Collingwood’s philosophy of art as a basis for virtue aesthetics.
thesisposted on 2021-06-08, 09:47 authored by David Collins
In this thesis I show how Aristotle’s approach to ethics can be applied to aesthetics in order to address normative concerns relating to practices of artistic creation and spectatorship, and how R. G. Collingwood’s philosophy of art provides an understanding of these practices that works as a basis for such an approach. I begin by discussing the connection between aesthetic and ethical normativity as found in the thought of various prominent philosophers, and review the contemporary work done in the name of ‘virtue aesthetics’. I then explicate Aristotle’s ethics, with a particular focus on his definition of virtue and his discussion of practical wisdom, and give an overview of Collingwood’s understanding of art and the role of imagination in artistic expression and understanding, before synthesizing the structure of Aristotle’s ethics with the content of Collingwood’s philosophy of art in order to arrive at an outline of a Collingwoodian virtue aesthetics.