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Poetry for poetry's sake : a defence

Poetry for poetry's sake : a defence
Poetry for poetry's sake : a defence

This thesis is an attempt to defend the view that the value of a poem may be intrinsic: that a poem may be valuable for its own sake. Against the backdrop of the debate between A.C. Bradley and Peter Kivy, which reflects a fundamental conflict between the upholders of the intrinsic and instrumental values of poetry, the aesthetic theories of Kant, Collingwood and Heidegger are examined, and it is argued that they constitute a 'medium-centered tradition' of philosophizing about poetry. There are a detailed treatment of Kant's neglected concept of aesthetic ideas, a discussion of Collingwood's notion of 'expression' and concepts of 'medium' and 'tradition', and an elucidation of Heidegger's innovative conception of the artwork as an interplay between the world and the earth. The medium-centered approach is treated as a philosophical expression and justification of the literary critical maxim that poetry be read for its own sake. It is also shown how this approach connects the unique value of a poem with its being derived from the creative play with the medium, with its nature as a work of art. Thus, since it delineates the realm of poetry in terms of its medium, not purposes it serves or its institutional setting, it is demonstrated that this approach does justice to the peculiar genius of poetry. The theories of poetry of Kant, Collingwood and Heidegger not only save Bradley's position but open up a space for discussions of larger themes such as the claim that what a good poem offers is distinct from the readymade intellectual content.

University of Southampton
Bagad, Prashant
Bagad, Prashant

Bagad, Prashant (2008) Poetry for poetry's sake : a defence. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis is an attempt to defend the view that the value of a poem may be intrinsic: that a poem may be valuable for its own sake. Against the backdrop of the debate between A.C. Bradley and Peter Kivy, which reflects a fundamental conflict between the upholders of the intrinsic and instrumental values of poetry, the aesthetic theories of Kant, Collingwood and Heidegger are examined, and it is argued that they constitute a 'medium-centered tradition' of philosophizing about poetry. There are a detailed treatment of Kant's neglected concept of aesthetic ideas, a discussion of Collingwood's notion of 'expression' and concepts of 'medium' and 'tradition', and an elucidation of Heidegger's innovative conception of the artwork as an interplay between the world and the earth. The medium-centered approach is treated as a philosophical expression and justification of the literary critical maxim that poetry be read for its own sake. It is also shown how this approach connects the unique value of a poem with its being derived from the creative play with the medium, with its nature as a work of art. Thus, since it delineates the realm of poetry in terms of its medium, not purposes it serves or its institutional setting, it is demonstrated that this approach does justice to the peculiar genius of poetry. The theories of poetry of Kant, Collingwood and Heidegger not only save Bradley's position but open up a space for discussions of larger themes such as the claim that what a good poem offers is distinct from the readymade intellectual content.

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Published date: 2008

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Local EPrints ID: 466526
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/466526
PURE UUID: b0acf9e1-dfde-47e7-ba77-729d1deb0ca0

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2022 05:38
Last modified: 05 Jul 2022 05:38

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Author: Prashant Bagad

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