Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Outward MindMaterialist Aesthetics in Victorian Science and Literature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Benjamin Morgan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226442112

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226457468.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 May 2020

Form: Harmony and Attunement in Empirical Aesthetics

Form: Harmony and Attunement in Empirical Aesthetics

(p.27) 1 Form: Harmony and Attunement in Empirical Aesthetics
The Outward Mind

Benjamin Morgan

University of Chicago Press

This chapter traces the activities of a cohort of Edinburgh physiologists, interior designers, and literary critics who sought to develop scientific models of beauty, first by using classical Greek mathematical ideals of proportion and then by turning to recent findings in neurophysiology. The chapter begins with an analysis of David Ramsay Hay and George Field, who, contesting John Ruskin’s historicism, sought to transform design and color theory into an empirical science. It then shows how their thought was taken up by important figures in Victorian intellectual culture including the physiologists Thomas Laycock, William Carpenter, and John Addington Symonds Sr., and the literary critic Eneas Sweetland Dallas. By contrast with today’s formalisms, which tend to understand form as a structure, these writers worked at the intersection of science and aesthetics to develop an idea of “form” as embodied, dynamic, and ambient.

Keywords:   David Ramsay Hay, George Field, Thomas Laycock, William Carpenter, John Addington Symonds, Eneas Sweetland Dallas, John Ruskin, form, neurophysiology, color theory

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.