Aesthetics: the classic readings by David E. Cooper

David E. Cooper, Professor of Philosopy at Durham, ( has put together this volume of writings about the theory of beauty. Possibly on the esoteric side, nevertheless whole academic careers have been devoted to it. Authors represented are Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Hume, Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Tolstoy, Bell, Dewey, Heidegger and Collingwood. Hume and Schopenhauer are the most convincing to me. See what you think.

If interested proceed to Oswald Hanfling’s Philosophical Aesthetics: An Introduction (1992) ( This takes a different tack having commissioned a group of modern scholars from The Open University to take a thematic approach.

Another useful volume is Stuart Sim’s Art: Context and Value (1992)

Also, listen to the BBC Radio 4 broadcast on beauty available as a podcast at

282 pages in Wiley-Blackwell paperback edition

ISBN 978-0631195696

David E. Cooper contemplates beauty

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