The third Earl of Shaftesbury had generally been known as the forerunner of the Moral Sense school of philosophers in the eighteenth century. Surprisingly little attention had been paid to his importance for literature and yet undoubtedly this had been very great. Originally published in 1951, this study gives an account of Shaftesbury’s aesthetic and literary theory; his discussion of the imagination, ridicule, the aesthetic judgment and the sublime; and his anticipation of later writers such as Burke, Coleridge and Kant. It also considers Shaftesbury’s thought as part of the background of ideas in the Augustan period and his influence in such fields as literature, architecture and landscape gardening. In addition, the author assesses in more general terms Shaftesbury’s attempt to maintain a Platonic viewpoint that would be more congenial to poetry than Locke’s "new way of ideas".
Preface. 1. The Cambridge Platonists 2. The Life and Writings of Shaftesbury 3. Shaftesbury’s Philosophy 4. The Ancients and the Moderns 5. The Creative Imagination 6. The Aesthetic Judgement 7. The Sublime 8. The Doctrine of Ridicule 9. The Influence of Shaftesbury’s Thought 10. The Crisis of Reason. Appendix. Index.
This 13 volume set contains titles, originally published between 1949 and 1991. Focusing on eighteenth-century England it includes titles which examine novels, drama and poetry from the time. There are titles that discuss the literature in a historical, sociological and political context as well as from a feminist perspective. Other texts look at the language and structure used in literature and how it has evolved over time. This collection will be of interest to students of literature and literary theory.