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This work offers a facing-page translation of Alexandro Malaspina's "Meditacion sobre lo Bello en la Naturaleza", an Enlightenment-era piece addressing questions of aesthetics in the wake of and in relation to contemporaneous scientific findings and philosophical thought. This work should appeal to scholars interested in philosophy and the history of Enlightenment thought. Alexandro Malaspina conducted the most ambitious scientific experiment of the eighteenth century, and wrote the "Meditacion" in 1798, while imprisoned for sedition in the fortress of San Anton off La Coruna. His fall, precipitated by the reaction to the politico-economic recommendations he made to the Monarchy on the subject of colonial relations, led to the suppression of most of the results, whether botanical, zoological, ethnographic or gravimetric, of his voyage, and so the loss, until recent times, of a significant voice in Enlightenment thought.
This translation is an attempt to redress an intellectual injustice, the silencing of a mind at once broader and deeper than those of his most well-known counterparts Cook and La Perouse, a mind which exercised itself on the philosophical issues of the day from a vantage-point of learning and anthropological experience to which few could lay claim. Malaspina's main topics in this work are questions of aesthetics: does Beauty lie in the eye of the beholder? Is Beauty to be found in Art or in Nature? Does Beauty depend on Utility? He supplements these with Notes on a range of matters, literary, historical and scientific, opening a fascinating window onto his own time.
Dr. John Black is Director of the Alexandro Malaspina Research Center and Chair of the Liberal Studies Department at Malaspina University College. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. Dr. Black is also the author of A Translation of Arthur Ahlvers: Zahl und Klang bei Platon / Number and Sound in Plato (Edwin Mellen, 2002) and The Four Elements in Plato's Timaeus (Edwin Mellen 2000). Dr. Oscar Clemotte-Silvero is currently Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Malaspina University College. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Oviedo, in Spain.
Preface by John Gascoigne; Acknowledgements; Introduction; A Philosophical Meditation; Foreword; Meditation; Malaspina's Notes; Notes A-C; Note E-KK; Note M-T; Note X; Note Z; Note Y; Note W; Note AA; Appendix; Editor's and Translator's Endnotes; Bibliography; Index.
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- ID: 9780773454040
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