The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas / Edition 1

The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas / Edition 1

by Umberto Eco
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674006763

ISBN-13: 9780674006768

Pub. Date: 10/15/1988

Publisher: Harvard University Press

The well-known Italian semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco discloses for the first time to English-speaking readers the unsuspected richness, breadth, complexity, and originality of the aesthetic theories advanced by the influential medieval thinker Thomas Aquinas, heretofore known principally as a scholastic theologian. Inheriting his basic ideas and conceptions

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Overview

The well-known Italian semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco discloses for the first time to English-speaking readers the unsuspected richness, breadth, complexity, and originality of the aesthetic theories advanced by the influential medieval thinker Thomas Aquinas, heretofore known principally as a scholastic theologian. Inheriting his basic ideas and conceptions of art and beauty from the classical world, Aquinas transformed or modified these ideas in the light of Christian theology and of developments in metaphysics and optics during the thirteenth century.

Setting the stage with an account of the vivid aesthetic and artistic sensibility that flourished in medieval times, Eco examines Aquinas's conception of transcendental beauty, his theory of aesthetic perception or visio, and his account of the three conditions of beauty--integrity, proportion, and clarity--that, centuries later, emerged again in the writings of the young James Joyce. He examines the concrete application of these theories in Aquinas's reflections on God, mankind, music, poetry, and scripture. He discusses Aquinas's views on art and compares his poetics with Dante's. In a final chapter added to the second Italian edition, Eco examines how Aquinas's aesthetics came to be absorbed and superseded in late medieval times and draws instructive parallels between Thomistic methodology and contemporary structuralism. As the only book-length treatment of Aquinas's aesthetics available in English, this volume should interest philosophers, medievalists, historians, critics, and anyone involved in poetics, aesthetics, or the history of ideas.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674006768
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
10/15/1988
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
0.67(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Translator's Note

Aesthetics in Medieval Culture

Historiography

The Medieval Aesthetic Sensibility

Thomas Aquinas

The Possibility of Aesthetic Pleasure

Plan of the Research

Beauty as a Transcendental

The Problem

The Aesthetic Vision of Things

Aquinas's Texts

Modern Interpretations

Beauty as a Transcendental in Thirteenth-Century Philosophy

The Function and Nature of the Aesthetic Visio

The Problem

Medieval Texts

Aquinas's Texts

The Aesthetic Visio

Intellectual Intuition in Aquinas

The Formal Criteria of Beauty

The Texts

The Concept of Form

Proportion: The Historical Data

The Concept of Proportion in Aquinas

Integritas

Claritas: The Historical Data

Claritas in Aquinas

Concrete Problems and Applications

The Beauty of the Son of God

The Beauty of Mankind

The Beauty of Music

Play and Playful Verse

The Symbolical Attitude

Universal Allegory

Scriptural and Poetic Allegory

Aquinas's Theory of Allegory

Didactic Parabolism

A Thomist Poetics

Aquinas and Dante

The Theory of Art

Art and Invention

The Ontology of Artistic Form

Artistic Form and the Aesthetic

On the Possible Autonomy of the Fine Arts

The Ambiguity of Art's Autonomy

Judgment and the Aesthetic Visio

The Function of the Aesthetic Visio

The Nature of the Aesthetic Visio

Conclusion

The Central Aporia in Aquinas's Aesthetics

The Dissolution of the Concept of Form in Post-Thomistic Scholasticism

Aesthetic Categories and Medieval Society

Thomistic Methodology and Structuralist Methodology

Notes

Bibliography

Glossary

Index

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