Individuality and ideality are the two principles according to which aesthetes yesterday and today interpret art. But individuality must have priority because the systems of ideality, established for instance by Winckelmann and Schiller, produce nothing but lifeless, abstract and uniform figures who represent a concept or the genus. Individuality, on the contrary, is an analogon to nature where everything has its end and sense in itself, and everything must be judged by itself. This is the difference between the figures and works of Shakespeare and those of the idealizing authors. Individuality, however, does not simply mean the imitation of nature; rather it means a well-balanced synthesis of the material and the spiritual in something characteristic. This renders the objection of ugliness invalid, too, because it only pertains to the sensual perception, that is the beginning of perception. Those identifying the beautiful with the ideal are also at risk of insisting on objects which in the course of time lose their novelty and power. The study by the Hungarian aesthete and literary critic Janos Erdelyi, written in 1847, is an important attempt to enforce the principle 'life as it is' in the philosophy of art.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.