Called "the sleeper hit of the publishing season" (The Boston Globe), Shop Class as Soulcraft became an instant bestseller, attracting readers with its radical (and timely) reappraisal of the merits of skilled manual labor. On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.
The book begins by tracing the shifting use and nature of metaphysics in the thought of Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Lyotard, Derrida, Deleuze, Nancy, Levinas, and others. Hart pays special attention to Nietzsche's famous narrative of the "will to power" -- a narrative largely adopted by the world today -- and he offers an engaging revision (though not rejection) of the genealogy of nihilism, thereby highlighting the significant "interruption" that Christian thought introduced into the history of metaphysics.
This discussion sets the stage for a retrieval of the classic Christian account of beauty and sublimity, and of the relation of both to the question of being. Written in the form of a dogmatica minora, this main section of the book offers a pointed reading of the Christian story in four moments, or parts: Trinity, creation, salvation, and eschaton. Through a combination of narrative and argument throughout, Hart ends up demonstrating the power of Christian metaphysics not only to withstand the critiques of modern and postmodern thought but also to move well beyond them.
Strikingly original and deeply rewarding, The Beauty of the Infinite is both a constructively critical account of the history of metaphysics and a compelling contribution to it.
The ancients regarded rhetoric as the crowning intellectual discipline — the synthesis of logical principles and other knowledge attained from years of schooling. Modern readers will find considerable relevance in Aristotelian rhetoric and its focus on developing persuasive tools of argumentation. Aristotle's examinations of how to compose and interpret speeches offer significant insights into the language and style of contemporary communications, from advertisements to news reports and other media.
At once among the most widely beloved and most reviled and lampooned pop stars of the past few decades, Céline Dion's critics call her mawkish and overblown while millions of fans around the world adore her "huge pipes” and even bigger feelings. How can anyone say which side is right?
This new, expanded edition goes even further, calling on thirteen prominent writers and musicians to respond to themes ranging from sentiment and kitsch to cultural capital and musical snobbery. The original text is followed by lively arguments and stories from Nick Hornby, Krist Novoselic, Ann Powers, Mary Gaitskill, James Franco, Sheila Heti and others.
In a new afterword, Carl Wilson examines recent cultural changes in love and hate, including the impact of technology and social media on how taste works (or doesn't) in the 21st century.
Including annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Fight Club is essential reading for anyone interested in the film, as well as those studying philosophy and film studies.
In a series of brilliant analyses, Eagleton shows how to read with due attention to tone, rhythm, texture, syntax, allusion, ambiguity, and other formal aspects of literary works. He also examines broader questions of character, plot, narrative, the creative imagination, the meaning of fictionality, and the tension between what works of literature say and what they show. Unfailingly authoritative and cheerfully opinionated, the author provides useful commentaries on classicism, Romanticism, modernism, and postmodernism along with spellbinding insights into a huge range of authors, from Shakespeare and J. K. Rowling to Jane Austen and Samuel Beckett.
With this revised and expanded edition, Hickey is back to fan the flames. More manifesto than polite discussion, more call to action than criticism, The Invisible Dragon aims squarely at the hyper-institutionalism that, in Hickey’s view, denies the real pleasures that draw us to art in the first place. Deploying the artworks of Warhol, Raphael, Caravaggio, and Mapplethorpe and the writings of Ruskin, Shakespeare, Deleuze, and Foucault, Hickey takes on museum culture, arid academicism, sclerotic politics, and more—all in the service of making readers rethink the nature of art. A new introduction provides a context for earlier essays—what Hickey calls his "intellectual temper tantrums." A new essay, "American Beauty," concludes the volume with a historical argument that is a rousing paean to the inherently democratic nature of attention to beauty.
Written with a verve that is all too rare in serious criticism, this expanded and refurbished edition of The Invisible Dragon will be sure to captivate a new generation of readers, provoking the passionate reactions that are the hallmark of great criticism.
This is the first book to explore and address the myriad philosophical questions raised by the film, concerning personal identity, free will, memory, knowledge, and action. It also explores problems in aesthetics raised by the film through its narrative structure, ontology, and genre. Beginning with a helpful introduction that places the film in context and maps out its complex structure, specially commissioned chapters examine the following topics:
memory, emotion, and self-consciousness
agency, free will, and responsibility
narrative and popular cinema
the film genre of neo-noir
Memento and multimedia
Including annotated further reading at the end of each chapter, Memento is essential reading for students interested in philosophy and film studies.
In his new book, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature, the philosopher and cognitive scientist Alva Noë raises a number of profound questions: What is art? Why do we value art as we do? What does art reveal about our nature? Drawing on philosophy, art history, and cognitive science, and making provocative use of examples from all three of these fields, Noë offers new answers to such questions. He also shows why recent efforts to frame questions about art in terms of neuroscience and evolutionary biology alone have been and will continue to be unsuccessful.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Although a historical organization is employed wherever a particular movement unfolds from earlier movements, the text's main organization is not motivated by an academic or historical treatment of the various topics. Instead, the topics themselves are of primary concern, in such a way that readers will come away with a complete overview of the canon of this highly significant area of western philosophy.
Weaving between cultures and time periods, the author focuses on a remarkably wide range of theories: in the West, the Kantian notion of disinterested contemplation, Heidegger's Gelassenheit, semiotics, and pragmatism; in Japan, Zeami's notion of riken no ken, the Kyoto School's intepretation of nothingness, D. T. Suzuki's analysis of the function of no-mind, and the writings of Kuki Shuzo on Buddhist detachment. Portrait of the artist fiction by such writers as Henry James, James Joyce, Mori Ogai, and Natsume Soseki demonstrates how the main theme of detachment is expressed in literary traditions. The role of sympathy or pragmatism in relation to disinterest is examined, suggesting conflicts within or challenges to the notion of detachment.
Researchers and students in Eastern and Western areas of study, including philosophers and religionists, as well as literary and cultural critics, will deem this work an invaluable contribution to cross-cultural philosophy and literary studies.
A classic of eighteenth-century thought, Friedrich Schiller’s treatise on the role of art in society ranks among German philosophy’s most profound works. In addition to its importance to the history of ideas, this 1795 essay remains relevant to our own time.
Beginning with a political analysis of contemporary society — in particular, the French Revolution and its failure to implement universal freedom — Schiller observes that people cannot transcend their circumstances without education. He conceives of art as the vehicle of education, one that can liberate individuals from the constraints and excesses of either pure nature or pure mind. Through aesthetic experience, he asserts, people can reconcile the inner antagonism between sense and intellect, nature and reason.
Schiller’s proposal of art as fundamental to the development of society and the individual is an enduringly influential concept, and this volume offers his philosophy’s clearest, most vital expression.
Mulholland Drivein the Routledge Philosophers on Film series is the first full philosophical appraisal of Lynch's film. Beginning with an introduction by the editor, the volume explores the following topics: the identity of the self and its persistence through time the central, dual roles played by fantasy and reality throughout the film whether Mulholland Drive is best understood epistemologically via reason and language, or whether, as Lynch himself argues, by one's 'inner feelings' and emotions parallels between Mulholland Drive and Kafka's The Castle, both of which pit their protagonists at the mercy of unseen forces Mulholland Drive and romanticism.
Additional key themes are also discussed, such as the interpenetration of ethics, classical tragedy, and the contrasting philosophical arguments of Plato and Nietzsche on tragic drama. These themes make Mulholland Drive essential and engaging reading for students of philosophy, especially aesthetics and ethics, as well as film studies.
The beauty rituals of the East have long been legendary—the use of oils and unguents, lotions of rose leaves and vinegar, the juice of ripe strawberries and plums, milk baths, honey, and myrrh. The very names evoke an aura of romance, a world where woman pamper and prepare their bodies.
Such is the world of Indian beauty as introduced in this exquisite volume of beauty recipes handed down verbally through the ages.
A gorgeously unique, fully illustrated exploration into the phenomenology of reading—how we visualize images from reading works of literature, from one of our very best book jacket designers, himself a passionate reader.
What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked like? The collection of fragmented images on a page—a graceful ear there, a stray curl, a hat positioned just so—and other clues and signifiers helps us to create an image of a character. But in fact our sense that we know a character intimately has little to do with our ability to concretely picture our beloved—or reviled—literary figures. In this remarkable work of nonfiction, Knopf's Associate Art Director Peter Mendelsund combines his profession, as an award-winning designer; his first career, as a classically trained pianist; and his first love, literature—he considers himself first and foremost as a reader—into what is sure to be one of the most provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
masculinity emerged in the United States after World War II.
decades that followed World War II, Americans searched for and often founds
signs of a new masculinity that was younger, sensitive, and sexually ambivalent.
Male Beauty examines the theater, film, and magazines of the time in
order to illuminate how each one put forward a version of male gendering that
deliberately contrasted, and often clashed with, previous constructs. This new
postwar masculinity was in large part a product of the war itself. The need to
include those males who fought the war as men—many of whom were far younger than
what traditional male gender definitions would accept as “manly”—extended the
range of what could and should be thought of as masculine. Kenneth Krauss adds
to this analysis one of the first in-depth examinations of how males who were
sexually attracted to other males discovered this emerging concept of manliness
via physique magazines.
What was the thinking and motivations of people who in the 1960 and 1970s created concepts and practical techniques that underlie contemporary media software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, Final Cut and After Effects? How do their interfaces and tools shape the visual aesthetics of contemporary media and design? What happens to the idea of a 'medium' after previously media-specific tools have been simulated and extended in software? Is it still meaningful to talk about different mediums at all? Lev Manovich answers these questions and supports his theoretical arguments by detailed analysis of key media applications such as Photoshop and After Effects, popular web services such as Google Earth, and the projects in motion graphics, interactive environments, graphic design and architecture. Software Takes Command is a must for all practicing designers and media artists and scholars concerned with contemporary media.
Scarry argues that our responses to beauty are perceptual events of profound significance for the individual and for society. Presenting us with a rare and exceptional opportunity to witness fairness, beauty assists us in our attention to justice. The beautiful object renders fairness, an abstract concept, concrete by making it directly available to our sensory perceptions. With its direct appeal to the senses, beauty stops us, transfixes us, fills us with a "surfeit of aliveness." In so doing, it takes the individual away from the center of his or her self-preoccupation and thus prompts a distribution of attention outward toward others and, ultimately, she contends, toward ethical fairness.
Scarry, author of the landmark The Body in Pain and one of our bravest and most creative thinkers, offers us here philosophical critique written with clarity and conviction as well as a passionate plea that we change the way we think about beauty.
This is the first book to explore and address the philosophical aspects of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Beginning with a helpful introduction that places each essay in context, specially commissioned chapters examine the following topics:
philosophical issues surrounding love, friendship, affirmation and repetition
the role of memory (and the emotions) in personal identity and decision-making
the morality of imagination and ethical importance of memory
philosophical questions about self-knowledge and knowing the minds of others
the aesthetics of the film considered in relation to Gondry’s other works and issues in the philosophy of perception
Including a foreword by Michel Gondry and a list of further reading, this volume is essential reading for students interested in philosophy and film studies.
May starts by looking at the fundamental fact that life unfolds over time, and as it does so, it begins to develop certain qualities, certain themes. Our lives can be marked by intensity, curiosity, perseverance, or many other qualities that become guiding narrative values. These values lend meanings to our lives that are distinct from—but also interact with—the universal values we are taught to cultivate, such as goodness or happiness. Offering a fascinating examination of a broad range of figures—from music icon Jimi Hendrix to civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, from cyclist Lance Armstrong to The Portrait of a Lady’s Ralph Touchett to Claus von Stauffenberg, a German officer who tried to assassinate Hitler—May shows that narrative values offer a rich variety of criteria by which to assess a life, specific to each of us and yet widely available. They offer us a way of reading ourselves, who we are, and who we might like to be.
Clearly and eloquently written, A Significant Life is a recognition and a comfort, a celebration of the deeply human narrative impulse by which we make—even if we don’t realize it—meaning for ourselves. It offers a refreshing way to think of an age-old question, of quite simply, what makes a life worth living.
By regarding our most cultured human accomplishments as the result of the excessive, nonfunctional forces of sexual attraction and seduction, Grosz encourages us to see art as a kind of bodily enhancement or mode of sensation enabling living bodies to experience and transform the universe. Art can be understood as a way for bodies to augment themselves and their capacity for perception and affection-a way to grow and evolve through sensation. Through this framework, which knits together the theories of Charles Darwin, Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and Jakob von Uexküll, we are able to grasp art's deep animal lineage.
Grosz argues that art is not tied to the predictable and known but to new futures not contained in the present. Its animal affiliations ensure that art is intensely political and charged with the creation of new worlds and new forms of living. According to Grosz, art is the way in which life experiments with materiality, or nature, in order to bring about change.
Of the three parts into which it is divided, Book I is chiefly concerned to say things which any one tolerably acquainted with artistic work knows already; the purpose of this being to clear up our minds as to the distinction between art proper, which is what aesthetic is about, and certain other things which are different from it but are often called by the same name. Many false aesthetic theories are fairly accurate accounts of these other things, and much bad artistic practice comes from confusing them with art proper. These errors in theory and practice should disappear when the distinctions in question are properly apprehended.
In this way a preliminary account of art is reached; but a second difficulty is now encountered. This preliminary account, according to the schools of philosophy now most fashionable in our own country, cannot be true; for it traverses certain doctrines taught in those schools and therefore, according to them, is not so much false as nonsensical. Book II is therefore devoted to a philosophical exposition of the terms used in this preliminary account of art, and an attempt to show that the conceptions they express are justified in spite of the current prejudice against them; are indeed logically implied even in the philosophies that repudiate them.
The preliminary account of art has by now been converted into a philosophy of art. But a third question remains. Is this so-called philosophy of art a mere intellectual exercise, or has it practical consequences bearing on the way in which we ought to approach the practice of art (whether as artists or as audience) and hence, because a philosophy of art is a theory as to the place of art in life as a whole, the practice of life? As I have already indicated, the alternative I accept is the second one. In Book III, therefore, I have tried to point out some of these practical consequences by suggesting what kinds of obligation the acceptance of this aesthetic theory would impose upon artists and audiences, and in what kinds of way they could be met.
This book is organized as follows:
Book I. Art and Not Art
II. Art and Craft
III. Art and Representation
IV. Art as Magic
V. Art as Amusement
VI. Art Proper: (1) As Expression
VII. Art Proper: (2) As Imagination
Book II. The Theory of Imagination
VIII. Thinking and Feeling
IX. Sensation and Imagination
X. Imagination and Consciousness
Book III. The Theory of Art
XII. Art as Language
XIII. Art and Truth
XIV. The Artist and the Community
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded, and the world seemed colder. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you, receive wisdom for your busy life today the way you once did when you were younger?
Mitch Albom had that second chance. He reconnected with Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying, Morrie visited with Mitch in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final "class:" lessons in how to live.
Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.
Its many fans include a former governor and movie star (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a hip hop icon (LL Cool J), an Irish tennis pro (James McGee), an NBC sportscaster (Michele Tafoya), and the coaches and players of winning teams like the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Cubs, and University of Texas men’s basketball team.
The book draws its inspiration from stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Ryan Holiday shows us how some of the most successful people in history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs—have applied stoicism to overcome difficult or even impossible situations. Their embrace of these principles ultimately mattered more than their natural intelligence, talents, or luck.
If you’re feeling frustrated, demoralized, or stuck in a rut, this book can help you turn your problems into your biggest advantages. And along the way it will inspire you with dozens of true stories of the greats from every age and era.
From the Hardcover edition.
A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?
Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.
Commentary by Henry James, Robert Frost, Matthew Arnold, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Henry David Thoreau
The definitive collection of Emerson’s major speeches, essays, and poetry, The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson chronicles the life’s work of a true “American Scholar.” As one of the architects of the transcendentalist movement, Emerson embraced a philosophy that championed the individual, emphasized independent thought, and prized “the splendid labyrinth of one’s own perceptions.” More than any writer of his time, he forged a style distinct from his European predecessors and embodied and defined what it meant to be an American. Matthew Arnold called Emerson’s essays “the most important work done in prose.”
INCLUDES A MODERN LIBRARY READING GROUP GUIDE
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Nuclear proliferation, Zionism, and the global economy are just a few of the insightful and surprisingly prescient topics scientist Albert Einstein discusses in this volume of collected essays from between 1931 and 1950. Written with a clear voice and a thoughtful perspective on the effects of science, economics, and politics in daily life, Einstein’s essays provide an intriguing view inside the mind of a genius addressing the philosophical challenges presented during the turbulence of the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the dawn of the Cold War.
This authorized ebook features rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Under the guidance of such celebrated masters as Ed Parker and the immortal Bruce Lee, Joe Hyams vividly recounts his more than 25 years of experience in the martial arts. In his illuminating story, Hyams reveals to you how the daily application of Zen principles not only developed his physical expertise but gave him the mental discipline to control his personal problems-self-image, work pressure, competition. Indeed, mastering the spiritual goals in martial arts can dramatically alter the quality of your life-enriching your relationships with people, as well as helping you make use of all your abilities.
"The Perennial Philosophy," Aldous Huxley writes, "may be found among the traditional lore of peoples in every region of the world, and in its fully developed forms it has a place in every one of the higher religions."
With great wit and stunning intellect—drawing on a diverse array of faiths, including Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christian mysticism, and Islam—Huxley examines the spiritual beliefs of various religious traditions and explains how they are united by a common human yearning to experience the divine. The Perennial Philosophy includes selections from Meister Eckhart, Rumi, and Lao Tzu, as well as the Bhagavad Gita, Tibetan Book of the Dead, Diamond Sutra, and Upanishads, among many others.
Walter Kaufmann's commentary, with its many quotations from previously untranslated letters, brings to life Nietzsche as a human being and illuminates his philosophy. The book contains some of Nietzsche's most sustained discussions of art and morality, knowledge and truth, the intellectual conscience and the origin of logic.
Most of the book was written just before Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the last part five years later, after Beyond Good and Evil. We encounter Zarathustra in these pages as well as many of Nietzsche's most interesting philosophical ideas and the largest collection of his own poetry that he himself ever published.
Walter Kaufmann's English versions of Nietzsche represent one of the major translation enterprises of our time. He is the first philosopher to have translated Nietzsche's major works, and never before has a single translator given us so much of Nietzsche.