Abstract

There is much in James I. Porter's recent critique of Kristeller's ‘Modern System of the Arts’ that is true and enlightening. But something—some things—of great moment in the history of aesthetics and philosophy of art transpired in the age of the Enlightenment, as badly described, and, no doubt, in some ways as badly misdescribed, as they may have been by Kristeller in his account. And it would be a grave disservice to the history of philosophy to reject the whole package rather than to try to salvage what can be salvaged or repaired. It is that salvage job that I attempt in the present article.

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