By Leslie Ellen Brown
Through the Scottish Enlightenment the connection among aesthetics and ethics turned deeply ingrained: good looks was once the practical manifestation of advantage; the nice arts represented the activities of a virtuous brain; to deeply comprehend crafty and traditional attractiveness was once to spot with ethical good looks; and the cultured event used to be imperative in making price judgments. This booklet unearths the background of ways the Scots utilized the large panorama of ethical philosophy to the explicit territories of good looks - in nature, aesthetics and ethics - within the eighteenth century. the writer explores a wide selection of assets, from educational lectures and institutional list, to extra well known texts corresponding to newspapers and pamphlets, to teach how the concept that good looks and paintings made participants and society extra virtuous used to be increased and understood in Scottish society.
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Additional resources for Artful Virtue: The Interplay of the Beautiful and the Good in the Scottish Enlightenment
Deformity in a work of art clearly suggests a lack of moral judgment. The fortunes and feelings of crude heroes hold no interest, and confusing the line between good and evil never pleases. 10 Hume does accept that as individuals persons may differ in their sentiments, but moral principles are not matters of speculation and not readily overturned. , 169. Hume, Essays, 134. 6 Hume, Treatise, 574-5. , 472. 8 Hume, Enquiries, 213n. 9 Hume, Treatise, 608. 10 Hume, Essays, 252. 4 5 Virtue 33 George Turnbull’s Treatise on Ancient Painting, which delves into the topic of ethics nearly as much as it does into the history of art, preceded Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Discourses Delivered at the Royal Academy (1769-91) by several decades, though portions of the latter are much better known for packing a moral punch.
67 Gerard goes so far as to as designate this seventh sense as moving beyond “joint authority”: “our moral sense claims authority superior to all the rest. It renders morality the chief requisite; and where this is in any degree violated, no other qualities can atone for the transgression. ”68 Virtue is the supreme beauty. It is also the supreme internal sense, and in this regard, and at least for the time, Gerard plants a standard in the territory of sense theory, Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782)—advocate, appointee to both the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary, and curator of the Advocates’ Library—deserves recognition among those prominent Scottish literati who developed the discipline of aesthetics.
The bonus is that we receive pleasure in promoting it and sharing it widely. Civic virtue assumed many different faces, including but not limited to liberty, patriotism, and public welfare and security, and so it is not surprising that aesthetics are part of the scheme of the pursuit of public happiness. 27 Civic responsibility requires that a state should encourage praise of public art, and great works should be publicly displayed. In that way, the virtuous state cultivates a civic conception of beauty as a model of both artful genius and noble behavior.