Kant’s concept of the disinterested aesthetic is often presented as the idea that finally clinched the secularization of art that had begun in the Renaissance. The seminar seeks to refine this view by contextualizing Kant’s separation of the moral and the aesthetic within the virtue ethics of the Western poetics tradition. Through an examination of relevant late medieval and early modern texts, the seminar considers how late medieval reception of Aristotle’s Poetics set the stage for art’s secularization in the West.
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