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Aquinas on Beauty (Paperback)
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Aquinas on Beauty (Paperback)

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£29.95
Paperback 242 Pages / Published: 14/11/2016
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Aquinas on Beauty explores the nature and role of beauty in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. Beginning with a standard definition of beauty provided by Aquinas, it explores each of the components of that definition. The result is a comprehensive account of Aquinas's formal view on the subject, supplemented by an exploration into Aquinas's commentary on Dionysius's Divine Names, including a comparison of his views with those of both Dionysius and those of Aquinas's mentor, Albert the Great. The book also highlights the tight connection in Aquinas's thought between aesthetics and ethics, and illustrates how Aquinas preserves what is best about aesthetic traditions preceding him, and anticipates what is best about aesthetic traditions that would follow, marrying objective and subjective aesthetic intuitions and charting a kind of via media between the common extremes.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498512541
Number of pages: 242
Weight: 358 g
Dimensions: 228 x 151 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
My first reading of Aquinas on beauty was in a book by Umberto Eco. But Eco believed that the aesthetics of Aquinas is of little value in our age. Sevier argues otherwise and does so with clarity. * Catholic Medical Quarterly *
Sevier is to be commended for his pursuit of questions, themes, and texts that are frequently ignored by Aquinas scholarship. Sevier expresses the hope that his volume 'will advance the discussion a little further, that it will expand appreciation for Aquinas's little acknowledged contribution to the great aesthetic tradition, and that it provides evidence for the all-too-neglected Platonic impulses that punctuate his thought.' On all three counts, Aquinas on Beauty succeeds very well. * Speculum *
This book shows us, as Plato thought, that beauty is without a doubt difficult and that in Aquinas it involves aspects of his psychology and ethics, together with his metaphysics and theology-a daunting task for any one book to embark upon-but Sevier's book does justice to this endeavor. The student of Aquinas will find in this relatively brief book further avenues to pursue on the fascinating, even if at times enigmatic, subject of beauty. * American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly *
Of the several books on Aquinas's aesthetics published in recent decades, Sevier's is perhaps the boldest attempt to approach beauty by way of Aquinas's psychology and ethics rather than his epistemology and metaphysics.... Particularly compelling is the way he connects the passions with Aquinas's theory of beauty. This is a line of research that needs to be deepened, and Sevier has provided an extremely fine resource for doing so. * Philosophy in Review *
Aquinas's approach to beauty has not received the attention it deserves among philosophers, theologians, and medievalists. In this excellent and clearly written book, Christopher Scott Sevier provides a thorough, sophisticated and well-documented analysis of it. He recognizes how important it is to understand Aquinas on a range of topics in order to grasp what he says about beauty, and he provides readers with exactly what they need when trying to understand the complexity behind Aquinas's apparently simple claim that `We call those things beautiful which please when seen'. -- Brian Davies, Fordham University
Another book on Thomas's aesthetics? Yes, because all that might be said hasn't been. Yes, because what Sevier does say offers Thomistic, Scholastic, and aesthetic readers a gift: a fresh survey of Thomas's aesthetics whose expanded scope yields a more beautiful Thomas, not to mention rich endnotes and bibliography. And yes, because there breathes through Aquinas on Beauty exactly the kind of aesthetic delight it means to detail. Theological readers will want more. * Anglican Theological Review *
Aquinas's approach to beauty has not received the attention it deserves among philosophers, theologians, and medievalists. In this excellent and clearly written book, Christopher Scott Sevier provides a thorough, sophisticated and well-documented analysis of it. He recognizes how important it is to understand Aquinas on a range of topics in order to grasp what he says about beauty, and he provides readers with exactly what they need when trying to understand the complexity behind Aquinas's apparently simple claim that `We call those things beautiful which please when seen'. -- Brian Davies, Fordham University
Christopher Scott Sevier's Aquinas on Beauty is a very impressive piece of scholarship on a perennially interesting but notoriously mysterious and elusive subject. The author has done his homework, understood all the relevant medieval nuances of the subject, and has clearly explained and readably expressed Aquinas' major points directly and succinctly. Sevier demonstrates how Aquinas' aesthetic follows from and presupposes his metaphysics and cosmology, and clarifies the contrasts between Aquinas and modern theories of beauty. This book will be a touchstone for all subsequent investigations of the subject. -- Peter Kreeft, Boston College

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