[HARRIS, James (1709-1780)]
Three Treatises. The First Concerning Art. The Second Concerning Music, Painting and Poetry. The Third Concerning Happiness.
London: Printed by H. Woodfall, Jr., 1744. 8vo. (7 3/4 x 4 5/8 inches). , 357pp.
Contemporary calf, spine with raised bands in six compartments, red morocco lettering piece in the second, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt
Provenance: The Garden Library, LTD (morocco booklabel)
First edition of a classic work of mid-18th century English philosophy.
James Harris was a famed philosophical grammarian. The first treatise avoids the commonplace mimetic theories and introduces into English critical discussion the important aesthetic distinction between energy (energeia) and work (kinesis) derived from Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics. 'A Discourse on Music, Painting, and Poetry' is notable for the supreme position allotted to poetry and for its praise of the musical-verbal symbiosis achieved in the Handelian oratorio. 'Concerning Happiness, A Dialogue' urges the primacy of imagination as a mode of intellection.