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Hegel on the Modern Arts


Part of Modern European Philosophy

  • Date Published: February 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107499669

£ 21.99

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About the Authors
  • Debates over the 'end of art' have tended to obscure Hegel's work on the arts themselves. Benjamin Rutter opens this study with a defence of art's indispensability to Hegel's conception of modernity; he then seeks to reorient discussion toward the distinctive values of painting, poetry, and the novel. Working carefully through Hegel's four lecture series on aesthetics, he identifies the expressive possibilities particular to each medium. Thus, Dutch genre scenes animate the everyday with an appearance of vitality; metaphor frees language from prose; and Goethe's lyrics revive the banal routines of love with imagination and wit. Rutter's important study reconstructs Hegel's view not only of modern art but of modern life and will appeal to philosophers, literary theorists, and art historians alike.

    • Draws on all four lecture series from 1820, 1823, 1826, and the unpublished series of 1828
    • Adduces new evidence establishing the indispensability of modern art on Hegel's view, resolving the longstanding debate over 'the end of art'
    • Moves beyond the limits of the 'end of art' debate to engage Hegel's views of the distinctive values of painting and literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Until now, there has been no systematic book that elucidates Hegel's detailed accounts of exactly how works in the various media of art present freedom sensuously. Benjamin Rutter has written a wonderfully illuminating study - an indispensable book - that fills this gap and establishes Hegel as arguably the single most important modern theorist of the arts.' Richard Eldridge, Swarthmore College

    '[W]ithout doubt the most important study of Hegel's conception of modern art published to date. It is also one of the best books on Hegel's aesthetics altogether … Rutter develops original and perceptive interpretations of (Hegel's views on) Dutch painting, lyric poetry and virtuosity in art, and he combines, in an exemplary manner, a subtle attention to philosophical distinctions with an equally subtle attention to specific works of art … [H]e has written one of the very best books in any language on Hegel's aesthetics.' Stephen Houlgate, British Journal for the History of Philosophy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107499669
    • length: 298 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The problem of a modern art
    2. Painting life
    3. The values of virtuosity
    4. The lyric
    5. Modern literature

  • Author

    Benjamin Rutter
    Benjamin Rutter teaches English at Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, New York. His research interests include German Idealism, contemporary analytic aesthetics, and the philosophy of criticism. This is his first book.

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