Archive | September 2014

Early Modern Aesthetics: Sources

One of my goals in Early Modern Aesthetics is to consider sources that are often overlooked in other histories of aesthetics and in general accounts of the philosophy of art during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Some of the texts I’ve been reading over the course of the last few months have been fascinating (Diderot, Lessing), while others have been very challenging (Mersenne, Rameau). Many of them are available online, so I’ve posted links to primary texts and English translations below. Enjoy!

Isaac Beeckman, Journal (1604-1634)
Daniel Heinsius, On Plot in Tragedy (1611)
René Descartes, Compendium of Music (1618/1650)
Henry Wotton, Elements of Architecture (1624)
Jacques Boyceau de la Baraudière, Treatise on Gardening According to the Rules of Nature and Art (1636)
Marin Mersenne, Harmonie Universelle (1636)
Franciscus Junius, The Painting of the Ancients (1637)
Peter Paul Rubens, On the Imitation of Statues (c. 1640)
Pierre Corneille, Three Discourses on Dramatic Poetry (1660)
Roland Fréart de Chambray, An Idea of the Perfection of Painting (1662)
Charles Perrault, On Painting (1668)
René Rapin, Reflections on Aristotle’s Poetics (1674)
Charles Perrault, Critique of the Opera (1674)
Charles Perrault, The Century of Louis the Great (1687)
Charles Perrault, Parallel of the Ancients and Moderns (1688-1697)
Bernarld Le Bovier de Fontenelle, Of Pastorals (1688)
William Temple, Essays on Ancient and Modern Learning (1690)
William Wotton, Reflections on Ancient and Modern Learning (1694)
Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy, De Arte Graphica (1695)
Charles Le Brun, Method to Learn to Design the Passions (1698)
Roger de Piles, The Art of Painting (1699)
John Dennis, The Advancement and Reformation of Modern Poetry (1701)
John Dennis, The Grounds of Criticism in Poetry (1704)
Anne Dacier, On the Causes of the Corruption of Taste (1714)
Jean-Philippe Rameau, Treatise on Harmony (1722)
Johann Christoph Gottsched, Critical Poetics (1730)
Alexander Baumgarten, Reflections on Poetry (1735)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dissertation on Modern Music (1736)
Johann Jakob Bodmer, On the Miraculous in Poetry (1740)
William Gilpin, A Dialogue of the Right Honorable the Lord Viscount Cobham (1748)
Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Discourse on the Practice of Painting and its Main Processes (1752)
Jean le Rond d’Alembert, Elements of Music (1752)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Letter on French Music (1753)
Marc-Antoine Laugier, Essay on Architecture (1753)
Johann Joachim Winckelmann, Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks (1755/1756)
Julien-David LeRoy, The Ruins of the Most Beautiful Monuments of Ancient Greece (1758)
James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, The Antiquities of Athens (1762)
Winckelmann, Notes on the Architecture of the Ancients (1762)
Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Observations on the Letter of Monsieur Mariette (1765)
Johann Joachim Winckelmann, History of Ancient Art (1765)
Denis Diderot, Notes on Painting (1765)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Hamburg Dramaturgy (1767-1769)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dictionary of Music (1768)
Joshua Reynolds, Discourses on Art (1769-1790)
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, Fragments on Language and Poetics (1779)
Friedrich Schlegel, Dialogue on Poesy (1799)


Another Critique of Pure Reason

from Philosophy Matters

From Philosophy Matters

Philosophy & Philosophers Online

This spring I’ll be teaching the senior seminar for St. Mary’s philosophy department. I was considering requiring students to follow some philosophy blogs during the semester, to help them get a sense of what philosophy is like as an academic discipline. Recent events have led me to believe that would be a very bad idea. While there are many excellent philosophical blogs that would be appropriate for students to read, and it’s beneficial for students to understand the institutional conditions that affect philosophical discourse and practice, I don’t think the blogs dealing with professional issues would leave students with a good impression of the discipline. I want my students to see philosophers at their best, thoughtfully discussing important issues and treating their interlocutors with consideration and respect, even when they disagree. I’m afraid they’d see philosophy and philosophers at their cyber-bullying worst if they started following our professional discourse online.

Most of the posts on this blog are updates about my activities, rather than substantive discussions of philosophical and professional issues. That hasn’t always been the case and might not always be the case in the future. So, as a reference for myself, I’m going to link to 1) the page on the psychology of philosophy at Feminist Philosophers; 2) the comments policy at Daily Nous; 3) Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins ‘Day One’ post; and 4) David Chalmers’ guidelines for respectful, constructive, and inclusive philosophical discussion. I think these pages are useful reminders of the kinds of things I admire about philosophy and philosophers online.

Two Reviews of the Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics

So far I’ve seen two reviews of the Bloomsbury Anthology of Aesthetics (2012), which I co-edited with Joseph Tanke. The first, by Elizabeth Millán of DePaul University, was published in CHOICE. The second, by Yves Laberge of the University of Ottawa, appeared recently (in French) on the website of the Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy.

Both reviews are generally very positive, though they include some reasonable criticism of the brevity of the introductions and the lack of clarity about some of the publication dates. Joseph and I have just submitted a proposal to Bloomsbury outlining the changes we’d like to make to the second edition, so the reviewers’ feedback has been very helpful. Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see changed in the anthology!

We Will Crush You Ethically

I'm coaching St. Mary's ethics bowl team, so I made these pins. That's the kind of thing coaches do, right?

I’m coaching St. Mary’s ethics bowl team this year, so I made these pins for the team. They’re meant to be ironic and funny. I do not actually support crushing anyone. But, if I did, only the most ethical crushing would do.