The word ideal is often used in relation to will, and refers to any pur- pose or goal which guides that will. However, almost as often the appli- cation of the term is limited to contexts where the notion of perfection is present. Corresponding ideals are: 1 ) the goals of the perfect ("moral") will, and 2) the maximum, perfect goals of the will. In addition to this cur- rent definition, the word ideal also has common currency as a technical term in the philosophy of art. If one is to believe Lessing, the term ideal was first introduced by Fra' Lanna in 1670.�° However, in its adjectival form (ideale) we find the term already in Dante, who borrowed it from the Scholastics. Throughout the eighteenth century the terms ideal, ideal beauty (beaute ideale), and beautiful ideal (beau ideal) were used syn- onymously. The first extension of the meaning of ideal occurred in the spatial arts or perhaps even earlier in the depiction of the human body (Mengs, Winckelmann). According to Mengs' theory, paintings which at- tempt to depict "ideal" images - as opposed to "imitative" ones (exact copies of nature or the selection of beautiful elements from
Experiment – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1997
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