Beauty, Art, and the Polis (American Maritain Association Publications)

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9780966922622: Beauty, Art, and the Polis (American Maritain Association Publications)
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Introduction by Ralph McInerny

The essays in this volume, indebted in great part to Jacques Maritain and to other Neo-Thomists, represent a contribution to an understanding of beauty and the arts within the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition. As such they constitute a different voice in present-day discussions on beauty and aesthetics, a voice which nonetheless shares with many of its contemporaries concern over questions such as the relationship between beauty and morality, public funding of the arts and their educational role, objective and universal standards of what is beautiful.

In the tradition in which the contributors of this volume reflect, beauty manifests itself in the order of the universe, an order that provides human reason with a window onto the transcendent. For Aristotle and Aquinas the natural order grounds both art and morality, and yet it is this very order which has been called into question by modern science and philosophy. Instead of pointing us to a suprahuman order, the beautiful then points to the order of human freedom and creativity. Reflection on the beautiful since the modern philosopher Immanuel Kant has thus often taken a subjectivistic turn.

Because of the importance of beauty and art in human existence, in man's education and life as a moral and political being, an alternative should be sought to any reduction of the beautiful to a purely subjective experience or cultural construct. The Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition, in dialogue with modern and contemporary conceptions of the beautiful, provides us with just that alternative, and thus the essays herein represent a decisive step in the "journey for Thomistic aesthetics."

THE CONTRIBUTORS:

In addition to the editor, the contributors to the volume are: Brian J. Braman, Matthew Cuddeback, Christopher M. Cullen, S.J., Patrick Downey, Desmond J. FitzGerald, Donald Haggerty, Wayne H. Harter, Jeanne M. Heffernan, Thomas S. Hibbs, Gregory J. Kerr, Joseph W. Koterski, S.J., Daniel McInerny, Ralph McInerny, James P. Mesa, John F. Morris, Ralph Nelson, Katherine Anne Osenga, Carrie Rehak, Stephen Schloesser, S.J., Francis Slade, John G. Trapani, Jr., and Henk E. S. Woldring.

ABOUT THE EDITOR:

Alice Ramos is associate professor of philosophy at St. John's University.

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About the Author:

Alice Ramos is associate professor of philosophy at St. John’s University.

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