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'At the vanishing point of reason': Aesthetics and religion in Collingwood's understanding of the modern world

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This article examines the place of emotion in art and religion and the place of both in civilization. Art lies at the 'vanishing point of reason', at the point where reason gives way to emotion. This raises the question of how civilization addresses the non-rational, emotional, superstitious aspects of life. In particular, is modern civilization lacking in the vital warmth which can only come from the life of the emotions and which is essential to its continued existence and vitality? Ending with a discussion of Collingwood's interpretation of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, it concludes by arguing that the role of aesthetic experience, together with religion and metaphysics, is of vital service to civilization through its role in overcoming the corruption of consciousness.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Università di Siena-Arezzo, Italy

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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