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Hegel on the Modern Arts
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Debates over the 'end of art' have tended to obscure Hegel's work on the arts themselves. Benjamin Rutter opens this study with a defence of art's indispensability to Hegel's conception of modernity; he then seeks to reorient discussion toward the distinctive values of painting, poetry, and the novel. Working carefully through Hegel's four lecture series on aesthetics, he identifies the expressive possibilities particular to each medium. Thus, Dutch genre scenes animate the everyday with an appearance of vitality; metaphor frees language from prose; and Goethe's lyrics revive the banal routines of love with imagination and wit. Rutter's important study reconstructs Hegel's view not only of modern art but of modern life and will appeal to philosophers, literary theorists, and art historians alike.

Reviews

‘Until now, there has been no systematic book that elucidates Hegel's detailed accounts of exactly how works in the various media of art present freedom sensuously. Benjamin Rutter has written a wonderfully illuminating study - an indispensable book - that fills this gap and establishes Hegel as arguably the single most important modern theorist of the arts.'

Richard Eldridge - Swarthmore College

'[W]ithout doubt the most important study of Hegel’s conception of modern art published to date. It is also one of the best books on Hegel’s aesthetics altogether … Rutter develops original and perceptive interpretations of (Hegel’s views on) Dutch painting, lyric poetry and virtuosity in art, and he combines, in an exemplary manner, a subtle attention to philosophical distinctions with an equally subtle attention to specific works of art … [H]e has written one of the very best books in any language on Hegel’s aesthetics.'

Stephen Houlgate Source: British Journal for the History of Philosophy

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