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This essay tells one strand of a story in which philosophies of happiness and arts of love mixed and mingled— in both philosophical and literary traditions. The very idea of a philosophical art of love leads us back to Ovid, whose Ars amatoria (Art of Love, composed c. 2 CE) plays upon a vigorous tradition of instruction about love (“erotodidaxis”) already existing across the discourses of elegy, philosophy, drama and erotic treatise. As scholars have long noted, in Ovid's hands— and with his signature irony— erotic instruction engages in political and ethical questions as much as amatory matters. In contrast to the genre of the love elegy, Ovid's Ars amatoria does not create an opposition between love and civil life, but rather “sets up love as a serious ethical concern” (Green 2006, 7). Ovid portrays sexual pleasure as the root of human civilization and the height of fulfillment— the highest reward for self- knowledge. The Latin and vernacular literature of Western Europe in the later Middle Ages inherited Ovid's version of the erotodidactic tradition, and this essay explores some medieval transformations of the “art of love” as they relate to discourses of happiness. Ovid's Ars amatoria itself was widely read, commented upon and variously adapted and translated into Western European vernaculars (Minnis 2001, 35–81). I am most interested here in the absorption of Ovidian erotodidaxis into philosophical discourse.
A striking example of such absorption occurs in the twelfth century, when Andreas Capellanus wrote a widely circulated Latin treatise, De amore, clearly modeled to some extent on Ovid's text, with the narrator adopting the pose of the praeceptor amoris. The De amore— a treatise partly in the form of a scholastic quaestio dedicated to another man on the subject of heterosexual love and possibly written at the request of Marie de Champagne in the 1180s— had wide enough (and controversial enough) circulation to be included in a list of condemned texts by the bishop of Paris in 1277; Andreas's work is one piece of evidence among many that the genre of the “art of love” had already been assimilated to the forms of scholastic philosophy.
Responding to the lively resurgence of literary formalism, this volume delivers a timely and fresh exploration of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. Advancing 'new formalist' approaches, medieval scholars have begun to ask what happens when structure fails to yield meaning, probing the very limits of poetic organization. While Chaucer is acknowledged as a master of form, his work also foregrounds troubling questions about formal agency: the disparate forces of narrative and poetic practice, readerly reception, intertextuality, genre, scribal attention, patronage, and historical change. This definitive collection of essays offers diverse perspectives on Chaucer and a varied analysis of these problems, asking what happens when form is resisted by author or reader, when it fails by accident or by design, and how it can be misleading, errant, or even dangerous.
In 2012, Massachusetts enacted school competitive food and beverage standards similar to national Smart Snacks. These standards aim to improve the nutritional quality of competitive snacks. It was previously demonstrated that a majority of foods and beverages were compliant with the standards, but it was unknown whether food manufacturers reformulated products in response to the standards. The present study assessed whether products were reformulated after standards were implemented; the availability of reformulated products outside schools; and whether compliance with the standards improved the nutrient composition of competitive snacks.
An observational cohort study documenting all competitive snacks sold before (2012) and after (2013 and 2014) the standards were implemented.
The sample included thirty-six school districts with both a middle and high school.
After 2012, energy, saturated fat, Na and sugar decreased and fibre increased among all competitive foods. By 2013, 8 % of foods were reformulated, as were an additional 9 % by 2014. Nearly 15 % of reformulated foods were look-alike products that could not be purchased at supermarkets. Energy and Na in beverages decreased after 2012, in part facilitated by smaller package sizes.
Massachusetts’ law was effective in improving the nutritional content of snacks and product reformulation helped schools adhere to the law. This suggests fully implementing Smart Snacks standards may similarly improve the foods available in schools nationally. However, only some healthier reformulated foods were available outside schools.
In autumn 2012, Massachusetts schools implemented comprehensive competitive food and beverage standards similar to the US Department of Agriculture’s Smart Snacks in School standards. We explored major themes raised by food-service directors (FSD) regarding their school-district-wide implementation of the standards.
For this qualitative study, part of a larger mixed-methods study, compliance was measured via direct observation of foods and beverages during school site visits in spring 2013 and 2014, calculated to ascertain the percentage of compliant products available to students. Semi-structured interviews with school FSD conducted in each year were analysed for major implementation themes; those raised by more than two-thirds of participating school districts were explored in relationship to compliance.
Massachusetts school districts (2013: n 26; 2014: n 21).
Data collected from FSD.
Seven major themes were raised by more than two-thirds of participating school districts (range 69–100 %): taking measures for successful transition; communicating with vendors/manufacturers; using tools to identify compliant foods and beverages; receiving support from leadership; grappling with issues not covered by the law; anticipating changes in sales of competitive foods and beverages; and anticipating changes in sales of school meals. Each theme was mentioned by the majority of more-compliant school districts (65–81 %), with themes being raised more frequently after the second year of implementation (range increase 4–14 %).
FSD in more-compliant districts were more likely to talk about themes than those in less-compliant districts. Identified themes suggest best-practice recommendations likely useful for school districts implementing the final Smart Snacks in School standards, effective July 2016.
Jessica Rosenfeld provides a history of the ethics of medieval vernacular love poetry by tracing its engagement with the late medieval reception of Aristotle. Beginning with a history of the idea of enjoyment from Plato to Peter Abelard and the troubadours, the book then presents a literary and philosophical history of the medieval ethics of love, centered on the legacy of the Roman de la Rose. The chapters reveal that 'courtly love' was scarcely confined to what is often characterized as an ethic of sacrifice and deferral, but also engaged with Aristotelian ideas about pleasure and earthly happiness. Readings of Machaut, Froissart, Chaucer, Dante, Deguileville and Langland show that poets were often markedly aware of the overlapping ethical languages of philosophy and erotic poetry. The study's conclusion places medieval poetry and philosophy in the context of psychoanalytic ethics, and argues for a re-evaluation of Lacan's ideas about courtly love.
Historians have traditionally credited the 1277 condemnations of “radically Aristotelian” theses with marking a shift in focus in scholastic philosophy at the close of the thirteenth century. Aristotle's emphasis on contemplation as the highest kind of happiness allowed for occasionally dangerous-seeming claims about the role of the intellect as a privileged faculty of the soul, or the superiority of the life of the philosopher. In the wake of controversies surrounding the “intellectualist” understanding of happiness, theologians debated the emphasis on reason, teleology, and rational pleasure along with the relative roles of the will and the intellect as seats of enjoyment. John Duns Scotus, William Ockham, and other late thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century philosophers made reason the handmaiden of the will, questioned Aristotelian teleology, and continued debates about the nature of enjoyment as the highest good. While there is thus a true “anti-intellectualist” strain in the narrow sense of the intellect as a mental faculty, however, the period is not at all anti-philosophical or anti-Aristotelian. And “independent thinkers” such as Godfrey of Fontaines maintained an opposition to the condemnations of 1277, arguing for the superiority of the intellect over the will. Any resistance to overemphasis on the intellectual faculty may be described more justly as a critique of radical medieval Aristotelians rather than a critique of Aristotle himself.
A theologian directly affected by the condemnations – denied his licentia docendi because of controversial claims in his commentary on the Sentences – Giles of Rome went on directly to produce one of the most influential works of political Aristotelianism, his De Regimine Principum (c.1277–80).
The story of the impact of the late medieval Latin translation of Aristotle has been told and retold for the fields of medieval philosophy and theology. This book tells the story for the medieval English literature of love. The existence of such a narrative might seem unlikely, given the distance between the discourses of a highly specialized, university-centered, Latinate medieval philosophy and an entertainment-oriented, court-centered, vernacular poetry, but it is the late medieval configuration of ethics that brings these two worlds together. Medieval commentators considered poetry to be an ethical genre, typically referring to poetry's interest in human behavior and moral choices to justify this classification. As the field of philosophy constituted by both practical and abstract considerations of virtuous action, desire, and relationships, it is even now not terribly controversial to claim that moral philosophy is involved with the same kinds of human experience as poetry. Yet the medieval emphasis on love as a central ethical concern meant that – from the moment of the “birth” of the vernacular literature of love – philosophy and poetry were yoked together in often surprising ways by a shared language of longing, despair, pleasure, and union. Vernacular poetry constituted a site for thinking through ethical problems such as conflicting loyalties, conflicting emotions, and the necessity for self-sacrifice within the larger context of the pursuit of erotic enjoyment; clerkly ethical concerns with spiritual culpability and love of God were transformed and given voice in a context of pursuits of human justice, love, and happiness.
Narcissus was always “after Aristotle,” as my chapter title seems unnecessarily to remind us, but the succession was reversed for the Latin Middle Ages, in which Ovid preceded the Philosopher by centuries, at least in terms of textual reception. There are any number of reasons why we might seek to find out what happens to Narcissus – Ovid's Narcissus along with his avatars, the self-reflexive, self-sacrificing protagonists of much love poetry – after Aristotle is fully returned to medieval discourse. Aristotle was, after all, no critic of self-love. In the thirteenth century, both philosophy and poetry grappled with shifting understandings of earthly and divine love, physical and intellectual pleasure, and human happiness. The Aristotelianism that came to dominate scholastic discourse in this period with the full translation and dissemination of most of the philosopher's works into Latin did not leave medieval understandings of love untouched. I concentrate below on the way that Aristotle's ethical writings transformed both poetic and philosophical understandings of love, taking as my focus the Roman de la Rose of Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun. An examination of thirteenth-century Aristotelianism in this light will allow us to add another facet to our reading of Jean's transformation of Guillaume's Rose, to the poetic legacy of the conjoined text, and also to our understanding of the developing traditions of vernacular love poetry.