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Title: The aesthetics of George Santayana
Author: Wilkinson, Robert
ISNI:       0000 0001 3568 5079
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1974
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The aim of this thesis is to give a thorough exposition of Santayana's philosophy of art, with a critical commentary using the methods of analytical aesthetics. The subject of the first chapter is the thesis that beauty is objectified pleasure. It is argued that Santayana's views suggest an insight defensible by analytic techniques. The second chapter is concerned to expend Santayana's insights into the role of the materials of a work of art. Chapters III and IV are a consideration of his views on form and expression, respectively. The subjects reviewed are the classification of forms, the sources of pleasure in form, the nature of form, the nature of expression, tragedy, comedy and the sublime. Chapter V is concerned with Santayana's views on the nature and relation of poetry and religion. An outline of an analytic theory of poetry is offered in criticism. Chapter VI deals with the presuppositions of the aesthetics of the Life of Reason period, and with Santayana's view of the nature of art as emergent from instinctive action. Chapter VII is concerned with his views on the aesthetics of music, architecture, the artistic uses of language, painting and sculpture. Neglected insights are stressed, e.g. his theory of the nature of representation. The eighth chapter sets out Santayana's doctrine of the relation of art and morality. Chapter IX deals with late papers and passages on aesthetics reflecting the philosophy of the Realms of Being. The subjects dealt with are: the spiritual life; alleged similarities of doctrine with Proust; his views on Cubism, caricature, and the Aesthetic movement; the varied meanings of the key predicates in aesthetic discourse; his revised formalistic theory of beauty, and scattered remarks in his final work, ‘Dominations and Powers'. The conclusion is that Santayana has far more to offer analytic aestheticians than is generally considered to be the case.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BH Aesthetics