By Leslie Ellen Brown
Throughout the Scottish Enlightenment the connection among aesthetics and ethics turned deeply ingrained: attractiveness used to be the practical manifestation of advantage; the high-quality arts represented the activities of a virtuous brain; to deeply comprehend crafty and typical attractiveness was once to spot with ethical attractiveness; and the cultured adventure was once crucial in making price judgments. This booklet unearths the background of the way the Scots utilized the colossal panorama of ethical philosophy to the categorical territories of attractiveness - in nature, aesthetics and ethics - within the eighteenth century. the writer explores a large choice of assets, from educational lectures and institutional list, to extra renowned texts comparable to newspapers and pamphlets, to teach how the concept that attractiveness and artwork made contributors 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
54 Reid, Lectures on the Fine Arts, 22. 55 Reid, Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man, 765. 50 51 The Senses 21 George Campbell (1719-96), one of the Aberdeen common sense philosophers, along with Reid, and a student of Turnbull who became principal of Marischal College, investigated the internal senses in his treatise on oratory, a very popular work that provides a systematic methodology as well as a great amount of detail in tying the oratorical arts to the various aspects of morals. It cannot surprise that, like his teacher, he grounds an entire discussion of a single art form on a sense of ethics, assuming a strong corollary between the beautiful and the good.
But our nature is so happily constituted, that distress, occasioned by the exercise of the social passions, is not an object of the smallest aversion to us, even when we reflect coolly and deliberately upon it. Self-love does not carry us to shun affliction of this sort. 47 What does not appear is perverseness. 49 The qualities of good painting, according to Turnbull, are initiated by the sense of virtue. Painting exists to convey the excellence and beauty of virtue and to expose vice, and to that end all worthy artworks become universal exemplars that require the co-presentation of what is beautiful and what is good.
29 Again like Turnbull, he identifies the forms of art as valuable tools for setting a high moral tone. His argument is made on behalf of theater and expressly waged against the criticism that the dramatic arts were irreligious. His case is also based on the idea of reform, arguing that the stage plays of the present are “purer” Turnbull, Treatise on Ancient Painting, 140. , 120. , 122. , 121. 29 Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History of Civil Society (Edinburgh, 1767), 282-3. 30 The tragic form compares favorably with the fable, as each has the same effect of sustaining a moral from beginning to end.