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By Colin St John Wilson

This can be a choice of essays at the matters of architectural ethics, philosophy and perform. structure has consistently been the topic of significant debate and not extra so than now. the writer explores the unique goals and ideas of contemporary structure during this sequence of articles. released in architectural journals the articles at the moment are assembled and released jointly for the 1st time during this quantity. Professor Colin St. John Wilson, is architect of the hot British Library, the most important nationwide monument inbuilt the united kingdom in this century

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Extra resources for Architectural Reflections. Studies in the Philosophy and Practice of Architecture

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And if, for a moment, we return to Aristotle, we would do well to link this exploration to that quality of the arts that, in his view makes it one of the instruments and skills by which we discover truth, 'gather together the meaning of things' and realise their own particular good: or James Joyce's conception of the artistic discipline as a rigourous submission to the 'epiphany' or The ethics of architecture reveleation of the nature of what is 'out there' not what is pre-empted by a pre-conceived form of order.

4 By some it has even been assigned the role of 'Mother of the Arts',5 and by yet others elevated to a plane on its own, serving itself only H'architettura autonomcC. Thus we are presented with two contradictory claims - that architecture is pure art or pure pragmatism. We need to look more closely at the phenomena in order to discover if either of these propositions meets the case to our satisfaction. In the absence of a common acceptance of the role of 'art' in the discipline of architecture there is a conflict of view about the role of ethics within the discipline.

The beautiful is deemed to be 'entirely disinterested'7 rather than concerned with the purpose of the object in question; and out of this distinction we are led to the extraordinary conception of 'purposiveness without purpose',8 exemplified by objects which are serenely detached from engagement with the real world, yet reassuringly look 'as if they had a purpose. These are said to be the conditions for aesthetic enjoyment. Kant then argues that aesthetic judgement determines not only the beautiful but also 'the Sublime', which induces an emotion of awe before forms that 'do violence to the imagination' and whose nature is not just 'without purpose' but is positively opposed to any sense of purpose.

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