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The Platonic-Aristotelian Hybridity of Aquinas’s Aesthetic Theory

The Platonic-Aristotelian Hybridity of Aquinas’s Aesthetic Theory

By Daniel Gallagher

Hortulus: The Online Community for Graduate Students in Medieval Studies, Vol. 2 (2006)

Abstract: Thomas Aquinas’s aesthetic theory stands as an example of intellectual hybridity in medieval scholasticism. Aquinas was neither a pure Aristotelian nor a pure Platonist in his understanding of beauty. Nor did he simply select certain truthful elements from Plato and Aristotle and reassemble them to suit his own purposes. Rather, recognizing a need to integrate these two distinctive, though interrelated, theories of the beautiful, Aquinas produced a kind of hybrid kalology that embraces both the transcendental and aesthetic aspects of beauty.

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