Philistines (aesthetics)

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The term Philistine denotes pejoratively someone who does not appreciate or despise art (mostly avant-garde art ) and related aesthetic or spiritual values, but who adopts and applies uncritically pre-fabricated ideas that are often referred to as bourgeois or bourgeoisie .

Allegedly, the term first appeared in this meaning in Jena in the late 16th century. In university towns, he referred to a citizen who was not studying and who lived in a relationship with the students in a similarly tense relationship as the Philistines with the Hebrews in the Bible ; see also Philistines (student union) . From this context, Schopenhauer defines a Philistine as a person without spiritual needs.

As a concept of the debate about art and literature , it went beyond the student context since the Romantic era and was u. a. used by Brentano , Heine and Novalis . Romantic writers invoked their independent genius ; in the Philistine they found a term that was to designate their conservative opponents in the cultural sector. The mockery of the Philistine was so widespread that one can speak of a separate genre of text, the Philistine satire .

The term experienced a renaissance in England ("Philistines") at the time of aestheticism .


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Wiktionary: Philistines  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations