The Arts

The Arts are an important area of practice in Middle Way Philosophy, helping us to tolerate ambiguity and extend our available symbols and ideas. Bruegel Tower of Babel 2However, the ways of understanding and interpreting the arts also need the Middle Way. Aesthetic judgement is neither absolute nor relative, but depends on the degree of integration with which we engage with a sensual experience.

The following links are to places on the site where a Middle Way approach to the arts is discussed:

Middle Way Philosophy audio

Meaning audio includes several talks relevant to the arts, especially concerning the use of archetypes

Ethics audio includes material the wider question of value judgements, including aesthetic judgements (especially see the final video on this page – ‘value judgements’)

Podcasts and reviews

Podcast with Alva Noe on his book ‘Strange tools: Art and Human Nature’

Podcast with Susan Wright on creativity in early childhood

Podcast with Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney, on creativity

Review of Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull

Podcast with Stephen Batchelor on art as an integrative practice

Podcast with Norma Smith, artist and retired art teacher

Podcast with Helena Bassil-Morozow on Jungian Film Studies

Review of ‘The God of the Left Hemisphere’ by Roderick Tweedy


Music and awe – blog by Emilie Aberg

On not saying amen to Star Wars – blog by Robert M Ellis

Reflections on ‘Narziss and Goldmund’ by Hermann Hesse – blog by Robert M Ellis

The Lute Strings – A Parable

Sceptics: The Movie

The quarrel between philosophy and poetry – blog by Robert M Ellis

The Three Christmases – blog by Robert M Ellis

What’s wrong with cliché? – blog by Robert M Ellis


The Act of Creation

The Baptism of Christ by Piero della Francesca

Annunciation by Simone Martini

The Tower of Babel by Breugel

Other resources

Index to art blogs by Norma Smith

Index to poetry on the site