), etc.—and German poetry—Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–81), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805), or the German literary romantics—to the Austrian contexts of Hanslick’s aesthetics (Herbart, Bolzano, Zimmermann, Gutt).[2] Various writers of the 19th and early 20th century regarded Hanslick’s treatise as an immediate successor to the strictly ahistorical formalism of Johann Friedrich Herbart, who famously asserted that aesthetic judgment based on measurable relationships between the objective elements of any given object results in an identical appraisal, regardless of the historical perspective of the perceiving individual:[3] “The complete perception of a specific relationship will—like cause and effect—lead to the same judgment. This will happen for all time, irrespective of accompanying circumstances, conjunctions, or integrations.”[4] Herbart’s successor and foremost spokesperson in all matters aesthetic, Zimmermann, who was one of Hanslick’s closest friends[5] and one of the most influential academics in 19th-century Austria, puts this point even more bluntly: the primary objective of aesthetic analysis is to definitively determine what makes any given object beautiful “for all time and all places,”[6] since beauty relies solely on “constant relationships” (“sich gleich bleibenden Verhältnissen”) between aesthetic properties.[7]

Given these strongly formalistic attitudes, it is not particularly surprising that early scholarship on Hanslick’s intellectual background agreed upon the Herbartian orientation of VMS. Eduard von Hartmann (1842–1906), for example, criticized Hanslick’s formalism—which ostensibly disavows “any deep ideal content of music” (“jeden tieferen idealen Gehalt der Musik”)—by simply stating that Hanslick attempted to develop Herbart’s original approach in greater detail (without success, of course).[8] Similarly, Johannes Volkelt (1848–1930) regarded Hanslick’s approach as a more restrained continuation of Herbartian formalism,[9] and Guido Bagier (1888–1967) equally viewed Hanslick’s treatise as the “first extensive analysis based on Herbartian principles.”[10] Heinrich Ehrlich (1822–99), Charles Lalo (1877–1953), or Richard Wallaschek (1860–1917) similarly classified Hanslick’s aesthetics as a concrete musical application of Herbartian formalism and individually conceived of the aesthetic approaches by Herbart, Hanslick, and Zimmermann as members of the same class[11]—a verdict shared by Olga Stieglitz, who sweepingly proclaimed: “In his book On the Musically Beautiful, Eduard Hanslick transferred Herbart’s doctrines to music.”[12] Even as late as Paul Moos (1863–1952), whom Geoffrey Payzant judged to be “one of the earliest historians of musical aesthetics,”[13] Herbart’s writings were considered the initial basis for all formalistic inclinations in musical contexts,[14] and Hanslick’s most famous student, Guido Adler (1855–1941), equally declared his teacher’s treatise a primary example of “Herbartian orientation” (“Herbartsche[] Richtung”).[15] Thus, early research into Hanslick’s textual sources was oriented towards the historical Austrian contexts of his book and the contemporary philosophical discussions regarding aesthetic problems, summed up by Lothar Schneider as an alternative between Herbartianism (Zimmermann) and Hegelianism (Friedrich Theodor Vischer).[16] As soon as Herbart’s relevance for German-language philosophy declined in the late 19th and early 20th century, his eminent influence on Hanslick’s treatise rapidly faded into historical obscurity. As Christoph Khittl rightly states: “Even though Hanslick alludes to Herbart’s influence himself and contemporary criticism of the 19th century classes Hanslick as ‘Herbartian’, the philosopher Johann Friedrich Herbart is constantly excluded from research literature” on Hanslick’s intellectual background.[17]

Wilfing Hanslick Zimmermann
Figure 1: Robert von Zimmermann (1824–98)
By courtesy of Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv Austria

[2] Herbart’s position as the most significant predecessor of Hanslick’s aesthetic formalism was swiftly replaced by numerous candidates located in German discourse. German musical scholars of the 20th century rarely took notice of the indigenous historical contexts of VMS and worked towards Hanslick’s integration in the history of German aesthetics. This declining importance attached to his Austrian contexts, as well as the fact that Hanslick’s library and his private records were lost during the Second World War,[18] led to free-floating speculation on what could be legitimately considered the one and only school of thought to which Hanslick belongs. As Christoph Landerer correctly observes, up to the late 1980s, German scholars largely ignored that the intellectual foundation of Hanslick’s approach was not laid in Berlin, Göttingen, or Heidelberg but in Prague, Klagenfurt, and Vienna.[19] Thus, on the sole basis of conceptual similarities with various German writers, Hanslick’s treatise was thoroughly re-located and directly linked to the authors named above. Paul Bruchhagen’s “Hanslick und die spekulative Ästhetik” is an early example of the unsound method of simply relating specific passages of Hanslick’s argument with specific passages of—in this case—Hegel and Vischer, ultimately resulting in the problematic judgment that Eduard Hanslick has to be regarded as an idealistic philosopher.[20] This dubious method was, however, routinely applied in some of the most frequently consulted literature ever written on Hanslick’s intellectual background, particularly Dorothea Glatt’s Zur geschichtlichen Bedeutung der Musikästhetik Eduard Hanslicks, Werner Abegg’s Musikästhetik und Musikkritik bei Eduard Hanslick, and Carl Dahlhaus’s Die Idee der absoluten Musik (for Abegg’s inquiry, see part two).[21]

Glatt, for example, who locates Hanslick’s argument in the immediate tradition of German romanticism, recognizes this problematic historical approach: “The question whether and to what extent Hanslick directly absorbed romantic theorems cannot be definitely answered in detail.”[22] Her accurate observation, which should make one wary of directly linking Hanslick to such ideas, does not lead to a more circumspect examination of Hanslick’s historical contexts or the general reception of romantic literature in 1854 Vienna. On the contrary, Glatt’s admission that the exact scope of Hanslick’s learning cannot be verified in any meaningful way led her to state that “given his level of education and his remarkable erudition, one can safely assume that he was acquainted with romantic theories of art.”[23] Thus, Johann Gottfried Herder’s (1744–1803) repudiation of Kant’s subjectivist orientation (see part three) and his emphasis on the “aesthetic analysis of objects” (“aesthetische[] Gegenstandsanalyse”) are apparently sufficient to declare him “Hanslick’s predecessor” (“Vorläufer”).[24] This straightforward connection is established by conceptual similarities such as Hanslick’s comparable statement that “the primary object of aesthetical investigation is the beautiful object, not the feelings of the subject [recte: the perceiving subject]” (OMB, 2; VMS, 22).[25] With these critical remarks on Glatt’s thesis I do not want to deny that Hanslick’s idea of autonomous musical art, which is strictly detached from worldly affairs and cannot be grasped in conceptual language (OMB, 30; VMS, 78), does indeed suggest a romantic heritage.[26] Nevertheless, Glatt’s specific ascription of Hanslick’s ideas, which were extremely common in his time and place, to his unverified knowledge of Herder’s aesthetic writings is completely speculative, yet nonetheless paradigmatic for a notable segment of Hanslick scholarship.

A similar method was employed by Carl Dahlhaus, who—in contrast to Glatt’s thesis about Hanslick’s romanticist background—aligns Hanslick’s treatise with Hegel’s and Heinrich Gustav Hotho’s (1802–73) Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik (“Lectures on Aesthetics”, 1835–38): “Hanslick, the easily comprehensible writer, must be seen relative to Hegel, the difficult-to-understand philosopher, if one wishes to comprehend seriously what Hanslick actually meant, and wherein the problem he sought to solve consisted.”[27] Dahlhaus supports his historical assumption—which was generally endorsed in the 1970s and 1980s[28]—by stressing the “historical context of ca. 1850,” which apparently confirms that “Hanslick’s doctrine implies an exposure to Hegelianism, the reigning philosophy of the 1830s and 1840s.”[29] Even though Dahlhaus specifies instantly that Hanslick’s familiarity with Hegel’s aesthetic theories may not have been acquired first-hand but may rather stem from a watered-down Hegelianism, which became “common parlance of intellectuals” (“Umgangssprache der Intellektuellen”), he entertains opposing views in an earlier article on Hanslick’s idea of form.[30] In “Eduard Hanslick und der musikalische Formbegriff,” he refers to Hanslick’s statement that the term ‘idea’ always “points to the pure, self-sufficient concept given in its actuality” (OMB, 11; VMS, 47), thereby ‘proving’ that Hanslick read Hegel’s Logik (“Logic”, 1812–16).[31] Dahlhaus’s confident assertion is particularly remarkable because Eduard Hanslick gives the source of this idea in the very same footnote of VMS: Friedrich Theodor Vischer. Although Vischer’s position has to be clearly regarded as part of Hegelian tradition, Dahlhaus’s immediate reference to Hegel’s Logik is an example of the common practice of regarding conceptual similarities as ‘proof’ of direct intellectual influences without carefully reflecting on contextual circumstances. This problematic methodology, particularly concerning Hanslick’s familiarity with Hegel’s system—which does not take into account the important distinction between Hegel’s Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik and the historical heritage of different versions of Hegelianism[32]—has even been rightly called the “Dahlhaus School” (“Dahlhaus-Schule”) of Hanslick scholarship.[33]

Although I cannot discuss the issue of Hanslick’s Hegelian borrowings at great length,[34] research on Hanslick’s Hegelian origins has sufficiently demonstrated that he is much more likely to have taken up certain ideas by his confirmable acquaintance with Vischer’s aesthetics.[35] As Dahlhaus rightly notes in later works, Hanslick’s Hegelianism is of a vague quality that cannot be regarded as an unreserved acceptance of Hegel’s system: Hanslick rather “uses Hegelian means against Hegel.”[36] Likewise, Geoffrey Payzant correctly observes that Hanslick’s definition of “tönend bewegte Formen” (“tonally moving forms”) as “mind giving external shape to itself from within” (OMB, 30; VMS, 78)[37] is probably situated in a general setting of Hegelian reasoning. However, “the meanings of Geist and its derivatives as used by Hegel are far from clear even to Hegelians, and Hanslick was no Hegelian.”[38] Indeed, as various scholars overlook, Hanslick did not receive any formal training in philosophy, which makes all the more probable Payzant’s assessment that Hanslick’s knowledge of Hegelian aesthetics stemmed from more recent sources such as August Kahlert (1807–64), Eduard Krüger (1807–85), or Friedrich Theodor Vischer.[39] The latter, with whom Hanslick was personally acquainted and who is quoted directly on numerous occasions (OMB, 11, 48, 106; VMS, 47, 108, 160), represents the most likely source for his Hegelian leanings. As Barbara Titus, on the basis of contextual investigation and biographical observation (see note 35), has meticulously demonstrated, Vischer’s influence is particularly noticeable in Hanslick’s hypothesis concerning the gradual historical development of musical material—and thus, by reasonable extension, of the ‘Musically-Beautiful’ itself[40]—the core of which refers back to Vischer’s similar position.[41]

Hanslick, Kant, and Austrian Science Politics: A Contextual Perspective

[3] Rather than being located in the confined tradition of any specific author or any philosophical movement, Hanslick’s approach to musical aesthetics is highly original and was developed by means of a multifaceted engagement with numerous contemporary discourses and important contextual factors. Given the diverse influences mentioned above and several additional intellectual sources of Hanslick’s argument—which cannot be discussed in the present context (see note 2)—it is all the more curious to see how modern Anglo-American scholarship often tends to restrict Hanslick’s position to a highly specific Kantian heritage. In this view, the reasoning is premised on an historical narrative regarding the successive development of musical formalism: Hanslick’s treatise is typically considered the “classical definition of formalistic aesthetics in music,”[42] the “first and most influential theory of absolute music and musical formalism,”[43] and the “inaugural text in the founding of musical formalism as a position in the philosophy of art.”[44] Accordingly, Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft[45] is commonly regarded as the founding document of aesthetic formalism per se: David Whewell, for instance, mentions Kant’s “powerfully formalistic theory,”[46] Peter Kivy calls Kant’s system the “cradle of musical formalism,”[47] and Marcia Muelder Eaton simply equates “Kantians” and “formalists.”[48] Consequently, it seems entirely plausible to assume an immediate historical connection between the two texts, thereby reading Hanslick’s argument as a concrete musical application of the more universal formalism of Kant’s theory. This idea, which has become virtually canonical in current research, will now be illustrated by a select number of relevant examples regarding the prevalence of this view in recent papers on the history of musical aesthetics.

Andrew Edgar, for example, traces musical analysis and its formalist grounding back to “Kant and Herbart, through their influence on the critic Hanslick”;[49] David Huron similarly proclaims that in “music, Kant’s ideas were developed and extended by the famed Austrian music critic Eduard Hanslick”;[50] Lee Rothfarb carefully surmises that “the foundations, if not the details, of Hanslick’s formalist viewpoint” originate from Kant’s theory;[51] and, finally, Stephen Davies declares: “Hanslick’s formalism echoes the medieval equation of beauty with balance, proportion, and unity, as well as Kantian aesthetic formalism.”[52] In a recent article on Kant’s aesthetic writings, Hannah Ginsborg sums up the prevailing consensus: “Kant is often thought of as the originator of formalism in aesthetics, and, largely as a result of his influence on Eduard Hanslick, in the aesthetics of music more specifically.”[53] Few of the assertions quoted above—Rothfarb being a notable exception—are based on careful research into Hanslick’s intellectual background, his historical contexts, or an in-depth analysis of both texts. Rather, they rely on seemingly ‘obvious’ similarities in the aesthetic approaches of Hanslick and Kant and are typically confined to general remarks on their shared formalism. For that very reason, one may think that these ‘casual’ remarks do no harm: they simply paint a broad picture, made ‘evident’ by analogies between the two texts. In my view, this conciliating assessment is mistaken for two reasons. First, reading Hanslick’s treatise through a Kantian lens does not do justice to Hanslick’s argument and inadvertently contributes to a misdirected interpretation of VMS.[54] Second, the recurrent assertion of Hanslick’s reliance on Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft leads to simplistic narrative constructions of philosophical dependencies, which—despite a clear lack of detailed research—swiftly develop into ‘common knowledge’, becoming intensely ingrained in musical discourse. The persistent perception of Hanslick’s visceral hatred of Richard Wagner’s (1813–83) music, for example, continues to prosper without reserve, in spite of recent studies that have shown how Hanslick’s evaluation of Wagner’s operas was much more nuanced than is usually assumed.[55] This example illustrates how untested, ‘soft’ facts concerning philosophical dependencies can sometimes transform into generally accepted narratives, which severely influence our grasp of historical settings.[56]

Admittedly, a premature blending of Hanslick’s aesthetics and Kant’s theory has been similarly proposed by German scholars. Thus, the anglophone discussion regarding Hanslick’s Kantian origins is not any kind of peculiar ‘invention’ of English-speaking scholars. Rather, it finds an historical antecedent in a similar German debate on Kant’s aesthetic formalism, chiefly situated in musicological publications of the early 20th century. This older German debate, however, arrived at patently different results and thus paints a more complex picture yet also entails a similar version of the historical narrative described above. Thus, Hermann Kretzschmar (1848–1924) claims: “On multiple occasions, Hanslick simply converts Kant’s theory into universally comprehensible, witty, pointed German writing style, captivating due to dialectics and examples. He even adopts comparisons and particularities from the Königsberg philosopher.”[57] In 2012, Peter Rohs established an analogical assessment: “Kant is regarded as the actual founder of formalism in aesthetics that—for musical purposes—was elaborated most effectively by Hanslick.”[58] Other scholars, however, take a more nuanced approach and consider Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft to be the decisive starting point for a diversified development of opposing aesthetic methods. Paul Moos, for example, judges Kant’s theory to be fundamentally inconsistent, evincing idealistic, formalistic, naturalistic, as well as sensualistic characteristics: an opinion shared by the musicologist Arnold Schering (1877–1941).[59] The most common reading of Kant’s theory of fine art at that time was two-pronged: Kant was classified as “Begründer der Formalästhetik” (founder of aesthetic formalism) as well as “Vertreter der Inhaltsästhetik” (exponent of the aesthetics of content).[60] Consequently, Hanslick’s argument was deemed to be a one-dimensional elaboration of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, which holds the first seed of strict aesthetic formalism, enriched by other aspects named below (see part three).[61] Hence, a more or less direct impact of Kant on Hanslick has also been claimed in German-language discourse,[62] yet the extent of this tangible stimulus was portrayed with more caution than various modern scholars have considered necessary.

[4] As previously mentioned, Abegg’s Musikästhetik und Musikkritik bei Eduard Hanslick (1974) is similar to the already discussed surveys by Glatt and Dahlhaus in its swift philosophical categorization of Hanslick’s treatise on the sole basis of conceptual similarities. In his case, Vom Musikalisch-Schönen depends not so much on Herder or Hegel as on the author in question: Kant. Since Eduard Hanslick deems a passive listening response ‘pathological’ and consequently aesthetically irrelevant (OMB, 58; VMS, 127) and Kant similarly separates universal beauty from the completely subjective ‘agreeable’ (see part three), which is exclusively dominated by “charm and emotion” (“Reiz und Rührung”; CPJ, 107; KdU, 223),[63] Hanslick’s knowledge of Kant’s theory should be assumed to be plausible. Anticipating the question whether Hanslick’s first-hand familiarity with Kant’s system can really be proven, Abegg replies: “Hanslick is likely to have become acquainted with Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft in the course of his philosophical elementary studies at the University of Prague, at least in passing.”[64] Contrary to Abegg’s assurance, this does not seem likely at all, given the available historical information on Kant’s reception in 19th-century Austria. Habsburg authorities categorized Kant’s system—deemed the pivotal catalyst for the French Revolution—as politically dangerous. Peter Miotti and Viennese Nuncio Severoli railed against Kant’s “perverted principles” (“perverse Grundsätze”) and irreverent ‘materialism’, which led his work to be referred to popularly as “murderous philosophy” (“Mordphilosophie”),[65] thus causing rigorous restrictions on the public teaching of Kant’s works.[66] Dreading revolutionary movements in Austrian territories, Emperor Franz II (1768–1835) initiated the so-called Studien-Revisions-Kommission (commission for education reform) in 1795, led by Heinrich von Rottenhan (1738–1809), in order to “compensate for the damage inflicted on the minds of the Austrian populace by the Enlightenment.”[67] Its principal intention was that university education should serve solely to support the universal restoration endeavors by methodically eradicating all ostensibly subversive academic traditions and by restricting university studies to purely propaedeutic instructions compatible with Catholic dogmas and state norms. Rottenhan made the intended outcome plainly clear: “The study of mathematics and physics as well as of positive sciences [should] outweigh the so-called rational or speculative sciences in order to contain the skepticism of political and philosophical ‘free-thinking’.”[68]

On July 4, 1798, the Studien-Revisions-Kommission finally decided on the fate of Kant’s theory at Habsburg teaching facilities: in the course of the philosophical elementary education referred to by Werner Abegg—a three-year course that was mandatory for all prospective university attendees of each general faculty (philosophy, medicine, and law),[69] encompassing mathematics, philosophy, theology, physics, world history, classical studies, Austrian history, Greek studies, etc.—any utterance of Kant’s name was forbidden in principle. Regarding the philosophical doctoral program, however, which Eduard Hanslick did not attend, Kant’s theory could be partially discussed, albeit solely in polemical fashion.[70] Even though scholars differ on the exact date of the ‘ban’ of Kant’s works from Habsburg teaching facilities,[71] Kant’s name was excluded from the regular university curriculum in the years around 1800, and the ‘ban’ was additionally reinforced through the indexing of Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft (“Critique of Pure Reason”, 1781) in the Vatican register of banned books in 1827. Until 1849, academic discourse in Austria continued to be dominated by rationalistic philosophy in the revered tradition of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) and Christian Wolff (1679–1754), and largely skipped German idealism in favor of decidedly ‘scientific’ and positivistic approaches, such as those of Bernard Bolzano or Johann Friedrich Herbart.[72] Despite another school reform in 1849 that superficially guaranteed the freedom of learning and teaching, the state-run ‘embargo’ on Kant’s works lasted until 1860, when Minister of Education Leopold Graf von Thun und Hohenstein (1811–88), who had previously enforced his anti-idealist standpoint by appointing anti-idealist professors to university positions, resigned from his post.[73] In the case of Hanslick, who in his university training went through these elementary philosophy courses from 1840 to 1843,[74] the political rejection of Kant’s system was unabatedly reinforced, if in a more sporadic fashion than around 1800. After an early period of extensive reception of Kant’s works in the 1780s and 1790s,[75] Rottenhan’s regulations caused various sackings of Kantian lecturers such as Johann Nepomuk Delling (1764–1838) or Anton Kreil (1757–1833), who were forcibly retired in 1795 for the simple reason that “lecturing critical [i.e., Kantian] philosophy leads to atheism.”[76] Although the overall situation had changed by the 1820s and 1830s, when Hegelian idealism became the prime target of political indignation,[77] the ‘ban’ on Kant’s works was still largely upheld, especially at the central educational institutions of Habsburg Austria: Vienna and Prague. The actual results of Habsburg censorship on Kant’s works at that time, especially regarding the individual conditions of specific academic disciplines and the particular reception history of each of Kant’s books, are still largely unknown and merit further research. However, Bernard Bolzano was forcibly retired due to his ‘Kantian leanings’ as late as 1819, Leopold Rembold (1785–1844) was likewise suspended because of Kantian concepts present in his lectures (1824), and Josef Calasanz Likawetz (1773–1850) had to vacate his chair by virtue of his public support of Kant’s theory of autonomous moral action (1836).[78] Thus, the broad picture of Kant’s declining reception in 19th-century Austria verifies vividly how Kantian thinking as well as German idealism were actively censored by Habsburg officials, although this intended anathema might have been executed randomly, without systematic monitoring of every lecture hall at every teaching facility. In the slightly exaggerated formulation of Otto Neurath: “Austria avoided the Kantian episode.”[79] Generally speaking, all key figures of Austrian positivistic philosophy (Herbart, Bolzano, Zimmermann, etc.) were directly opposed to German idealism,[80] even though their critical attitudes differed in regard to certain topics (epistemology, aesthetics, ethics, logic, law, etc.).

[5] A private reading of Kant’s theory would of course still have been possible, and various Austrian writers such as Franz Seraphicus Grillparzer (1791–1872) and Joseph Schreyvogel (1768–1832) were profoundly influenced by transcendental philosophy.[81] However, Kant’s works did not form an essential component of academic education at Habsburg universities at the time of Hanslick’s juridical education, as some scholars assume given Kant’s undeniable importance for present-day philosophy curriculums. Therefore, one cannot simply presume, as Werner Abegg does, that Hanslick had first-hand knowledge of Kant’s theory but must further verify this assumption separately: a task that has not yet been undertaken in serious fashion. Even a cursory review of Hanslick’s historical contexts—focused on temporal as well as geographical circumstances—shows that Kant’s system and German idealism were purposefully marginalized by Habsburg authorities and that the indigenous background of Hanslick’s argument accounts for various features of his aesthetic approach. Hanslick’s rejection of idealistic theories on the essence of every single art (OMB, 2; VMS, 22–23), or his strong appeal to natural science as the operational benchmark for musical aesthetics (OMB, 1; VMS, 24), for instance, can be directly deduced from the general positivistic orientation of Austrian education strategies. As Christoph Landerer correctly remarks, these specific features “in the attuned meaning of ‘exact’, logical-formal research that operates inductively and is oriented towards facts, characterize Austrian humanities up to the 20th century.”[82] Similarly, Hanslick’s substantial distinction between aesthetics and music history, his key contention that “historical comprehension” (“historisches Begreifen”) and “aesthetic judgment” (“ästhetische[s] Beurtheilen”) are entirely different issues (OMB, 40; VMS, 94), opposing Hegel’s historicist aesthetics, was also held by his close friend Zimmermann, who argued against a “conversion of aesthetics into art history” (“Verwandlung der Aesthetik in Kunstgeschichte”), which ultimately identifies the “history of the work’s genesis” (“Geschichte der Entstehung eines Werkes”) with “aesthetic judgment” (“ästhetische[] Beurtheilung”).[83]

Zimmermann’s attitude towards aesthetic matters was profoundly influenced by two ‘Austrian’ thinkers that also clearly shaped Hanslick’s treatise: Johann Friedrich Herbart and Bernard Bolzano. The work of Herbart, who was professor of philosophy at Königsberg University from 1809 until 1833, has been correctly declared the “quasi-official state philosophy” (“quasi offizielle Staatsphilosophie”) of 19th-century Austria.[84] Herbart’s ‘realism’ blended perfectly with the restorative movement of Emperor Franz’s politics whilst posing a tenable, up-to-date alternative to German idealism. Reviving Leibniz’s Monadologie (“Monadology”, 1714) and glaringly insisting upon a strict separation between philosophy, science, and politics, Herbart’s writings embodied philosophy according to the liking of Habsburg officials.[85] As Rudolf Eitelberger (1817–85), founder of the Vienna School of Art History,[86] tellingly declared in a letter to Leo Thun (November 26, 1854), Herbart’s theories “nowhere came into conflict with established confessions or political systems,”[87] thereby making Herbart’s modern writings, which declared natural science to be the guiding principle, especially attractive to education politics. All major figures of the general education reform of 1849—Count Thun, Hermann Bonitz (1814–88), Hanslick’s former teacher Franz Exner (1802–53), or his old friend Joseph von Helfert (1820–1910)—closely adhered to some form of Herbartian philosophy, consequently implementing Herbartianism as major force of academic discourse: a steady process set into motion in the early 1820s and ultimately completed by Zimmermann’s appointment to the University of Vienna (1861).[88] The ultimate outcome of this historical situation is correctly outlined by Geoffrey Payzant: “if one sought a teaching position in Austria, philosophical or otherwise, one had to be, or profess to be, a Herbartian.”[89] Regarding Hanslick’s argument, Herbartian teachings were particularly important for his concept of objective aesthetics, formalistic aesthetics, and autonomous instrumental music, for his critical attitude towards emotivist aesthetics, for his emphasis on the most elemental components of a given piece and their mutual relations, and for his appreciation of technical musical aspects.[90] Although Herbart’s name does not appear before the third edition of VMS (see note 17), it is difficult to imagine that he did not have at least rudimentary knowledge of Herbart’s works prior to the initial edition of 1854. In contrast to Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, my cautious assertion is supported by the Austrian contexts of Hanslick’s aesthetics, his strong desire for an academic profession, stated as early as 1851,[91] and his personal affiliation with the most significant Herbartian philosopher of his time and place: Zimmermann.

Wilfing Hanslick Herbart
Figure 2: Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841)
By courtesy of Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv Austria

The Prague priest and philosopher Bernard Bolzano, on the other hand, who probably affected Hanslick’s aesthetics even more strongly than Johann Friedrich Herbart, is not referred to in VMS. Again, this fact can be clarified by analyzing the political contexts of Habsburg Austria. In 1819, Bolzano was forcibly retired due to an unfounded accusation of ‘dangerous’ Kantianism—a convenient explanation employed to obscure the more tenacious allegation of political sedition. Bolzano’s removal from the faculty of theology had hardly anything to do with Kantian leanings on his part[92] but was rather caused by his ‘heretical’ attempts to unify Catholic dogma (the Fall of Man, the Holy Trinity, Immaculate Conception, etc.) with rational thinking, on the basis of his strong faith in human reason.[93] Accordingly, any mention of Bolzano in an aesthetic monograph intended to initiate an academic career would have been extremely ill-advised. The general precepts of Bolzano’s philosophy, however, continued to flourish in Habsburg territories by way of his dearest student and scientific ‘successor’: once again, Zimmermann. Characterizing Zimmermann as a Bolzanist and as a Herbartian at the same time is only superficially contradictory. As Christoph Landerer accurately determines, Zimmermann’s allegiance to Herbartian philosophy, also heavily driven by careerist concerns, dates from 1853 to 1855. Prior to this time, he had primarily operated as “the principal trustee” of Bernard Bolzano’s “scientific estate” (“der hauptsächliche wissenschaftliche Nachlaßverwalter”),[94] by copying Bolzanist principles in his Philosophische Propaedeutik (“Philosophical Propaedeutic”, 1852), the standard textbook at Habsburg teaching facilities for several decades.[95] Furthermore, Bolzano’s Leibnizian philosophy and Herbart’s ‘realism’ were similar in various respects, leading to a widespread incorporation of Bolzanist doctrines into Herbartianism, labelled a virtual “thought amalgam” (“Gedankenamalgam”) by Kurt Blaukopf.[96]

[6] A detailed account of Bolzano’s influence on Hanslick’s aesthetic approach—which has been very well explored—cannot be included in my basic sketch of Hanslick’s Austrian contexts.[97] Given Bolzano’s position as an extremely significant predecessor of Hanslick’s argument, however, several paradigmatic examples seem in order. Bolzano published his aesthetic thoughts in two brief books: Über den Begriff des Schönen (“On the Notion of Beauty”, 1843) and Über die Eintheilung der schönen Künste (“On the Classification of the Fine Arts”, 1849).[98] In similar fashion to Hanslick, Bolzano defined aesthetic perception as disinterested contemplation, described musical listening as active tracking of compositional development,[99] ardently rejected emotivist models whilst decisively insisting on specialized aesthetics for every single art, and largely focused his philosophical considerations on the artistic object, on “Kunst in objektiver Bedeutung” (“Art in Objective Perspective”), as he wrote to Franz Exner.[100] Whereas Herbart established aesthetics dependent on psychological considerations, actually asserting that “beauty does not exist beyond a mental image, but rather requires at least one possible spectator,”[101] Bolzano designed a concept of beauty isolated entirely from psychological explanations, thereby proving decisive for Hanslick’s argument.[102] Bolzano’s principal publication, his Wissenschaftslehre (“Theory of Science”, 1837),[103] primarily represents a modern adaption of Leibnizian rationalism but also displays distinct Platonic features. One of these Platonic features is Bolzano’s premise of “Sätze an sich” (“sentences as such”) and “Wahrheiten an sich” (“truths as such”). Bolzano defines a sentence as such as “any statement that something is or is not, no matter whether this statement is true or false, no matter whether it has been formulated or not, or even if it has been thought or not by any mind.”[104] Likewise, a truth as such—a subclass of sentences as such—is specified as any sentence that “states something is as it is, although I do not determine if this sentence has been actually thought or uttered by somebody or not.”[105] Paraphrasing Bolzano’s graphic example: the number of leaves carried by a given tree at a given time does not rely on psychological considerations and is not at all dependent on somebody who counts the leaves—it is a truth as such even if this specific number has not been “actually thought or uttered by somebody.” The radically objective nature of Hanslick’s concept of musical beauty matches Bolzano’s Platonic mindset: “Beauty is and remains beauty even if no feelings are aroused and even if it be neither perceived nor thought; [hence only for the delight of a perceiving subject, yet not caused by it]” (OMB, 3).[106] It is extremely improbable that Eduard Hanslick, who did not receive any formal training in philosophy, knew Bolzano’s intricate logical theory first-hand, but in view of Bolzano’s ongoing influence on Herbartian intellectuals, crucial features of Bolzano’s writings could have been privately imparted to Hanslick by way of Bolzano’s favorite student and Hanslick’s close friend, Zimmermann.[107]

Wilfing Hanslick Bolzano
Figure 3: Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848)
By courtesy of Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv Austria

Hanslick and Kant: Aesthetic Parallels and Philosophical Discrepancies

My lengthy survey of Hanslick’s Austrian contexts, the declining reception of Kant’s works at Habsburg universities, and the positivistic orientation of Count Thun’s reform provide the necessary background for a more careful analysis of Hanslick’s Kantianism. The question to be explored in the ensuing sections, however, is not about Hanslick’s treatise being situated in some sort of ‘broad’ Kantian framework. As far as I can see, the rather vague notion of framework is uninteresting and unilluminating for the very same reason: every post-Kantian aesthetic analysis is somehow embedded in a Kantian framework, either by adopting or by opposing Kantian doctrines in a direct or indirect manner. The same goes for Hegel’s, Theodor W. Adorno’s (1903–69), or Arthur C. Danto’s (1924–2013) aesthetic positions: as long as there is cultural transfer, the vague notion of an overarching framework directly applies and any treatise written after these authors is somehow connected to their works. Furthermore, Kant was not the originator of numerous questions he explores in the Kritik der Urteilskraft. Consequently, he himself is situated in a Baumgartian, Cartesian, Burkeian, Lockeian, or Wolffian aesthetic discourse, permeated by complex problems of philosophical inspirations. Going down the road of ‘philosophical frameworks’ eventually engenders Alfred North Whitehead’s (1861–1947) prominent statement that all of “European philosophical tradition … consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”[108] Hence, by way of aesthetic tradition from classical antiquity to 1854, Vom Musikalisch-Schönen would be located in an Aristotelic, Platonic, Augustinian, or Thomasian framework as well as in a Kantian setting. Thus, the precise question I wish to deal with refers solely to the thesis stated above: is Kant one of the predominant influences on if not the major source of Hanslick’s argument? I will examine several problems: the question whether their generally accepted similarity (see notes 56 and 62) holds up under scrutiny and the likely extent of their consensus regarding formalistic aesthetics. The eventual outcome of my ensuing analysis will affirm several palpable theoretical similarities, but it will also show certain equally striking disparities between the two authors.

Kant’s Theory of Fine Art: Free Beauty, Dependent Beauty, and Moral Ideas

[7] Before addressing the presumed consensus between Hanslick and Kant in any greater detail, we must deal with some prevalent assumptions regarding Kant’s aesthetic formalism. The following discussion cannot be viewed as a general treatment of Kant’s broad system but will instead be limited to those topics directly related to the subject of my paper and will thus mainly—but not solely—concern Kant’s theory of fine art.[109] First, we must briefly ponder on Kant’s important distinction between dependent beauty and free beauty: while free beauty “presupposes no concept of what the object ought to be,” its counterpart does “presuppose such a concept and the perfection of the object in accordance with it” (CPJ, 114; KdU, 229).[110] Kant provides several telling examples: as it has a practical function, a building is dependently beautiful and is evaluated accordingly. Flowers, designs à la grecque and “music without a text” (“Musik ohne Text”) are instances of free beauty: they portray nothing definite, have no intrinsic meaning and are therefore evaluated by the pure judgment of taste “according to mere form” (“der bloßen Form nach”), as Kant puts it (CPJ, 114; KdU, 229). This wording clarifies why some might take Kant to be the historical originator of rigorous aesthetic formalism, but at the same time it also shows that Kant is presently concerned with just one side of the coin: the pure aesthetic judgment, not the beautiful artefact. As Robert Stecker aptly states: “to focus exclusively on Kant’s general account of pure judgments of taste entails ignoring a good deal of the complexity of Kant’s aesthetic theory.”[111] Given the fact that (in Kant’s view) free beauty is mainly located in natural objects, not in aesthetic artefacts, one could argue that fine art is necessarily dependently beautiful and cannot be judged in a purely aesthetic fashion.[112] In order to accurately appreciate art as art, one has to know what the perceived artefact presents, which at least logically requires the general concept of ‘art’.[113] In this regard, Kant indeed says that “if the object is given as a product of art, and is as such supposed to be declared to be beautiful, then, since art always presupposes an end in the cause (and its causality), a concept must first be the ground of what the thing is supposed to be” (CPJ, 190; KdU, 311).[114]

Thus, Kant obviously indicates that the ‘mere form’ of a given object does not suffice for this item to be deemed an example of fine art. In his words, fine art is “a kind of representation that is purposive in itself and, though without an end, nevertheless promotes the cultivation of the mental powers for sociable communication” (CPJ, 185; KdU, 306).[115] Whenever a given object fails to achieve this purpose, it may still be deemed art, although not fine art: it is an example of agreeable art, art that aims at subjective enjoyment, “only intended as momentary entertainment, not as some enduring material for later reflection or discussion” (CPJ, 184; KdU, 305).[116] To effectively transcend the completely agreeable, fine art—besides its formal structure that is subjectively sufficient for a pure aesthetic judgment—has to objectively represent aesthetic ideas, concisely defined as that “representation of the imagination that occasions much thinking though without it being possible for any determinate thought, i.e., concept, to be adequate to it” (CPJ, 192; KdU, 313–14).[117] Whereas natural beauty is interpreted as embodying aesthetic ideas, fine art has the necessary condition to provide aesthetic contemplation with such ideas.[118] Thus, fine art has two essential premises: it must have a formal structure that puts into motion the free play of the cognitive faculties of “imagination” and “understanding” (“Einbildungskraft” and “Verstand”; CJP, 102; KdU, 217), and it has to occasion aesthetic ideas. Peter Kivy puts this substantial requirement in a remarkably insightful manner: “Contrary to what some people may think, Kant was not a formalist in his philosophy of art … . On the contrary, he believed that works of art, being representational, have a ‘content’ or ‘meaning’ and that this content or meaning is an essential part of their nature.”[119]

This two-pronged conception of beautiful artefacts as fine art has considerable consequences for ‘pure’ music[120] and its aesthetic assessment. As soon as Kant ultimately determines that music, being merely a “play of sensations” (“Spiel der Empfindungen”), can indeed be called fine art due to the fact that it rests on the mathematical characteristics of tones—i.e., on perceptible and assessable form (CPJ, 202; KdU, 324–25)—he ranks the fine arts in regard to their value. Unsurprisingly, poetry takes the first place, but (much more surprisingly) music comes in second, as long as “charm and movement of the mind” (“Reiz und Bewegung des Gemüths”) are the deciding features (CPJ, 205; KdU, 328). This claim, however, directly threatens music’s status as fine art, since Kant has previously concluded that “charm and emotion” are never related to artistic value. Rather, they deprive the aesthetic artefact of any lasting impact and bring it closer to subjective enjoyment (CPJ, 107–8; KdU, 223). For Kant, ‘pure’ music is the “language of the affects” (“Sprache der Affecten”; CPJ, 206; KdU, 328), and its capability to present content is precisely limited to those aesthetic ideas that are “naturally combined” (“natürlicher Weise verbunden”) with affect (CPJ, 206; KdU, 328). Thus, music is located between the agreeable—the completely subjective—and actual beauty, which has a claim to subjective yet interpersonal universality (CPJ, 121; KdU, 237). In Kant’s view, ‘pure’ music has no semantic content: it speaks by means of auditory sensations without concepts, and it is far too elusive to leave behind any rational content for intellectual recollection. Music, he ultimately concludes, is “more enjoyment than culture … and it has, judged by reason, less value than any other of the beautiful arts” (CPJ, 205; KdU, 328).[121] Hence, one could argue that Kant’s notion of music is indeed basically formalistic. But Kant’s formalistic conception hardly makes him an aesthetic formalist in regard to fine art. It is precisely the lacking semantic ‘content’ of ‘pure’ music that leads to its aesthetic devaluation, instigating the ultimately unresolved question whether ‘pure’ music is fine art at all (CPJ, 202; KdU, 324).[122]

[8] My second concern in regard to Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft as an immediate inspiration to Hanslick’s argument is the tight link Kant establishes between morality and the fine arts. This link is commonly overlooked because the four well-known moments of aesthetic judgment are often taken to be the whole story of Kant’s concept, thus strongly suggesting a formalistic conception of his theory of fine art. Viewing Kant as a staunch advocate of aesthetic autonomy, however, is extremely problematic given his strong belief that each kind of beauty is a “symbol of morality” (CPJ, 225; KdU, 351). Peter le Huray, for example, outlines the significant implications of this mainly ethical view: “Although Kant was so careful to distinguish between pleasures that were sensual, ethical and aesthetic, he could not ultimately avoid the time-honored conclusion that the highest forms of art were those which contribute to ethical ends.”[123] As we have seen before, aesthetic judgment is based on the free play of two cognitive faculties: understanding and imagination. However, the additional presentation of a rational moral idea—via the so-called aesthetic idea—ultimately harmonizes these cognitive faculties with reason itself, thereby fostering all mental powers and eventually ensuring an item’s status as truly fine art. In this context, Martin Weatherston rightly notes that “while a pure and free judgement of taste merely assesses the harmony of the imagination and the understanding, judgement upon adherent beauty furthers the culture of the mental powers.” In contrast to a common reading of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, dependent beauty thus must not be assessed inferior to free beauty: “Indeed, the advantage of adherent beauty lies in having been fixed through a concept of purpose. By bringing a concept of reason into harmony with taste, our faculty of the representative power gains.”[124]

Kant proposes this additional connection between morality and art in a frequently overlooked paragraph: “If the beautiful arts are not combined, whether closely or at a distance, with moral ideas, which alone carry with them a self-sufficient satisfaction, then the latter [i.e., subjective enjoyment] is their ultimate fate” (CPJ, 203; KdU, 326).[125] For Kant, this impending devaluation is pressing primarily in the case of ‘pure’ music, which—as he says in Anthropologie in pragmatischer Hinsicht (“Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View”, 1798)—“is a beautiful (not merely pleasant) art only because it serves poetry as a vehicle.”[126] The fine arts are, Kant categorically emphasizes, the “visible expression of moral ideas” (“der sichtbare Ausdruck sittlicher Ideen”; CPJ, 120; KdU, 235), and taste the “faculty for the judging of the sensible rendering of moral ideas” (“ein Beurtheilungsvermögen der Versinnlichung sittlicher Ideen”; CPJ, 230; KdU, 356). In contrast to common readings of Kant’s theory, Kant does not view free beauty as having higher value than its dependent counterpart, as it is not tied to any rational concept and thus does not entirely engage the cognitive faculties. Accordingly, dependent beauty seems much more suitable for the aesthetic appraisal of most fine art. In this context, Paul Guyer correctly observes that Kant did not “assume, let alone argue, that objects of pure judgments of taste are in any way more valuable than objects of impure judgments,” thereby calling assertions regarding Kant’s rigorous formalism into serious question.[127] Thus, ‘pure’ music, the ultimate example of free beauty in the realm of art, is fine art in a peculiar fashion, constantly bordering on sensory pleasure, and perpetually oscillating between a “beautiful play of sensations” (“schönes Spiel von Empfindungen”) and a mere play of “agreeable sensations” (“angenehme Empfindungen”; CPJ, 202; KdU, 324).[128]

Hanslick and Kant I: Apparent Analogies and Conceptual Similarities

Having discussed these various features of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, we can now turn to Vom Musikalisch-Schönen in greater detail in order to clarify the pending question of Kant’s impact on Hanslick’s aesthetics. I will analyze Hanslick’s treatise against the theoretical background of Kant’s model and will primarily scrutinize their reputed conceptual similarities. To be sure, there are several palpable overlaps between the two texts. Peter Kivy’s claim that there cannot be “any doubt that Hanslick was greatly influenced by Kant’s philosophy of beauty,”[129] however, is extremely problematic in view of my previous portrayal of Hanslick’s contexts and Habsburg education strategies. Kivy’s thesis as well as various related assertions are not grounded on any thorough analysis of Hanslick’s immediate dependence on Kant’s system. On the contrary, they are usually invoked as a generic truism in the complex history of musical aesthetics that clearly merits further research. As I have previously established, it is entirely unclear whether Hanslick ever read Kant. He is briefly named in Hanslick’s treatise as one of those “eminent people” (“gewichtige Stimmen”) who—alongside Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78), Herbart, Hegel, and others—have rationally advocated “the contentlessness of music” (“Inhaltslosigkeit der Musik”), yet he is never quoted or referred to on any other occasion (OMB, 77; VMS, 160). This fact, however, is to be expected in light of the politically precarious nature of Kant’s theory and the practical purpose of Hanslick’s treatise, aimed at attaining an academic position in 1854 Vienna. Hegel’s system, however, assessed even more disapprovingly by Habsburg officials in the 1850s, is alluded to on numerous occasions without restraint. In the case of Hanslick’s memoires, Aus meinem Leben (1894), the virtually complete absence of Kant’s theory has to be accounted for differently. Again, Kant is referred to only once in a passing comment on Johann Heinrich Dambeck (1774–1820), a professor of philosophy partially inclined towards Kant’s works, whose Vorlesungen über Aesthetik (“Lectures on Aesthetics”, 1822–23) have been edited by Josef Adolf Hanslik, Eduard’s father.[130] In this context, Hanslick affirms that this book was highly valued as long as “Kantian philosophy was cultivated” (“so lange die Kantsche Philosophie noch Pflege fand”).[131] Apart from this brief remark, Kant’s name is not mentioned throughout Hanslick’s memoires, a fact that cannot be justified by political concerns. By 1894, hardly anyone would have seriously objected to an appeal to Kant’s theory on political grounds, but Hanslick did not use this convenient opportunity to reveal any deep-seated obligation to the Königsberg philosopher despite modified historical circumstances and his unchallenged academic position. These textual factors, however, do not show that Hanslick has been entirely ignorant of Kant’s works, as he seldom invokes his intellectual background in great detail. Nonetheless, Geoffrey Payzant rightly advises against prematurely establishing an affinity between Hanslick’s argument and Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft. He does point to several obvious overlaps but rightly asserts that “we have neither internal nor collateral evidence upon which to make a positive claim for an influence from the one to the other” (OMB, XVI). The collateral evidence, in terms of historical conditions and Habsburg science policies, is indeed very slim. How about internal evidence?

Wilfing Hanslick Kant
Figure 4: Immanuel Kant (1724–1804)
By courtesy of Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv Austria

[9] The most noticeable similarity between Hanslick and Kant is their respective definition of aesthetic intuition and their general concept of beauty.[132] Kant’s decisive moments of beauty, which follow from his meticulous distinction between the logical, the moral, and the aesthetic, are disinterestedness (CPJ, 96; KdU, 211), conceptlessness (CPJ, 104; KdU, 219), purposiveness without purpose (CPJ, 120; KdU, 236), and subjective universality (CPJ, 124; KdU, 240). Disregarding this cautious partition of the reflective judgment—the fourth aspect of subjective universality is entirely absent from VMS—Hanslick defines beauty in similar fashion: “Beauty has no purpose at all. For it is mere form, which … can be applied to the most diverse purposes without having any purpose of its own beyond itself.” Aesthetic perception is modelled accordingly: “It is not by means of feeling that we become aware of beauty, but by means of the imagination as the activity of pure contemplation.” This aesthetic reflection is further detached from intellectual deliberation and passive emotional indulgence, therefore mirroring Kant’s essential distinction between reflective judgment and determinant judgment: “In pure contemplation the hearer takes in nothing but the piece of music being played; every material interest must be set aside. … Exclusive preoccupation of mind through beauty operates logically instead of aesthetically; a predominant effect upon feeling would be more questionable, would indeed be pathological” (OMB, 3–5; VMS, 26–29).[133] For various scholars, these conceptual similarities seem completely sufficient to consider Hanslick’s treatise a Kantian inquiry, heavily relying on the “Analytik des Schönen” (“Analytic of the Beautiful”), thereby locating VMS in a Kantian setting. Thus, Patricia Carpenter uses these rather vague general parallels in order to state that Hanslick’s “general aesthetic stems from Kant’s Critique.”[134]

As it is generally recognized by historians of philosophy, however, many of the aesthetic concepts named above did not initially emerge with Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft. The idea of aesthetic disinterest, for example, is the pivotal product of a longstanding philosophical tradition that probably originated with Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671–1713) and Francis Hutcheson (1694–1747). Jerome Stolnitz clarifies this significant observation particularly graphically: Shaftsbury “sets into motion the idea which—more than any other—marks off modern from traditional aesthetics and around which a great deal of the dialectic of modern thought has revolved, viz. the concept of ‘aesthetic disinterestedness’.”[135] Throughout the 18th century, this idea is a prevalent aesthetic position, one that has continued to dominate aesthetic discourse down to our own day. This equally applies to Hanslick’s statement that beauty does not have “a purpose of its own beyond itself,” which might seem to derive directly from Kant’s notion of purposiveness without purpose, as Hanne Appelqvist correctly discerns.[136] Indeed, Hanslick does omit any argument in favor of this contentious proposition but simply asserts it as a ‘hard fact’, which, given current thinking, is undoubtedly problematic. In aesthetic discourse of the 19th century, however, this idea was generally accepted without allusion of any kind to Kant.[137] In 1841, for example, Ferdinand Gotthelf Hand (1786–1851), whose Aesthetik der Tonkunst (“Aesthetics of Musical Art”, 1837–41) Hanslick was definitely acquainted with (OMB, 70–72; VMS, 149–52), provides a similar account: “The work of art is an end unto itself; it aims everywhere to be, and should be, only beautiful.”[138] The same goes for Ludwig Tieck (1773–1853), who deeply shaped the idea of ‘pure’ music via his creative edition of Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder’s (1773–98) Phantasien über die Kunst für Freunde der Kunst (“Fantasies about Art for Friends of Art”, 1799). ‘Pure’ music, Tieck writes, “creates effortlessly and without purpose, and yet it fulfils and achieves the highest purpose.”[139] These quotes display vividly how the idea of purposiveness without purpose, although associated principally with Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, developed a momentum of its own beyond its initial Kantian setting. Hanslick’s assertion that beauty does not have a “purpose of its own beyond itself” could have derived from any of the sources named above and several related ones, which are not at all genuinely committed to Kant’s theoretical framework, even though they might be at least indirectly indebted to his Kritik der Urteilskraft.

Kant’s theory of purposiveness without purpose, however, itself relies on preceding literature, once again having bearing on the intricate problems of the notion of a general Kantian tradition in which Eduard Hanslick was allegedly situated. In 1785, five years prior to Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, Karl Philipp Moritz (1756–93) makes an analogous suggestion in a public letter to Moses Mendelssohn (1729–86). Moritz makes a categorical distinction between the useful, which is judged by an external purpose, and beauty, which is judged by its internal perfection: “I have to take delight in a beautiful object just for its own sake; thus, the lack of external purposiveness has to be substituted by internal purposiveness; the object has to be perfect in itself.”[140] Hence, Kant’s claim is itself clearly situated in a Moritzian framework, thereby shifting Hanslick to a Moritzian tradition by default and thus pushing back the subject of immediate influences further and further. A more promising connection that cannot be reduced to the tides of scholarly zeitgeist is the Kantian elevation of cognitive participation in aesthetic judgment, therefore effectively superseding the widely held view of music as a purely physical stimulus.[141] Hanslick could also have derived this idea from Christian Friedrich Michaelis (1770–1834), who equally proposed that musical beauty relies solely on its “composition, hence its form, namely melody and harmony.”[142] Michaelis, however, located his treatise Ueber den Geist der Tonkunst (“On the Spirit of Music”, 1795–1800) in immediate succession to Kant’s theory, markedly indicated by the telling subtitle Mit Rücksicht auf Kants Kritik der ästhetischen Urteilskraft (“With Respect to Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgment”), therefore suggesting a mediated Kantian influence on Hanslick’s argument.[143] Ascribing musical beauty to its formal structure strongly elevates the cognitive component of ‘pure’ music, which now has to be positively constructed, not merely passively perceived in the process of listening. But Kant did not grasp the idea of musical structure on a broad level: he considered instead individual tones to be formally organized and thereby ignored a unique musical ‘logic’ that rivals linguistic rationality and saves music from being merely agreeable amusement.[144] Kant’s theory retains the traditional framework of form versus content:[145] thus, Kant gave hints of musical formalism, but his entire theory of fine art is firmly rooted in the inherited discourse that tied art to moral precepts and the mimetic tradition.[146] As Paul Guyer rightly states:

Kant’s conception of the autonomy of the aesthetic by no means suggests that in the realm of taste unlike anywhere else we can enjoy total liberty from the constraints of morality; although perhaps later and indeed contemporary aesthetes may fancy such an idea, that is not a view we could reasonably expect to find in a philosopher whose deepest conviction is the primacy of practical reason.[147]

[10] In a different context, Peter Kivy tries to show that Hanslick’s aesthetic formalism is a specified expansion of Kant’s notion of formal beauty. In Kivy’s view, Hanslick refined Kant’s concept of formal beauty apart from its—essentially inseparable—correlation to the idea and the moral realm, thereby defining ‘pure’ music as ‘logical grammar’ or as ‘syntactical structure’. In Kivy’s words: “This was a tremendous insight, and gave to musical formalism the backbone it needed to do real justice to the deep musical experience … . What Hanslick realized was that, without having a meaning, absolute music, at its best, has a ‘logic’.”[148] Kivy had already stressed a similar point by referring to Hanslick’s application of the “Kant-like” term “arabesque”—a term that (contrary to common opinion) Kant did not use in his Kritik der Urteilskraft.[149] However, this term still points to another relevant influence on Hanslick’s treatise, namely Hans Georg Nägeli’s (1773–1836) Vorlesungen über Musik mit Berücksichtigung der Dilettanten (“Lectures on Music Having Regard to Dilatants”, 1826), where the musical arabesque alongside Kant’s notion of free play is prominently introduced to musical discourse, resulting in the following description of ‘pure’ music: music “solely consists of forms, the arranged composition of tones and their relations in a unified whole.”[150] Thus, even Kivy’s moderate historical hypothesis in regard to Kant’s direct impact on Hanslick’s argument—primarily construed in terms of Hanslick’s negative response to Kant’s dilemma of ‘pure’ music, which might also have been directed against Hegel’s similar concerns—hardly proves Hanslick’s reliance on Kant’s theory.[151] It completely evaporates when it is carefully considered in light of their respective definition of ‘form’.

Whereas Kant cannot grasp artistic form in the absence of what he held to be its absolutely necessary counterpart, i.e., semantic content, Hanslick defines musical form as the content of ‘pure’ music and therefore logically identifies content with form: “In music there is no content as opposed to form, because music has no form other than the content” (OMB, 80; VMS, 165).[152] His famous ‘mantra’ “the content of music is tonally moving forms” (OMB, 29; VMS, 75) stresses Hanslick’s crucial insight that directly subverts Kant’s traditional distinction.[153] By forms (plural!), Hanslick does not mean to indicate technical musical ‘forms’ of music theory (concerto, sonata, rondo, etc.) but rather denotes the most elemental components of a given piece, for example musical ideas and their structural conjunction: “A musical idea brought into complete manifestation in appearance is already self-subsistent beauty; it is an end in itself, and it is in no way primarily a medium or material for the representation of feelings or conceptions” (OMB, 28; VMS, 75).[154] As Kivy correctly observes, this idea of musical ‘forms’ elevates musical thinking to the same level of intellectual stimulation as rational reasoning, thus utterly evading the Kantian and/or Hegelian dilemma of music’s lacking content. Given Kant’s and Hanslick’s radically different concepts of form(s) itself—‘form’ as the opposite to content and matter (Kant), ‘forms’ as essential building blocks of musical structure (Hanslick)—however, the obvious parallels in their respective vocabulary fade away and no longer support the common reading of Hanslick’s argument as historically dependent on Kant’s theory. As Carl Dahlhaus rightly states: “Kant’s conception of form is so different from Eduard Hanslick’s that referring to both in the same breath is misleading.”[155]

Hanslick and Kant II: Methodical Objectivism and Specialized Aesthetics

The foregoing paragraphs largely account for the most explicit overlaps between Hanslick and Kant. Of course, one could explore several other minor topics, such as the skeptical attitude both authors take towards mathematical ‘calculation’ and its impact on the aesthetic evaluation and the formal makeup of music. For Kant, mathematics are the conditio sine qua non of music’s subjective universality, thereby allowing for the general validity of the judgment ‘beautiful’, but they have “not the least share in the charm and the movement of the mind that music produces” (CPJ, 224; KdU, 329).[156] Similarly, Hanslick discards the idea that a piece of music may in any way be mathematically constructed: “Mathematics merely puts in order the rudimentary material for artistic treatment and operates secretly in the simplest relations. Musical thought comes to light without it, however” (OMB, 41; VMS, 97).[157] However, Hanslick and Kant are treating different problems once more: Kant, as Piero Giordanetti has correctly observed, writes about the emotive impact of ‘pure’ music, whereas Hanslick rather refers to the structural composition of a given piece.[158] I will omit minor issues like this in favor of a concluding investigation of the most glaring disparities between the two authors. Again, one can instantly diagnose some obvious dissent, such as Kant’s lifelong assertion that ‘pure’ music is the “language of the affects” (“Sprache der Affecten”; CPJ, 206; KdU, 328)—an idea that Hanslick vigorously criticized—or the fact that Kant’s system is, in regard to the pure aesthetic judgment, more or less a theory of natural beauty. Apart from his exceedingly progressive conviction that music has no basis in nature beyond its most ‘simple’ features (the triad, the harmonic series; OMB, 70; VMS, 148) and is a cultural artefact, constantly undergoing historical progression (OMB, 35, 71; VMS, 86, 149; see note 40), natural beauty was of no deeper concern to Hanslick’s argument. Indeed, Hanslick’s consciously historical conception of musical beauty—probably inspired by Friedrich Theodor Vischer’s Hegelian point of view—is totally absent from Kant’s theory, which establishes aesthetics according to transcendental methodology.[159] In general, however, there seem to be two major issues that get to the very root of Kant’s model and that show most clearly how his and Hanslick’s aesthetics are ultimately incompatible.

Wilfing Hanslick Hanslick
Figure 5: Eduard Hanslick (1825–1904)
By courtesy of Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv Austria

[11] First, Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft is an excellent illustration of an abstract approach commonly designated as “Systemästhetik” (“system aesthetics”). This phrase usually denotes an aesthetic approach that is firmly rooted in an overarching philosophical framework. Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft thereby bridges the gap between the Kritik der reinen Vernunft (“Critique of Pure Reason”, 1781) and the Kritik der praktischen Vernunft (“Critique of Practical Reason”, 1788) and thus must satisfy certain ethical and epistemic principles. While Kant explicitly repudiates the idea that a rational concept of beauty could ever be established effectively, any work of art still has to fulfil specific pre-set criteria in order to be classified as beautiful, regardless of the specific artistic medium. Thus, Kant identifies universal conditions of artistic beauty that are equally binding for a poem, a tragedy, a painting, a sculpture, or a piece of music. For Hanslick, this system-bound approach, relying on the determination of preconceptions of general beauty, was completely misguided. He is concerned exclusively with musical beauty, the ‘Musically-Beautiful’, so that it is even hard to see how his notion of specific musical beauty is related to other forms of beauty or beauty in general, as Mark Evan Bonds has lucidly noticed.[160] Hanslick regarded it as a severe delusion that the “aesthetics of any particular art may be derived through mere conformity to a general concept of beauty. … System-building is giving way to research firmly based on the axiom that the laws of beauty proper to each particular art are inseparable from the distinctive characteristics of its material and its technique” (OMB, 2; VMS, 22–23).[161] Kant’s theory does fail to satisfy Hanslick’s crucial condition, which is at the very heart of Hanslick’s aesthetics. Thus, from Hanslick’s perspective, Kant’s system has to be ultimately dismissed as speculative philosophy altogether. Accordingly, Payzant’s translation of Vom Musikalisch-Schönen as On the Musically Beautiful is much more accurate than Gustav Cohen’s The Beautiful in Music, but still omits the uniting hyphen: the ‘Musically-Beautiful’ is an intentionally constructed compound noun in its own right. In three chapters printed prior to the book’s initial edition,[162] Hanslick still uses the term “musical beauty” (“musikalische Schönheit”) in an adjective-substantive-relationship,[163] reworking precisely these passages for the definite wording of VMS, consequently substituting “musical beauty” with “Musically-Beautiful” (VMS, 109, 140, 152).[164] Thus, Cohen’s rendition suggests an aesthetic method that is exactly contrary to Hanslick’s intention: he did not propose an abstract principle of beauty, retroactively applicable to ‘pure’ music, but was concerned exclusively with the Musically-Beautiful, beauty solely and explicitly manifest in the ‘art of tones’. As Payzant commented sarcastically in regard to Cohen’s version: “As a translation of the somewhat eccentric German, this formulation is quite acceptable, provided one ignores the argument of the book” (OMB, 93–94).[165]

The second substantial difference also concerns method, i.e., core issues. Eduard Hanslick’s objectivist approach repudiates an essential principle of Kantian aesthetics: its transcendental philosophical reasoning, the pivotal advance within Kant’s whole system. His Kritik der reinen Vernunft establishes the condition of the possibility of knowledge, just as his Kritik der praktischen Vernunft establishes the condition of the possibility of morality and ethical action. In similar fashion, Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft establishes the condition of the possibility of another human faculty: judgment and its a priori premises. Thus, Kant’s theory is principally concerned not with art and its scientific analysis; rather, it studies the transcendental preconditions of teleological and aesthetic judgment, basically unrelated to the objective properties of the assessed artworks, as he plainly states in the opening paragraph: “The judgment of taste is therefore not a cognitive judgment, hence not a logical one, but is rather aesthetic, by which is understood one whose determining ground cannot be other than subjective.” It refers solely, “by means of the imagination,” to the “subject and its feeling of pleasure or displeasure” (CPJ, 89; KdU, 203).[166] Hence, Kant’s aesthetic principle originates exclusively from a subjective perspective: beauty is necessarily constituted by aesthetic judgment; not a subjective judgment, absolutely dependent on the intellectual disposition of the perceiving individual, but a judgment nonetheless, even if it holds the potential of universal necessity. This method, strongly opposed by Hanslick, is the crucial premise of Kant’s entire theory. For Hanslick, musical aesthetics, conceived as a scientific discipline that should ultimately approximate the “method of the natural sciences,” must entirely abandon “a method which takes subjective feeling as its starting point” (OMB, 1; VMS, 22).[167] As Mark Evan Bonds rightly stresses: “Hanslick objected to any epistemology that emphasized the constitutive role of the subject in aesthetic contemplation: he wanted to create an aesthetics of music in which beauty was a fixed and unchanging quality in the work itself, not a construct of the listener. … Beauty, to Hanslick’s mind, is an intrinsic quality of objects and has nothing to do with perception.”[168] In Hanslick’s view, as I previously explained in part two, beauty is an objective property of the musical artwork: “Beauty is and remains beauty even if no feelings are aroused and even if it be neither perceived nor thought” (OMB, 3; VMS, 26).[169] Thus, a sensible aesthetic theory of ‘pure’ music, Hanslick continues, must truly abide by “the principle that the primary object of aesthetical investigation is the beautiful object, not the feelings of the subject” (OMB, 2; VMS, 24).[170] As he states in the very first paragraph of the initial edition of VMS:

The time of aesthetic systems in which the beautiful is considered only in regard to the ‘sensations’ it has aroused has passed. The desire for an objective understanding of things, insofar as such is granted to human inquiry, had to topple a method that takes subjective sensation as its point of departure, one that strolls around the periphery of the phenomenon being investigated in order to come full circle back to sensation. No path leads into the center of things, even though every one of them should point in that direction. The fortitude and capacity to close in on things themselves, to investigate that which is permanent, objective, and unchangingly valid quite apart from the multiple thousands of impressions they make on humans: these characterize modern knowledge in all its various branches (VMS, 21).[171]

[12] The quote above may still read like Hanslick’s ordinary objection to emotivist aesthetics based on subjective feelings, incapable of scientific objectivity. In this case, however, Payzant’s rendition of the phrase “feeling of the subject” is patently inaccurate. Hanslick did not refer to “feelings of the subject” (Gefühle des Subjekts). He wrote about something completely different: the “perceiving subject” (empfindende Subjekt), as Gustav Cohen correctly translates.[172] Hanslick was fully aware of the terminological differentiation between “sensation” (“Empfindung”) and “feeling” (“Gefühl”), as is evident from a related passage in chapter one of his aesthetic analysis: “Sensation is the perception of a specific sense quality: this particular tone, that particular colour. Feeling is becoming aware of our mental state with regard to its furtherance or inhibition, thus of well-being or distress” (OMB, 3; VMS, 27).[173] Hanslick therefore challenges the crucial premise of Kant’s entire theory: the primary analysis of aesthetic perception and of the a priori conditions of aesthetic judgment. Thus, he did not take part in the “Copernican Revolution” of Kant’s system, the undeniable centerpiece of transcendental methodology. In this context, Lothar Schmidt makes a similar remark: “The central category of Hanslick’s aesthetics—the objective aesthetic artefact that has to be detached from the subjective disposition of the listener—is at odds with Kant’s basis of aesthetic judgment that must still be understood as essentially directed towards aesthetic impression, or at least as oriented towards the subject.”[174] Thus, there are two major issues that decidedly undermine the proposed historical hypothesis regarding a direct impact of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft on Hanslick’s treatise.

First, Kant’s theory of the fine arts involves several attributes that clearly conflict with Hanslick’s concepts of aesthetic autonomy and ‘pure’ music. For Kant, fine art is at least partially dependent on moral ideas and rational concepts:[175] a crucial premise that ‘pure’ music is not able to fulfil in Kant’s model. Second, and even more gravely, Hanslick defines musical aesthetics as a distinct scientific discipline, arguing for the specific analysis of musical beauty, focused primarily on the aesthetic artefact, not the perceiving individual. To be sure, chapters four and five are principally concerned with the “Analyse des subjectiven Eindrucks der Musik” (“Analysis of the Subjective Impression of Music”) and two deviating approaches to musical perception (aesthetical/pathological). But both parts rather point out how musical perception does not form part of objective aesthetic science: the listener, even the artistic listener, has no constitutive function for musical beauty that (again) “remains beauty even … if it be neither perceived nor thought” (OMB, 3; VMS, 26). Consequently, Hanslick’s assertion regarding the disparity between essence and effect, a line drawn by Mark Evan Bonds,[176] continues to apply fully: “The understanding of an object and its direct effect upon our subjectivity are worlds apart from each other; indeed, one has to twist oneself free from the latter in order to approach the former” (VMS, 34).[177] These crucial notions manifestly contradict the very core of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft and its subjectivist orientation. Thus, the idea that Eduard Hanslick developed his objectivist aesthetics in the ‘formal’ tradition of Kant’s theory clearly misses several of the most significant cornerstones of VMS, critically opposing its ostensible predecessor. In my view, the widely claimed impact of Kant’s theory on Hanslick’s argument as well as the specific nature of this supposed influence are frequently overstated. Hanslick’s reliance on Kant’s theory seems to be a problematic conflation of two aesthetic thinkers whose fundamental methodology is highly divergent.

Conclusion: Hanslick’s Aesthetic Treatise as an Anti-Kantian Manifesto?

Does this result mean that Hanslick’s aesthetics is directly opposed to Kant’s theory and that Kantian elements are totally absent from Vom Musikalisch-Schönen? The obvious answer is: ‘no’. As previously demonstrated, Hanslick’s treatise contains various features of Kantian aesthetics that are thoroughly familiarized via Kantian discourse of 19th-century Germany. Nevertheless, there is no need to trace these Kantian elements back to Hanslick’s unclear reading of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, made particularly problematic by Habsburg science policies and the quasi-official censorship of Kant’s works. Again, many issues posed by Kant’s theory that clearly shaped Hanslick’s approach had been stated prior to the Kritik der Urteilskraft (Moritz, Shaftsbury, Hutcheson) or were effectively integrated into musical discourse by authors with whom Hanslick was certainly familiar (Michaelis, Nägeli, Tieck). For the most part, various writers of Hanslick’s Austrian contexts have also proposed comparable arguments. As I have shown above (see part two), Johann Friedrich Herbart is a much more likely source as the direct basis for Hanslick’s formalist viewpoint and his critical stances towards emotivist aesthetics, just as Bernard Bolzano likely served as an immediate inspiration for Hanslick’s definition of aesthetic perception as disinterested contemplation. Thus, specific concepts discussed in Kant’s theory could have found their way into Hanslick’s treatise without any decisive reliance on Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, his transcendental philosophical methodology, or his overall system. In general, Hanslick cannot be regarded as an aesthetic theorist primarily dependent on Kant’s theory. However, does this mean that Hanslick has to be considered a Hegelian, Vischerian, Herbartian, or Bolzanist philosopher? Which school of thought did he actually belong to? Again, the answer is fairly simple: Eduard Hanslick did not belong to any particular philosophical movement. Hanslick’s argument oscillates between different, occasionally heterogeneous philosophical discourses, prudently intertwined in VMS to support his aesthetic reasoning. On the one hand, Hanslick’s eclectic attitude towards numerous aesthetic theories undoubtedly contributed to the remarkable longevity of his own aesthetic approach, one not bound by the rise and fall of isolated academic traditions. As Bojan Bujić assesses correctly: “As he was not a professional philosopher his advantage was precisely in that he was free from the limitations of dogma or an established school.”[178] On the other hand, the historical diversity of Hanslick’s argument decidedly complicates the apparent problem of Hanslick’s intellectual background. This paper was intended as one more step towards a comprehensive understanding of the numerous discourses integrated into Hanslick’s treatise, which still forms an elemental component of current aesthetic debates.


  1. Vom Musikalisch-Schönen will be referenced according to Geoffrey Payzant’s translation, based on the eighth edition of Hanslick’s treatise (1891): On the Musically Beautiful: A Contribution towards the Revision of the Aesthetics of Music (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1986). A different translation, based on the seventh edition of VMS (1885), is available online: Gustav Cohen, The Beautiful in Music: A Contribution to the Revisal of Musical Aesthetics (London: Novello, 1891). The original wording will be referenced according to the critical edition by Dietmar Strauß, which contains all ten editions published during Hanslick’s lifetime (1854 to 1902), clarifying Hanslick’s alterations: Vom Musikalisch-Schönen: Ein Beitrag zur Revision der Ästhetik in [sic] der Tonkunst; Teil 1: Historisch-kritische Ausgabe (Mainz: Schott, 1990). A German online version, acutely aware of the textual problems posed by the different editions of Hanslick’s treatise, is provided by Wolfgang Lempfrid. In my paper, OMB (Payzant) and VMS (Strauß) will be used to refer to the text. Given the topical question of Hanslick’s intellectual background, I will focus chiefly on the first edition of Hanslick’s treatise (1854). I will thus indicate relevant alterations up to the eighth edition, translated by Geoffrey Payzant.
  2. This list, although extensive, is nowhere near complete: German-language Hanslick research mentions several other more or less relevant sources of Hanslick’s approach such as Novalis (1772–1801), Johann Heinrich Dambeck (1774–1820), Jacob Grimm (1785–1863), Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803), Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835), Christian Friedrich Michaelis (1770–1834), or Hans Georg Nägeli (1773–1836). A detailed analysis of their impact on Hanslick’s treatise, apart from noticing superficial conceptual similarities, has hardly ever been undertaken. Therefore, Christoph Landerer’s diagnosis regarding “a total lack of scholarly consensus” (“das völlige Fehlen eines allgemeinen Forschungskonsenses“) on the intellectual background of Hanslick’s formalism remains accurate: “Eduard Hanslicks Musikästhetik und ihr österreichisches Nachleben: Ein ‘Wiener Denkstil’?,” Musicologica Austriaca 20 (2001): 91. In contrast to Klaus Mehner, who called the “pursuit of a specific philosophical foundation” of Hanslick’s treatise a “hopeless endeavor” (“scheint die Suche nach einem bestimmenden philosophischen Fundament fast ein hoffnungsloses Unterfangen zu sein”), I consider historical research on the specific contexts of Hanslick’s aesthetics as a promising possibility for gradually untangling the various discourses integrated into VMS: Eduard Hanslick, Vom Musikalisch-Schönen: Aufsätze, Musikkritiken, ed. Klaus Mehner (Leipzig: Philipp Reclam jun., 1982), 12.
  3. On Herbartian aesthetics, see, for example: Georg Jäger, “Die Herbartianische Ästhetik: Ein österreichischer Weg in die Moderne,” in Die österreichische Literatur: Eine Dokumentation ihrer literaturhistorischen Entwicklung; Ihr Profil im 19. Jahrhundert, 1830–1880, ed. Herbert Zeman (Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1982), 195–219; Georg Wolfgang Cernoch, “Zimmermanns Grundlegung der Herbartschen Ästhetik: Eine Brücke zwischen Bolzano und Brentano,” in Verdrängter Humanismus, verzögerte Aufklärung, vol. 3, Bildung und Einbildung: Vom verfehlten Bürgerlichen zum Liberalismus; Philosophie in Österreich, 1820–1880, ed. Michael Benedikt, Reinhold Knoll, and Josef Rupitz (Klausen-Leopoldsdorf: Editura Triade, 1995), 681–715; Kurt Blaukopf, “Im Geiste Bolzanos und Herbarts: Ansätze empiristischer Musikforschung in Wien und Prag,” in Bolzano und die österreichische Geistesgeschichte, ed. Heinrich Ganthaler and Otto Neumaier, Beiträge zur Bolzano-Forschung 6 (St. Augustin: Academia, 1997), 237–64; Wolfhart Henckmann, “Über die Grundzüge von Herbarts Ästhetik,” and Lambert Wiesing, “Formale Ästhetik nach Herbart und Zimmermann,” in Herbarts Kultursystem: Perspektiven der Transdisziplinarität im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Andreas Hoeschen and Lothar Schneider (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2001), 231–58 and 283–96.
  4. Johann Friedrich Herbart, Sämtliche Werke in chronologischer Reihenfolge, ed. Karl Kehrbach (Langensalza: Hermann Beyer und Söhne, 1887), 2:350. Original wording: “Vollendete Vorstellung des gleichen Verhältnisses führt, wie der Grund seine Folge, das gleiche Urtheil mit sich; und zwar, wie zu jeder Zeit, so auch unter allen begleitenden Umständen, und in allen Verbindungen und Verflechtungen.”
  5. On the intimate personal relationship between these authors, see, for example: Geoffrey Payzant, “Eduard Hanslick and Robert Zimmermann,” in Hanslick on the Musically Beautiful: Sixteen Lectures on the Musical Aesthetics of Eduard Hanslick (Christchurch: Cybereditions, 2001), 129–42. Apart from biographical circumstances―they even shared a flat in Vienna, and their fathers Josef Adolf Hanslik [sic] and Johann August Zimmermann were good friends―Hanslick dedicated multiple editions of VMS to Zimmermann (Nos. 2, 3, 5, and 7–9), whereas Zimmermann dedicated the second volume of Studien und Kritiken “faithfully attached” to Hanslick. For biographical information on Eduard’s early days, primarily compare: Ines Grimm, Eduard Hanslicks Prager Zeit: Frühe Wurzeln seiner Schrift “Vom Musikalisch-Schönen” (Saarbrücken: Pfau, 2003); Jitka Ludvová, “Zur Biographie Eduard Hanslicks,” Studien zur Musikwissenschaft 37 (1986): 37–46; and her “Einige Prager Realien zum Thema Hanslick,” in Eduard Hanslick zum Gedenken: Bericht des Symposions zum Anlass seines 100. Todestages, ed. Theophil Antonicek, Gernot Gruber, and Christoph Landerer, Wiener Veröffentlichungen zur Musikwissenschaft 43 (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2010), 163–80.
  6. Robert Zimmermann, “Die spekulative Aesthetik und die Kritik,” Oesterreichische Blätter für Literatur und Kunst 6 (1854): 40. Original wording: “als bestimmt aufzustellen, was schön sei, für alle Zeit und an jedem Ort.”
  7. Robert Zimmermann, Studien und Kritiken zur Philosophie und Aesthetik, vol. 2, Zur Aesthetik (Vienna: Wilhelm Braumüller, 1870), 240.
  8. Eduard von Hartmann, Aesthetik, vol. 1, Die deutsche Aesthetik seit Kant (Leipzig: Wilhelm Friedrich, 1886), 492.
  9. Johannes Volkelt, System der Ästhetik (Munich: C. H. Beck’sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1905), 1:430.
  10. Guido Bagier, Herbart und die Musik, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Beziehungen zur Ästhetik und Psychologie (Langensalza: Hermann Beyer und Söhne, 1911), 67. Original wording: “die erste ausführliche Untersuchung auf Herbart’scher Grundlage.”
  11. Heinrich Ehrlich, Die Musik-Aesthetik in ihrer Entwicklung von Kant bis auf die Gegenwart: Ein Grundriss (Leipzig: F. E. C. Leuckart, 1882), 66; Charles Lalo, Esquisse d’une esthétique musicale scientifique (Paris: Félix Alcan, 1908), 15; Richard Wallaschek, Ästhetik der Tonkunst (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1886), 149–50. ↑
  12. Olga Stieglitz, Einführung in die Musikästhetik (Stuttgart: J. G. Cotta, 1912), 67. Original wording: “Die Lehren Herbarts übertrug Ed.[uard] Hanslick auf die Musik in seinem Buche Vom Musikalisch-Schönen.”
  13. Payzant, Sixteen Lectures, 42. Payzant’s judgment is more than generous: Moos is polemically propagating his own aesthetic viewpoint, strictly based on Hartmann’s philosophy.
  14. Paul Moos, Die Philosophie der Musik von Kant bis Eduard von Hartmann: Ein Jahrhundert deutscher Geistesarbeit (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1922), 210.
  15. Guido Adler, Eduard Hanslick: Rede gehalten bei der Enthüllung der Büste in der Universität (Vienna: Druckerei der Neuen Freien Presse, 1913), 4.
  16. Lothar Schneider, “Realismus und formale Ästhetik: Die Auseinandersetzung zwischen Robert Zimmermann und Friedrich Theodor Vischer als poetologische Leitdifferenz im späten neunzehnten Jahrhundert,” in Hoeschen and Schneider, Herbarts Kultursystem, 259–81. For the public dispute between these aesthetic theorists, see: Barbara Titus, “The Quest for Spiritualized Form: (Re)positioning Eduard Hanslick,” Acta Musicologica 80, no. 1 (2008): 67–98.
  17. Christoph Khittl, “Eduard Hanslicks Verhältnis zur Ästhetik,” in Biographische Beiträge zum Musikleben Wiens im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert: Leopoldine Blahetka, Eduard Hanslick, Robert Hirschfeld, ed. Friedrich C. Heller, Musikleben: Studien zur Musikgeschichte Österreichs 1 (Vienna: VWGÖ, 1992), 85–86. Original wording: “Der Philosoph Johann Friedrich Herbart wird konsequent aus der Sekundärliteratur ausgegrenzt, obwohl Hanslick selbst auf den Einfluß Herbarts hinweist und die zeitgenössische Kritik des 19. Jahrhunderts Hanslick den ‘Herbartianern’ zurechnet.” An allusion to Herbart’s formalism is totally absent from earlier editions of VMS—Herbart’s aesthetics is belatedly embedded in the third edition of 1865 (VMS, 160)but rather refers to Hanslick’s habilitation petition (1856), where he states: “I am closest to Herbart’s … system” (“Am nächsten stehe ich jedoch dem … System Herbarts”). Cf.: Dietmar Strauß, Vom Musikalisch-Schönen: Ein Beitrag zur Revision der Ästhetik in [sic] der Tonkunst; Teil 2: Eduard Hanslicks Schrift in textkritischer Sicht (Mainz: Schott, 1990), 145. This personal testimony, however, cannot be taken as concrete evidence of Hanslick’s Herbartian affiliation. As multiple scholars have established, Hanslick’s affirmation of Herbart’s system was probably effected by careerist concerns (see part two). Cf.: Payzant, Sixteen Lectures, 131; Christoph Landerer, Eduard Hanslick und Bernard Bolzano: Ästhetisches Denken in Österreich in der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Beiträge zur Bolzano-Forschung 17 (St. Augustin: Academia, 2004), 83–86; Kevin C. Karnes, Music, Criticism, and the Challenge of History: Shaping Modern Musical Thought in Late Nineteenth-Century Vienna, AMS Studies in Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 31–34; Mark Evan Bonds, Absolute Music: The History of an Idea (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 159.
  18. Hanslick’s successor as music critic of the Neue Freie Presse, Julius Korngold (1860–1945), probably inherited Hanslick’s documents that went missing during his emigration in 1938. Cf.: Grimm, Prager Zeit, 24. According to his memoires Aus meinem Leben, ed. Peter Wapnewski (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1987), 284, Hanslick burnt his own diaries. For additional information on Hanslick’s estate, see: Eduard Hanslick, Sämtliche Schriften: Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, vol. I/1, Aufsätze und Rezensionen, 1844–1848, ed. Dietmar Strauß (Vienna: Böhlau, 1993), 7–9 and 292–93; Clemens Höslinger, “Eduard Hanslick in seinen Briefen,” in Antonicek, Gruber, and Landerer, Hanslick zum Gedenken, 126.
  19. Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano, 15. See part two of this paper.
  20. Paul Bruchhagen, “Hanslick und die spekulative Ästhetik,” Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft 30 (1936): 270–76.
  21. Dorothea Glatt, Zur geschichtlichen Bedeutung der Musikästhetik Eduard Hanslicks, Schriften zur Musik 15 (Munich: Musikverlag Emil Katzbichler, 1972); Werner Abegg, Musikästhetik und Musikkritik bei Eduard Hanslick, Studien zur Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts 44 (Regensburg: Gustav Bosse, 1974); Carl Dahlhaus, Die Idee der absoluten Musik (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1978).
  22. Glatt, Eduard Hanslick, 55. Original wording: “Die Frage, in welchem Umfang und ob überhaupt Hanslick direkt romantische Theoreme rezipiert hat, dürfte im einzelnen schwer zu belegen sein.”
  23. Ibid., 55. Original wording: “Angesichts des Bildungsgrades und der außergewöhnlichen Belesenheit Hanslicks ist anzunehmen, daß er die romantischen Kunsttheorien gekannt hat.”
  24. Ibid., 32 and 35. Regarding Hanslick’s possible reliance on Herder’s theory, see: Abegg, Eduard Hanslick, 26–27; Hartmut Grimm, “Zwischen Klassik und Positivismus: Zum Formbegriff Eduard Hanslicks” (PhD diss., Humboldt University of Berlin, 1982), 24–26; Rafael Köhler, “Johann Gottfried Herder und die Überwindung der musikalischen Nachahmungsästhetik,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 52, no. 3 (1995): 219; Adolf Nowak, “Musikästhetische Kantrepliken aus Weimar und Jena um 1800,” in Aufbrüche—Fluchtwege: Musik in Weimar um 1800, ed. Helen Geyer and Thomas Radecke (Köln: Böhlau, 2003), 32–33.
  25. Original wording: “daß in ästhetischen Untersuchungen vorerst das schöne Object, und nicht das empfindende Subject zu erforschen sei.” On Payzant’s mistake, who incorrectly translated “empfindende Subject” as “feelings of the subject” instead of “perceiving subject,” see part three.
  26. For several recent accounts of Hanslick’s romanticism, see: Hiroshi Yoshida, “Eduard Hanslick and the Idea of ‘Public’ in Musical Culture: Towards a Socio-Political Context of Formalistic Aesthetics,” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 32, no. 2 (2001): 181–84; Markus Gärtner, Eduard Hanslick versus Franz Liszt: Aspekte einer grundlegenden Kontroverse, Studien und Materialien zur Musikwissenschaft 39 (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 2005), 40; Hanna Stegbauer, Die Akustik der Seele: Zum Einfluss der Literatur auf die Entstehung der romantischen Instrumentalmusik und ihrer Semantik, Palaestra 325 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006), 80–81; Werner Abegg, “Eduard Hanslick und die Idee der ‘reinen Instrumentalmusik’,” in Antonicek, Gruber, and Landerer, Hanslick zum Gedenken, 32–33. Cf.: Strauß, Hanslick Schriften, I/2:391–92 and 396–99 as well as I/4:422.
  27. Carl Dahlhaus, The Idea of Absolute Music, trans. Roger Lustig (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 109. Original wording: “Hanslick, der leicht verständliche Schriftsteller, muß auf Hegel, den schwer verständlichen Philosophen, bezogen werden, wenn man im Ernst begreifen will, was Hanslick überhaupt meinte und worin das Problem bestand, das er zu lösen suchte.” Dahlhaus, Idee der Musik, 110–11.
  28. Adolf Nowak, Hegels Musikästhetik, Studien zur Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts 25 (Regensburg: Gustav Bosse, 1971), 156; Glatt, Eduard Hanslick, 75–79; Gerhard Schuhmacher, Einführung in die Musikästhetik, Taschenbücher zur Musikwissenschaft 15 (Wilhelmshaven: Heinrichshofen’s Verlag, 1975), 54; Grimm, "Zwischen Klassik", 39–51; Lothar Schmidt, “Arabeske: Zu einigen Voraussetzungen und Konsequenzen von Eduard Hanslicks musikalischem Formbegriff,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 46, no. 2 (1989): 91–93.
  29. Dahlhaus, Idea of Music, 110. Original wording: “Im geschichtlichen Kontext um 1850 impliziert Hanslicks Doktrin eine Auseinandersetzung mit dem Hegelianismus, der herrschenden Philosophie der 1830er und 1840er Jahre.” Dahlhaus, Idee der Musik, 111.
  30. Dahlhaus, Idea of Music, 110, or Idee der Musik, 111.
  31. Carl Dahlhaus, “Eduard Hanslick und der musikalische Formbegriff,” Die Musikforschung 20, no. 2 (1967): 146. Original wording: “Denn Idee bezeichnet immer den in seiner Wirklichkeit rein und mangellos gegenwärtigen Begriff.”
  32. On different variations of Hegelianism in 19th-century aesthetics, primarily compare: Bernd Sponheuer, Musik als Kunst und Nicht-Kunst: Untersuchungen zur Dichotomie von ‘hoher’ und ‘niederer’ Musik im musikästhetischen Denken zwischen Kant und Hanslick, Kieler Schriften zur Musikwissenschaft 30 (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1987); Barbara Titus, “Conceptualizing Music: Friedrich Theodor Vischer and Hegelian Currents in German Music Criticism, 1848–1887” (PhD diss., University of Oxford, 2005).
  33. Christoph Landerer, “Wagner, Hanslick, Nietzsche und das Judentum in der Musik,” Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 59, no. 6 (2004): 13.
  34. For an in-depth analysis of this issue, see: Alexander Wilfing and Christoph Landerer, “Eduard Hanslick und der Hegelianismus,” Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft 62, no. 2 (2017), 307–28.
  35. Hanslick’s father sent him the earliest volumes of Vischer’s Aesthetik oder Wissenschaft des Schönen (Stuttgart: Mäcken, 1846–57) prior to the initial edition of VMS. Cf.: Titus, “Quest for Form,” 75. Vischer’s volume on musical aesthetics, however, was published several years after Hanslick’s treatise (1857). Therefore, Rudolf Schäfke reversed the prevalent hypothesis of Vischer’s influence on Hanslick’s treatise by stressing a direct impact of Hanslick on Vischer: Eduard Hanslick und die Musikästhetik, Sammlung musikwissenschaftlicher Einzeldarstellungen 1 (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1922), 35.
  36. Carl Dahlhaus and Michael Zimmermann, eds., Musik: Zur Sprache gebracht; Musikästhetische Texte aus drei Jahrhunderten (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1984), 305. Original wording: Hanslick “denkt … mit hegelianischen Mitteln gegen Hegel.” For a similar reading of the Hegel–Hanslick relationship, see, for example: Mark Burford, “Hanslick’s Idealist Materialism,” 19th-Century Music 30, no. 2 (2006): 170; Nicholas Cook, The Schenker Project: Culture, Race and Music Theory in Fin-de-siècle Vienna (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 50; Mark Evan Bonds, “Aesthetic Amputations: Absolute Music and the Deleted Endings of Hanslick’s Vom Musikalisch-Schönen,” 19th-Century Music 36, no. 1 (2012): 8.
  37. Original wording: “Die Formen, welche sich aus Tönen bilden, sind nicht leere, sondern erfüllte, nicht bloße Linienbegrenzung eines Vacuums, sondern sich von innen heraus gestaltender Geist.”
  38. Geoffrey Payzant, “Eduard Hanslick and the ‘geistreich’ Dr. Alfred Julius Becher,” The Music Review 44 (1983): 112.
  39. Ibid., 112. Kahlert’s System der Aesthetik (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1846), which favors Hegel’s system, as well as Krüger’s Beiträge für Leben und Wissenschaft der Tonkunst (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1847), which opposes Hegel’s Lectures yet outlines his stances at length in the course of thorough criticism, are quoted directly in the seventh chapter of Hanslick’s treatise (OMB, 77–79; VMS, 160–63). Hegel, on the other hand, is quoted only once in the context of Hanslick’s definition of “imagination” (“Phantasie”; OMB, 4; VMS, 28). Otherwise, he is merely alluded to in a largely negative fashion (OMB, 29, 39, 77–78, 83, 115; VMS, 77, 93, 160, 162, 170).
  40. I am particularly referring to the following passages: “There is no art which wears out so many forms so quickly as music. Modulations, cadences, intervallic and harmonic progressions all in this manner go stale in fifty, nay, thirty years, so that the gifted composer can no longer make use of them … . Without inaccuracy we may say, of many compositions which were outstanding in their own day, that once upon a time they were [!] beautiful. … From this process [of the historical development of musical material] it follows that our tonal system also will undergo extension and alteration in the course of time. … If, for example, the extension consisted in ‘the emancipation of the quarter tone’, … then theory, the teaching of composition, and musical aesthetics would change completely” (OMB, 35, 71). Original wording: “Es gibt keine Kunst, welche so bald und so viele Formen verbraucht, wie die Musik. Modulationen, Cadenzen, Intervallfortschreitungen, Harmoniefolgen nützen sich in 50, ja 30 Jahren dergestalt ab, daß der geistvolle Componist sich deren nicht mehr bedienen kann … . Man kann von einer Menge Compositionen, die hoch über de[m] Alltagsstand ihrer Zeit stehen, ohne Unrichtigkeit sagen, daß sie einmal schön waren. … Aus diesem Proceß ergibt sich, daß auch unser Tonsystem im Zeitverlauf neue Bereicherungen und Veränderungen erfahren wird. … Bestände z.B. diese Bereicherung in der ‘Emancipation der Vierteltöne’ … , so würde Theorie, Compositionslehre und Aesthetik der Musik eine total andere” (VMS, 86, 149).
  41. Titus, “Quest for Form”. For Vischer’s influence on Hanslick’s aesthetics, see: Rudolf Schäfke, Geschichte der Musikästhetik in Umrissen (Belin: Max Hesse, 1934), 378–79; Abegg, Eduard Hanslick, 40–41; Strauß, Hanslick Schriften, I/2:394–96.
  42. Yoshida, “Idea of ‘Public’,” 179.
  43. Thomas S. Grey, “Hanslick,” in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music, ed. Theodore Gracyk and Andrew Kania (London: Routledge, 2011), 361.
  44. Peter Kivy, Antithetical Arts: On the Ancient Quarrel between Literature and Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2009), 53.
  45. Kant’s book will be referenced according to Paul Guyer’s and Eric Matthews’s translation: Critique of the Power of Judgement, The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000). A partial version of Kant’s text can be found online by consulting James Creed Meredith’s rendition: Kant’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgement (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911). A complete translation, including Kant’s theory of teleology, was provided by J. H. Bernard, Kant’s Critique of Judgement, 2nd ed. (London: Macmillan, 1914). The German original will be referenced according to the standardized Akademieausgabe. Thus, CPJ (Guyer/Matthews) and KdU (Akademieausgabe) will be used to quote Kant’s text.
  46. David Whewell, “Aestheticism,” in A Companion to Aesthetics, ed. David E. Cooper, Joseph Margolis, and Crispin Sartwell, Blackwell Companions to Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), 7.
  47. Peter Kivy, The Fine Art of Repetition: Essays in the Philosophy of Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 257. Kivy’s view will be discussed thoroughly in part three of this paper.
  48. Marcia Muelder Eaton, “Art and the Aesthetic,” in The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics, ed. Peter Kivy (Malden: Blackwell, 2004), 68.
  49. Andrew Edgar, “Adorno and Musical Analysis,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 57, no. 4 (1999): 441.
  50. David Huron, “Aesthetics,” in The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, ed. Susan Hallam, Ian Cross, and Michael Thaut (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 151.
  51. Lee A. Rothfarb, “Nineteenth-Century Fortunes of Musical Formalism,” Journal of Music Theory 55, no. 2 (2011): 195. Rothfarb, however, takes a far more cautious approach and traces various aspects of musical formalism throughout the 19th century up to Hegel, Herbart, Nägeli, and others.
  52. Stephen Davies, “Analytic Philosophy and Music,” in Gracyk and Kania, Companion to Philosophy, 297. Given Eduard Hanslick’s explicit denial that musical beauty can be “adequately explained in terms of regularity and symmetry” (OMB, 40), Davies’s emphasis on the “medieval equation of beauty with balance, proportion, and unity” seems similarly problematic. Original wording: “Viele Aesthetiker halten den musikalischen Genuß durch das Wohlgefallen am Regelmäßigen und Symmetrischen ausreichend erklärt, worin doch niemals ein Schönes, vollends ein Musikalisch-Schönes bestand” (VMS, 94).
  53. Hannah Ginsborg, “Kant,” in Gracyk and Kania, Companion to Philosophy, 334. For an excellent overview of several initial issues in regard to a possible connection between Hanslick and Kant, see Hanne Appelqvist, “Form and Freedom: The Kantian Ethos of Musical Formalism,” The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 40–41 (2010–11): 75–88, who is concerned primarily with their respective conception of intrinsic musical ‘rules’, which—as opposed to external musical ‘laws’—are culturally dependent and historically contingent. However, as Christoph Landerer has convincingly demonstrated, there is a closer source for Hanslick’s “Regelästhetik” (“aesthetics of rules”), namely Bernard Bolzano (see the two concluding paragraphs of this part), who opened aesthetic inquiry towards historical concerns by his similar notion of artistic ‘rules’: “Eduard Hanslicks Ästhetikprogramm und die österreichische Philosophie der Jahrhundertmitte,” Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 54, no. 9 (1999): 17.
  54. An obvious example is their often equated usage of the term “arabesque” (“Arabeske”; OMB, 29; VMS, 75) or—in Kant’s case—“designs à la grecque, foliage for borders or on wallpaper” (“Zeichnungen a la grecque, das Laubwerk zu Einfassungen oder auf Papiertapeten”; CPJ, 114; KdU, 229). Whereas Kant uses these terms to vividly denote objects of free beauty such as “music without a text,” which “signify nothing by themselves” (see part three), Hanslick employs the term arabesque to demonstrate how “music is able to produce beautiful forms without a specific feeling as its content” (“in welcher Weise uns die Musik schöne Formen ohne den Inhalt eines bestimmten Affectes bringen kann”). Thus, Kant categorizes different kinds of beauty—foliage for borders and ‘pure’ music are free beauties—whereas Hanslick’s analogy functions as an example for something much more specific: the possibility of the absence of feeling content in beautiful structures.
  55. See several studies by Thomas S. Grey: “Wagner, the Overture, and the Aesthetics of Musical Form,” 19th-Century Music 12, no. 1 (1988): 3–22; Wagner’s Musical Prose: Text and Contexts, New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 1–50; “Berückend wie ein Zauber, aber nicht beglückend wie ein Kunstwerk: Eduard Hanslicks Bewertung von Richard Wagner als musiktheatralischer Maler und Regisseur,” in Antonicek, Gruber, and Landerer, Hanslick zum Gedenken, 233–48. Cf.: Bonds, Absolute Music, 237–46; Sanna Pederson, “Romanticism/anti-romanticism,” in Aesthetics of Music: Musicological Perspectives, ed. Stephen Downes (New York: Routledge, 2014), 176–77; or my “Richard Wagner in Eduard Hanslicks Schriften: Wagnerismus und Wagnerkultus,” Musicologica Austriaca 32 (2014): 155–75.
  56. The total extent of this contemporary interpretation can be illustrated by many other scholars who have made the immediate connection between Hanslick and Kant by simple analogy. In order to limit the amount of potential references, I merely include studies published later than 1990: Edward A. Lippman, A History of Western Musical Aesthetics (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), 293; Leon Plantinga, “Poetry and Music: Two Episodes in a Durable Relationship,” in Musical Humanism and Its Legacy: Essays in Honor of Claude V. Palisca, ed. Nancy Kovaleff Baker and Barbara Russano Hanning, Festschrift Series 11 (Stuyvesant: Pendragon Press, 1992), 324; Peter Kivy, “Kant and the ‘Affektenlehre’: What He Said and What I Wish He Had Said,” in The Fine Art of Repetition: Essays in the Philosophy of Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 250; Daniel K. L. Chua, Absolute Music and the Construction of Meaning, New Perspectives in Music History and Criticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 228; Roger W. H. Savage, “Social ‘Werktreue’ and the Musical Work’s Independent Afterlife,” The European Legacy 9, no. 4 (2004): 517; Stephen Davies, “Music,” in The Oxford Handbook of Aesthetics, ed. Jerrold Levinson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 492; Michael Spitzer, Metaphor and Musical Thought (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 266; Ruth Katz, A Language of Its Own: Sense and Meaning in the Making of Western Art Music (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), 245; Attila Fodor, “Eduard Hanslick: The Beautiful in Music; An Aesthetics of the Absolute Music,” Studia Ubb Musica 56, no. 2 (2011): 34–35; Grey, “Hanslick,” 265; James Garratt, “Values and Judgements,” in Downes, Aesthetics, 26.
  57. Hermann Kretzschmar, Gesammelte Aufsätze über Musik und Anderes, vol. 2, Gesammelte Aufsätze aus den Jahrbüchern der Musikbibliothek Peters, ed. Alfred Heuß (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1911), 255. Original wording: “Hanslick überträgt allerdings an vielen Stellen einfach Kant in ein allgemein verständliches, witziges, pointiertes, durch Dialektik und Beispiele fesselndes Deutsch und übernimmt von dem Königsberger auch Vergleiche und Einzelheiten.”
  58. Peter Rohs, “Singend denken: Musikästhetische Überlegungen im Anschluss an einen Begriff von C. Ph. E. Bach,” in Vom Sinn des Hörens: Beiträge zur Philosophie der Musik, ed. Georg Mohr and Johann Kreuzer (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2012), 63. Original wording: “Kant gilt als der eigentliche Begründer des Formalismus in der Ästhetik, der dann für die Musik von Hanslick … seine wirksamste Ausarbeitung erfahren hat.” Cf.: Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht, Die Musik und das Schöne (Munich: Piper, 1997), 48.
  59. Moos, Kant bis Hartmann, 18–19; Arnold Schering, “Zur Musikästhetik Kant’s,” Zeitschrift der internationalen Musikgesellschaft 11, no. 6 (1910): 169–75.
  60. Thus read the titles of Franz Marschner’s (1855–1932) papers on Kant’s role in musical aesthetics: “Kant’s Bedeutung für die Musik-Ästhetik der Gegenwart,” Kantstudien: Philosophische Zeitschrift 6 (1901): 19–40 and 206–43. For an identical hypothesis, see: Werner Hilbert, Die Musikästhetik der Frühromantik: Fragment einer wissenschaftlichen Arbeit (Remscheid: Gottlieb Schmidt, 1911), 10–19; Margarethe Hamburger, Das Form-Problem in der neueren deutschen Ästhetik und Kunsttheorie (Heidelberg: Carl Winters, 1915), 3–7; Albert Maecklenburg, “Die Musikanschauung Kants,” Die Musik 14, no. 5 (1914–15): 208. For a more detailed survey of German-language research literature, see: Giselher Schubert, “Zur Musikästhetik in Kants Kritik der Urteilskraft,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 32, no. 1 (1975): 12–15.
  61. Kathi Meyer (1892–1977), who viewed Kant’s remarks on music as an example “of so-called Affektenlehre” (“Anhänger der sogenannten Affektenlehre“) due to his familiar surmise that ‘pure’ music is the “language of the affects” (“Sprache der Affecten”; CPJ, 206; KdU, 328), presents a particularly dissenting opinion, which clearly displays the historical complexity of this issue: “Kants Stellung zur Musikästhetik,” Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft 3, no. 8 (1920–21): 470. For two more recent studies that arrive at comparable conclusions, see: Jens Kulenkampff, “Musik bei Kant und Hegel,” Hegel-Studien 22 (1987): 147, or Wilhelm Seidel, “Zwischen Immanuel Kant und der musikalischen Klassik: Die Ästhetik des musikalischen Kunstwerks um 1800,” in Das musikalische Kunstwerk: Geschichte, Ästhetik, Theorie; Festschrift Carl Dahlhaus zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. Hermann Danuser et al. (Laaber: Laaber, 1988), 71. For a direct answer to Meyer’s thesis, judging Kant’s recourse to Affektenlehre to be historically contingent, see: Carl Dahlhaus, “Zu Kants Musikästhetik,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 10, no. 4 (1953): 346–47.
  62. For fairly recent remarks on the Kant–Hanslick relationship that simply assume the respective connection without going into further details, see, for example: Fritz Beinroth, Musikästhetik von der Sphärenharmonie bis zur musikalischen Hermeneutik: Ausgewählte tradierte Musikauffassungen, Berichte aus der Musikwissenschaft (Aachen: Shaker, 1995), 156; Christine Lubkoll, Mythos Musik: Poetische Entwürfe des Musikalischen in der Literatur um 1800, Litterae 32 (Freiburg: Rombach, 1995), 77; Enrico Fubini, Geschichte der Musikästhetik: Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, trans. Sabina Kienlechner (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1997), 172 and 275; Manfred Wagner, “Theorie und Ästhetik der Musik im Wien des 19. Jahrhunderts,” in Die Kammermusik von Johannes Brahms: Tradition und Innovation; Bericht über die Tagung Wien 1997, ed. Gernot Gruber, Schriften zur musikalischen Hermeneutik 8 (Laaber: Laaber, 2001), 44; Christel Fricke, “Kant,” in Musik in der deutschen Philosophie: Eine Einführung, ed. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner and Oliver Fürbeth (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 2003), 35; Veit-Justus Rollmann, Das Kunstschöne in Hegels Ästhetik am Beispiel der Musik (Marburg: Tectum, 2005), 24; Adolf Nowak, “‘Zweckmäßigkeit ohne Zweck’: Eine Kantsche Idee und ihre musikästhetische Rezeption,” in Werk und Geschichte: Musikalische Analyse und historischer Entwurf; Rudolf Stephan zum 75. Geburtstag, ed. Thomas Ertelt (Mainz: Schott, 2005), 53; Peter Rinderle, Musik, Emotionen und Ethik, Musikphilosophie 3 (Freiburg: Karl Alber, 2011), 69.
  63. As Hanne Appelqvist (“Musical Formalism,” 84) has similarly observed, there are obvious affinities between Kant’s notion of the completely agreeable and Hanslick’s opposition to passive pathological listening. Both authors find that if a person is mainly focused on the effects of an object, they are not concerned primarily with the object itself. The given artistic artefact could be comfortably substituted by any other object that elicits the same effect: a “fine cigar” (“feine Cigarre”), a “warm bath” (“laues Bad”) or, in Kant’s words, “sparkling wine from the Canaries” (“Canariensect”). Cf.: OMB, 59; VMS, 129; CPJ, 97; KdU, 212. This idea, extremely prevalent in current aesthetic literature, has been called the ‘heresy of the separable experience’. Cf.: Malcolm Budd, Music and the Emotions: The Philosophical Theories, International Library of Philosophy (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985), 125, 143, 152.
  64. Abegg, Eduard Hanslick, 20. Original wording: “Kants Kritik der Urteilskraft wird er im philosophischen Grundstudium an der Prager Universität wenigstens flüchtig kennengelernt haben.” Abegg’s surmise was shared by Robert Michael Anderson, “Polemics or Philosophy? Music Pathology in Eduard Hanslick’s Vom Musikalisch-Schönen,” The Musical Times 154 (2013): 74. Indeed, although Abegg does not cite this intriguing observation, Kant even uses the same term, ‘pathological’: CPJ, 94; KdU, 209.
  65. Werner Sauer, Österreichische Philosophie zwischen Aufklärung und Restauration: Beiträge zur Geschichte des Frühkantianismus in der Donaumonarchie (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1982), 283. The titles of Peter Miotti’s polemic against Kant’s theory—On the Voidness of Kantian Principles in Philosophy; On the Falsehood, and Godlessness of Kant’s System—give a good indication regarding Austrian education politics: Ueber die Nichtigkeit der Kantischen Grundsätze in der Philosophie (Vienna: Mathias Andreas Schmidt, 1798); Ueber die Falschheit, und Gottlosigkeit des Kantischen Systems (Vienna: Mathias Andreas Schmidt, 1801).
  66. For a concise overview regarding the Austrian reception of Kant’s system, see my “The Early Kant Reception in Austria: From Joseph II to Francis II,” and “State Censorship of Kant: From Francis II to Count Thun,” in Detours: Approaches to Immanuel Kant in Vienna, in Austria, and in Eastern Europe, ed. Violetta L. Waibel (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), 26–32 and 32–39, or “Eduard Hanslick zwischen Deutschem Idealismus und Österreichischem Realismus: Eine Fallstudie zur österreichischen Kant-Rezeption,” in Ausgehend von Kant: Wegmarken der Klassischen Deutschen Philosophie, ed. Violetta L. Waibel et al., Studien zur Phänomenologie und praktischen Philosophie 38 (Würzburg: Ergon, 2016), 325–29.
  67. Werner Sauer, “Von der ‘Kritik’ zur ‘Positivität’: Die Geisteswissenschaften in Österreich zwischen josephinischer Aufklärung und franziszeischer Restauration,” in Vormärz: Wendepunkt und Herausforderung; Beiträge zur Literaturwissenschaft und Kulturpolitik in Österreich, ed. Hanna Schnedl-Bubeniček, Veröffentlichungen des Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institutes für Geschichte der Gesellschaftswissenschaften 10 (Wien: Geyer-Edition, 1983), 31. Original wording: “den Schaden wiedergutzumachen, den die Aufklärung in den Köpfen der österreichischen Bevölkerung angestiftet hatte.”
  68. Werner Sauer, “Die verhinderte Kanttradition: Über eine Eigenheit der österreichischen Philosophie,” in Benedikt, Knoll, and Rupitz, Bildung und Einbildung, 309. Rottenhan’s original wording: “Das Studium der Mathematik und der Physik, dann die positiven Wissenschaften [sollen] das Übergewicht über die sogenannten rationalen oder spekulativen Wissenschaften gewinnen … damit dem Skeptizismus und der politischen und philosophischen Freidenkerei … Grenzen gesetzt werden.”
  69. On the total extent of the subjects taught in these courses, see: Waltraud Heindl, Gehorsame Rebellen: Bürokratie und Beamte in Österreich, vol. 1., 1780 bis 1848, 2nd ed., Studien zur Politik und Verwaltung 36 (Vienna: Böhlau, 2013), 139–43. A broad account of the school system is given by Peter Stachel, “Das österreichische Bildungssystem zwischen 1749 und 1918,” in Geschichte der österreichischen Humanwissenschaften, vol. 1, Historischer Kontext, wissenschaftssoziologische Befunde und methodologische Voraussetzungen, ed. Karl Acham (Vienna: Passagen, 1999), 115–46.
  70. Sauer, “‘Kritik’,” 35. For a detailed account of the proceedings of the Studien-Revisions-Kommission, see: Sepp Domandl, Wiederholte Spiegelungen: Von Kant und Goethe zu Stifter; Ein Beitrag zur österreichischen Geistesgeschichte, Schriftenreihe des Adalbert-Stifter-Institutes 32 (Linz: OÖL, 1982).
  71. Historians have swayed between 1793 (Domandl), 1798 (Sauer), or 1803 (Topitsch): Sepp Domandl, “Verdrängter und aufgeklärter Humanismus: Wiederholte Spiegelungen,” in Benedikt, Knoll, and Rupitz, Bildung und Einbildung, 369; Sauer, Österreichische Philosophie, 278; Ernst Topitsch, “Kant in Österreich,” in Philosophie der Wirklichkeitsnähe: Festschrift zum 80. Geburtstag Robert Reiningers, 28. September 1949, ed. Richard Meister (Vienna: A. Sexl, 1949), 243.
  72. On the Austrian Leibniz tradition, see: Harald Haslmayr, “Geistige Hintergründe des Biedermeier,” in The Other Vienna: The Culture of Biedermeier Austria; Österreichisches Biedermeier in Literatur, Musik, Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, ed. Robert Pichl, Clifford A. Bernd, and Margarete Wagner, Sonderpublikationen der Grillparzer-Gesellschaft 5 (Vienna: Lehner, 2002), 285–96.
  73. Domandl, “Verdrängter Humanismus,” 369. Given about fifty lectures on Kant at the University of Vienna from 1848 to 1938, Albert Wieser distinctly observed a ten-year hiatus in Count Thun’s era (1852–60), thereby graphically illustrating Thun’s reign: “Die Geschichte des Fachs Philosophie an der Universität Wien, 1848–1938” (PhD diss., University of Vienna, 1950), 235. On Thun’s policy, see: Susanne Preglau-Hämmerle, Die politische und soziale Funktion der österreichischen Universität: Von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Vergleichende Gesellschaftsgeschichte und politische Ideengeschichte der Neuzeit 5 (Innsbruck: Inn-Verlag, 1986), 101–107.
  74. Ludvová, “Biographie Hanslicks,” 40–41; Grimm, Prager Zeit, 23–24.
  75. On the positive reception of Kant’s theory in 18th-century Austria, primarily compare: Sauer, Österreichische Philosophie, 107–54, or my “Joseph II to Francis II”.
  76. Johannes Feichtinger, Wissenschaft als reflexives Projekt: Von Bolzano über Freud zu Kelsen; Österreichische Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 1848–1938 (Bielefeld: transcript, 2010), 153. Original wording: “Kreil und Delling wurden unter dem Vorwand, dass der Vortrag der kritischen Philosophie zum Atheismus führe, 1795 von ihren Stellen suspendiert.”
  77. Peter Stachel, “Leibniz, Bolzano und die Folgen: Zum Denkstil der österreichischen Philosophie, Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften,” in Acham, Humanwissenschaften, I:255–58 and 264; William M. Johnston, The Austrian Mind: An Intellectual and Social History, 1848–1938 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 286; Wilfing and Landerer, “Hegelianismus,” 312–14. Cf.: Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, vol. 2, Hegel and Marx (London: Routledge, 2009), 32.
  78. Sauer, Österreichische Philosophie, 309–10.
  79. Otto Neurath, Gesammelte philosophische und methodologische Schriften, ed. Rudolf Haller and Heiner Rutte (Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1981), 2:676. Original wording: “Österreich ersparte sich das Zwischenspiel mit Kant.”
  80. Rudolf Haller identifies the rejection of German idealism as a central feature of a distinct ‘Austrian’ tradition of scientific philosophy, oriented towards natural science and its empirical methodology. Cf.: “Gibt es eine österreichische Philosophie?,” in Fragen zu Wittgenstein und Aufsätze zur Österreichischen Philosophie, Studien zur österreichischen Philosophie 10 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1986), 31–43. For a more critical analysis of Haller’s thesis and its political setting, see: Sauer, Österreichische Philosophie, 9–22; Feichtinger, Reflexives Projekt, 151–61; or my “Kant and ‘Austrian Philosophy’: An Introduction,” in Waibel, Detours, 19–26.
  81. On both poets and their literary reception of Kant’s theory, see my “Kant and German Romanticism in the Eyes of Austrian 19th Century Writers,” in Waibel, Detours, 265–68, and “Musik, Maß, Genie: Grillparzers Verhältnis zur (Musik-)Ästhetik Kants,” to be published in conference proceedings regarding “Kant and His Poets,” ed. Violetta L. Waibel. Cf.: Gabriele Geml, “Franz Grillparzer: Approaches to Kant” and “Joseph Schreyvogel: Kantian Moral Philosophy as the Art of Living,” in Waibel, Detours, 291–303 and 303–12.
  82. Christoph Landerer, “Ästhetik von oben? Ästhetik von unten? Objektivität und ‘naturwissenschaftliche’ Methode in Eduard Hanslicks Musikästhetik,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 61, no. 1 (2004): 47. Original wording: “Das Bekenntnis zur ‘Naturwissenschaft’ bzw. zu den ‘positiven Wissenschaften’ im abgeschwächten Sinn einer induktiven, an Fakten orientierten und ‘exakten’, logisch-formal vorgehenden Forschung kennzeichnet die österreichischen Geistes- und Humanwissenschaften … noch bis ins 20. Jahrhundert hinein.” On Hanslick’s difficult concept of natural science and scientific method, see: Barbara Boisits, “Die Gesetze des spezifisch Musikalischen: Eduard Hanslicks Rechtfertigung der Ästhetik gegenüber historischer und naturwissenschaftlicher Kunstbetrachtung,” in Antonicek, Gruber, and Landerer, Hanslick zum Gedenken, 21–28. On the empirical elements of VMS, see: Kurt Blaukopf, Pioniere empiristischer Musikforschung: Österreich und Böhmen als Wiege der modernen Kunstsoziologie, Wissenschaftliche Weltauffassung und Kunst 1 (Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1995).
  83. Zimmermann, “Aesthetik und Kritik,” 39.
  84. Andreas Hoeschen and Lothar Schneider, “Der ideengeschichtliche Ort des Herbartianismus,” in Hoeschen and Schneider, Herbarts Kultursystem, 15.
  85. On the political suitability of Herbart’s position, see: Sauer, “Verhinderte Kanttradition,” 312–13.
  86. On the political alignment of the Vienna School, compare primarily: Matthew Rampley, The Vienna School of Art History: Empire and the Politics of Scholarship, 1847–1918 (University Park: Pennsylvania University Press, 2013).
  87. Hans Lentze, Die Universitätsreform des Ministers Graf Leo Thun-Hohenstein (Vienna: Böhlau, 1962), 251. Eitelberger’s original wording: “nirgends mit den bestehenden Konfessionen oder politischen Staatsordnungen in Konflikt gekommen.”
  88. Herbart’s reception was notably bolstered by Eduard Beneke’s reviews of Herbart’s writings in Wiener Jahrbücher für Literatur (1822–27). Cf.: Barbara Otto, “Der sezessionierte Herbart: Wissenschaftsrezeption im Staatsinteresse zur Zeit Metternichs,” in Benedikt, Knoll, and Rupitz, Bildung und Einbildung, 143.
  89. Payzant, Sixteen Lectures, 131.
  90. Hanslick, ever since the sixth edition of VMS (1881), declares Herbart to be the first writer to have argued against “aesthetics of feeling” (OMB, 85; VMS, 37). On Herbart’s aesthetics, see note 3. On Herbart’s influence on Hanslick’s aesthetics, primarily see the extensive summary in Grimm, Prager Zeit, 146–52, and Bonds, Absolute Music, 160–62.
  91. On May 15, 1851, Hanslick wrote a letter to the influential composer Vesque von Püttlingen, founder of the new conservatory of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, indicating his intended resignation from civil service to “fully dedicate myself to musical aesthetics” (“mich ganz dem musikalisch-wissenschaftlichen Fach zu widmen”) in order to become a full-time university lecturer (“Dozent”): Wienbibliothek im Rathaus, Handschriftensammlung I, HIN 31031.
  92. On Bolzano’s outright criticism towards Kant’s system, see, for example: Roger Bauer, Der Idealismus und seine Gegner in Österreich, Beiträge zum Euphorion 3 (Heidelberg: Winter, 1966). Cf.: Bonds, Absolute Music, 162.
  93. Stephan Barta, “Die politisch verfolgten Professoren des österreichischen Vormärz” (PhD diss., University of Vienna, 1966), 22–24. For a more detailed account of the so-called Bolzano-Lawsuit (Bolzano-Prozess), see: Eduard Winter, Der Bolzanoprozess: Dokumente zur Geschichte der Prager Karlsuniversität im Vormärz, Prager Studien und Dokumente zur Geistes- und Gesinnungsgeschichte Ostmitteleuropas 4 (Brünn: Rudolf M. Rohrer, 1944), or Helmut Rumpler, ed., Bernard Bolzano und die Politik: Staat, Nation und Religion als Herausforderung für die Philosophie im Kontext von Spätaufklärung, Frühnationalismus und Restauration, Studien zur Politik und Verwaltung 61 (Vienna: Böhlau, 2000).
  94. Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano, 92.
  95. Robert Zimmermann, Philosophische Propaedeutik, 2nd ed. (Vienna: Wilhelm Braumüller, 1860).
  96. Kurt Blaukopf, Die Ästhetik Bernard Bolzanos: Begriffskritik, Objektivismus, ‘echte’ Spekulation und Ansätze zum Empirismus, Beiträge zur Bolzano-Forschung 8 (St. Augustin: Academia, 1996), 68. For the historical connection of Bolzano and Zimmermann, see: Eduard Winter, Robert Zimmermanns Philosophische Propädeutik und die Vorlagen aus der Wissenschaftslehre Bernard Bolzanos: Eine Dokumentation zur Geschichte des Denkens und der Erziehung in der Donaumonarchie (Vienna: Verlag der ÖAW, 1975). For a more critical account, see: Edgar Morscher, “Robert Zimmermann: Der Vermittler von Bolzanos Gedankengut? Zerstörung einer Legende,” in Bolzano und die österreichische Geistesgeschichte, ed. Heinrich Ganthaler and Otto Neumaier, Beiträge zur Bolzano-Forschung 6 (St. Augustin: Academia, 1997), 145–90.
  97. For the most extensive discussion of the philosophical relationship between Bolzano and Hanslick, see Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano. For a more dense study, see his “Bernard Bolzano, Eduard Hanslick und die Geschichte des musikästhetischen Objektivismus: Zu einem Kapitel (alt)österreichischer Geistesgeschichte,” Kriterion 3, no. 5 (1993): 16–30. For further studies, see: Blaukopf, Pioniere, 32–34 and Bonds, Absolute Music, 162.
  98. Bernard Bolzano, Über den Begriff des Schönen: Eine philosophische Abhandlung (Prague: Borrosch et André, 1843); Über die Eintheilung der schönen Künste: Eine ästhetische Abhandlung (Prague: J. G. Calve’sche Buchhandlung, 1849). For the general outline of Bolzano’s aesthetics, see: Blaukopf, Ästhetik Bolzanos; Otto Neumaier, “Ästhetik bei Bernard Bolzano,” in Bernard Bolzanos geistiges Erbe für das 21. Jahrhundert: Beiträge zum Bolzano-Symposium der Österreichischen Forschungsgemeinschaft im Dezember 1998 in Wien, ed. Edgar Morscher, Beiträge zur Bolzano-Forschung 11 (St. Augustin: Academia, 1999), 411–38; Peter Stachel, “Die Schönheitslehre Bernard Bolzanos,” in Geschichte der österreichischen Humanwissenschaften, vol. 5, Sprache, Literatur und Kunst, ed. Karl Acham (Vienna: Passagen, 1999), 499–518.
  99. For Hanslick, musical pleasure is based mainly on a “mental satisfaction which the listener finds in continuously following and anticipating the composer’s designs, here to be confirmed in his expectations, there to be agreeably led astray” (OMB, 64). Original wording: “Es ist die geistige Befriedigung, die der Hörer darin findet, den Absichten des Componisten fortwährend zu folgen und voran zu eilen, sich in seinen Vermuthungen hier bestätigt, dort angenehm getäuscht zu finden” (VMS, 138). In Über den Begriff des Schönen, 24, Bolzano offers a similar solution: the source of aesthetic pleasure, entirely detached from the object’s practical utility, is linked to “the activity afforded to our mental powers, directed towards cognition.” The beautiful artefact has to stimulate these mental powers in the right manner by making developmental anticipations possible without being too transparent and thus too dull for aesthetic contemplation. A refined version of this idea is still held by Leonard B. Meyer, Emotion and Meaning in Music (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956), or Peter Kivy, Music Alone: Philosophical Reflections on the Purely Musical Experience (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990), and Introduction to a Philosophy of Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002), who calls this idea ‘cherchez le théme’ or ‘game of hide and seek’.
  100. Eduard Winter, ed., Bernard Bolzano’s Schriften, vol. 4, Der Briefwechsel B. Bolzano’s mit F. Exner (Prague: Královská česká společnost nauk, 1935), 64 (see the letter dated November 22, 1834).
  101. Johann Friedrich Herbart, Kurze Encyklopaedie der Philosophie aus praktischen Gesichtspuncten (Halle: C. A. Schwetschke und Sohn, 1831), 126. Original wording: “das Schöne, das außer der Vorstellung gar nicht existirt, sondern immer einen, wenigstens möglichen Zuschauer voraussetzt.”
  102. Landerer, “Ästhetikprogramm,” 12–13.
  103. Bernard Bolzano, Wissenschaftslehre: Versuch einer ausführlichen und größtentheils neuen Darstellung der Logik mit steter Rücksicht auf deren bisherige Bearbeiter (Sulzbach: J. E. v. Seidelsche Buchhandlung, 1837), vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4.
  104. Bolzano, Wissenschaftslehre, 1:77. Original wording: “irgend eine Aussage, daß etwas ist oder nicht, gleichviel, ob diese Aussage wahr oder falsch ist, ob sie von irgend Jemand in Worte gefaßt oder nicht gefaßt, ja auch im Geiste nur gedacht oder nicht gedacht worden ist.”
  105. Bolzano, Wissenschaftslehre, 1:112. Original wording: “jeden beliebigen Satz, der etwas so, wie es ist, aussagt, wobei ich unbestimmt lasse, ob dieser Satz von irgend Jemand wirklich gedacht und ausgesprochen worden sey oder nicht.”
  106. Hanslick’s passage, heavily reworked for the second edition (1858), was only partially included in Payzant’s translation. He omitted the last part (square brackets) by stating that it seemed “vestigial” (OMB, 105). Cf.: Bonds, Absolute Music, 189, who gives a slightly different translation: “Beauty is thus only for the pleasure of a perceiving subject, not generated through that subject.” Original wording: “Das Schöne ist und bleibt schön, auch wenn es keine Gefühle erzeugt, ja wenn es weder geschaut noch betrachtet wird; also zwar nur für das Wohlgefallen eines anschauenden Subjects, aber nicht durch dasselbe” (VMS, 26).
  107. Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano, 86–97. Also see his “Geistesgeschichte,” part I, 27–33, and his “Wiener Denkstil,” 92–97.
  108. Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology, rev. ed., ed. David Ray Griffin and Donald W. Sherburne (New York: Free Press, 1978), 39.
  109. I have two related reasons for this seemingly arbitrary selection: first, the general outline of Kant’s system, famously including the four moments of the reflective judgment, is far better known than his theory of fine art. This fact, I argue below, has contributed decisively to the classification of Kant as an aesthetic formalist. Second, given Hanslick’s juridical education, his practical musical training with the composer Václav Tomášek (1774–1850), and the lack of any specialized qualification in philosophy, it is not at all clear that he ever read parts of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, let alone the entire treatise. The part he would have been most interested in and the part most frequently discussed in musical literature—today and back then—is the “Deduction of Pure Aesthetic Judgments” (esp. §43–53), containing Kant’s conception of art, taste, genius, and the division of the fine arts.
  110. Original wording: “Die erstere setzt keinen Begriff von dem voraus, was der Gegenstand sein soll; die zweite setzt einen solchen und die Vollkommenheit des Gegenstandes nach demselben voraus.” For an in-depth discussion of this problematic demarcation, see, for example: Geoffrey Scarre, “Kant on Free and Dependent Beauty,” British Journal of Aesthetics 21, no. 4 (1981): 351–62; Robert Stecker, “Free Beauty, Dependent Beauty, and Art,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 21, no. 1 (1987): 89–99; Ruth Lorand, “Free and Dependent Beauty: A Puzzling Issue,” British Journal of Aesthetics 29, no. 1 (1989): 32–40; Denis Dutton, “Kant and the Conditions of Artistic Beauty,” British Journal of Aesthetics 34, no. 3 (1994): 226–39; Philip Mallaband, “Understanding Kant’s Distinction Between Free and Dependent Beauty,” The Philosophical Quarterly 52, no. 1 (2002): 66–81.
  111. Stecker, “Free Beauty,” 89. Cf.: Donald W. Crawford, Kant’s Aesthetic Theory (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1974), 92, or Ruth Lorand, “The Purity of Aesthetic Value,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 50, no. 1 (1992): 14. Rachel Zuckert is a case in point: in her insightful explication of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft, she restricts her attention to Kant’s idea of “aesthetic purposive form in general.” Thus, Kant’s theory of art is not treated at all: “The Purposiveness of Form: A Reading of Kantʼs Aesthetic Formalism,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 44, no. 4 (2006): 613.
  112. However, this does not mean that “Kant holds a formalist theory of Natural Beauty and an expressionist theory of Fine Art,” as D. W. Gotshalk assumes (“Form and Expression in Kant’s Aesthetics,” British Journal of Aesthetics 7, no. 3 (1967): 260), because the general features of beauty remain the same in both cases (CPJ, 197; KdU, 320). Cf.: Paul Guyer, “Formalism and the Theory of Expression in Kant’s Aesthetics,” Kant-Studien 68, no. 1 (1977): 46–70.
  113. Stecker, “Free Beauty,” 89; Anthony Savile, “Kant’s Aesthetic Theory,” in A Companion to Kant, ed. Graham Bird, Blackwell Companions to Philosophy 36 (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), 443–44; Zuckert, “Aesthetic Formalism,” 603.
  114. Original wording: “Wenn aber der Gegenstand für ein Product der Kunst gegeben ist und als solches für schön erklärt werden soll: so muß, weil Kunst immer einen Zweck in der Ursache (und deren Causalität) voraussetzt, zuerst ein Begriff von dem zum Grunde gelegt werden, was das Ding sein soll.”
  115. Original wording: “Schöne Kunst dagegen ist eine Vorstellungsart, die für sich selbst zweckmäßig ist und, obgleich ohne Zweck, dennoch die Cultur der Gemüthskräfte zur geselligen Mittheilung befördert.”
  116. Original wording: “nur auf die augenblickliche Unterhaltung, nicht auf einen bleibenden Stoff zum Nachdenken oder Nachsagen angelegt ist.”
  117. Original wording: “diejenige Vorstellung der Einbildungskraft, die viel zu denken veranlaßt, ohne daß ihr doch irgend ein bestimmter Gedanke, d. i. Begriff, adäquat sein kann.”
  118. As Malcolm Budd correctly observes: “Only if an item is the expression of aesthetic ideas is it a work of (fine) art, and, accordingly, its being a good example of the expression of aesthetic ideas is a necessary condition of its being valuable as art.” Values of Art: Pictures, Poetry, and Music (London: Penguin Press, 1995), 34. Cf.: Henry E. Allison, Kantʼs Theory of Taste: A Reading of the “Critique of Aesthetic Judgment”, Modern European Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 286; Elizabeth Prettejohn, Beauty and Art, 1750–2000, Oxford History of Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 57; Christopher Dowling, “Zangwill, Moderate Formalism, and Another Look at Kant’s Aesthetic,” Kantian Review 15, no. 2 (2010): 97.
  119. Kivy, Introduction, 56–57. For Kivy’s extended argument, see his Ancient Quarrel, 35–42. Also see his more recent essay “What Really Happened in the Eighteenth Century: The ‘Modern System’ Re-Examined (Again),” British Journal of Aesthetics 52, no. 1 (2012): 69, where Kivy again points out how Kant “is frequently, and mistakenly, taken for proposing a formalist theory of the fine arts.” Cf.: Nick Zangwill, “Feasible Aesthetic Formalism,” Noûs 33, no. 4 (1999): 613; Paul Guyer, Kant, Routledge Philosophy (London: Routledge, 2006), 321; Christopher Dowling, “Aesthetic Formalism,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, chap. 3c, accessed July 11, 2015.
  120. I use this term without normative, ontological, or metaphysical implications in order to refer to instrumental compositions without a program, literary title, or text. Kant’s stance on vocal music will be clarified below.
  121. Original wording: “mehr Genuß als Cultur … und hat, durch Vernunft beurtheilt, weniger Werth als jede andere der schönen Künste.”
  122. John Neubauer, The Emancipation of Music from Language: Departure from Mimesis in Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986), 184; Kivy, “Affektenlehre,” 262; Andy Hamilton, Aesthetics and Music (London: continuum, 2007), 70; Ginsborg, “Kant,” 337; Theodore Gracyk, “Aesthetics of Popular Music,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, chap. 1, accessed July 9, 2015. Kant’s choice to include ‘pure’ music in the realm of fine art is dependent on the difficult question whether a single tone is beautiful as such or not. It is still unclear what Kant meant to say at this point. In the first and second edition, Kant states that he does very much doubt that a tone has beauty based on perceptible mathematical form (“woran ich doch gar sehr zweifle”), the third edition reads that he does not doubt that fact at all (“woran ich doch gar nicht zweifle”). Guyer and Matthews adhere to the third edition: “about which I have very little doubt” (CPJ, 109; KdU, 224). On the philological complexity of §14 of Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft and for a critical discussion of scholarly literature, see: Piero Giordanetti, Kant und die Musik (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2005), 165–76.
  123. Peter le Huray, “The Role of Music in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Aesthetics,” Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association 105 (1978–79): 94. Robert Wicks, although arguing for a formalistic reading of Kant’s theory, also says that “Kant’s moral interests significantly drive his aesthetic theory”: Robert Wicks, “The Divine Inspiration for Kantʼs Formalist Theory of Beauty,” Kant Studies Online 1 (2015): 9. Cf.: Paul Guyer, Kant and the Experience of Freedom: Essays on Aesthetics and Morality (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 27–47 and 172–79; Allison, Kantʼs Theory, 254–61; Birgit Recki, Ästhetik der Sitten: Die Affinität von ästhetischem Gefühl und praktischer Vernunft bei Kant, Philosophische Abhandlungen 81 (Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 2001).
  124. Martin Weatherston, “Kant’s Assessment of Music in the Critique of Judgment,” British Journal of Aesthetics 36, no. 1 (1996): 58. Similarly, Paul Guyer says that “for Kant, art paradigmatically has moral content, and our response to art is thus by no means a simple harmony between imagination and understanding, but rather a much more complicated play among imagination, understanding, and reason.” Paul Guyer, “History of Modern Aesthetics,” in Levinson, Handbook of Aesthetics, 30. On this rational fixation, see: Neubauer, Mimesis, 186–87; Kulenkampff, “Kant und Hegel,” 150–51; John H. Zammito, The Genesis of Kantʼs “Critique of Judgment” (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 290–91.
  125. Original wording: “Wenn die schönen Künste nicht nahe oder fern mit moralischen Ideen in Verbindung gebracht werden, die allein ein selbstständiges Wohlgefallen bei sich führen, so ist das letztere ihr endliches Schicksal.”
  126. Immanuel Kant, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, ed. and trans. Robert B. Louden, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 145. Original wording: “Denn die letztere [i.e., Musik] ist nur darum schöne (nicht blos angenehme) Kunst, weil sie der Poesie zum Vehikel dient.” Kant, Anthropologie, 247.
  127. Paul Guyer, “The Beautiful and the Good: Aesthetics, 1790–1870,” in The Cambridge History of Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century, 1790–1870, ed. Allen W. Wood and Songsuk Susan Hahn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 331. The widespread interpretation of free beauty as the highest version of artistic beauty is similarly contested in Schubert, “Kants Kritik,” 22–25; Mark Evan Bonds, “Idealism and the Aesthetics of Instrumental Music at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 50, no. 2–3 (1997): 399; Zangwill, “Aesthetic Formalism,” 626.
  128. On the shifting position of ‘pure’ music in Kant’s theory, see, for example: Herman Parret, “Kant on Music and the Hierarchy of the Arts,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 56, no. 3 (1998): 251–64. Arden Reed holds that the exact status of ‘pure’ music in Kant’s theory is unsettled in principle: “The Debt of Disinterest: Kant’s Critique of Music,” Modern Language Notes 95, no. 3 (1980): 563–84.
  129. Kivy, Introduction, 60.
  130. Johann Heinrich Dambeck, Vorlesungen über Aesthetik, ed. Josef Adolf Hanslik (Prague: Carl Wilhelm Enders 1822–23), vol. 1, vol. 2.
  131. Hanslick, Leben, 8. Cf.: Bonds, Absolute Music, 152.
  132. Appelqvist, “Musical Formalism,” 76.
  133. After defining “imagination as the activity of pure contemplation,” Hanslick directly quotes Vischer’s treatise (§384). Some of Hanslick’s passages do not appear in the initial version of VMS, whose opening section was heavily reworked for the second edition (1858). Original wording: “Das Schöne hat überhaupt keinen Zweck, den es ist bloße Form, welche … zu den verschiedensten Zwecken verwandt werden kann, aber selbst keinen andern hat, als sich selbst. … Das Organ, womit das Schöne aufgenommen wird, ist nicht das Gefühl, sondern die Phantasie, als die Thätigkeit des reinen Schauens. … In reiner Anschauung genießt der Hörer das erklingende Tonstück, jedes Interesse muß ihm fern liegen. … Ausschließliche Bethätigung des Verstandes durch das Schöne verhält sich logisch anstatt ästhetisch, eine vorherrschende Wirkung auf das Gefühl ist noch bedenklicher, nämlich geradezu pathologisch.”
  134. Patricia Carpenter, “Musical Form and Musical Idea: Reflections on a Theme of Schoenberg, Hanslick, and Kant,” in Music and Civilization: Essays in Honor of Paul Henry Lang, ed. Edmond Strainshamps, Maria Rika Maniates, and Christopher Hatch (New York: Norton, 1984), 408.
  135. Jerome Stolnitz, “On the Significance of Lord Shaftesbury in Modern Aesthetic Theory,” Philosophical Quarterly 11 (1961): 98. Peter le Huray similarly observes: “The concept of aesthetic ‘disinterest’ was perhaps the most distinctively original contribution that English writers of the period made to aesthetic theory.” Huray, “Role of Music,” 93. For more recent studies, see: Jennifer McMahon, “Beauty,” in Routledge Companion to Aesthetics, ed. Berys Gaut and Dominic McIver Lopes (London: Routledge, 2001), 232; Noël Carroll, “Aesthetic Experience Revisited,” British Journal of Aesthetics 42, no. 2 (2002): 149–50; Jerrold Levinson, “Philosophical Aesthetics: An Overview,” in Handbook of Aesthetics, 9. For a more critical approach to Stolnitz’s assertion, see: Dabney Townsend, “Shaftesbury’s Aesthetic Theory,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 41, no. 2 (1982): 211–12; Guyer, Essays, 48–61; and his “The Origins of Modern Aesthetics: 1711–35,” in Kivy, Guide to Aesthetics, 27–28.
  136. Appelqvist, “Musical Formalism,” 77.
  137. Gudrun Henneberg, Idee und Begriff des musikalischen Kunstwerks im Spiegel des deutschsprachigen Schrifttums der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Mainzer Studien zur Musikwissenschaft 17 (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1983), 176.
  138. Ferdinand Gotthelf Hand, Aesthetik der Tonkunst, 2nd ed. (Leipzig: Eduard Eisenach, 1847), 2:39. Original wording: “es ist das Kunstwerk sich selbst Zweck; es will und soll überall nur schön seyn.” On Hand’s impact on Hanslick’s treatise, see: Grimm, Prager Zeit, 117–37, and Bonds, Absolute Music, 166–69.
  139. Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder, Phantasien über die Kunst für Freunde der Kunst, ed. Ludwig Tieck (Hamburg: Friedrich Perthes, 1799), 261. Original wording: “phantasirt spielend und ohne Zweck, und doch erfüllt und erreicht sie den höchsten.”
  140. Karl Philipp Moritz, “Versuch einer Vereinigung aller schönen Künste und Wissenschaften unter dem Begriff des in sich selbst Vollendeten: An Herrn Moses Mendelssohn,” Berlinische Monatsschrift 5, no. 1 (1785): 231. Original wording: “ich muß an einem schönen Gegenstande nur um sein selbst willen Vergnügen finden; zu dem Ende muß der Mangel der äußeren Zwekmäßigkeit durch seine innere Zwekmäßigkeit ersetzt sein; der Gegenstand muß etwas in sich selbst Vollendetes sein.” Carl Dahlhaus, “Karl Philipp Moritz und das Problem einer klassischen Musikästhetik,” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 9, no. 2 (1978): 279–94, ascribes this analogy to their common pietistic background, ultimately resulting in an analogous mentality.
  141. For the stimulus model, strongly associated with Cartesian rationalism, see Kivy, Music Alone, 30–41.
  142. Christian Friedrich Michaelis, Ueber den Geist der Tonkunst: Mit Rücksicht auf Kants Kritik der ästhetischen Urtheilskraft, vol. 2, Zweyter Versuch (Leipzig: Schäferische Buchhandlung, 1800), 29. Original wording: “Komposition, also in der Form, nämlich der Melodie und Harmonie.” Regarding Michaelis’s influence on Hanslick’s aesthetics, primarily compare: Wilhelm Seidel, “Zwischen Immanuel Kant und der musikalischen Klassik: Die Ästhetik des musikalischen Kunstwerks um 1800,” in Danuser, Geschichte, Ästhetik, Theorie, 67–84; Schmidt, “Arabeske”; Grimm, Prager Zeit, 153–60.
  143. On Hanslick’s Kantianism, markedly detached from Kant’s works, see my “Hanslick’s Kantianism? Johann Heinrich Dambeck, Christian Friedrich Michaelis, and Hans Georg Nägeli,” to be published in conference proceedings of the congress “Hanslick im Kontext/Hanslick in Context”, ed. Alexander Wilfing and Christoph Landerer (Vienna: Böhlau, 2019).
  144. Herbert M. Schueller, “Immanuel Kant and the Aesthetics of Music,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 14, no. 2 (1955): 242; Weatherston, “Kant’s Music,” 62; Kivy, Ancient Quarrel, 32–34. This notion, which has no further bearing on my paper, is thrown into doubt in later parts of Kivy’s book (42–49).
  145. Paul Guyer, “Kant’s Conception of Fine Art,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 52, no. 3 (1994): 279; Donald W. Crawford, “Kant,” in Gaut and Lopes, Companion to Aesthetics, 62; Kivy, Introduction, 56–59; Guyer, “Origins,” 39–40; Dowling, “Moderate Formalism,” 96.
  146. Stephen Halliwell, The Aesthetics of Mimesis: Ancient Texts and Modern Problems (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), 10.
  147. Paul Guyer, “The Symbols of Freedom in Kant’s Aesthetics,” in Kants Ästhetik—Kant’s Aesthetics—Lʼesthétique de Kant, ed. Herman Parret (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1998), 339.
  148. Kivy, Introduction, 63.
  149. Kivy, Music Alone, 101. Kant speaks of “designs à la grecque, foliage for borders or on wallpaper, etc.” (“Zeichnungen a la grecque, das Laubwerk zu Einfassungen oder auf Papiertapeten”; CPJ, 114; KdU, 229), but does not use the highly peculiar and historically momentous wording arabesque, which has led to a stand-alone term in German-language discourse (“Arabesken-Ästhetik”). I have already discussed the essential difference between Hanslick’s “arabesque” (OMB, 29; VMS, 75) and Kant’s “designs à la grecque” in a previous footnote (see note 54).
  150. Hans Georg Nägeli, Vorlesungen über Musik mit Berücksichtigung der Dilettanten (Stuttgart: J. G. Cotta’sche Buchhandlung, 1826), 32. For Nägeli’s usage of the expression arabesque, see: Ibid., 45. Original wording: “sie hat nur Formen, geregelte Zusammenverbindung von Toenen und Tonreihen zu einem Ganzen.” Hanslick’s familiarity with Nägeli’s lectures is thoroughly researched. See several recent studies: Grey, Musical Prose, 30–31; Rafael Köhler, Natur und Geist: Energetische Form in der Musiktheorie, Beihefte zum Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 37 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1996), 62–65; Gärtner, Hanslick versus Liszt, 113–14; Rothfarb, “Musical Formalism,” 179–80; Bonds, Absolute Music, 164–65. For a more general account, compare: Wilfing, “Hanslick’s Kantianism” (forthcoming).
  151. Hegel’s Lectures on Aesthetics directly reflect the Kantian dilemma of ‘pure’ music: among the arts, music “has the highest chance to rid itself not just from any real text but also from the expression of any particular content” (“unter allen Künsten die meiste Möglichkeit … sich nicht nur von jedem wirklichen Text sondern auch von dem Ausdruck irgendeines bestimmten Inhalts zu befreien”). However, in achieving this sort of liberation, music is without “content” (“Inhalt”) and “expression” (“Ausdruck”), it is “empty, meaningless” (“leer, bedeutungslos”) and must not be counted among the fine arts. The “sensory element of tones” (“sinnliche[s] Element der Töne”) must express “intellect” (“Geistiges”); only then does music rise “to the rank of true art” (“erhebt sich auch die Musik zur wahren Kunst”). Hegel never explains, however, whether this status could be achieved by tones alone or if ‘pure’ music has to be set to a text in order to turn into ‘true art’: Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik, ed. Eva Moldenhauer and Karl Michel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Werke 13–15 (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1986), 3:148–49. On Hanslick’s response to the dilemma of ‘pure’ music, equally posed by Kant and Hegel, see: Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen, “Ästhetische Grundsätze oder persönliches Ressentiment? Eduard Hanslick contra Richard Wagner,” in Richard Wagner und Wien: Antisemitische Radikalisierung und das Entstehen des Wagnerismus, ed. Hannes Heer, Christian Glanz, and Oliver Rathkolb, Musikkontext 11 (Vienna: Hollitzer, 2017), 77–95, or my “Eduard Hanslicks Schriften und Richard Wagners Gesamtkunstwerk,” to be published in conference proceedings on the idea of ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ (ed. Herwig Gottwald and Christoph Landerer).
  152. Original wording: “Bei der Tonkunst giebt es keinen Inhalt gegenüber der Form, weil sie keine Form hat außerhalb dem Inhalt.”
  153. Original wording: “Der Inhalt der Musik sind tönend bewegte Formen.” Prior to the third edition of Hanslick’s treatise (1865), this proverbial statement read: “Tonally moving forms are the sole and the only content and subject of music.” Original wording: “Tönend bewegte Formen sind einzig und allein Inhalt und Gegenstand der Musik.”
  154. Original wording: “Eine vollständig zur Erscheinung gebrachte musikalische Idee aber ist bereits selbstständiges Schöne, ist Selbstzweck und keineswegs erst wieder Mittel oder Material zur Darstellung von Gefühlen und Gedanken.”
  155. Carl Dahlhaus, Esthetics of Music, trans. William W. Austin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 32. Original wording: “Der Formbegriff Kants ist denn auch von dem Eduard Hanslicks so verschieden, daß es irreführend ist, die im gleichen Gedankenzuge zu nennen.” Musikästhetik (Cologne: Musikverlag Hans Gerig, 1967), 50.
  156. Original wording: “Aber an dem Reize und der Gemüthsbewegung, welche die Musik hervorbringt, hat die Mathematik sicherlich nicht den mindesten Antheil.”
  157. Original wording: “Die Mathematik regelt blos den elementaren Stoff zu geistfähiger Behandlung und spielt verborgen in den einfachsten Verhältnissen, aber der musikalische Gedanke kommt ohne sie ans Licht.”
  158. Piero Giordanetti, “Musik bei Kant,” Musik-Konzepte 11 (2007): 128.
  159. In order to avoid any confusion: for Hanslick, musical beauty and aesthetic judgment are historically conditioned, not aesthetic sciences that have to be as objective as possible. Christoph Landerer (“Ästhetikprogramm,” 16) has eloquently summarized this important distinction: “The beautiful is a historic subject matter, aesthetics an ahistorical enterprise.” Original wording: “Das Schöne ist ein historischer Gegenstand, die Ästhetik ein ahistorisches Unternehmen.” In “Eduard Hanslicks Rezeption im englischen Sprachraum” (PhD diss., University of Vienna, 2016), 63–72, I deal with this issue at great length.
  160. “This is where Hanslick paints himself into a corner. … Even if we accept his definition of music as ‘tonally animated forms’, how does music then relate to the broader idea of beauty? In a way, Hanslick had made his case too well, isolating music not only from all other arts but from the concept of beauty in general, insisting that specifically musical beauty is its own separate category.” Bonds, Absolute Music, 190.
  161. Original wording: “es könne die Aesthetik einer bestimmten Kunst durch bloßes Anpassen des allgemeinen, metaphysischen Schönheitsbegriffs … gewonnen werden. … Das ‘System’ macht allmälig der ‘Forschung’ Platz und diese halt fest an dem Grundsatz, daß die Schönheitsgesetze jeder Kunst untrennbar sind von den Eigenthümlichkeiten ihres Materials, ihrer Technik.”
  162. Hanslick’s article “On the Subjective Impression of Music and its Position in Aesthetics” was eventually transformed into chap. 4–5 of the finalized manuscript, whereas “Music in its Relations to Nature” turned into chap. 6, running through hardly any significant alterations. Cf.: Eduard Hanslick, “Ueber den subjektiven Eindruck der Musik und seine Stellung in der Aesthetik,” and “Die Tonkunst in ihren Beziehungen zur Natur,” Oesterreichische Blätter für Literatur und Kunst 30 (1853): 177–78; 31 (1853): 181–82; 33 (1853): 193–95; 11 (1854): 78–80. Also see my “Hanslicks Schriften,” 161–62, where I discuss whether these parts have to be seen as an extract taken from the finished treatise, or if they form its first traces, which seems much more likely.
  163. See the reprinted version of these texts in Strauß, Hanslicks Schrift, 235, 254, 308.
  164. Strauß, Hanslicks Schrift, 74; Christoph Khittl, “Wie aus Mozarts Musik das Paradigma des ‘Musikalisch-Schönen’ wurde: Die Musik Mozarts zwischen musikalischer Affektenlehre, romantischer Musikphilosophie und dem Begriff des ‘Musikalisch-Schönen’,” Polyaisthesis: Beiträge zur Integration der Künste und der Wissenschaften und zu ihrer Umsetzung in die pädagogische Praxis 7, no. 2 (1992): 95–96.
  165. This important difference has also been noted by: Richard Taruskin, The Oxford History of Western Music, vol. 3, The Nineteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), 441; Hamilton, Aesthetics, 81; Bonds, Absolute Music, 190. Thus, Kivy’s recent advice to translate Hanslick’s treatise as “On Musical Beauty” does not fare much better: Introduction, 22. The same goes for “On the Beauty of Music” in Hans-Peter Reinecke, “Cybernetics and Musical Consciousness,” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 24, no. 1 (1993): 16. Cf.: Alexander Wilfing, “Gefühl und Musik bei Arthur Schopenhauer und Eduard Hanslick,” Musik & Ästhetik 66 (2013): 39–40.
  166. Original wording: “Das Geschmacksurtheil ist also kein Erkenntnißurtheil, mithin nicht logisch, sondern ästhetisch, worunter man dasjenige versteht, dessen Bestimmungsgrund nicht anders als subjectiv sein kann.”
  167. Original wording: “Diese wird ihm nur dadurch genügen können, daß sie mit einer Methode bricht, welche vom subjectiven Gefühl ausgeht.”
  168. Bonds, Absolute Music, 188–89. Bonds states this point in order to highlight Hanslick’s opposition to Kant’s ‘subjectivist’ methodology.
  169. Original wording: “Das Schöne ist und bleibt schön, auch wenn es keine Gefühle erzeugt, ja wenn es weder geschaut noch betrachtet wird.”
  170. Original wording: “daß in ästhetischen Untersuchungen vorerst das schöne Object und nicht das empfindende Subject zu erforschen ist.”
  171. Translated according to Bonds, Absolute Music, 188. Original wording: “Die Zeit jener ästhetischen Systeme ist vorüber, welche das Schöne nur in Bezug auf die dadurch wachgerufenen ‘Empfindungen’ betrachtet haben. Der Drang nach objectiver Erkenntnis der Dinge, soweit sie menschlicher Forschung vergönnt ist, mußte eine Methode stürzen, welche von der subjectiven Empfindung ausging, um nach einem Spaziergang über die Peripherie des untersuchten Phänomens wieder zur Empfindung zurückzugelangen. Kein Pfad führt ins Centrum der Dinge, allein jeder muß dahin gerichtet sein. Der Muth und die Fähigkeit, den Dingen selbst an den Leib zu rücken, zu untersuchen, was losgelöst von den tausendfältig wechselnden Eindrücken, die sie auf den Menschen üben, ihr Bleibendes, Objectives, wandellos Giltiges sei, – sie characerisiren die moderne Wissenschaft in ihren verschiedensten Zweigen.”
  172. Cohen, Beautiful in Music, 17.
  173. Original wording: “Empfindung ist das Wahrnehmen einer bestimmten Sinnesqualität: eines Tons, einer Farbe. Gefühl das Bewußtwerden einer Förderung oder Hemmung unsres Seelenzustandes, also eines Wohlseins oder Mißbehagens.”
  174. Schmidt, “Arabeske,” 91–92. Original wording: “Die zentrale Kategorie von Hanslicks Musikästhetik, die des objektiven ästhetischen Gegenstands, der von der subjektiven Befindlichkeit des Hörers zu trennen ist, steht quer zu Kants im Kern immer noch wirkungsästhetisch, zumindest aber subjekttheoretisch zu verstehender Grundlegung des ästhetischen Urteils.”
  175. Wayne D. Bowman, “The Values of Musical ‘Formalism’,” Journal of Aesthetic Education 25, no. 3 (1991): 44–46; Salim Kemal, Kant’s Aesthetic Theory: An Introduction (London: Macmillan, 1992), 150–51; Lorand, “Purity of Value,” 14–15; Bohdan Dziemidok, “Artistic Formalism: Its Achievements and Weaknesses,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 51, no. 2 (1993): 188–89; Hamilton, Aesthetics, 71–72.
  176. Bonds, Absolute Music, 189.
  177. Original wording: “Die Erkenntniß eines Gegenstandes und dessen unmittelbare Wirkung auf unsre Subjectivität sind himmelweit verschiedenen Dinge, ja man muß der letzteren in eben dem Maße sich zu entwinden wissen, als man der ersteren nahe kommen will.” Hanslick’s sentence, immediately following the prominent statement that “the real nature of wine” cannot be settled “by getting drunk” (OMB, 6) was cut from the fourth edition onwards (1874). Thus, it cannot be found in Payzant’s translation.
  178. Bojan Bujić, ed., introduction to chapter 1.1 of Music in European Thought, 1851–1912, Cambridge Readings in the Literature of Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 8.


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