By Jessica Rosenfeld
Jessica Rosenfeld presents a heritage of the ethics of medieval vernacular love poetry via tracing its engagement with the overdue medieval reception of Aristotle. starting with a heritage of the belief of pleasure from Plato to Peter Abelard and the troubadours, the booklet then offers a literary and philosophical heritage of the medieval ethics of affection, headquartered at the legacy of the Roman de l. a. Rose. The chapters demonstrate that 'courtly love' was once scarcely constrained to what's frequently 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 exhibit that poets have been frequently markedly conscious of the overlapping moral languages of philosophy and erotic poetry. The study's end areas medieval poetry and philosophy within the context of psychoanalytic ethics, and argues for a second look of Lacan's principles approximately courtly love
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Additional resources for Ethics and enjoyment in late medieval poetry : love after Aristotle
E th ic s a n d e n joy m e n t i n the t w e l fth ce n t u r y Ethical understandings of enjoyment began to emerge as key issues in the twelfth century, as did philosophical and poetic discourses that treated human ethics as a terrain unto itself. A shift forward to this period finds the simultaneous beginnings of a systematic medieval treatment of ethics and the birth of vernacular love poetry. 82 Although it is not clear that Peter Abelard had access to these texts, his Ethics is unique and forward-looking in its treatment of ethical concerns – action, intention, religious culpability, and social justice – in a self-sufficient manner.
His approach to human behavior as a subject worthy of its own discrete investigation harks back to the classical period and also looks forward to the reinvigoration of moral philosophy as a discipline in the scholastic period. Abelard’s Dialogus inter Philosophum, Judeum, et Christianum – or Collationes – can be seen as a snapshot of mid-twelfthcentury understandings of the relationship between pagan philosophy and Christian theology as they pertain to enjoyment. Likewise, Peter Lombard’s Sententiae, a text written only a generation later, would contribute to a renewed focus on defining enjoyment in its full ethical and theological context.
Debates about the identity or non-identity of pleasure, love, and happiness were recounted in comments on Book x as background to philosophical understandings of both human and divine happiness. In making pleasure and enjoyment common topics for discussion, late medieval theologians took up issues central to a theorizing of both the ultimate heavenly good and a terrestrial human good, wondering about the nobility of motivation through love or pleasure, and where in the soul the ultimate experience of enjoyment might take place.