The traditional theme of mimesis as a fundamental factor in art, art theory, and aesthetics has undergone many changes of meaning, ups and downs. The present article traces the development of the idea from the point of view of the understanding and appreciation of natural beauty. An inquiry into the relationship between art and reality, that is, mimesis, and the question of the order, reveals two lines of development and their point of bifurcation in Kant and Hegel. The Hegelian line heads towards structuralism, semiotics, semiology and linguistics, to a reduction of orders into standardized norms and epistemes, where the auto-referentiality of art is accented. The Kantian notion of mimesis as 'imitation', which understands the aesthetic idea of the natural order enables the transcendence of episteme and the presentation of the order in the state of becoming. This approach restores the true nature of art.
V. Zuska, Katedra estetiky, Filozofická fakulta UK, Celetná 20, 116 42 Praha, Czech Republic
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