Beauty as harmony of the soul: the aesthetic of the Stoics

In Marietta Rosetto, Michael Tsianikas, George Couvalis & Maria Palaktsoglou (eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Conference of Greek Studies 2009. Flinders University. pp. 33-42 (2012)
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Aesthetics is not an area to which the Stoics are normally understood to have contributed. I adopt a broad description of the purview of Aesthetics according to which Aesthetics pertains to the study of those preferences and values that ground what is considered worthy of attention. According to this approach, we find that the Stoics exhibit an Aesthetic that reveals a direct line of development between Plato, the Stoics, Thomas Aquinas and the eighteenth century, specifically Kant’s aesthetics. I will reveal an interpretation of the aesthetic of the Stoics which has more explanatory power for the history of aesthetic theory than a history of aesthetic theory which leaves out the Stoics.
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