Darwin and Prague Aesthetics: Towards the Acceptance of Darwinism in Central Europe



This article considers the uncommon situation surrounding the acceptance of Darwinism in nineteenth-century Bohemia, when the diffusion and interpretation of Darwin’s teachings were first undertaken, above all by two professors of aesthetics at Prague – Josef Durdík and Otakar Hostinský. Although they somewhat simplified the theory of natural selection, they understood Darwin’s theory to be the arrival of a new paradigm in contrast to contemporary biologists working in the Bohemian Lands. This article presents and compares both aestheticians’ interpretations of Darwinism, mainly their stance on the theory of natural selection, the possibilities of applying this theory to aesthetics and art, as well as their relationship to Darwin’s interpretation of aesthetic phenomena in nature.
  • Year: 2013
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 1
  • Page/Article: 81-120
  • DOI: 10.33134/eeja.104
  • Published on 15 May 2013
  • Peer Reviewed