THINKING THROUGH WELSH PHILOSOPHY: A SPECULATIVE APPROACH

Martin Ovens

Abstract


It is commonly assumed that there is no distinctive, originating tradition of "Welsh" philosophising. On this view we cannot discover an "-ism" that is undeniably Welsh, or a unique way of thinking that derives from, or has developed within, a Welsh cultural or historical context. In response to this situation, a standpoint of "creative scepticism" (or "aesthetic skepsis") is introduced and adopted, and a concept of "art as a mode of philosophising" is applied. This leads to the possibility that Welsh thinking is represented or communicated more effectively and meaningfully through diverse media and a range of aesthetic and cultural forms. At the same time, the compatibility of "aesthetic skepsis" with elements of Welsh movements and traditions is described, especially with reference to Radicalism and Dissent (both religious and political) and Romanticism. A creative correspondence or association between skepsis and Welsh cultural expression is revealed through a dynamic of empathic dialogue with Wales and Welsh culture.


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