Theology & Philosophy

Art, Morality, and Freedom in Kames and Burke


This colloquium investigated the way art, beauty, and sublimity promote moral responsibility and a free society according to the works of Lord Kames and Edmund Burke. Eighteenth-century British philosophers devoted extensive attention to problems of aesthetics—concerning the nature of the beautiful, the sublime, and art—more than any previous period of philosophy. The primary texts for this conference included Kames’s Elements of Criticism and Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful.


Conference Readings

Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. Edited by Adam Phillips. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France. Edited by J.G.A. Pocock. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1987.

Home, Henry, Lord Kames. Elements of Criticism. Edited by Peter Jones. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005.

Home, Henry, Lord Kames. Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion. Edited by Mary Catherine Moran and Knud Haakonssen. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005.