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Creativity and Pedagogy in Leavis


F. R. Leavis’s depreciatory comments on literary critics’ invocation of the aesthetic, and on philosophers’ understanding of language, have reinforced a view of him as hostile to both the aesthetic and philosophical thought. In fact, his criticism exercises a sophisticated appreciation of the aesthetic similar to the philosophical aesthetics that passes through Schiller, Nietzsche, Dilthey, and Suzanne Langer; a tradition in which the aesthetic is fundamental to human culture. Leavis’s conception of creativity in language not only underlies his charismatic impact on students and readers but also remains the most plausible rationale for any publicly funded study of literature.

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