Hugolín Gavlovič on moral education: Enlightenment ideas in baroque literature?

Katarína Komenská 1
  • 1 University of Prešov, Institute of ethics and bioethics, Prešov, Slovakia

Abstract

The work of Hugolín Gavlovič belongs is part of the most influential literary and didactic heritage of 18th century literature in the region of contemporary Slovakia. Even though Gavlovič was not a systematic moral philosopher, the role and importance of ethics in his literary work is significant. He contributed greatly to the debate on moral education, which was (in the context of that time) linked to the fulfilment of God's will and to the accomplishment of a good life. In his extensive poetic work Valaská škola mravúv stodola [Shepherd´s school of morals], the author not only formulated moral norms but, inspired by classical Greek philosophy, he also defined them in the wider ethical context of virtue, morals, and human nature. In this study, the historical context of his work, marked by the literary and cultural transition to the Enlightenment era, will be presented, concepts related to the understanding of good life (as a goal of moral education) will be identified, and the possibility for further philosophical and ethical analysis of Gavlovič’s work will be offered (through a reflexion of Aristotle’s thoughts referred to in Valaská škola). Overall, the paper offers an original point of view on how to interpret the thoughts of Hugolín Gavlovič from the perspective of ethics. This has been, despite the impact of his work, rather omitted.

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