The shield of pallas: The virtual contemplation of the human soul: The aesthetic of fr. Arthur little S.j. (1887–1949)

Sophia 44 (1):105-124 (2005)

Patrick Hutchings
University of Melbourne
This paper explores the extreme but well-argued-for thesis that the indirect object of an aesthetic experience of serious art is the human soul of the person having the experience. The author of the thesis was Fr. Arthur Little S.J. a mid twentieth-century Irishman, professional philosopher and philosophical popularizer. The paper treats Little’s thesis seriously: comparisons are drawn with Kant, which may be of interest even to those hostile to Little’s central assertion. Little makes a brilliant analysis of a ‘free-beauty’, making the sharpest contrast between this and the most serious art, tragedy. Tragedy, Little holds Kant not able to cope with. One agrees.
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DOI 10.1007/BF02780485
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