Experiences of Empiricism

  • Matthew J. A. Green


Blake’s annotations to The Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds present his most overt declarations against the epistemology that he associates with Locke, Newton and Bacon. The fact that he responds to the philosophy behind Reynolds’ aesthetics is doubly significant. Not only does it say something about his response to philosophical issues, which is primarily artistic, but it also indicates his sense that art, and the judgement that assigns it value cannot be disentangled from the philosophical, or indeed political, frameworks within which it is produced. Art must not only be pleasing to the eye, but it must be intellectually and politically sound, an attitude that requires us to pay particular attention to the philosophical debates and positionings embedded throughout the illuminated books, no less than in the annotations, catalogues and letters that have survived alongside them.


Innate Idea Corporeal Identity Artistic Production Natural Religion Mental Identity 
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© Matthew JA Green 2005

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  • Matthew J. A. Green

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