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Ohio University Press
Placing Aesthetics: Reflections On Philosophic Tradition / Edition 1

Placing Aesthetics: Reflections On Philosophic Tradition / Edition 1

by Robert E. Wood


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Examining select high points in the speculative tradition from Plato and Aristotle through the Middle Ages and German tradition to Dewey and Heidegger, Placing Aesthetics seeks to locate the aesthetic concern within the larger framework of each thinker's philosophy.

In Professor Robert Wood's study, aesthetics is not peripheral but rather central to the speculative tradition and to human existence as such. In Dewey's terms, aesthetics is “experience in its integrity.” Its personal ground is in “the heart,” which is the dispositional ground formed by genetic, cultural , and personal historical factors by which we are spontaneously moved and, in turn, are inclined to move, both practically and theoretically, in certain directions.

Prepared for use by the student as well as the philosopher, Placing Aesthetics aims to recover the fullness of humanness within a sense of the fullness of encompassing Being. It attempts to overcome the splitting of thought, even in philosophy, into exclusive specializations and the fracturing of life itself into theoretical, practical, and emotive dimensions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780821412817
Publisher: Ohio University Press
Publication date: 03/15/2000
Series: Series In Continental Thought Series , #26
Edition description: 1
Pages: 429
Sales rank: 780,889
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Robert E. Wood, chair and professor of philosophy at the University of Dallas, is editor of American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly and author of Martin Buber's Ontology and A Path into Metaphysics.

Table of Contents

I.Introduction: Fine Art and the Field of Experience1
The Threefold Structure of the Field of Experience2
The Manifold Forms of Art14
A Preliminary Descriptive System of the Fine Arts18
Phenomenological, Hermeneutic, and Dialogic Approaches30
Art in the Purged City36
The Center of Order44
The Treatment of Art in the Republic52
The Ladder of Ascent to Beauty Itself57
A Brief Excursus: Plato and Wright on Architecture69
Meanings of the Term Art71
Nature Illumined by Art: Plato and Aristotle75
Art as Imitation77
Division of the Performing Arts82
The Definition of Tragedy84
IV.Plotinus and the Latin Middle Ages95
Aquinas among the Latin Medievals102
Critique of Pure Reason118
Critique of Practical Reason123
Critique of Judgment126
The Beautiful128
The Sublime136
Art and Genius140
Nature's Ultimate and Final Purpose143
Epilogue: Hume's Notion of Aesthetic Community152
Hegel, Enlightenment, and Christianity159
The Starting Point of the Hegelian System163
The Development of the System166
The Nature of Art172
The Basic Stages and Forms of Art176
A Synthesis of Kant, Plato, and the Indian Tradition187
The World as Will and Representation189
Aesthetic Experience and the Work of Art194
The Forms of Art196
Nietzsche's Horizon203
Nietzsche's Aesthetics216
Overcoming the Platonic Splits232
Overcoming the Cartesian Splits234
Further Modifications of Traditional Notions241
Dewey's Aesthetics246
Situating Heidegger263
"The Origin of the Work of Art"272
What Is a Thing?274
Philosophy, Science, Art, and the Lifeworld280
The Sensory Field305
The Cultural World310
AppendixOn Sculptural Production329
Index of Names407
Subject Index410

What People are Saying About This

Robert Sokolowski

This comprehensive and insightful book is written in a distinctive style.... an excellent example of how one can think philosophically by absorbing the categories and insights of major thinkers and giving them a turn or a reformulation that permits their truth to come to life in a contemporary vocabulary....It is a rich and impressive harvest and has much to offer the reader. The book follows its own precepts: in it, classical texts are displayed in a manner that speaks to the heart as well as the mind.
— Robert Sokolowski, The Catholic University of America, Philosphy and Phenomenological Research

Jude P. Dougherty

This is obviously the work of a mature scholar, one who is equally at home in both the classical and modern worlds....At one level this extraordinary analysis of the history of aesthetics is a tour de force...One puts this book down with the conviction that one has encountered a world-class intellect.
— Jude P. Dougherty, The Catholic University of America Editor, The Review of Metaphysics

William Desmond

This book is an exploration, well written, intelligently organized, thoughtfully executed, of the importance of art, both in and for the philosophical tradition.... There will be something important for artists as well as philosophers in this impressive book.
— William Desmond, Katholiek Universiteit Leuven

Hugh Bredin

Placing Aesthetics is a history of philosophy and a history of aesthetics rolled into one, presented with an admirable degree of liveliness, insight, and accuracy...We are constantly the freshness and sharpness of the history of philosophy when examined from this perspective.
— Hugh Bredin, Queen's University of Belfast, American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Joseph Koterski

Wood is ever faithful at staying remindful of the many real differences among the figures he studies and his own phenomenological inventory of the fundamental structures of experiencing a whole shows his ability to split with fine and accurate distinctions. Yet his heart, I think, has an affinity for unifying the history of philosophy so far as one legitimately can, and thus he can argue for placing aesthetics at the center of the unity he sees.
— Joseph Koterski, Fordham University Editor, International Philosophical Quarterly

Daniel O. Dahlstrom

Replete with insight and sage observation, written with passion yet intellectual command, Placing Aesthetics ably succeeds in doing what the author set out to do: locate a topos for aesthetics.

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