THE SENSE OF BEAUTY: A FIRST APPROXIMATION It is generally acknowledged that during the first half of the eighteenth century a profound change was wrought in the theory of art and natural beauty. To this period we owe the establishment of the modem system of the arts. 1 In England, the notion of a separate and autonomous disci pline devoted solely to art and to beauty came into being through the concept of "aesthetic disinterestedness. " 2 In addition, emphasis in the theory of art shifted from object to subject - from the work of art to the perceiver and critic. Focal point for this change was the sense of beauty which, in concert with the moral sense of the British school, represented a dominant force in Enlightenment value theory. It is Francis Hutcheson who, more than anyone else, can be thought of as the founder and principal spokesman of this philosophical coterie. If the aesthetic sense was instrumental in the transfer of interest, in the philosophy of art, from object to perceiver, the aesthetic and moral senses together were no less important in a parallel transference of value judgment from the rational to the sensate.