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14 - Art and Aesthetic Theory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 October 2019

Alexander Broadie
Affiliation:
University of Glasgow
Craig Smith
Affiliation:
University of Glasgow
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Summary

Driven above all by the desire to reconcile aesthetic and moral value, Scottish philosophers, poets and artists made essential contributions to eighteenth-century aesthetics and art theory. This essay examines some of the key moments in the history of Scottish aesthetics from the 1720s to the early years of the nineteenth century. In particular, it surveys the ways in which Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, George Turnbull, Allan Ramsay, Lord Kames, William Duff, Alexander Gerard, Thomas Reid, Archibald Alison and Dugald Stewart debated the respective roles of the senses, reason and the imagination in the appreciation of beauty; asked whether beauty is in the object or the subject; pondered the relationship between virtue, wealth and aesthetic judgement; and considered the existence of a universal standard of taste.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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