Philosophy Talk: “Beauty in Thomas Aquinas and James Joyce"


Location: 140 DeBartolo Hall

Fran O Rourke

Presented by Prof. Fran O’Rourke (University College Dublin).

James Joyce constructed his aesthetic theory from some basic notions gleaned from Aquinas. He was familiar with the statement ‘pulchra dicuntur quae visa placent’, as well as the requisites integritasconsonantia, and claritas. His interpretation and application of these concepts, however, diverged significantly from Aquinas. The resulting theory might be described either as a careless distortion or an ingenious invention. My presentation will compare the texts of Aquinas with Joyce’s interpretation, with special attention to the transcendental notions of beauty, goodness, and truth.

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