Beauty and Imitation: A Philosophical Reflection on the Arts

Beauty and Imitation: A Philosophical Reflection on the Arts

By Daniel McInerny
Product Code: 9781685789855

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Product Description


The human person is a truth seeker, and one of the most compelling ways human beings pursue truth is through the arts. In Beauty and Imitation: A Philosophical Reflection on the Arts, Daniel McInerny argues for an understanding of art as a form of inquiry into truth that proceeds by way of sensible beauty.

Drawing upon the thought of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas, McInerny argues for the unfashionable yet philosophically compelling view that art is essentially “mimetic,” imitative of human action. But what does it mean for art to imitate human action? It means that art imitates the way human beings by nature quest for fulfillment, or happiness. In questing for fulfillment, human life takes the form of a story, and so the arts—all the arts, from painting to music, from fiction to film—are storytelling arts whose beauty reveals the truth about human happiness.

The first part of the book features a renewed defense of the ancient Aristotelian claim that art is mimetic and that its imitation of the human story takes the form of a moral argument. The second part shows how audiences are transformed by the moral arguments the mimetic arts make, and the third concludes with a guided tour of the mimetic arts, where specific arts are considered in light of the Aristotelian and Thomistic principles advanced earlier.

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