Spinoza and Literature for Life: a Practical Theory of Art

Portrait of SpinozaResearchers: Anthony Uhlmann (Writing and Society Research Centre) Moira Gatens (The University of Sydney)

Many artists have celebrated the inspirational force of Spinoza's philosophy on their works. Yet, philosophers have denied or neglected the relevance of his philosophy to art practices. We will show how major literary figures from the Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist eras significantly drew upon his thought. This interdisciplinary project aims to work across literary and philosophical sources in order to construct a novel Spinozistic theory of art that will show how the enjoyment of art promotes the art of living well.

This project aims to make a major Australian contribution to the advancement of international scholarship in the fields of Spinoza Studies, philosophy and literature, and ethics. It aims to provide a practical and accessible account of how and why artistic enjoyment is a positive and essential component of human health and well being in contemporary societies.

We are hosting a one day conference,Spinoza and Aesthetic Concepts at The Female Orphan School, WSU Parramatta South. All welcome. Click here for more information.

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