Art, Myth and Society in Hegel’s Aesthetics


This book returns to the student transcripts of Hegel’s lectures on aesthetics, which have yet to be translated into English and in some cases remain unpublished. David James develops the idea that these transcripts show that Hegel was primarily interested in understanding art as an historical phenomenon and, more specifically, in terms of its role in the ethical life of various peoples.

This involves relating Hegel’s aesthetics to his philosophies of right and history, rather than to his logic or metaphysics. The book thus offers a thorough re-evaluation of Hegel’s aesthetics and its relation to his theory of objective spirit, exposing the ways in which Hegel’s views on this subject are anchored in his reflections on history and on different forms of ethical life.


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