What do we mean when we praise a landscape, a painting, a piece of music or a person as ‘beautiful’? Does this word have a single meaning, and does it denote a single value? Why do we describe the object of sexual attraction using the same term that we use to describe a successful work of art? What is, and what ought to be, the place of beauty in the hierarchy of values, and how is it related to moral, political and personal ideals?
Those are just some of the questions that will be covered in this stimulating course, covering some of the groundwork of philosophical aesthetics, as well as problems and arguments in the philosophy of mind. We shall look at what has been said about beauty by the great philosophers, and also at what it is possible to say about it now.
Prof. Roger Scruton is the UK’s leading conservative philosopher. He has published several outstanding books in this area, including:
Art and Imagination,
The Aesthetic Understanding,
The Aesthetics of Architecture,
The Aesthetics of Music,
Death-Devoted Heart: Sex and the Sacred in Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde.