Widely admired as one of Canada's leading philosophers, Francis Sparshott is a major figure in postwar philosophical aesthetics. In this book he presents an annotated version of the text of the four 1996 Ryle Lectures that he gave at Trent University.
Addressing the nature and prospects of aesthetics as a discipline, Sparshott discusses beauty, taste, and the place of imagination, fiction, and fine art in societies. He investigates the place of such a discipline in the broad social structures provided by universities and civilizations, and tackles many perennially interesting questions about education and the life of the mind.
Written with wit and charm, the lectures journey through a vast terrain of references, yet wear their learning lightly. Sparshott's engaging style and humane vision will, as always, attract a wide and diverse readership.