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.
On the Aesthetic Education of Man is one of the most profound works of German philosophy, in which Friedrich Schiller analyses politics, revolution and the history of ideas to define the relationship between beauty and art. Resulting from Schiller's deep disillusionment with the course of the French Revolution and expressed as a series of letters to a patron, On the Aesthetic Education of Man is an impassioned attempt to drag mankind upwards from failure to greatness through placing ideas of aesthetic education at the heart of the human experience: 'Our era has actually taken both wrong turnings, and has fallen prey to coarseness on the one path, lethargy and perversity on the other. Having strayed along both paths, it is beauty that can lead [us] back.' Schiller's arguments are as arresting, challenging and inspiring today as when they were first written - it is above all one of the great political statements from a time of revolutionary change.
This companion opens with an historical overview of aesthetics including entries on Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno, Benjamin, Foucault, Goodman, and Wollheim. The second part covers the central concepts and theories of aesthetics, including the definitions of art, taste, the value of art, beauty, imagination, fiction, narrative, metaphor and pictorial representation. Part three is devoted to issues and challenges in aesthetics, including art and ethics, art and religion, creativity, environmental aesthetics and feminist aesthetics. The final part addresses the individual arts, including music, photography, film, videogames, literature, theater, dance, architecture and design.
With ten new entries, and revisions and updated suggestions for further reading throughout, The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics is essential for anyone interested in aesthetics, art, literature, and visual studies.
In addition to examining what makes something attractive or emotionally pleasing, Hosey connects these questions with practical design challenges. Can the shape of a car make it more aerodynamic and more attractive at the same time? Could buildings be constructed of porous materials that simultaneously clean the air and soothe the skin? Can cities become verdant, productive landscapes instead of wastelands of concrete?
Drawing from a wealth of scientific research, Hosey demonstrates that form and image can enhance conservation, comfort, and community at every scale of design, from products to buildings to cities. Fully embracing the principles of ecology could revolutionize every aspect of design, in substance and in style. Aesthetic attraction isn’t a superficial concern — it’s an environmental imperative. Beauty could save the planet.
A bold and original investigation into how imagination shapes thought and feeling.
"This is a bold new direction for the author, one that he takes in an arresting and convincing manner.... a powerful, original approach to what others call ‘ecology’ but what Sallis shows to be a question of the status of the earth in philosophical thinking at this historical moment." —Edward S. Casey
In this major original work, John Sallis probes the very nature of imagination and reveals how the force of imagination extends into all spheres of human life. While drawing critically on the entire history of philosophy, Sallis’s work takes up a vantage point determined by the contemporary deconstruction of the classical opposition between sensible and intelligible. Thus, in reinterrogating the nature of imagination, Force of Imagination carries out a radical turn to the sensible and to the elemental in nature. Liberated from subjectivity, imagination is shown to play a decisive role both in drawing together the moments of our experience of sensible things and in opening experience to the encompassing light, atmosphere, earth, and sky. Set within this elemental expanse, the human sense of time, of self, and of the other proves to be inextricably linked to imagination and to nature. By showing how imagination is formative for the very opening upon things and elements, this work points to the revealing power of poetic imagination and casts a new light on the nature of art.
John Sallis is Liberal Arts Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. His previous books include Being and Logos: Reading the Platonic Dialogues; Shades—Of Painting at the Limit; Stone; Chorology: On Beginning in Plato’s Timaeus (all published by Indiana University Press), Crossings: Nietzsche and the Space of Tragedy and Double Truth.
Studies in Continental Thought—John Sallis, editor
On (Not Simply) Beginning
Duplicity of the Image
Spacing the Image
Synthetic biology manipulates the stuff of life. For synthetic biologists, living matter is programmable material. In search of carbon-neutral fuels, sustainable manufacturing techniques, and innovative drugs, these researchers aim to redesign existing organisms and even construct completely novel biological entities. Some synthetic biologists see themselves as designers, inventing new products and applications. But if biology is viewed as a malleable, engineerable, designable medium, what is the role of design and how will its values apply?
In this book, synthetic biologists, artists, designers, and social scientists investigate synthetic biology and design. After chapters that introduce the science and set the terms of the discussion, the book follows six boundary-crossing collaborations between artists and designers and synthetic biologists from around the world, helping us understand what it might mean to 'design nature.' These collaborations have resulted in biological computers that calculate form; speculative packaging that builds its own contents; algae that feeds on circuit boards; and a sampling of human cheeses. They raise intriguing questions about the scientific process, the delegation of creativity, our relationship to designed matter, and, the importance of critical engagement. Should these projects be considered art, design, synthetic biology, or something else altogether?
Synthetic biology is driven by its potential; some of these projects are fictions, beyond the current capabilities of the technology. Yet even as fictions, they help illuminate, question, and even shape the future of the field.
Far from providing a static model of artistic representation, mimesis has generated many different models of art, encompassing a spectrum of positions from realism to idealism. Under the influence of Platonist and Aristotelian paradigms, mimesis has been a crux of debate between proponents of what Halliwell calls "world-reflecting" and "world-simulating" theories of representation in both the visual and musico-poetic arts. This debate is about not only the fraught relationship between art and reality but also the psychology and ethics of how we experience and are affected by mimetic art.
Moving expertly between ancient and modern traditions, Halliwell contends that the history of mimesis hinges on problems that continue to be of urgent concern for contemporary aesthetics.
In this book, cultural theorist Byung-Chul Han reinvigorates aesthetic theory for our digital age. He interrogates our preoccupation with all things slick and smooth, from Jeff Koon's sculptures and the iPhone to Brazilian waxing. Reaching far deeper than our superficial reactions to viral videos and memes, Han reclaims beauty, showing how it manifests itself as truth, temptation and even disaster.
This wide-ranging and profound exploration of beauty, encompassing ethical and political considerations as well as aesthetic, will appeal to all those interested in cultural and aesthetic theory, philosophy and digital media.
All chapters have a strong focus on current debates in the field, yet historical figures are not neglected. Major current theories are set beside key ideas from Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Marx, and Hegel. Chapters conclude with advice on further readings, and there are recommendations of films that will serve as a basis for further reflection and discussion. Key ideas are immediately accompanied by exercises that will test students' reactions and understanding. Many chapters call attention to ideology, prejudices, and common clichés that interfere with clear thinking.
Beautifully written and thoroughly comprehensive, The Philosophy of Art is the ideal resource for anyone who wants to explore recent developments in philosophical thinking about the arts. It is also provides the perfect starting point for anyone who wants to reflect on, and challenge, their own assumptions about the nature and value of art.
In Feeling Beauty, G. Gabrielle Starr argues that understanding the neural underpinnings of aesthetic experience can reshape our conceptions of aesthetics and the arts. Drawing on the tools of both cognitive neuroscience and traditional humanist inquiry, Starr shows that neuroaesthetics offers a new model for understanding the dynamic and changing features of aesthetic life, the relationships among the arts, and how individual differences in aesthetic judgment shape the varieties of aesthetic experience.
Starr, a scholar of the humanities and a researcher in the neuroscience of aesthetics, proposes that aesthetic experience relies on a distributed neural architecture—a set of brain areas involved in emotion, perception, imagery, memory, and language. More important, it emerges from networked interactions, intricately connected and coordinated brain systems that together form a flexible architecture enabling us to develop new arts and to see the world around us differently. Focusing on the "sister arts" of poetry, painting, and music, Starr builds and tests a neural model of aesthetic experience valid across all the arts. Asking why works that address different senses using different means seem to produce the same set of feelings, she examines particular works of art in a range of media, including a poem by Keats, a painting by van Gogh, a sculpture by Bernini, and Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. Starr's innovative, interdisciplinary analysis is true to the complexities of both the physical instantiation of aesthetics and the realities of artistic representation.