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The Experience of Beauty in the Middle Ages$
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Mary Carruthers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590322

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199590322.001.0001

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Introduction: Making Sense

Introduction: Making Sense

(p.1) Introduction: Making Sense
The Experience of Beauty in the Middle Ages

Mary Carruthers

Oxford University Press

This book begins from the premise that medieval aesthetic experience is bound into human sensation and that human knowledge is sense-derived, the agents of which are all corporeal. It focuses on the very first stage of understanding — that of ‘making sense’ of physical sensations derived from human encounters with their own crafted artefacts. It attempts to winnow from the discourses of morals and theology some elements that can be identified as wholly aesthetic. The chapters that follow focus on the Latin rhetorical tradition, and seek to be suggestive rather than definitive about the values in art that they attempt to trace.

Keywords:   medieval aesthetics, physical sensations, artefacts, art, Latin rhetorical tradition, morals, theology

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