Essays in the Philosophy of Art
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Published posthumously in 1964, this volume contains a fantastic collection of essays by R. G. Collingwood on the subject of art and it's relationship with philosophy. Robin George Collingwood, FBA (1889 – 1943) was an English historian, philosopher, and archaeologist most famous for his philosophical works including “The Principles of Art” (1938) and the posthumously-published “The Idea of History” (1946). This fascinating volume will appeal to those with an interest in Collingwood's seminal work, and is not to be missed by students of philosophy and art. Contents include: “Ruskin not a Philosophical Writer”, “Ruskin's Attitude towards Philosophy”, “On the Philosophy of Non-Philosophers”, “Logicism and Historicism”, “Ruskin as Historicist”, “The Anti-Historicism of Ruskin's Contemporaries”, “The Unity of the Spirit: Corollaries and Illustrations”, “Ruskin and Browning”, etc. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive. It is with this in mind that we are republishing this volume today in an affordable, modern edition complete with a specially-commissioned new biography of the author.



Publié par
Date de parution 16 octobre 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781528766845
Langue English

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Essays in the Philosophy of Art
Copyright 2017 Read Books Ltd.
This book is copyright and may not be
reproduced or copied in any way without
the express permission of the publisher in writing
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the
British Library
R. G. Collingwood
Robin George Collingwood was born on 22 nd February 1889, in Cartmel, England. He was the son of author, artist, and academic, W G. Collingwood.
Collingwood attended Rugby School before enrolling at University College, Oxford, where he received a congratulatory first class honours for reading Greats. He became a fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, and remained there for 15 years until he was offered the post of Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford. He was greatly influenced by the Italian Idealists Croce, Gentile, and Guido de Ruggiero. Another important influence was his father, a professor of fine art and a student of Ruskin.
Collingwood produced The Principles of Art in 1938, outlining the concept of art as being essentially expressions of emotion. He claimed that it was a necessary function of the human mind and considered it an important collaborative activity. He also published other works of philosophy, such as Speculum Mentis (1924), An Essay on Philosophic Method (1933), An Essay on Metaphysics (1940), and many more. In 1940, he published The First Mate s Log , an account of a sailing trip he undertook with some of his students in the Mediterranean.
Collingwood died at Coniston, Lancashire on January 1943, after a series of debilitating strokes.
Essays in the Philosophy of Art
Ruskin s Philosophy
1 Ruskin not a Philosophical Writer
2 Ruskin s Attitude towards Philosophy
3 On the Philosophy of Non-Philosophers
4 Logicism and Historicism
5 Ruskin as Historicist
6 The Anti-Historicism of Ruskin s Contemporaries
7 The Unity of the Spirit: Corollaries and Illustrations
8 Ruskin and Browning
9 Conclusion
Outlines of a Philosophy of Art
Author s Preface
1 The General Nature of Art
1 The Problem
2 Art in its Generic Nature
3 Art in its Specific Nature: Theoretically, as Imagination
4 The Primitiveness of Art
5 Art in its Specific Nature: Practically, as the Pursuit of Beauty
6 The Monadism of Art
7 Art in its Specific Nature: Emotionally, as the Enjoyment of Beauty
2 The Forms of Beauty
8 The Forms of Beauty
9 The Sublime
10 The Comic
11 The Beautiful
3 The Beauty of Nature
12 The Imaginary Object and the Real Object
13 Inspiration
14 Nature
15 The Beauty of Nature
16 The Forms of Natural Beauty
4 The Work of Art
17 The Birth of Art
18 The Work of Art in its Immaturity
19 Formal Art
20 Naturalistic Art
21 Imaginative Art
5 The Life of Art
22 The Work of Art and the Life of Art
23 Genius and Taste: The Classics
24 The Revolt against the Classics
25 The Life of Art in its Freedom
6 Art and the Life of the Spirit
26 The Life of the Spirit: Art and Religion
27 Science, History, Philosophy
28 The Unity of the Spiritual Life
29 The Mortality and Immortality of Art
30 Art and its History
Suggestions for Further Study
Plato s Philosophy of Art
The Place of Art in Education
Form and Content in Art
The spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of the original publication has been in every case preserved, save for the correction of evident misprints and for the bringing of quotation conventions into uniformity. For purposes of reference, the original pagination is given in parentheses at the top of the left-hand pages throughout the book.
Essays in the Philosophy of Art
Ruskin s Philosophy
To many of you, and those not the least acquainted with the works of Ruskin, the title of my address must seem a paradox. These works, taken as a whole, form an encyclopaedia in which painting, architecture and poetry stand side by side with history, geography and geology, politics and economics, studies in bird-flight and flower-growth, in perspective and prosody. Each of these subjects in turn, and many others, Ruskin made his own and seldom failed to illuminate with fresh observation. The time is long past when he could be regarded as an art-critic who strayed beyond his province to dabble in political economy, and past no less, I hope and believe, is the time when he could be regarded as a social reformer who wasted his youth in art-criticism. To-day we must look at Ruskin as a whole or not at all.
But, looking at him as a whole, and considering what I have called the encyclopaedia of his works, we find that it is an encyclopaedia with a gap. All the arts and almost all the sciences are passed in review; but there is no treatise, however small, on philosophy. The apparent exceptions to this rule only serve to prove it. In the second volume of Modern Painters an attempt is made to place the new art-criticism on a philosophical basis, and a theory of art is elaborated, based on a theory of the human mind. It is quite clear to any careful reader that the author, fresh from his Oxford readings in Locke and the Scottish psychologists, felt called upon by the importance of the occasion to assume the philosopher s gown, and did so with youthful solemnity. But the doctrine of the Theoretic Faculty is not Ruskin s philosophy of art; its existence is due to influences from which he had not yet shaken himself free; and its place in Modern Painters is not structural but ornamental. Those writers who have quoted it as Ruskin s contribution to aesthetics 1 have only succeeded in demonstrating their ignorance of his work as a whole.
Another exception that proves the rule is the little paper read before the Metaphysical Society in 1871 and entitled The Range of Intellectual Conception proportioned to the Rank in Animated Life (On The Old Road; Works , 34, 107-111). Here, certainly, is an attempt at a philosophical essay, but a strikingly unsuccessful one; the author has evidently been asked to write a paper for the Metaphysical Society, has cudgelled his brains for something to say, and has found nothing.
With these exceptions, each due to external and rather unsympathetic influence, and each an entire failure, Ruskin never wrote a philosophical work at all; for such a book as Ethics of the Dust is not philosophy but morals, a quite different thing. We may say, therefore, that though he wrote books about everything else he never wrote one on philosophy.
Further, you doubtless recall passages in which he refers to philosophy and philosophers; and, if so, you will remember that the tone of these references is almost always hostile and contemptuous. I could quote you a dozen such passages; but perhaps the most instructive is that in the third volume of Modern Painters ( Works , 5, 333-334) where he contrasts seers and thinkers to the great disadvantage of the latter: laying down that metaphysicians and philosophers are, on the whole, the greatest troubles the world has got to deal with. The metaphysician, it appears, is a greater plague to mankind than even the tyrant or the idler; for while these may in certain circumstances be a blessing in disguise, the metaphysician never does anything except clog with his cobwebs the fine wheels of the world s business.
The reason why this passage is valuable is that Ruskin has appended a footnote in the following terms.
Observe, I do not speak thus of metaphysics because I have no pleasure in them. When I speak contemptuously of philology, it may be answered me that I am a bad scholar; but I cannot be so answered touching metaphysics, for everyone conversant with such subjects may see that I have strong inclination that way, which would, indeed, have led me far astray, long ago, if I had not learned also some use of my hands, eyes, and feet.
This passage, together with others like it, shows us three things: first, that Ruskin had read a certain amount of philosophy; second, that he felt a strong natural bent in the direction of that study; and third, that he nevertheless looked upon philosophy as a futile and dangerous pursuit, which it was his duty to avoid.
This, then, is the paradox to which I referred at the outset: that Ruskin not only never wrote on philosophy, but actually avoided it, with a deliberation due not to indifference but to reasoned hostility. And yet I am addressing you on the subject of Ruskin s philosophy.
To speak of his philosophical studies is clearly not enough. We know that at Oxford he read the old-fashioned logic, and disliked it; some Aristotle, partly with great admiration and partly with equal annoyance; some Plato; and some of the moderns-Bacon, Locke, Dugald Stewart and Thomas Brown. 2 Later, we find him reading German metaphysics, and coming to the conclusion that the Germans were very bad metaphysicians; 3 but he never tackled the greater German idealists, except for one dubious attempt-instigated no doubt by Carlyle-to read Fichte, 4 out of whom he got nothing. Plato alone he read and re-read, loved and revered, to the end of his life.
All these facts would seem to suggest that Ruskin did indeed read a little philosophy, just as he read a little of everything else; that he was good at it in his undergraduate days, just as he was good at mathematics; but that it was a study he never pursued seriously. He never mastered the first rudiments of modern idealism; he never re

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