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ERIC Number: EJ962269
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8510
Ontology and the Products of Spirit: A Classroom Conversation
Will, Frederic
Journal of Aesthetic Education, v45 n4 p67-78 Win 2011
Among the casualties of the rush to relativism is a central tenet of classical thought: that great works of literature are great in and of themselves and not because of the needs and values of their time. This "canon-based view," supply taken for granted by Johnson, Arnold, Pope, and Eliot, has long since been shown the door by views ranging from Marxism to today's cultural studies. These views hold that the great works become great because of the values and concerns of their own times, and they remain effectual, if they do, because of the ways they speak to their times' concerns. There are no transhistorical values and concerns, though of course there is a past to culture and its works continue their indirect influence on "later generations." Teaching a class of nineteen year olds at Deep Springs College, the author finds himself stumbling on texts in which the above clash of critical values explodes, in which no issue is more pertinent than whether a text belongs to its own time or to "the ages." In this article, the author talks about ontology and the products of spirit. (Contains 2 notes.)
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California