This chapter deals with essential aspects of Kames's Elements of Criticism (1762). It focuses more on the underlying philosophical principles within Kames's general work rather than on a history of aesthetics. It discusses the definitions of emotions and passions, perception and conception, external and internal sense and the idea of intrinsic and relative beauty. It then shows the major elements of the organisation of the Elements of Criticism, especially the parts of rhetoric which were influential especially in North America well into the nineteenth century. The chapter finishes with a discussion of the reception of the Elements in Criticism, by discussing first the devastating review by Voltaire, and then by presenting the much more favourable reception in Germany and the United States.
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