By Jessica Rosenfeld
Jessica Rosenfeld offers a background of the ethics of medieval vernacular love poetry by means of tracing its engagement with the past due medieval reception of Aristotle. starting with a background of the belief of pleasure from Plato to Peter Abelard and the troubadours, the e-book then provides a literary and philosophical background of the medieval ethics of affection, founded at the legacy of the Roman de los angeles Rose. The chapters display that 'courtly love' was once scarcely restricted to what's usually characterised as an ethic of sacrifice and deferral, but in addition engaged with Aristotelian rules approximately excitement and earthly happiness. Readings of Machaut, Froissart, Chaucer, Dante, Deguileville and Langland express that poets have been frequently markedly conscious of the overlapping moral languages of philosophy and erotic poetry. The study's end locations medieval poetry and philosophy within the context of psychoanalytic ethics, and argues for a re-assessment of Lacan's rules approximately courtly love
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Additional info for Ethics and enjoyment in late medieval poetry : love after Aristotle
The dialogue ends, apparently incomplete, in the midst of a discussion about what things deserve to be called “good,” and calling for any further points about the ultimate good to be brought forward. The dreamer is never called upon to judge the victor in these debates, but it hardly seems necessary, given the already determined outcome that Christianity will win (in fact has won, so far as Abelard is concerned), and given his mastery of both Christian and philosophical discourses. Yet the substance of the debate remains an illustrative example of the way that Christian ethics can harness philosophical logical method and content to its arguments, and the fact that philosophy can be won over to Christian doctrine, but only through dialectic and not through a simple claim that using the terms summum bonum, caritas, and beatitudo in common marks a shared understanding of the ethical orientation of a human life.
The necessity of rejecting intuitive pleasures – relegating them to instrumental value, if any value at all – permeates Augustine’s writings. Yet this rejection is no easy task, and the theologian is perhaps most wrenching and most acute about human nature when he discusses the necessity of exchanging physical for spiritual pleasures. 31 Even pleasure in holy words can be a sin if the enjoyment of the senses outruns reason in their stirring by voice and song; this sin Augustine confesses to. 33 Even more perilous than physical pleasure, however, is the pleasure of satisfying intellectual curiosity.
The question of the primacy of the intellect in the pursuit of the highest good remained a controversy throughout the Middle Ages and into the fourteenth century. ” Plato’s famous and influential division of the soul into three parts – rational, spirited, and appetitive – led to questions of whether humans are ruled by desire for pleasure or by reason, and further whether knowledge itself can be vulnerable to desire, pleasure, or love. The Phaedrus’ enduring image of the soul as two horses driven by a charioteer is another way of conceptualizing the relationship between reason and other aspects of the soul.