This title was first published in 2001. This book focuses on the rich web of interrelations between aesthetic and wider human concerns. Among topics explored are concepts of truth and falsity (within art and aesthetic experience generally), superficiality and depth in aesthetic appreciation of nature, moral beauty and ugliness, the projects of integrating a life, of fashioning a life as a work of art, experiments in the aesthetic re-working of the 'sacred', the role of imagination within religion and in our attempts to place and identify ourselves within the cosmos. The essays are both interlinked and distinct, allowing them to be read in any order, and providing useful themes for discussion groups and seminars. The author aims to arouse in the reader something of his enjoyment in unravelling the connections of ideas that come into view when one approaches aesthetics in its widest setting.
’Ronald Hepburn's work on aesthetics is always sensitive and often profound. Avoiding fashion and jargon, he never fails to take us to the heart of the aesthetic, and hence to the heart of human concern more generally.’ Anthony O'Hear '… a collection of ten sensitive and crafted essays…' Philosophy 'These richly detailed essays should not be missed. They offer a wealth of ideas from a long-established and important British philosopher.' Environmental Values 'These essays combine an unusuau sensitivity to the nuances of the aesthetic with a persistence in refining the multiple facets of the complex problems they examine… The Reach of the Aesthetic is an enticing invitation to accompany Hepurn as he presses the aesthetic farther afield and in new directions.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 'This collection of essays is thought provoking and well written…' British Journal of Aesthetics
Contents: Introduction; Trivial and serious in the aesthetic appreciation of nature; Truth, subjectivity and the aesthetic; Aesthetic and moral: links and limits. Part I; Aesthetic and moral: links and limits. Part II; Life and life-enhancement as key concepts of aesthetics; Religious imagination; Aesthetic and religious: boundaries, overlaps and intrusions; Restoring the sacred: sacred as a concept of aesthetics; Data and theory in aesthetics: philosophical understanding and misunderstanding; Values and cosmic imagination; Index.
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