Title: Art and the Good
Other Titles: Art and the Good
Authors: Hamdi, Fatina; M9928655
Issue Date: 23-Oct-2012
Abstract: Summary for the General PublicThis dissertation investigates the relation between art and the good according to three prominent philosophers: Plato, Kant, and Nietzsche. The three wrote profusely on this theme and dealt with the relation between the aesthetic and the ethical each in his own way. Both Plato and Kant stressed the close relation between art and the good with Plato putting strict rules for art to make it come as close to enhancing the good as possible. Plato and Kant clearly gave precedence to to the ethically good. Kant went a step further than Plato to show that there is a close affinity between aesthetic and moral feeling and suggested that the two emerge from the same elevated moral origin. Nietzsche departs from his two predecessors by giving precedence to art and making the good relative by giving it a base pragmatic origin which takes its genealogy back to primitive primeval times.Understanding the relation between art and the good requires a study of human nature which is the seat of this relation. Human nature according to the three philosophers is a mixture of good and evil (more on the side of evil according to Nietzsche) and humans can go a long way in cruelty and violence. Evil can become radical and the human soul can become tyrannical thriving in injustice. But Plato and Kant believe that education can save humans from such a fate. Art plays for Plato a special role in educating the human soul and the same can be said of Kant. Nietzsche is more concerned with redeeming himself through illusion. Such illusion can make a tragic life like the one he suffered more bearable. Dionysian illusion through the art of tragedy and music and even Nietzsche's own writings can provide panacea for life's misery and suffering. This illusion will also delineate the relative good that men imagine lies at the base of their happiness. Art and the good seem constantly to converge and philosophers try to fathom and expound the relation between them. For Plato the good has priority and art must follow strict rules to aid in the formation of the good life. For Kant the beautiful and the good are closely related as they evince from the same source. For Nietzsche art has priority over the good and the good itself is shaped by art.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Centre for Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Culture

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