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Indian Philosophy in EnglishFrom Renaissance to Independence$
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Nalini Bhushan and Jay L. Garfield

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199769261

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199769261.001.0001

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B. K. Sarkar, “Viewpoints in Aesthetics” (1922)

B. K. Sarkar, “Viewpoints in Aesthetics” (1922)

(p.165) 4 B. K. Sarkar, “Viewpoints in Aesthetics” (1922)
Indian Philosophy in English

Nalini Bhushan

Jay L. Garfield

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an excerpt from Benoy Kumar Sarkar’s 1922 book, The Futurism of Young Asia. Sarkar was a polymath who trained in English and history. He held a chair in Economics and lectured widely (in English, French, German, and Italian as well as Bengali) not only on economics but also on political theory, art history, and aesthetics. He was well known in colonial India but is largely forgotten today. In his “View-Points in Aesthetics,” Sarkar discusses the role of nationalism in aesthetic theory. He first considers two viewpoints about art-appreciation by stressing the relevance of training in a foreign country which disqualifies an artist from recognizing and developing his own national and racial genius. He then looks at the current standard of art appraisal and cites the instance of music as a typical problem for Young India because music is perhaps the line of creative activity in which Indian “genius” has taken the least step forward in centuries. Finally, he explores race-ideals in fine arts and the aesthetic revolution in India.

Keywords:   aesthetics, Benoy Kumar Sarkar, The Futurism of Young Asia, nationalism, aesthetic theory, art-appreciation, art appraisal, India, race-ideals, fine arts

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