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  • 1.
    Axelsson, Karl
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Aesthetics. Södertörns högskola.
    Aesthetics and Politics2023In: Aesthetic Theory Across the Disciplines / [ed] Max Ryynänen, Zoltán Somhegyi, London: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2023, p. 75-91Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Axelsson, Karl
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Aesthetics. Södertörns högskola.
    Shaftesbury on natural beauty, science, and animals2023In: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, ISSN 0960-8788, E-ISSN 1469-3526Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    At the heart of Michael B. Gill's impressive study of the third Earl of Shaftesbury's theory of beauty is the notion of nature and its moral, aesthetic, and religious ramifications. In this article, I elaborate on one of Gill's primary claims up to a point where I think a weak spot occurs. The claim concerns nature, and the weak spot is the interpretation of Shaftesbury's references to science (natural philosophy). On the whole, Gill holds that Shaftesbury is “no enemy of a rational understanding of nature, no enemy of science” (44). While I agree with the first clause, I find the second problematic. I argue that, for Shaftesbury, a central problem with science is that it disrupts the moral and aesthetic unity of nature, a flaw shared by society's general exploitation of nature and animals.

  • 3. Cooper, Anthony Ashley
    Moralisterna: En filosofisk rapsodi bestående av en redogörelse för vissa samtal om naturfilosofiska och moraliska frågor2022 (ed. 1)Book (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Axelsson, Karl
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Aesthetics.
    Om vi inte kan förstå ekens skönhet, så kan vi inte förstå oss själva2022In: Dagens nyheter, ISSN 1101-2447, no 2022-11-28, p. 8-8Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 5.
    Axelsson, Karl
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Aesthetics.
    Beauty, Nature, and Society in Shaftesbury's The Moralists2020In: Beyond Autonomy in Eighteenth-Century British and German Aesthetics / [ed] Karl Axelsson, Camilla Flodin & Mattias Pirholt, New York: Routledge, 2020, 1, p. 47-69Chapter in book (Refereed)
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  • 6.
    Axelsson, Karl
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Aesthetics.
    Flodin, CamillaSödertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature.Pirholt, MattiasSödertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature.
    Beyond Autonomy in Eighteenth-Century British and German Aesthetics2020Collection (editor) (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This volume re-examines traditional interpretations of the rise of modern aesthetics in eighteenth-century Britain and Germany. It provides a new account that connects aesthetic experience with morality, science, and political society. In doing so, it challenges long-standing teleological narratives that emphasize disinterestedness and the separation of aesthetics from moral, cognitive, and political interests.

    The chapters are divided into three thematic parts. The chapters in Part I demonstrate the heteronomy of eighteenth-century British aesthetics. They chart the evolution of aesthetic concepts and discuss the ethical and political significance of the aesthetic theories of several key figures: namely, the third Earl of Shaftesbury, David Hume, and Adam Smith. Part II explores the ways in which eighteenth-century German, and German-oriented, thinkers examine aesthetic experience and moral concerns, and relate to the work of their British counterparts. The chapters here cover the work of Kant, Moses Mendelssohn, Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, and Madame de Staël. Finally, Part III explores the interrelation of science, aesthetics, and a new model of society in the work of Goethe, Johann Wilhelm Ritter, Friedrich Hölderlin, and William Hazlitt, among others.

    This volume develops unique discussions of the rise of aesthetic autonomy in the eighteenth century. In bringing together well-known scholars working on British and German eighteenth-century aesthetics, philosophy, and literature, it will appeal to scholars and advanced students in a range of disciplines who are interested in this topic.

  • 7.
    Axelsson, Karl
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Aesthetics.
    Flodin, Camilla
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature.
    Pirholt, Mattias
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature.
    Introduction2020In: Beyond Autonomy in Eighteenth-Century British and German Aesthetics / [ed] Karl Axelsson, Camilla Flodin & Mattias Pirholt, New York: Routledge, 2020, 1, p. 1-19Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Download full text (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 8.
    Axelsson, Karl
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature.
    Political Aesthetics: Addison and Shaftesbury on Taste, Morals and Society2019 (ed. 1)Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Providing a gateway to a new history of modern aesthetics, this book challenges conventional views of how art's significance developed in society.The 18th century is often said to have involved a radical transformation in the concept of art: from the understanding that it has a practical purpose to the modern belief that it is intrinsically valuable. By exploring the ground between these notions of art's function, Karl Axelsson reveals how scholars of culture made taste, morals and a politically stable society integral to their claims about the experience of nature and art. Focusing on writings by two of the most prolific men of letters in the 18th century, Joseph Addison (1672–1719) and the third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671–1713), Axelsson contests the conviction that modern aesthetic autonomy reoriented the criticism and philosophy originally prompted by these two key figures in the history of aesthetics. By re-examining the political relevance of Addison and Shaftesbury's theories of taste, Axelsson shows that first and foremost they sought to fortify a natural link between aesthetic experience and modern political society.

  • 9.
    Axelsson, Karl
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature. Uppsala University.
    Flodin, Camilla
    Uppsala University.
    Contemplation or Manipulation?: Aesthetic Perspectives on Nature and Animals from Shaftesbury to Bio-art2017In: Retracing the Past: Historical Continuity in Aesthetics from a Global Perspective, Santa Cruz, California: International Association for Aesthetics , 2017, p. 29-41Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Axelsson, Karl
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature.
    Shaftesbury om poetisk sanning och det naturliga samhället2017In: Lychnos: Årsbok för idé- och lärdomshistoria / [ed] Katarina Leppänen, Göteborg: Lärdomshistoriska Samfundet , 2017, p. 11-26Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the most original voices in British post-revolutionary philosophy belongs to the third Earl of Shaftesbury (1671–1713). Rather than supporting the Hobbesian and Lockean idea of modern political society as an artificially formed creation, Shaftesbury perceives society as a beneficial outcome of nature and natural rationality. Shaftes­bury’s understanding of natural society is furthermore entwined with aesthetic mat­ters. The aim of the following article is twofold. First, due to the fact that Shaftesbury’s ideas rarely are analysed in any detail by Swedish scholars, it offers an introduction to Shaftesbury’s take on the complex relation between society and poetry to readers of eighteenth-century intellectual history in general, and readers of the history of literature in particular. Second, given that Shaftesbury is frequently regarded as the first modern advocate of aesthetic autonomy, I wish to problematize such an account by showing how Shaftesbury opposes the idea that poetry holds an instrumental value for society, while he simultaneously maintains the inseparability of poetical truth, artistic whole, and political naturalism. As this article shows, the Promethean myth of creativity is central for Shaftesbury’s understanding of the relation between society and poetry.

  • 11.
    Axelsson, Karl
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Comparative Literature.
    Shaftesbury på svenska: Moralisterna, Richard Hejll och översättandets konst2017In: Biblis, ISSN 1403-3313, no 76, p. 43-47Article in journal (Other academic)
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