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Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Once upon a time, the news was only 15 minutes long and middle-class families huddled around a tiny black-and-white screen, TV dinners on their laps, awaiting the weekly showing of sitcoms that depicted an all-white world in which mom wore pearls and heels as she baked endless pies. The revelation that answers were fed to contestants on quiz shows was a national scandal, and the Vietnam War and JFK's assassination were unprecedented eruptions of real-time disaster into the placid televisual world. If this seems a distant past, that's a measure of just how much TV has changed-and changed us. Weaving together personal memoir, social and political history, and reflecting on key moments in the history of news broadcasting and prime time entertainment, Susan Bordo opens up the 75-year-old time-capsule that is TV and illustrates what a constant companion and dominant cultural force television has been, for good and for bad, in carrying us from the McCarthy hearings and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet to Mad Men, Killing Eve, and other challenges to the mythology of post-war suburbia-and the emergence of our first "reality tv president." Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
From the bestselling author of Purple Cow and This is Marketing comes an elegant little book that will inspire artists, writers, and entrepreneurs to stretch and commit to putting their best work out into the world.
Creative work doesn't come with a guarantee. But there is a pattern to who succeeds and who doesn't. And engaging in the consistent practice of its pursuit is the best way forward.
Based on the breakthrough Akimbo workshop pioneered by legendary author Seth Godin, The Practice will help you get unstuck and find the courage to make and share creative work. Godin insists that writer's block is a myth, that consistency is far more important than authenticity, and that experiencing the imposter syndrome is a sign that you're a well-adjusted human. Most of all, he shows you what it takes to turn your passion from a private distraction to a productive contribution, the one you've been seeking to share all along.
With this book as your guide, you'll learn to dance with your fear. To take the risks worth taking. And to embrace the empathy required to make work that contributes with authenticity and joy.
'We live within a spectacle of empty clothes and unworn masks' In this series of remarkable pieces from across his career, John Berger celebrates and dissects the close links between art and society and the individual. Few writers give a more vivid and moving sense of how we make art and how art makes us. One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists.
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.
'Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life' The two works brought together here, 'The Decay of Lying' and 'The Critic as Artist', are Oscar Wilde's wittiest and most profound writings on aesthetics, in which he proposes that criticism is the highest form of creation and that lying, the telling of a beautiful untruth, is the ultimate aim of art. One of twenty new books in the bestselling Penguin Great Ideas series. This new selection showcases a diverse list of thinkers who have helped shape our world today, from anarchists to stoics, feminists to prophets, satirists to Zen Buddhists.
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.
Whether it's sleek leather pants, a shiny new Apple computer, or a designer toaster, we make important decisions as consumers every day based on our sensory experience. Sensory appeals are everywhere, and they are intensifying, radically changing how Americans live and work. The twenty-first century has become the age of aesthetics, and whether we realize it or not, this influence has taken over the marketplace, and much more.
In this penetrating, keenly observed book, Virginia Postrel makes the argument that appearance counts, that aesthetic value is real. Drawing from fields as diverse as fashion, real estate, politics, design, and economics, Postrel deftly chronicles our culture's aesthetic imperative and argues persuasively that it is a vital component of a healthy, forward-looking society.
Intelligent, incisive, and thought-provoking, The Substance of Style is a groundbreaking portrait of the democratization of taste and a brilliant examination of the way we live now.
The newly expanded and revised edition of Cooper's popular anthology featuring classic writings on aesthetics, both historical and contemporary The second edition of this bestselling anthology collects essays of canonical significance in aesthetics and the philosophy of art, featuring a wide range of topics from the nature of beauty and the criteria for aesthetic judgement to the value of art and the appreciation of nature. Includes texts by classical 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 Intersperses philosophical scholarship with diverse contributions from artists, poets, novelists, and critics Broadens the scope of aesthetics beyond the Western tradition, including important texts by Asian philosophers from Mo Tzu to Tanizaki Includes a fully-updated introduction to the discipline written by the editor, as well as prefaces to each text and chapter-specific lists of further reading
For most of the twentieth century, the writings of aestheticians of the French Enlightenment were neglected by philosophers and students of the fine arts. Coleman has applied philosophical analysis to the writings of Diderot, Montesquieu, Dubos, Batteux, Andre, and Crousaz, among others, to reflect on the fine arts of the first two-thirds of the eighteenth century.
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 does a novel entice or enlist us? How does a song surprise or seduce us? Why do we bristle when a friend belittles a book we love, or fall into a funk when a favored TV series comes to an end? What characterizes the aesthetic experiences of feeling captivated by works of art? In Hooked, Rita Felski challenges the ethos of critical aloofness that is a part of modern intellectuals' self-image. The result is sure to be as widely read as Felski's book, The Limits of Critique. Wresting the language of affinity away from accusations of sticky sentiment and manipulative marketing, Felski argues that "being hooked" is as fundamental to the appreciation of high art as to the enjoyment of popular culture. Hooked zeroes in on three attachment devices that connect audiences to works of art: identification, attunement, and interpretation. Drawing on examples from literature, film, music, and painting--from Joni Mitchell to Matisse, from Thomas Bernhard to Thelma and Louise--Felski brings the language of attachment into the academy. Hooked returns us to the fundamentals of aesthetic experience, showing that the social meanings of artworks are generated not just by critics, but also by the responses of captivated audiences.
Bringing together short stories by award-winning contemporary science fiction authors and philosophers, this book covers a wide range of philosophical ideas from ethics, philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and metaphysics. Alongside the introductory pieces by the editors that help readers to understand how philosophy can be done through science fiction, you will find end-of-story notes written by the authors that contextualize their stories within broader philosophical themes. Organised thematically, these stories address fundamental philosophical questions such as: *What does it mean to be human? *Is neural enhancement a good thing? *What makes a life worthwhile? *What political systems are best? By making complex ideas easily accessible, this unique book allows you to engage with philosophical ideas in entertaining new ways, and is an ideal entry point for anyone interested in using fiction to better understand philosophy.
'Pain and pleasure are simple ideas, incapable of definition.' In 1757 the 27-year-old Edmund Burke argued that our aesthetic responses are experienced as pure emotional arousal, unencumbered by intellectual considerations. In so doing he overturned the Platonic tradition in aesthetics that had prevailed from antiquity until the eighteenth century, and replaced metaphysics with psychology and even physiology as the basis for the subject. Burke's theory of beauty encompasses the female form, nature, art, and poetry, and he analyses our delight in sublime effects that thrill and excite us. His revolution in method continues to have repercussions in the aesthetic theories of today, and his revolution in sensibility has paved the way for literary and artistic movements from the Gothic novel through Romanticism, twentieth-century painting, and beyond. In this new edition Paul Guyer conducts the reader through Burke's Enquiry, focusing on its place in the history of aesthetics and highlighting its innovations, as well as its influence on many subsequent authors from Kant and Schiller to Ruskin and Nietzsche. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Georg Simmel is one of the most original German thinkers of the twentieth century and is considered a founding architect of the modern discipline of sociology. Ranging over fundamental questions of the relationship of self and society, his influential writings on money, modernity, and the metropolis continue to provoke debate today. Fascinated by the relationship between culture, society, and economic life, Simmel took an interest in myriad phenomena of aesthetics and the arts. A friend of writers and artists such as Auguste Rodin, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Stefan George, he wrote dozens of pieces engaging with topics such as the work of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Rodin, Japanese art, naturalism and symbolism, Goethe, "art for art's sake", art exhibitions, and the aesthetics of the picture frame. This is the first collection to bring together Simmel's finest writing on art and aesthetics, and many of the items appear in English in this volume for the first time. The more than forty essays show the protean breadth of Simmel's reflections, covering landscape painting, portraiture, sculpture, poetry, theater, form, style, and representation. An extensive introduction by Austin Harrington gives an overview of Simmel's themes and elucidates the significance of his work for the many theorists who would be inspired by his ideas. Something of an outsider to the formal academic world of his day, Simmel wrote creatively with the flair of an essayist. This expansive collection of translations, many of them prepared by the editor, preserves the narrative ease of Simmel's prose and will be a vital source for readers with an interest in Simmel's trailblazing ideas in modern European philosophy, sociology, and cultural theory.
Is the point of philosophy to transmit beliefs about the world, or can it sometimes have higher ambitions? In this bold study, Karen Zumhagen-Yekple makes a critical contribution to the "resolute" program of Wittgenstein scholarship, revealing his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus as a complex, mock-theoretical puzzle designed to engage readers in the therapeutic self-clarification Wittgenstein saw as the true work of philosophy. Seen in this light, Wittgenstein resembles his modernist contemporaries more than might first appear. Like the literary innovators of his time, Wittgenstein believed in the productive power of difficulty, in varieties of spiritual experience, in the importance of age-old questions about life's meaning, and in the possibility of transfigurative shifts toward the right way of seeing the world. In a series of absorbing chapters, Zumhagen-Yekple shows how Kafka, Woolf, Joyce, and Coetzee set their readers on a path toward a new way of being. Offering a new perspective on Wittgenstein as philosophical modernist, and on the lives and afterlives of his indirect teaching, A Different Order of Difficulty is a compelling addition to studies in both literature and philosophy.
Much current theorizing about literature involves efforts to renew our sense of aesthetic values in reading. Such is the case with new formalism as well as recent appeals to the notion of "surface reading." While sympathetic to these efforts, Charles Altieri believes they ultimately fall short because too often they fail to account for the values that engage literary texts in the social world. In Reckoning with the Imagination, Altieri argues for a reconsideration of the Kantian tradition of Idealist ethics, which he believes can restore much of the power of the arguments for the role of aesthetics in art. Altieri finds a perspective for that restoration in a reading of Wittgenstein's later work that stresses Wittgenstein's parallel criticisms of the spirit of empiricism. Altieri begins by offering a phenomenology of imagination, because we cannot fully honor art if we do not link it to a distinctive, socially productive force. That force emerges in two quite different but equally powerful realizations in his reading of John Ashbery's "Instruction Manual," which explicitly establishes a model for a postromantic view of imagination, and William Butler Yeats's "Leda and the Swan." He then turns to Wittgenstein with chapters on the role of display as critique of Enlightenment thinking, the honoring of qualities like sensitivity and the ability to attune to the actions of others, the role of expression in the building of models, and the contrast between ethical and confessional modes of judgment. Finally, Altieri produces his own model of aesthetic experience as participatory valuation and makes an extended argument for the social significance of appreciation as a way to escape the patterns of resentment fundamental to our current mode of politics. A masterful work by one of our foremost literary and philosophical theorists, Reckoning with the Imagination will breathe new life into ongoing debates over the value of aesthetic experience.
In this book, the founder of object-oriented ontology develops his view that aesthetics is the central discipline of philosophy. Whereas science must attempt to grasp an object in terms of its observable qualities, philosophy and art cannot proceed in this way because they don't have direct access to their objects. Hence philosophy shares the same fate as art in being compelled to communicate indirectly, allusively, or elliptically, rather than in the clear propositional terms that are often taken - wrongly - to be the sole stuff of genuine philosophy. Conceiving of philosophy and art in this way allows us to reread key debates in aesthetic theory and to view art history in a different way. The formalist criticism of Greenberg and Fried is rejected for its refusal to embrace the innate theatricality and deep multiplicity of every artwork. This has consequences for art criticism, making pictorial content more important than formalism thinks but less entwined with the social sphere than anti-formalism holds. It has consequences for art history too, as the surrealists, David, and Poussin, among others, gain in importance. The close link between aesthetics and ontology also invites a new periodization of modern philosophy as a whole, and the habitual turn away from Kant's thing-in-itself towards an increase in philosophical "immanence" is shown to be a false dawn. This major work will be of great interest to students and scholars of philosophy, aesthetics, art history and cultural theory.
The main theme of this book is that art and an aesthetic sense of beauty is central to all aspects of Japanese life and that this was an important aspect of Japanese tradition and Japanese international success. The book covers such topics as natural beauty, gardens and flowers, architecture, applied art, manners and customs and many more areas of the Japanese
An invitation to readers from every walk of life to rediscover the impractical splendors of a life of learning In an overloaded, superficial, technological world, in which almost everything and everybody is judged by its usefulness, where can we turn for escape, lasting pleasure, contemplation, or connection to others? While many forms of leisure meet these needs, Zena Hitz writes, few experiences are so fulfilling as the inner life, whether that of a bookworm, an amateur astronomer, a birdwatcher, or someone who takes a deep interest in one of countless other subjects. Drawing on inspiring examples, from Socrates and Augustine to Malcolm X and Elena Ferrante, and from films to Hitz's own experiences as someone who walked away from elite university life in search of greater fulfillment, Lost in Thought is a passionate and timely reminder that a rich life is a life rich in thought. Today, when even the humanities are often defended only for their economic or political usefulness, Hitz says our intellectual lives are valuable not despite but because of their practical uselessness. And while anyone can have an intellectual life, she encourages academics in particular to get back in touch with the desire to learn for its own sake, and calls on universities to return to the person-to-person transmission of the habits of mind and heart that bring out the best in us. Reminding us of who we once were and who we might become, Lost in Thought is a moving account of why renewing our inner lives is fundamental to preserving our humanity.
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy that explores the nature of art, beauty, and taste. It doesn't just consider traditional artistic experiences such as artworks in a museum or an opera performance, but also everyday experiences such as autumn leaves in the park, or even just the light of the setting sun falling on the kitchen table. It is also about your experience when you choose the shirt you're going to wear today or when you wonder whether you should put more pepper in the soup. Aesthetics is everywhere. It is one of the most important aspects of our life. In this Very Short Introduction Bence Nanay introduces the field of aesthetics, considering both Western and non-Western aesthetic traditions, and exploring why it is sometimes misunderstood or considered to be too elitist - by artists, musicians, and even philosophers. As Nanay shows, so-called 'high art' has no more claims on aesthetics than sitcoms, tattoos, or punk rock. In fact, the scope of aesthetics extends far wider than that of art, high or low, including much of what we care about in life. It is not the job of aesthetics to tell you which artworks are good and which ones are bad. It is not the job of aesthetics to tell you what experiences are worth having. If an experience is worth having for you, it thereby becomes the subject of aesthetics. This realisation is important, because thinking about aesthetics in this inclusive way opens up new ways of understanding old questions about the social aspect of our aesthetic engagements, and the importance of aesthetic values for our own self. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This edited monograph provides a compelling analysis of the interplay between neuroscience and aesthetics. The book broaches a wide spectrum of topics including, but not limited to, mathematics and creator algorithms, neurosciences of artistic creativity, paintings and dynamical systems as well as computational research for architecture. The international authorship is genuinely interdisciplinary and the target audience primarily comprises readers interested in transdisciplinary research between neuroscience and the broad field of aesthetics.
Paul de Man - literary critic, literary philosopher, "American deconstructionist" - changed the landscape of criticism through his rigorous theories and writings. Upon its original publication in 1988, Christopher Norris' book was the first full-length introduction to de Man, a reading that offers a much-needed corrective to the pattern of extreme antithetical response which marked the initial reception to de Man's writings. Norris addresses de Man's relationship to philosophical thinking in the post-Kantian tradition, his concern with "aesthetic ideology" as a potent force of mystification within and beyond that tradition, and the vexed issue of de Man's politics. Norris brings out the marked shift of allegiance in de Man's thinking, from the thinly veiled conservative implications of the early essays to the engagement with Marx and Foucault on matters of language and politics in the late, posthumous writing. At each stage, Norris raises these questions through a detailed close reading of individual texts which will be welcomed by those who lack any specialised knowledge of de Man's work.
Paul de Man - literary critic, literary philosopher, "American deconstructionist" - changed the landscape of criticism through his rigorous theories and writings. Upon its original publication in 1988, Christopher Norris' book was the first full-length introduction to de Man, a reading that offers a much-needed corrective to the pattern of extreme antithetical response which marked the initial reception to de Man's writings.
Norris addresses de Man's relationship to philosophical thinking in the post-Kantian tradition, his concern with "aesthetic ideology" as a potent force of mystification within and beyond that tradition, and the vexed issue of de Man's politics. Norris brings out the marked shift of allegiance in de Man's thinking, from the thinly veiled conservative implications of the early essays to the engagement with Marx and Foucault on matters of language and politics in the late, posthumous writing. At each stage, Norris raises these questions through a detailed close reading of individual texts which will be welcomed by those who lack any specialised knowledge of de Man's work.
This collection investigates modern imperialist practices and their management of hunger through its punctuated distribution amongst asymmetrically related marginal populations. Drawing on relevant material from Egypt, Ireland, India, Ukraine, and other regions of the globe, The Aesthetics and Politics of Global Hunger is a rigorously comparative study made up of ten essays by well-established scholars from universities around the world. Since modernity, we have been inhabitants of a globe increasingly connected through discourses of equal access for all humans to the resources of the planet, but the volume emphasizes alongside this reality the flagrant politicization of those same resources. From this emphasis, the essays in the volume place into relief the idea that ideological and aesthetic discourses of hunger could inform ethical thinking and practices about who or what constitutes the figure of the modern historical human.
The Birth of Tragedy is one of the seminal philosophical works of the modern period. The theories developed in this relatively short text have had a profound influence on the philosophy, literature, music and politics of the twentieth century. This edition presents a new translation by Ronald Speirs and an introduction by Raymond Geuss that sets the work in its historical and philosophical context. The volume also includes two essays on related topics that Nietzsche wrote during the same period.
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