Aesthetics, Character, and Conduct

Reading Group

Standardly we think of aesthetic value as something attached to things we can see, hear, or taste. But what about the value realised in good character, or in an apt moral outlook? Can such values ever be aesthetic? Can aesthetic judgment be relevant for the proper assessment of human character and conduct? We will discuss these and more specific questions in light of two historical authors: Hume and Schiller.

Meeting time: Tuesday 12:30-14:00 (fortnightly)


(this link is password protected, please contact the convener if you want to join)


Meeting 1: Tuesday 9/3
  • • David Hume, ‘Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion’ PDF and ‘Of Refinement in the Arts’ PDF
Meeting 2: Wednesday 17/3 10:00-12:00 (Note the exceptional timeslot)
  • • Amy Schmitter, ‘Negotiating Pluralism in Taste and Character: Reading the Second Enquiry with “Of the Standard of Taste”’ (2020) – PDF
  • • David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Section IX – On Project Gutenberg
Meeting 3: Tuesday 6/4
  • • Friedrich Schiller, Letters 1-9 – PDF
Meeting 4: Tuesday 20/4
  • • Friedrich Schiller, Letters 10-18 – PDF
Meeting 5: Tuesday 4/5
  • • Friedrich Schiller, Letters 19-27 – PDF
Meeting 6: Tuesday 18/5
  • • Samantha Matherne and Nick Riggle, ‘Schiller on Freedom and Aesthetic Value Part 1’ – On Philpapers
Meeting 7: Tuesday 1/6
  • • Nick Riggle and Samantha Matherne, ‘Schiller on Freedom and Aesthetic Value Part 2’ – On Philpapers

For questions about the reading group, please contact the convener, Maarten Steenhagen