Aesthetics

25 - Soul and the City: Plato's Political Philosophy

Posted on 20 March 2011

In his masterpiece the Republic, Plato describes the ideal city and draws a parallel between this city and the just soul, with the three classes of the city mirroring the three parts of the soul. Peter discusses this parallel and the historical context that may have influenced Plato's political thought.

31 comments
84 - Silver Tongues in Golden Mouths: Rhetoric and Ancient Philosophy

Posted on 10 June 2012

Peter looks at the interaction between rhetoric and philosophy in the Roman Empire, discussing authors like Quintilian, Lucian and Themistius.

5 comments
95 - Anne Sheppard on Ancient Aesthetics

Posted on 23 September 2012

Anne Sheppard discusses ancient aesthetics, touching on poetry, visual art and music in thinkers from Plato to Proclus.

3 comments
133 - Strings Attached: Music and Philosophy

Posted on 16 June 2013

Peter turns DJ, with some actual music interspersed with discussion about theories of music in works by al-Kindī, the Brethren of Purity, and al-Fārābī.

10 comments
255. Andreas Speer on Medieval Aesthetics

Posted on 5 June 2016

Does medieval art tell us anything about medieval theories of aesthetics? Peter finds out from Andreas Speer.

11 comments
268. To Hell and Back: Dante Alighieri

Posted on 1 January 2017

Italy’s greatest poet Dante Alighieri was also a philosopher, as we learn from his Convivio and of course the Divine Comedy.

This episode is dedicated to John Kleiner, the inspirational teacher with whom I had my first experience reading Dante.

3 comments
42. In Good Taste: The Aesthetics of Rasa

Posted on 14 May 2017

Bharata’s Nāṭya-Śāstra and later works from Kashmir explore the idea of rasa, an emotional response to drama, music, and poetry.

3 comments
295. The Most Christian Doctor: Jean Gerson

Posted on 11 February 2018

Jean Gerson’s role in the political disputes of his day, the spread of lay devotion and affective mysticism, and the debate over the Romance of the Rose initiated by Christine de Pizan.

6 comments
303. Don’t Picture This: Iconoclasm

Posted on 17 June 2018

Is it idolatry to venerate an icon of a saint, or of Christ? The dispute leads the Byzantines to ponder the relation between an image and its object.

2 comments
304. Behind Enemy Lines: John of Damascus

Posted on 1 July 2018

John of Damascus helps to shape the Byzantine understanding of humankind and the veneration of images, despite living in Islamic territory.

16 comments
Glenn Adamson on Material Intelligence

Posted on 11 August 2018

Peter's twin brother Glenn Adamson discusses the philosophical implications of craft.

38 comments
311. The Elements of Style: Rhetoric in Byzantium

Posted on 4 November 2018

Psellos and other experts in rhetoric explore how this art of persuasion relates to philosophy.

0 comments
23. Nkiru Nzegwu on Gender in African Tradition

Posted on 3 March 2019

An interview with Nkiru Nzegwu on matriarchy, sexuality, and gender fluidity in Africa (with a quick chat at the end about her work on African art).

13 comments
326. Istanbul (Not Constantinople): the Later Orthodox Tradition

Posted on 2 June 2019

When the Byzantine empire ended in 1453, philosophy in Greek did not end with it. In this episode we bring the story up to the 20th century.

10 comments
33. Young, Gifted, and Black: Phillis Wheatley

Posted on 21 July 2019

Phillis Wheatley astonishes colonial Americans with her exquisite and precocious poetry and reflects on the liberating power of the imagination.

4 comments
35. Letters from the Heart: Ignatius Sancho and Benjamin Banneker

Posted on 15 September 2019

Ignatius Sancho and Benjamin Banneker make their mark on the history of Africana thought through letters that reflect on the power of sentiment.

5 comments
341. True Romance: Theories of Love

Posted on 26 January 2020

Ficino describes a “Platonic” love purified of sexuality, prompting a debate carried on by Pico della Mirandola, Pietro Bembo, and Tullia d’Aragona.

7 comments
361. The Measure of All Things: Renaissance Mathematics and Art

Posted on 6 December 2020

The humanist study of Pythagoras, Archimedes and other ancient mathematicians goes hand in hand with the use of mathematics in painting and architecture.

11 comments
370. Ingrid Rowland on Rome in the Renaissance

Posted on 11 April 2021

For our finale of the Italian Renaissance series we're joined by Ingrid Rowland, to speak about art, philosophy, and persecution in Renaissance Rome.

9 comments
77. A Race Capital: the Harlem Renaissance

Posted on 30 May 2021

The artistic flowering of the 1920s known as the Harlem Renaissance raises important questions about identity and the purpose of art.

0 comments
78. Freedom Through Art: Alain Locke

Posted on 13 June 2021

The aesthetics of Alain Locke and its basis in his theory of value judgments.

5 comments
79. Leonard Harris on Alain Locke

Posted on 27 June 2021

Leonard Harris explains how Locke's value theory was the basis for his aesthetics and theories of democracy and race.

2 comments
80. Scholarly Contributions: African American Professional Philosophers

Posted on 11 July 2021

From the latter half of the nineteenth century to the 1970s, African Americans only rarely obtain jobs as philosophy professors but bring distinctive perspectives to the profession.

0 comments
82. The Florida Project: Zora Neale Hurston

Posted on 5 September 2021

Zora Neale Hurston’s interest in Africana folklore feeds into her great novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

3 comments
83. Songs of the People: Paul Robeson and the Negro Spiritual

Posted on 19 September 2021

The career of the multi-talented activist and performer Paul Robeson, and the place of the Negro spiritual in the Harlem Renaissance.

2 comments
86. French Connection: The Negritude Movement

Posted on 31 October 2021

Our first look at the emergence of the Negritude movement in Paris in the 1930s, with a focus on the early leadership of the Nardal sisters and Leon Damas.

0 comments
87. Call It Intuition: Leopold Senghor

Posted on 14 November 2021

Leopold Senghor compares different ways of knowing while developing his theory of Negritude and combining the roles of poet and politician.

0 comments
88. The Surreal Deal: Aimé and Suzanne Césaire

Posted on 28 November 2021

Negritude thinkers Aimé and Suzanne Césaire embrace surrealism and reflect on the relationships between poetry, knowledge, and identity.

0 comments
90. Move Fast and Break Things: C.L.R. James

Posted on 26 December 2021

The Trinidadian historian and cultural critic C.L.R. James applies Marxist analysis to the Haitian Revolution, American cinema, and Shakespeare.

6 comments
95. Black and Blue: Ralph Ellison

Posted on 6 March 2022

Ralph Ellison provides a new metaphor for the experience of racism in his Invisible Man and tackles topics of art and identity in his essays.

2 comments
96. A Lover’s War: James Baldwin

Posted on 20 March 2022

In The Fire Next Time and other writings, the essayist and novelist James Baldwin seeks to dispel the illusions surrounding racial and sexual difference.

1 comments
397. Do As the Romans Did: French Humanism

Posted on 22 May 2022

We begin to look at philosophy in Renaissance France, beginning with humanists like Budé and the use of classical philosophy by poets du Bellay and Ronsard.

2 comments
401. Word Perfect: Logic and Language in Renaissance France

Posted on 17 July 2022

Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples and Julius Caesar Scaliger fuse Aristotelianism with humanism to address problems in logic and literary aesthetics.

0 comments