Nonfiction > Harvard Classics > Edmund Burke > On the Sublime and Beautiful
Custom reconciles us to everything.
On the Sublime and Beautiful. Sect. xviii. vol. i. p. 231.
Harvard Classics, Vol. 24, Part 2
A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of
The Sublime and Beautiful
With Several Other Additions
Edmund Burke
Burke’s great aesthetic treatise was an advance in the uniting of philosophy with psychology.
Bibliographic Record
Introductory Note

Part I.
  1. Novelty
  2. Pain and Pleasure
  3. The Difference Between the Removal of Pain, and Positive Pleasure
  4. Of Delight and Pleasure as Opposed to Each Other
  5. Joy and Grief
  6. Of the Passions Which Belong to Self-Preservation
  7. Of the Sublime
  8. Of the Passions Which Belong to Society
  9. The Final Cause of the Difference Between the Passions Belonging to Self-Preservation and Those Which Regard the Society of the Sexes
  10. Of Beauty
  11. Society and Solitude
  12. Sympathy, Imitation, and Ambition
  13. Sympathy
  14. The Effects of Sympathy in the Distresses of Others
  15. Of the Effects of Tragedy
  16. Imitation
  17. Ambition
  18. The Recapitulation
  19. The Conclusion

Part II.
  1. Of the Passion Caused by the Sublime
  2. Terror
  3. Obscurity
  4. Of the Difference Between Clearness and Obscurity with Regard to the Passions
  5. The Same Subject Continued
  6. Power
  7. Privation
  8. Vastness
  9. Infinity
  10. Succession and Uniformity
  11. Magnitude in Building
  12. Infinity in Pleasing Objects
  13. Difficulty
  14. Magnificence
  15. Light
  16. Light in Building
  17. Colour Considered as Productive of the Sublime
  18. Sound and Loudness
  19. Suddenness
  20. Intermitting
  21. The Cries of Animals
  22. Smell and Taste. Bitters and Stenches
  23. Feeling. Pain

Part III.
  1. Of Beauty
  2. Proportion not the Cause of Beauty in Vegetables
  3. Proportion not the Cause of Beauty in Animals
  4. Proportion not the Cause of Beauty in the Human Species
  5. Proportion Further Considered
  6. Fitness not the Cause of Beauty
  7. The Real Effects of Fitness
  8. The Recapitulation
  9. Perfection not the Cause of Beauty
  10. How Far the Idea of Beauty May be Applied to the Qualities of the Mind
  11. How Far the Idea of Beauty May be Applied to Virtue
  12. The Real Cause of Beauty
  13. Beautiful Objects Small
  14. Smoothness
  15. Gradual Variation
  16. Delicacy
  17. Beauty in Colour
  18. Recapitulation
  19. The Physiognomy
  20. The Eye
  21. Ugliness
  22. Grace
  23. Elegance and Speciousness
  24. The Beautiful in Feeling
  25. The Beautiful in Sounds
  26. Taste and Smell
  27. The Sublime and Beautiful Compared

Part IV.
  1. Of the Efficient Cause of the Sublime and Beautiful
  2. Association
  3. Cause of Pain and Fear
  4. Continued
  5. How the Sublime is Produced
  6. How Pain Can be a Cause of Delight
  7. Exercise Necessary for the Finer Organs
  8. Why Things not Dangerous Produce a Passion Like Terror
  9. Why Visual Objects of Great Dimensions are Sublime
  10. Unity, Why Requisite to Vastness
  11. The Artificial Infinite
  12. The Vibrations Must be Similar
  13. The Effects of Succession in Visual Objects Explained
  14. Locke’s Opinion Concerning Darkness Considered
  15. Darkness Terrible in its Own Nature
  16. Why Darkness is Terrible
  17. The Effects of Blackness
  18. The Effects of Blackness Moderated
  19. The Physical Cause of Love
  20. Why Smoothness is Beautiful
  21. Sweetness, Its Nature
  22. Sweetness, Relaxing
  23. Variation, Why Beautiful
  24. Concerning Smallness
  25. Of Colour

Part V.
  1. Of Words
  2. The Common Effects of Poetry, Not by Raising Ideas of Things
  3. General Words Before Ideas
  4. The Effect of Words
  5. Examples that Words May Affect Without Raising Images
  6. Poetry not Strictly an Imitative Art
  7. How Words Influence the Passions


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