Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Jean-Jacques Rousseau's doctrine of the arts
Author: Robinson, P. E. J.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1980
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This study does not take the view that only the strictly 'aesthetic' is relevant to the subject, for that leads to the denial of justice to Rousseau (e.g. Folkierski), and it does not, except in a limited way in the last three chapters, pursue Rousseau's 'aesthetics' in the sense of his creative practice. The assumption that such practice faithfully reflects theory begs more questions than there is space for here. Besides, the subject of Rousseau's literary creativity has been in large measure dealt with, in excellent fashion, by Lecercle. My aim is to provide a general description of Rousseau's teaching concerning the arts: theatre (including opera and ballet), music, visual arts, fiction and poetry, and to do so in such a way that each art can be easily identified and referred to. I present Rousseau's doctrine in terms of his biographical and intellectual development and with sufficient attention to historical background to bring out the chief features which make him different and important. The presentation of the development of his doctrine is related closely to that of his 'system'. Part I traces Rousseau's early career to 1749. One chapter discusses music and a second his experience of Parisian cultured society. Part II (seven chapters) traces his critique of that society in so far as it concerns all the major liberal arts but fiction. Part III (eight chapters) outlines his perspectives of the future for those activities which underlie the institutionalised arts: dance in the civic fete; the creativity of the growing Emile; the exercise of taste as part of the ideal of wisdom. The future of fiction and of music are considered specifically. The guiding principle of all these perspectives is seen to be the ordering of imagination. Part IV indicates the 'limits of doctrine' and sets the boundary of the enquiry: the discourse of Julie, Pygmalion and the autobiographical texts becomes progressively less doctrinal and increasingly exemplifies a function of the written word which is not articulated in Rousseau's explicit theory. These texts are explored only in so far as they make statements with these new doctrinal implications. These implications, which are seen to have roots in certain of the paradoxes of the doctrine proper, call the doctrine into question by evoking an aesthetic of authorial expression.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available