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The Possibility of Culture: Pleasure and Moral Development in Kant's Aesthetics

ISBN: 978-1-118-95067-8
160 pages
April 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
The Possibility of Culture: Pleasure and Moral Development in Kant


The Possibility of Culture: Pleasure and Moral Development in Kant’s Aesthetics presents an in-depth exploration and deconstruction of Kant’s depiction of the ways in which aesthetic pursuits can promote personal moral development.

  • Presents an in-depth exploration of the connection between Kant’s aesthetics and his views on moral development
  • Reveals the links between Kant’s aesthetics and his anthropology and moral psychology
  • Explores Kant’s notion of genius and his views on the connections between the social aspects of taste and moral development
  • Addresses aspects of Kant’s ethical theory that will interest scholars working in ethics and moral psychology
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements viii

Note on Citations ix

Introduction 1

1 Aesthetics and Culture in Context 13

2 Beauty and Love 31

3 Beauty and Disinterestedness 46

4 Art, Genius, and Abstraction 66

5 Sublimity and Esteem 84

6 Choosing Culture Over Happiness 105

7 Conclusion 122

Bibliography 138

Index 143

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Author Information

Bradley Murray is a philosopher and psychotherapist who has taught at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and Oxford University, England. He has published widely on topics relating to Kantian philosophy.
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“Drawing upon a wide range of Kant’s writings on culture and ethics, Murray delivers a fresh, contemporary challenge to the standard view of Kant’s aesthetics in the philosophy of art long overdue, highly recommended.”

Jennifer A. McMahon, The University of Adelaide

“With Kant as his guide, Bradley Murray adeptly negotiates the tricky yet crucially important terrain between aesthetics and morality. He offers us both a compelling reading of Kant and also an imaginative exploration of the issues. His approach is invigorating and refreshing, while also respecting scholarly values. The Possibility of Culture deserves to open up relatively underexplored issues that are nevertheless of enduring importance both in the understanding of Kant as well as in aesthetics and the philosophy of culture.”

Nick Zangwill, University of Hull

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