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The British Aesthetic Tradition
From Shaftesbury to Wittgenstein

$23.99 (P)

  • Date Published: March 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521734486

$ 23.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The British Aesthetic Tradition: From Shaftesbury to Wittgenstein is the first single volume to offer readers a comprehensive and systematic history of aesthetics in Britain and the United States from its inception in the early eighteenth century to major developments in the late twentieth century. The book consists of an introduction and eight chapters, and is divided into three parts. The first part, The Age of Taste, covers the eighteenth-century approaches of internal sense theorists, imagination theorists, and associationists. The second, The Age of Romanticism, takes readers from debates over the picturesque through British Romanticism to late Victorian criticism. The third, The Age of Analysis, covers early twentieth-century theories of Formalism and Expressionism to conclude with Wittgenstein and a number of views inspired by his thought.

    • First book to offer a concise, systematic history of the British/American tradition of aesthetics from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries
    • Covers a great deal of material from philosophy and literature to art and art history, concentrating on primary literature
    • Accessible to those without a detailed or technical background in philosophy, making it suitable for readers from a range of academic disciplines
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Costelloe's fine book splendidly refutes the alleged 'dreariness' of aesthetics. Uniquely, it welds the reflections of both artists and philosophers into a single continuous narrative, incorporating figures as diverse as Wordsworth and Wittgenstein."
    Gordon Graham, Princeton Theological Seminary

    "Timothy Costelloe's The British Aesthetic Tradition does what no other book I can think of does with respect to the history of aesthetics: it constructs a plausible and reliable context for reading works by Shaftesbury or Kames, say, alongside works by Frank Sibley or Ludwig Wittgenstein. Although the book is aware of a wider tradition outside the borders of Anglophone writing on the arts, it turns out that Costelloe's close focus on the British tradition yields considerable rewards. This book is set to become standard reading for courses on aesthetics."
    Peter de Bolla, University of Cambridge

    "The British Aesthetic Tradition is an important new study of the development of the discipline of aesthetics in the English-speaking world, forging connections hitherto unacknowledged, such as the relation between the eighteenth-century philosophers of taste and the Romantics. Tracing the story of aesthetics through Wittgenstein, Costelloe has constructed a narrative that will be admired and debated for decades. A singular achievement."
    Noel Carroll, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

    "[The British Aesthetic Tradition] articulates a line of inquiry that offers a capacious and suggestive account of how modern and eighteenth-century British aesthetics can be understood within a long and at times contentious tradition."
    Theresa M. Kelley, Modern Philology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521734486
    • length: 360 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: a brief history of 'aesthetics'
    Part I. The Age of Taste:
    1. Internal sense theorists
    2. Imagination theorists
    3. Associationist theorists
    Part II. The Age of Romanticism:
    4. The picturesque
    5. Wordsworth and the early Romantics
    6. Victorian criticism
    Part III. The Age of Analysis:
    7. Theories of expression
    8. Wittgenstein and afterwards.

  • Author

    Timothy M. Costelloe, College of William and Mary, Virginia
    Timothy M. Costelloe is Associate Professor of Philosophy at The College of William and Mary. In 2003 and 2006 he was a Humboldt Fellow at Maximilians-Universität München, Germany. He is author of Aesthetics and Morals in the Philosophy of David Hume (2007) and editor of The Sublime: From Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and his work has appeared in a variety of edited collections and scholarly journals.

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