The 2018 Rogers Prize for best article of the year in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy was awarded to Dr. Michael Gill for his article “Shaftesbury on life as a work of art” (Vol. 26, no. 6). The Rogers Prize is an annual award for the best article given out by the British Journal for the History of Philosophy in honor of the founding editor John Rogers.
This paper explicates Shaftesbury’s idea that we ought to live our lives as though they are works of art. I show that this idea is central to many of Shaftesbury’s most important claims, and that an understanding of this idea enables us to answer some of the most contested questions in the scholarship on Characteristics.