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While philosophy and psychoanalysis privilege language and conceptual distinctions and mistrust the image, the philosopher and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva recognizes the power of art and the imagination to unblock important sources of meaning. She also appreciates the process through which creative acts counteract and transform feelings of violence and depression. Reviewing Kristeva's corpus, Elaine P. Miller considers the intellectual's "aesthetic idea" and "thought specular" in their capacity to reshape depressive thought on both the individual and cultural level. She revisits Kristeva's reading of Walter Benjamin with reference to melancholic art and the imagination's allegorical structure; her analysis of Byzantine iconoclasm in relation to Freud's psychoanalytic theory of negation and Hegel's dialectical negativity; her understanding of Proust as an exemplary practitioner of sublimation; her rereading of Kant and Arendt in terms of art as an intentional lingering with foreignness; and her argument that forgiveness is both a philosophical and psychoanalytic method of transcending a "stuck" existence. Focusing on specific artworks that illustrate Kristeva's ideas, from ancient Greek tragedy to early photography, contemporary installation art, and film, Miller positions creative acts as a form of "spiritual inoculation" against the violence of our society and its discouragement of thought and reflection.
For the past thirty to forty years, cultural analysis has focused on developing terms to explain the surpassing of modernity. Discussion is stranded in an impasse between those who view the term modernity with automatic disdain-as deterministic, Eurocentric or imperialistic-and a booming interest that is renewing the study of modernism. Another dilemma is that the urge to move away from, or beyond, modernity arises because it is viewed as difficult, even unsavoury. Yet, there has always been a view of modernity as somehow difficult to live with, and that has been said by figures we regard today as typical modernists. McNamara argues in this book that it is time to forget the quest to surpass modernity. Instead, we should re-examine a legacy that continues to inform our artistic conceptions, our political debates, our critical justifications, even if that legacy is baffling and contradictory. We may find it difficult to live with, but without recourse to this legacy, our critical-cultural ambitions would remain seriously diminished. How do we explain the culture we live in today? And how do we, as citizens, make sense of it? This book suggests these questions have become increasingly difficult to answer.
This original and wide-ranging book, now available in paperback, is a major contribution to contemporary philosophy. Bernstein focuses on the work of four key thinkers - Kant, Heidegger, Derrida and Adorno - and provides a powerful new interpretation of their writings on art, aesthetics and politics.Bernstein argues that our experience of art today is conditioned by the loss of the truth-function of art: with the growth of modern science and technological reason, art is relegated to a separate and autonomous domain of the aesthetic. This condition of 'aesthetic alienation' - the raging discord between art and truth - is one of the most perspicuous signs of the fragmentation of modernity.Aesthetic alienation is challenged in differing ways by modern Continental philosophers like Heidegger, Derrida and Adorno. Bernstein shows how each of these philosophers uses the experience of art and the discourse of aesthetics to criticize the fragmentation of modernity. He examines in detail their responses to aesthetic alienation and raises a range of fundamental questions concerning the relations between art, philosophy and politics in modern societies.
Kitchen, cooking, nutrition, and eating have become omnipresent cultural topics. They stand at the centre of design, gastronomy, nutrition science, and agriculture. Artists have appropriated cooking as an aesthetic practice -- in turn, cooks are adapting the staging practices that go with an artistic self-image. This development is accompanied by a philosophy of cooking as a speculative cultural technique. This volume investigates the dimensions of a new on ("i") culinary turn-off ("i"), combining for the very first time contributions from the theory and practice of cooking.
First collected in Italy in 1985, "Art's Claim to Truth" is considered by many philosophers to be one of Gianni Vattimo's most important works. Newly revised for English readers, the book begins with a challenge to Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel, who viewed art as a metaphysical aspect of reality rather than a futuristic anticipation of it. Following Martin Heidegger's interpretation of the history of philosophy, Vattimo outlines the existential ontological conditions of aesthetics, paying particular attention to the works of Kandinsky, which reaffirm the ontological implications of art.
Vattimo then builds on Hans-Georg Gadamer's theory of aesthetics and provides an alternative to a rationalistic-positivistic criticism of art. This is the heart of Vattimo's argument, and with it he demonstrates how hermeneutical philosophy reaffirms art's ontological status and makes clear the importance of hermeneutics for aesthetic studies. In the book's final section, Vattimo articulates the consequences of reclaiming the ontological status of aesthetics without its metaphysical implications, holding Aristotle's concept of beauty responsible for the dissolution of metaphysics itself. In its direct engagement with the works of Gadamer, Heidegger, and Luigi Pareyson, "Art's Claim to Truth" offers a better understanding of the work of Vattimo and a deeper knowledge of ontology, hermeneutics, and the philosophical examination of truth.
Bis heute schwingt im Begriff der Filmavantgarde der Gedanke mit, ein Film sei umso avantgardistischer, je "reiner" er sei - je mehr er seine medienspezifische Bedingtheit, seine "Essenz" inszeniere und sich von anderen Kunsten "befreie." Diesem modernistischen Diskurs des Purismus, der sich auch in der aktuellen post-medium condition hartnackig halt, antwortet die vorliegende Studie mit einer alternativen Phanomenologie und Genealogie des Avantgardefilms, die nicht das Reine, sondern das "Unreine" zum Massstab nimmt. Mit der expanded-cinema-Aktion, dem handmade- und dem found-footage-Film stellt die Autorin dem cinema pur ein cinema brut gegenuber, dessen Dispositive und Praktiken sich am Schmutzigen, an Formverlust und Grenzuberschreitung orientieren. Ausgehend von kunst- und kulturtheoretischen Debatten um Materialitat und Performanz, Index und Spur, werden zunachst Grundzuge des cinema brut systematisiert, und in einem zweiten Schritt, anhand exemplarischer Analysen, Eckpunkte einer "unreinen" Geschichte der europaischen und nordamerikanischen Filmavantgarde markiert."
Environmental aesthetics is an emerging field of study that focuses on nature's aesthetic value as well as on its ethical and environmental implications. Drawing on the research of a number of disciplines, this exciting new area speaks to scholars working in a range of fields, including not only philosophy, but also environmental and cultural studies, public policy and planning, social and political theory, landscape design and management, and art and architecture.
"Nature, Aesthetics, and Environmentalism: From Beauty to Duty" addresses the complex relationships between aesthetic appreciation and environmental issues and emphasizes the valuable contribution that environmental aesthetics can make to environmentalism. Allen Carlson, a pioneer in environmental aesthetics, and Sheila Lintott, who has published widely in aesthetics, combine important historical essays on the appreciation of nature with the best contemporary research in the field. They begin with classic pieces by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, John Muir, John Burroughs, and Aldo Leopold, as well as an essay by Eugene Hargrove that lays out the scientific, artistic, and aesthetic foundations of current environmental beliefs and attitudes. The second section of the book addresses prevailing views on the conceptualization of nature and the various debates on how to properly and respectfully appreciate nature. The third section introduces positive aesthetics, the belief that everything in nature is essentially beautiful, even the devastation caused by earthquakes or floods. The essays in the final section explicitly bring together aesthetics, ethics, and environmentalism to explore the ways in which each might affectthe others.
Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji is variously read as a work of feminist protest, the world's first psychological novel and even as a post-modern masterpiece. Commonly seen as Japan's greatest literary work, its literary, cultural, and historical significance has been thoroughly acknowledged. As a work focused on the complexities of Japanese court life in the Heian period, however, the The Tale of Genji has never before been the subject of philosophical investigation. The essays in this volume address this oversight, arguing that the work contains much that lends itself to philosophical analysis. The authors of this volume demonstrate that The Tale of Genji confronts universal themes such as the nature and exercise of political power, freedom, individual autonomy and agency, renunciation, gender, and self-expression; it raises deep concerns about aesthetics and the role of art, causality, the relation of man to nature, memory, and death itself. Although Murasaki Shikibu may not express these themes in the text as explicitly philosophical problems, the complex psychological tensions she describes and her observations about human conduct reveal an underlying framework of philosophical assumptions about the world of the novel that have implications for how we understand these concerns beyond the world of Genji. Each essay in this collection reveals a part of this framework, situating individual themes within larger philosophical and historical contexts. In doing so, the essays both challenge prevailing views of the novel and each other, offering a range of philosophical interpretations of the text and emphasizing the The Tale of Genji's place as a masterful work of literature with broad philosophical significance.
Psychoanalysis has continuously been applied to the exploration of creativity and artistic genius, but up to now, this has not produced its own systematic body of knowledge. The traditional psychoanalytic approach to art is to attempt to decode it, in order to capture its hidden meaning. But in this book, the author explains that it is through the arts, we discover important aspects of ourselves. Antonio Di Benedetto argues for a completely new approach.. By employing analytic receptivity to listen to the aesthetic object and what it has to say, art becomes the interpretative key instead. Furthermore, the author shows how the arts can inspire psychoanalysis, helping it to recover its intuitive and poetic roots and providing forms, images and sounds to best represent fleeting introspective moments and pre-verbal insight. To illustrate these pre-symbolic aspects of introspection, the author examines well-known aesthetic masterpieces; the frescoes of the Loggia of Psyche in Rome, Mozart's The Magic Flute, and Six Characters in Search of an Author, by L. Pirandello. Of these, Di Benedetto considers music to be the artistic form best suited to refine the analyst's capacity to listen to the affective component of unconscious communication.
Aesthetics is no longer merely the philosophy of perception and the arts. Nelson Goodman, Arthur Danto and others have contributed to develop aesthetics from a field at the margins of philosophy to one permeating substantial areas of theoretical and practical philosophy. New approaches like environmental and ecological aesthetics widened the understanding of the aesthetics of nature. The contributions in this volume address the most important issues in contemporary aesthetics, many of them from a Wittgensteinian perspective. The 39th International Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium, organized by the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, was held at Kirchberg am Wechsel, Lower Austria, from August 7th to 13th 2016 and aimed at taking an inventory of important tendencies and positions in contemporary aesthetics. The volume includes a selection of the invited papers.
The essay is the perfect format for a crisis. Its porous and contingent nature forgives a lack of formality, while its neglect of perfection and virtuosity releases the potential for the incomplete and the unrealizable. These seven essays on The Political Possibility of Sound present a perfectly incomplete form for a discussion on the possibility of the political that includes creativity and invention, and articulates a politics that imagines transformation and the desire to embrace a connected and collaborative world. The themes of these essays emerge from and deepen discussions started in Voegelin's previous books, Listening to Noise and Silence and Sonic Possible Worlds. Continuing the methodological juxtaposition of phenomenology and logic and writing from close sonic encounters each represents a fragment of listening to a variety of sound works, to music, the acoustic environment and to poetry, to hear their possibilities and develop words for what appears impossible. As fragments of writing they respond to ideas on geography and migration, bring into play formless subjectivities and trans-objective identities, and practice collectivity and a sonic cosmopolitanism through the hearing of shared volumes. They involve the unheard and the in-between to contribute to current discussions on new materialism, and perform vertical readings to reach the depth of sound.
This book explores the ways in which music can engender religious experience, by virtue of its ability to evoke the ineffable and affect how the world is open to us. Arguing against approaches that limit the religious significance of music to an illustrative function, The Extravagance of Music sets out a more expansive and optimistic vision, which suggests that there is an `excess' or `extravagance' in both music and the divine that can open up revelatory and transformative possibilities. In Part I, David Brown argues that even in the absence of words, classical instrumental music can disclose something of the divine nature that allows us to speak of an experience analogous to contemplative prayer. In Part II, Gavin Hopps contends that, far from being a wasteland of mind-closing triviality, popular music frequently aspires to elicit the imaginative engagement of the listener and is capable of evoking intimations of transcendence. Filled with fresh and accessible discussions of diverse examples and forms of music, this ground-breaking book affirms the disclosive and affective capacities of music, and shows how it can help to awaken, vivify, and sustain a sense of the divine in everyday life.
Analysing a wide range of novels and films, Sean McQueen brings renewed Marxian readings to cyberpunk texts previously theorised by Baudrillard or Deleuze. He places them at the heart of the emergence of biopunk and biocapitalism, theorising shifts in capitalism, science, technology, psychoanalysis, literature and film studies.
This book presents a detailed analysis of what it means to be absorbed in playing music. Based on interviews with one of the world's leading classical ensembles, "The Danish String Quartet" (DSQ), it debunks the myth that experts cannot reflect while performing, but also shows that intense absorption is not something that can be achieved through will, intention, prediction or planning - it remains something individuals have to be receptive to. Based in the phenomenological tradition of Husserl and Merleau-Ponty as well as of Dan Zahavi and Shaun Gallagher, it lays out the conditions and essential structures of musical absorption. Employing the lived experience of the DSQ members, it also engages and challenges core ideas in phenomenology, philosophy of mind, enactivism, expertise studies, musical psychology, flow theory, aesthetics, dream and sleep studies, psychopathology and social ontology, and proposes a method that integrates phenomenology and cognitive science.
Marcel Duchamp is often viewed as an "artist-engineer-scientist," a kind of rationalist who relied heavily on the ideas of the French mathematician and philosopher Henri Poincar?. Yet a complete portrait of Duchamp and his multiple influences draws a different picture. In his "3 Standard Stoppages" (1913-1914), a work that uses chance as an artistic medium, we see how far Duchamp subverted scientism in favor of a radical individualistic aesthetic and experimental vision.
Unlike the Dadaists, Duchamp did more than dismiss or negate the authority of science. He pushed scientific rationalism to the point where its claims broke down and alternative truths were allowed to emerge. With humor and irony, Duchamp undertook a method of artistic research, reflection, and visual thought that focused less on beauty than on the notion of the "possible." He became a passionate advocate of the power of invention and thinking things that had never been thought before.
The "3 Standard Stoppages" is the ultimate realization of the play between chance and dimension, visibility and invisibility, high and low art, and art and anti-art. Situating Duchamp firmly within the literature and philosophy of his time, Herbert Molderings recaptures the spirit of a frequently misread artist-and his thrilling aesthetic of chance.
The writings of Jacques Derrida have had a profound but complex influence on both film studies and on feminism. In the first work of its kind, Deconstruction, Feminism, Film explores the interconnections between these three fields through detailed filmic and philosophical close readings. Employing a dual feminist methodology of critique and generation, this book probes the feminist faultlines in Derrida's thought and generates original feminist insight into key concerns of contemporary film studies, including spectatorship, realism vs artifice, narrative, adaptation, auto/biography and the still. In theory and in practice, Deconstruction, Feminism, Film performs the possibilities of a new twenty-first century feminist spectatorship.
Co-authored by three prominent philosophers of art, Jazz and the Philosophy of Art is the first book in English to be exclusively devoted to philosophical issues in jazz. It covers such diverse topics as minstrelsy, bebop, Voodoo, social and tap dancing, parades, phonography, musical forgeries, and jazz singing, as well as Goodman's allographic/autographic distinction, Adorno's critique of popular music, and what improvisation is and is not. The book is organized into three parts. Drawing on innovative strategies adopted to address challenges that arise for the project of defining art, Part I shows how historical definitions of art provide a blueprint for a historical definition of jazz. Part II extends the book's commitment to social-historical contextualism by exploring distinctive ways that jazz has shaped, and been shaped by, American culture. It uses the lens of jazz vocals to provide perspective on racial issues previously unaddressed in the work. It then examines the broader premise that jazz was a socially progressive force in American popular culture. Part III concentrates on a topic that has entered into the arguments of each of the previous chapters: what is jazz improvisation? It outlines a pluralistic framework in which distinctive performance intentions distinguish distinctive kinds of jazz improvisation. This book is a comprehensive and valuable resource for any reader interested in the intersections between jazz and philosophy.
An argument that in response to sociocultural pressures, human minds develope self-consciousness by activating a complex machinery of self-regulation. In Our Own Minds, Radu Bogdan takes a developmental perspective on consciousness-its functional design in particular-and proposes that children's functional capacity for consciousness is assembled during development out of a variety of ontogenetic adaptations that respond mostly to sociocultural challenges specific to distinct stages of childhood. Young human minds develop self-consciousness-in the broad sense of being conscious of the self's mental and behavioral relatedness to the world-because they face extraordinary and escalating sociocultural pressures that cannot be handled without setting in motion a complex executive machinery of self-regulation under the guidance of an increasingly sophisticated intuitive psychology. Bogdan suggests that self-consciousness develops gradually during childhood. Children move from being oriented toward the outside world in early childhood to becoming (at about age four) oriented also toward their own minds. Bogdan argues that the sociocultural tasks and practices that children must assimilate and engage in competently demand the development of an intuitive psychology (also known as theory of mind or mind reading); the intuitive psychology assembles a suite of executive abilities (intending, controlling, monitoring, and so on) that install self-consciousness and drive its development. Understanding minds, first the minds of others and then our own, drives the development of self-consciousness, world-bound or extrovert at the beginning and later mind-bound or introvert. This asymmetric development of the intuitive psychology drives a commensurate asymmetric development of self-consciousness.
Taste as Experience puts the pleasure of food at the center of human experience. It shows how the sense of taste informs our preferences for and relationship to nature, pushes us toward ethical practices of consumption, and impresses upon us the importance of aesthetics. Eating is often dismissed as a necessary aspect of survival, and our personal enjoyment of food is considered a quirk. Nicola Perullo sees food as the only portion of the world we take in on a daily basis, constituting our first and most significant encounter with the earth. Perullo has long observed people's food practices and has listened to their food experiences. He draws on years of research to explain the complex meanings behind our food choices and the thinking that accompanies our gustatory actions. He also considers our indifference toward food as a force influencing us as much as engagement. For Perullo, taste is value and wisdom. It cannot be reduced to mere chemical or cultural factors but embodies the quality and quantity of our earthly experience.
Highly influential both as an artist and as a theoretician, Victor Burgin figures among the most insightful thinkers on visual culture in recent times. His writings focus on the production of meanings and affects through images "at the intersections of subjective desire and sociopolitical organization" and draw on diverse representational practices (photography, film, painting, advertising, television, and the Internet) and theoretical fields (semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminist theory, and cultural studies).
The essays in this volume provide a succinct overview of Burgin's rich and multifaceted work during the last forty years from its origins in debates within conceptual art to its present concern with everyday perception in the environment of global media. The selection includes such classic essays as "Situational Aesthetics" and "Photographic Practice and Art Theory," together with less widely known articles as "Work and Commentary" and the previously unpublished essays "Shadows, Time, and Family Pictures" and "Monument and Melancholia."
The essays are arranged chronologically in sections to represent four salient phases of Burgin's preoccupations: Conceptual Art and Photography; A Psychical Realism; The City and Global Media; and Infinite Film. Each section is preceded by an exchange between Burgin and the book's editor, Alexander Streitberger, that introduces the main lines of thought. Examples from Burgin's visual works, selected by the editor in consultation with the artist, accompany each section."
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. During the breakdown of an unhappy marriage, writer Joanna Walsh got a job as a hotel reviewer, and began to gravitate towards places designed as alternatives to home. Luxury, sex, power, anonymity, privacy...hotels are where our desires go on holiday, but also places where our desires are shaped by the hard realities of the marketplace. Part memoir and part meditation, this book visits a series of rooms, suites, hallways, and lobbies-the spaces and things that make up these modern sites of gathering and alienation, hotels. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Nietzsche is one of the most important modern philosophers and his writings on the nature of art are amongst the most influential of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This GuideBook introduces and assesses:
This GuideBook will be essential reading for all students coming to Nietzsche for the first time.
What is poetry? Why do human beings produce and consume it? What effects does it have on them? Can it give them insight into truth, or is it dangerously misleading? This book is a wide-ranging study of the very varied answers which ancient philosophers gave to such questions. An extended discussion of Plato's Republic shows how the two discussions of poetry are integrated with each other and with the dialogue's central themes. Aristotle's Poetics is read in the context of his understanding of poetry as a natural human behaviour and an intrinsically valuable component of a good human life. Two chapters trace the development of the later Platonist tradition from Plutarch to Plotinus, Longinus and Porphyry, exploring its intellectual debts to Epicurean, allegorical and Stoic approaches to poetry. It will be essential reading for classicists as well as ancient philosophers and modern philosophers of art and aesthetics.
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