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Demystifying the key ideas of the world's greatest philosophers, and exploring all of the most important branches of thought including philosophy of science, philosophy of religion and feminist philosophy in a uniquely visual way, this book is the perfect introduction to the history of philosophy. A clear and accessible guide to philosophy, How Philosophy Works combines bold infographics and jargon-free text to demystify fundamental concepts. Covering everything from ethics to epistemology and phenomenology, the book presents the ideas and theories of key philosophical traditions and philosophers - from Plato and Socrates to Nietzsche and Wittgenstein via Kant - in a novel, easy-to-understand way. Its infographics will help you to understand the elements of philosophy on a conceptual level and, by tackling life's "big questions", it will help you to look at the world in an entirely new way. With its unique graphic approach and clear, authoritative text, How Philosophy Works is the perfect introduction to philosophy, and the ideal companion to DK's The Philosophy Book in the "Big Ideas" series.
What makes a colour work? What do colours mean to artists or cultures? Why does grey make a colour stand out? What colour are the oceans? Why is the yellow of lemons something to treasure? Award-winning illustrator Marion Deuchars takes us on a journey through colour, showing how its language is at the centre of how we think and feel about the world. Colour is everywhere. Through this book, we can see it afresh.
Throughout modernity there has been a clear divide between art and commerce. Objects could either be consumed as commerce or contemplated as art. Today, as museums are facing increasing financial pressure and as stores have become inventive locations for new modes of display, this clear divide has begun to dissolve. There is one place that represents a key stage in this evolution: 10 Corso Como. It was founded in Milan, at that very address, by fashion editor Carla Sozzani and has since expanded to Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and New York. The name "concept store," which has now spread across our globalized world, was originally coined to describe this new form. This book is the first philosophical inquiry into this new form of store and it sheds new light on how categories that have governed our modern lives, such as commerce, art, fashion, and museum, are being redefined today.
This study of the subtlety, complexity, and variety of modes of hearing maps out a "sonorous archipelago"-a heterogeneous set of shifting sonic territories shaped by the vicissitudes of desire and discourse. Profoundly intimate yet immediately giving onto distant spaces, both an "organ of fear" and an echo chamber of anticipated pleasures, an uncontrollable flow subject to unconscious selection and augmentation, the subtlety, complexity, and variety of modes of hearing has meant that sound has rarely received the same philosophical attention as the visual. In The Order of Sounds, Francois J. Bonnet makes a compelling case for the irreducible heterogeneity of "sound," navigating between the physical models constructed by psychophysics and refined through recording technologies, and the synthetic production of what is heard. From primitive vigilance and sonic mythologies to digital sampling and sound installations, he examines the ways in which we make sound speak to us, in an analysis of listening as a plurivocal phenomenon drawing on Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Barthes, Nancy, Adorno, and de Certeau, and experimental pioneers such as Tesla, Bell, and Raudive. Stringent critiques of the "soundscape" and "reduced listening" demonstrate that univocal ontologies of sound are always partial and politicized; for listening is always a selective fetishism, a hallucination of sound filtered by desire and convention, territorialized by discourse and its authorities. Bonnet proposes neither a disciplined listening that targets sound "itself," nor an "ocean of sound" in which we might lose ourselves, but instead maps out a sonorous archipelago-a heterogeneous set of shifting sonic territories shaped and aggregated by the vicissitudes of desire and discourse.
Over the past two centuries Western culture has largely valorized a particular kind of "good" music--highly serious, wondrously deep, stylistically authentic, heroically created, and strikingly original--and, at the same time, has marginalized music that does not live up to those ideals. In Good Music, John J. Sheinbaum explores these traditional models for valuing music. By engaging examples such as Handel oratorios, Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, jazz improvisations, Bruce Springsteen, and prog rock, he argues that metaphors of perfection do justice to neither the perceived strengths nor the assumed weaknesses of the music in question. Instead, he proposes an alternative model of appreciation where abstract notions of virtue need not dictate our understanding. Good music can, with pride, be playful rather than serious, diverse rather than unified, engaging to both body and mind, in dialogue with manifold styles and genres, and collaborative to the core. We can widen the scope of what music we value and reconsider the conventional rituals surrounding it, while retaining the joys of making music, listening closely, and caring passionately.
A cultural and philosophical history of neon, from Paris in the twentieth century to the perpetually switched-on present day. For most of us, the word neon conjures images of lights, colors, nightlife, and streets. It evokes the poetry of city nights. For Luis de Miranda, neon is a subject of philosophical curiosity. Being and Neonness is a cultural and philosophical history of neon, from early twentieth-century Paris to the electric, perpetually switched-on present day Manhattan. It is an inspired journey through a century of night, deciphering the halos of the past and the reflections of the present to shed light on the future. Invented in Paris in 1912, neon first appeared on a modest but arresting sign outside a small barbershop; the sign lit up number 14, Boulevard Montmartre, attracting so many passersby that the barber's revenues soon doubled. A century later, neon is no longer just a sign; it is a mythic object-a metonymy of contemporary identity and a metaphor for the present, signifying the ubiquity of commerce and the tautology of hypermodernity. But perhaps the noble gas of neon whispers something more, something deeper? In ten short, poetic yet precise chapters, de Miranda explores the neon lights of the twentieth century. He considers, among other historical curiosities, the neon compulsions of the Italian Futurists; the Soviet program of "neonization"; the Nazi's deployment of neon for propaganda purposes; Baudelaire's "halo" and Benjamin's "aura"; neon as a gas and crystallized chaos; neon and power; neon and capitalism-all of this backlit by an original reading of Sartre's Being and Nothingness. This English edition has been thoroughly revised and adapted from the French edition, L'etre et le neon.
This richly illustrated book is an exploration of how chance and risk, on the one hand, and meaning or significance on the other, compete for the limelight in art, in philosophy, and in science. In modern society, prudence and probability calculation permeate our daily lives. Yet it is clear for all to see that neither cautious bank regulations nor mathematics have prevented economic crises from occurring time and again. Nicolas Bouleau argues that it is the meaning we assign to an event that determines the perceived risk, and that we generally turn a blind eye to this important fact, because the word "meaning" is itself awkward to explain. He tackles this fundamental question through examples taken from cultural fields ranging from painting, architecture, and music, to poetry, biology, and astronomy. This enables the reader to view overwhelming risks in a different light. Bouleau clarifies that the most important thing in a time of uncertainty is to think of prudence on a higher level, one that truly addresses the various subjective interpretations of the world.
How do we define taste? The only certainty is that it shifts and changes sometimes abruptly. With the explosion of vulgar consumerism in the mid-nineteenth century, the Victorians seized upon the notion of good taste as a way of codifying middleclass mores. A century later, to talk about taste had become almost taboo, since judgments made about dress, manners, food and art can often be painfully revealing. And today? When this classic text was first published in 1991, Stephen Bayley illuminated the nuances and niceties of our mercurial understanding of taste. In this new edition, he ranges far and wide to bring us exquisitely up to date.
Translated by Steven Corcoran Only yesterday aesthetics stood accused of concealing cultural games of social distinction. Now it is considered a parasitic discourse from which artistic practices must be freed. But aesthetics is not a discourse. It is an historical regime of the identification of art. This regime is paradoxical, because it founds the autonomy of art only at the price of suppressing the boundaries separating its practices and its objects from those of everyday life and of making free aesthetic play into the promise of a new revolution. Aesthetics is not a politics by accident but in essence. But this politics operates in the unresolved tension between two opposed forms of politics: the first consists in transforming art into forms of collective life, the second in preserving from all forms of militant or commercial compromise the autonomy that makes it a promise of emancipation. This constitutive tension sheds light on the paradoxes and transformations of critical art. It also makes it possible to understand why today's calls to free art from aesthetics are misguided and lead to a smothering of both aesthetics and politics in ethics.
Philosophy Bites Again is a brand new selection of interviews from the popular podcast of the same name. It offers engaging and thought-provoking conversations with leading philosophers on a selection of major philosophical issues that affect our lives. Their subjects include pleasure, pain, and humour; consciousness and the self; free will, responsibility, and punishment; the meaning of life and the afterlife. Everyone will find ideas in this book to fascinate, provoke, and inspire them. Philosophy Bites was set up in 2007 by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. It has, to date, over 20 million downloads, and is listened to all over the world.
Acclaimed social critic Curtis White describes an all-encompassing and little-noticed force taking over our culture and our lives that he calls the Middle Mind: the current failure of the American imagination in the media, politics, education, art, technology, and religion. Irreverent, provocative, and far-reaching, White presents a clear vision of this dangerous mindset that threatens America's intellectual and cultural freedoms, concluding with an imperative to reawaken and unleash the once powerful American imagination.
The Middle Mind is pragmatic, plainspoken, populist, contemptuous of the Right's narrowness, and incredulous before the Left's convolutions. It wants to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and has bought an SUV with the intent of visiting it. It even understands in some indistinct way how that very SUV spells the Arctic's doom.
'Art is not a luxury. Art is a basic social need to which everyone has a right'. This extraordinary collection of 100 artists' manifestos from across the globe over the last 100 years brings together activists, post-colonialists, surrealists, socialists, nihilists and a host of other voices. From the Negritude movement in Africa and Martinique to Brazil's Mud/Meat Sewer Manifesto, from Iraqi modernism to Australia's Cyberfeminist Manifesto, they are by turns personal, political, utopian, angry, sublime and revolutionary. Some have not been published in English before; some were written in climates of censorship and brutality; some contain visions of a future still on the horizon. What unites them is the belief that art can change the world.
Composed in a series of scenes, Aisthesis - Ranciere's definitive statement on the aesthetic - takes its reader from Dresden in 1764 to New York in 1941. Along the way, we view the Belvedere Torso with Winckelmann, accompany Hegel to the museum and Mallarme to the Folies-Bergere, attend a lecture by Emerson, visit exhibitions in Paris and New York, factories in Berlin, and film sets in Moscow and Hollywood. Ranciere uses these sites and events - some famous, others forgotten - to ask what becomes art and what comes of it. He shows how a regime of artistic perception and interpretation was constituted and transformed by erasing the specificities of the different arts, as well as the borders that separated them from ordinary experience. This incisive study provides a history of artistic modernity far removed from the conventional postures of modernism.
Best Fifteen Books of March 2019, Refinery29 Top Ten books of March 2019, Paste Magazine Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Fetishized, demonized, celebrated, and outlawed, the high heel is central to the iconography of modern womanhood. But are high heels good? Are they feminist? What does it mean for a woman (or, for that matter, a man) to choose to wear them? Meditating on the labyrinthine nature of sexual identity and the performance of gender, High Heel moves from film to fairytale, from foot binding to feminism, and from the golden ratio to glam rock. Summer Brennan considers this most provocative of fashion accessories as a nexus of desire and struggle, sex and society, violence and self expression, setting out to understand what it means to be a woman by walking a few hundred years in her shoes. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
The Architecture of Happiness is Alain de Botton's exploration of the hidden links between buildings and our well being. In The Architecture of Happiness, bestselling author Alain de Botton explores one of our most intense but often hidden love affairs: with our houses and their furnishings. He asks: What makes a house truly beautiful? Why are many new houses so ugly? Why do we argue so bitterly about sofas and pictures - and can differences of taste ever be satisfactorily resolved? To answer these questions and many more, de Botton looks at buildings across the world, from medieval wooden huts to modern skyscrapers; he examines sofas and cathedrals, tea sets and office complexes, and teases out a host of often surprising philosophical insights. The Architecture of Happiness will take you on a beguiling tour through the history and psychology of architecture and interior design, and will change the way you look at your home. 'Engaging and intelligent . . . full of splendid ideas, happily and beautifully expressed' Independent
An examination of the new technological mediations between the human sensorium and the planetary media network and of the aesthetic as an enabler of new modes of knowledge. This series of interventions on the ramifications of Speculative Realism for aesthetics ranges from contemporary art's relation to the aesthetic, to accelerationism and abstraction, logic and design. From varied perspectives of philosophy, art, and design, participants examine the new technological mediations between the human sensorium and the massive planetary media network within which it now exists and consider how the aesthetic enables new modes of knowledge by processing sensory data through symbolic formalisms and technological devices. Speculative Aesthetics anticipates the possibility of a theory and practice no longer invested in the otherworldly promise of the aesthetic, but acknowledging the real force and traction of images in the world today, experimentally employing techniques of modelling, formalisation, and presentation so as to simultaneously engineer new domains of experience and map them through a reconfigured aesthetics that is inseparable from its sociotechnical conditions.
'The ideal interpreter of the Ring ... a fascinating and valuable study ... absorbing and convincing' Sunday Times The Ring of the Nibelung is one of the greatest works of art created in modern times. Roger Scruton's brilliant and passionate exploration of the drama, music, symbolism and philosophy of Wagner's masterpiece - with its themes of love, death, sacrifice and freedom - shows how, ultimately, it expresses the truth about the human condition. 'Highly original and penetrating ... tremendous' Tim Blanning, Literary Review 'A rich, historical account ... After reading this book, only the most unadventurous reader would turn down the chance to see Wagner's masterpiece' Economist 'A brilliant gallop through the master's religious, musical and philosophical contexts' Sue Prideaux, Spectator 'Scruton is one of the finest philosopher-musicians since Schopenhauer' Jonathan Gaisman, Standpoint
An exploration of cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions Cuteness has taken the planet by storm. Global sensations Hello Kitty and Pok (c)mon, the works of artists Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum and E.T. "all reflect its gathering power. But what does oecute mean, as a sensibility and style? Why is it so pervasive? Is it all infantile fluff, or is there something more uncanny and even menacing going on "in a lighthearted way? In The Power of Cute, Simon May provides nuanced and surprising answers. We usually see the cute as merely diminutive, harmless, and helpless. May challenges this prevailing perspective, investigating everything from Mickey Mouse to Kim Jong-il to argue that cuteness is not restricted to such sweet qualities but also beguiles us by transforming or distorting them into something of playfully indeterminate power, gender, age, morality, and even species. May grapples with cuteness (TM)s dark and unpindownable side "unnerving, artful, knowing, apprehensive "elements that have fascinated since ancient times through mythical figures, especially hybrids like the hermaphrodite and the sphinx. He argues that cuteness is an addictive antidote to today (TM)s pressured expectations of knowing our purpose, being in charge, and appearing predictable, transparent, and sincere. Instead, it frivolously expresses the uncertainty that these norms deny: the ineliminable uncertainty of who we are; of how much we can control and know; of who, in our relations with others, really has power; indeed, of the very value and purpose of power. The Power of Cute delves into a phenomenon that speaks with strange force to our age.
How aesthetics-understood as a more encompassing framework for human activity-might become the primary discourse for political and social engagement. These essays make the case for a reignited understanding of aesthetics-one that casts aesthetics not as illusory, subjective, or superficial, but as a more encompassing framework for human activity. Such an aesthetics, the contributors suggest, could become the primary discourse for political and social engagement. Departing from the "critical" stance of twentieth-century artists and theorists who embraced a counter-aesthetic framework for political engagement, this book documents how a broader understanding of aesthetics can offer insights into our relationships not only with objects, spaces, environments, and ecologies, but also with each other and the political structures in which we are all enmeshed. The contributors-philosophers, media theorists, artists, curators, writers and architects including such notable figures as Jacques Ranciere, Graham Harman, and Elaine Scarry-build a compelling framework for a new aesthetic discourse. The book opens with a conversation in which Ranciere tells the volume's editor, Mark Foster Gage, that the aesthetic is "about the experience of a common world." The essays following discuss such topics as the perception of reality; abstraction in ethics, epistemology, and aesthetics as the "first philosophy"; Afrofuturism; Xenofeminism; philosophical realism; the productive force of alienation; and the unbearable lightness of current creative discourse. Contributors Mark Foster Gage, Jacques Ranciere, Elaine Scarry, Graham Harman, Timothy Morton, Ferda Kolatan, Adam Fure, Michael Young, Nettrice R. Gaskins, Roger Rothman, Diann Bauer, Matt Shaw, Albena Yaneva, Brett Mommersteeg, Lydia Kallipolliti, Ariane Lourie Harrison, Rhett Russo, Peggy Deamer, Caroline Picard Matt Shaw, Managing Editor
'One of the most rewarding pieces of hip-hop criticism ever written' Jeff Chang 'Brilliant' Giles Peterson 'Will Ashon's dazzling study gets to the heart of hip hop, pop culture and the history of contemporary America. Essential' Matt Thorne 'Each of these chambers contains wonders of history, destiny and mythology' Margo Jefferson Will Ashon tells, in 36 interlinked 'chambers', the story of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and how it changed the world. As unexpected and complex as the album itself, Chamber Music ranges from provocative essays to semi-comic skits, from deep scholarly analysis to satirical celebration, seeking to contextualise, reveal and honour this singularly composite work of art. From the FBI's war on drugs to the porn theatres of 42nd street, from the history of jazz to the future of politics, Chamber Music is an explosive and revelatory new way of writing about music and culture.
An innovative anthology presenting a broad view of the history of aesthetics from the classical to modern eras The newly expanded and revised edition of this bestselling anthology features a comprehensive collection of classic writings on aesthetics. Includes texts by canonical philosophers like Plato and Kant alongside essays from art critics like Clive Bell, with new readings from Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde, Walter Pater, Ronald W. Hepburn, and Arthur C. Danto among others Broadens the scope of aesthetics beyond the Western tradition, including important texts by Asian philosophers from Mo Tzu to Tanizaki Includes an introduction to aesthetics written by the editor as well as prefaces to each text and detailed lists of further reading Topics discussed range from the nature of beauty and the criteria of aesthetic judgement to the value of art and appreciation of nature
Part of the acclaimed 'Documents of Contemporary Art' series of anthologies . ...this volume persuasively argues that there can be an aesthetics to ethics. - Stan Douglas, Artist The boundary of a contemporary art object or project is no longer thought of solely in physical terms but rather in relation to the specific social field it creates. Art is thus increasingly implicated in questions of ethics. This collection evaluates the relation of ethics to aesthetics, an encounter central to the contested space of much recent practice. It brings together theoretical foundations for an ethics of aesthetics; appraisals of art that engages with ethical issues; statements and examples of methodologies adopted by a diverse range of artists; and examination of artworks that question the ethical conditions in which contemporary art is produced and experienced. Artists surveyed include: Michael Asher, Tania Bruguera, Christoph Buchel, Merlin Carpenter, Paul Chan, Lygia Clark, Dexter Sinister, Fischli & Weiss, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, David Hammons, Sharon Hayes, Thomas Hirschhorn, Khaled Hourani, Martin Kippenberger, Sharon Lockhart, Renzo Martens, Helio Oiticica, Seth Price, Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, Tino Sehgal, Santiago Sierra, Wolfgang Tillmans and Rirkrit Tiravanija. Writers include: Giorgio Agamben, Ariella Azoulay, Alain Badiou, Roland Barthes, Claire Bishop, Nicolas Bourriaud, Simon Critchley, Keller Easterling, Isabelle Graw, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Scorched Earth, Susan Sontag, Hito Steyerl, Triple Candie, Jan Verwoert and Eyal Weizman.
A novel interpretation of architecture, ugliness, and the social consequences of aesthetic judgment When buildings are deemed ugly, what are the consequences? In Ugliness and Judgment, Timothy Hyde considers the role of aesthetic judgment "and its concern for ugliness "in architectural debates and their resulting social effects across three centuries of British architectural history. From eighteenth-century ideas about Stonehenge to Prince Charles (TM)s opinions about the National Gallery, Hyde uncovers a new story of aesthetic judgment, where arguments about architectural ugliness do not pertain solely to buildings or assessments of style, but intrude into other spheres of civil society. Hyde explores how accidental and willful conditions of ugliness "including the gothic revival Houses of Parliament, the brutalist concrete of the South Bank, and the historicist novelty of Number One Poultry "have been debated in parliamentary committees, courtrooms, and public inquiries. He recounts how architects such as Christopher Wren, John Soane, James Stirling, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe have been summoned by tribunals of aesthetic judgment. With his novel scrutiny of lawsuits for libel, changing paradigms of nuisance law, and conventions of monarchical privilege, he shows how aesthetic judgments have become entangled in wider assessments of art, science, religion, political economy, and the state. Moving beyond superficialities of taste in order to see how architectural improprieties enable architecture to participate in social transformations, Ugliness and Judgment sheds new light on the role of aesthetic measurement in our world.
Reclaiming fun as a meaningful concept for understanding games and play. "Fun" is somewhat ambiguous. If something is fun, is it pleasant? Entertaining? Silly? A way to trick students into learning? Fun also has baggage-it seems inconsequential, embarrassing, child's play. In Fun, Taste, & Games, John Sharp and David Thomas reclaim fun as a productive and meaningful tool for understanding and appreciating play and games. They position fun at the heart of the aesthetics of games. As beauty was to art, they argue, fun is to play and games-the aesthetic goal that we measure our experiences and interpretations against. Sharp and Thomas use this fun-centered aesthetic framework to explore a range of games and game issues-from workplace bingo to Meow Wolf, from basketball to Myst, from the consumer marketplace to Marcel Duchamp. They begin by outlining three elements for understanding the drive, creation, and experience of fun: set-outsideness, ludic forms, and ambiguity. Moving from theory to practice and back again, they explore the complicated relationships among the titular fun, taste, and games. They consider, among other things, the dismissal of fun by game journalists and designers; the seminal but underinfluential game Myst, and how tastes change over time; the shattering of the gamer community in Gamergate; and an aesthetics of play that goes beyond games.
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