School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences Philosophy


Enlightenment Aesthetics and Beyond

15 – 16 Dec 2011
Start time
Old Library, Institute of Geography, Drummond Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9XP
Type of event

The 'Enlightenment Aesthetics and Beyond' conference will bring together scholars in aesthetics and the history of philosophy to explore aesthetic theory in the Enlightenment, the reception of British aesthetic theory in Germany, and the significance of these ideas for contemporary debates in aesthetics and other fields.

The conference will address a range of topics, including: taste and judgment; expressivism; the sublime; aesthetics of nature; the intersection of aesthetics and moral philosophy; rationalist and empiricist approaches to aesthetics; and the theories of Du Bos, Hume, Reid, Kant, Schopenhauer and Hegel, among others.

David HumeThe conference builds upon projects carried out during the National Endowment of the Humanities research seminar, 'Scottish Enlightenment Aesthetics and its German Reception', held in St Andrews, Scotland, 2007. The conference is part of a series of events across the University of Edinburgh marking the tercentenary of David Hume's birth (2011): 'Celebrating Connections'.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Paul Guyer (Murray Professor of the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Emeritus Professor Peter Jones (University of Edinburgh)

We are grateful to the University of Edinburgh, the British Society of Aesthetics and the Scots Philosophical Association for supporting this conference.

Contact Details

0131 650 9137

Further Information

Further Information

Registration, accommodation and locations.

Conference Programme

Thursday, December 15th

09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09.30 – 10:30 Jason Gaiger (Oxford University), 'Indeterminacy and ideal form: Herder's theory of landscape depiction'
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee
11:00 – 12:00 James Shelley (Auburn University) 'The Joint Verdict of True Judges'
12:00 – 13:00 Rachel Zuckert (Northwestern University) 'Reid's Expressivist Aesthetics'
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:00 Keynote: Paul Guyer (University of Pennsylvania), ‘”A Treasure Chamber of the Human Soul”: Baumgarten, Mendelssohn, and Herder’
15:00 – 15:30 Tea
15:30 – 16:30 Jonathan Friday (University of Kent), title tba
17:30 – 19:15 Reception and 'Beholder' art exhibition, Talbot Rice Gallery, Old College
19:30 Conference Dinner

Friday, December 16th

09:30 – 10:30 Keynote: Peter Jones (Emeritus Professor, University of Edinburgh), Once More Back to the Contexts'
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee
11:00 – 12:00 Alex Neill (University of Southampton), 'Schopenhauer and 18th Century British Philosophy'
12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
13:00 – 14:00 Alison Stone (Lancaster University), 'Early German Romanticism, Aesthetics, and Nature'
14:00 – 15:30 Closing discussion
15:30 Conference ends

Saturday, December 17th

09:30 – 11:30 Historic City Tour, Charles Withers, Professor of Historical Geography, University of Edinburgh (registration required)

Conference participants will also be interested in attending this event: Nature of Knowledge Public Lecture: Professor Paul Guyer, 'Hume, Kant, and the Passion for Reason', Wednesday, 14th December, 5.30 pm, Lecture Theatre F21, Psychology Building, 7 George Square, University of Edinburgh

Programme details may be subject to change.