Proposing a Casual Seminar

Richard Cocks and I have proposed to ourselves a summer reading project on the linked topics of aesthetics and kallistics.  We invite interested parties to join us, if they like.  The reading-list consists of four items chosen because of their germaneness to the two topics, but also because they are relatively short and mainly accessible to non-specialists, such as the two of us.  I give these four titles in the order in which we propose to read them. –

W. F. Hegel: Lectures on Aesthetics (1818)

 Plotinus: On Intellectual Beauty (circa 250 AD)

 Friedrich Schiller: Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man (1794)

 Plotinus: On the Three Initial Hypostases (circa 250 AD)

The curriculum is plastic.  Richard and I plan to have read Hegel’s Lectures by the middle of June.  We will write up a short summary of our discussion to be posted at The Orthosphere, with an invitation to comment.  We plan to have read Plotinus’ On Intellectual Beauty by the end of June, and so on, encompassing Schiller’s Letters and Plotinus’ On the Three Initial Hypostases, which is, notwithstanding its odd-sounding name, also concerned with beauty.

It strikes both Richard and me that beauty is central to the Traditional view of “life, the universe, and everything.”  It strikes us both that beauty is increasingly under attack in the postmodern dispensation, which either denies its existence or declares it to belong to the institutions of oppression.  We believe therefore that a concerted introductory study of aesthetics and kallistics will be useful to those who participate, especially insofar as it results in a better understanding of beauty as an objective and integral element or character in the order of being and the structure of reality.

The titles given above in bold green typescript are links to online versions of the four items.  I will be reading Hegel and Schiller in the convenient Penguin editions (in English translation); Richard will probably be reading Plotinus, as will I, again in the Penguin edition of the Enneads, in the translation by Stephen McKenna and B.S. Page.  The Penguin edition, while no longer in print, is easily available in second-hand copies.

 

21 thoughts on “Proposing a Casual Seminar

  1. Pingback: Proposing a Casual Seminar | @the_arv

    • Very good. You should prepare yourself to be patient with Hegel’s Lectures (there are five of them). Hegel is an historical thinker. The first four chapters rehearse the history of aesthetics, with the aim of salvaging what is salvageable in previous theories, while discarding what seems to Hegel as false or gratuitous. Hegel gets to his own theory in the Fifth and last of the Lectures. Nevertheless, the history is, itself, valuable and of no little interest.

  2. Dr. Bertonneau,

    Very much looking forward to this discussion. And then testing what I’ve learned against the horrors of the current Whitney Biennial 🙂 I hope this will lead to many more discussions of this important topic.

  3. Pingback: Proposing a Casual Seminar | Reaction Times

  4. The first two linked items are to downloadable pdf files. Which I like; I can read them in Acrobat and have them on file for future reference.

  5. I had a modern education, so I could use some help with some things.

    “Hegel” rhymes with “bagel”?

  6. Pingback: This Week In Reaction (2017/05/28) - Social Matter

  7. The first four chapters rehearse the history of aesthetics, with the aim of salvaging what is salvageable in previous theories, while discarding what seems to Hegel as false or gratuitous. Which I like; I can read them in Acrobat and have them on file for future reference.

    • Thank you. I have already posted my essay on Hegel. That was a couple of months ago (I think), but as the topic is perennial, no reply can really belated. I would like to read your reaction to the Hegel essay.

      Sincerely,

      TFB

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