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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While we all use remote controls, we understand little about their history or their impact on our daily lives. Caetlin Benson-Allot looks back on the remote control's material and cultural history to explain how such an innocuous media accessory has changed the way we occupy our houses, interact with our families, and experience the world. From the first wired radio remotes of the 1920s to infrared universal remotes, from the homemade TV controllers to the Apple Remote, remote controls shape our media devices and how we live with them.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in the The Atlantic.
The Birth of Tragedy (1872) was Nietzsche's first book. Its youthful faults were exposed by Nietzsche in the brilliant "Attempt at a Self-Criticism" which he added to the new edition of 1886. But the book, whatever its excesses, remains one of the most relevant statements on tragedy ever penned. It exploded the conception of Greek culture that was prevalent down through the Victorian era, and it sounded themes developed in the twentieth century by classicists, existentialists, psychoanalysts, and others.
The Case of Wagner (1888) was one Nietzsche's last books, and his wittiest. In attitude and style it is diametrically opposed to The Birth of Tragedy. Both works transcend their ostensible subjects and deal with art and culture, as well as the problems of the modern age generally.
Each book in itself gives us an inadequate idea of its author; together, they furnish a striking image of Nietzsche's thought. The distinguished translations by Walter Kaufmann superbly reflect in English Nietzsche's idiom and the vitality of his style. Professor Kaufmann has also furnished running footnote commentaries, relevant passages from Nietzsche's correspondence, a bibliography, and, for the first time in any edition, an extensive index to each book.
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.
United by the theme of love, the writings in the Great Loves series span over two thousand years and vastly different worlds. Readers will be introduced to love’s endlessly fascinating possibilities and extremities: romantic love, platonic love, erotic love, gay love, virginal love, adulterous love, parental love, filial love, nostalgic love, unrequited love, illicit love, not to mention lost love, twisted and obsessional love....
With a cultural range that encompasses Shakespeare, Bretcht, and Ibsen, Death of a Salesman and Bad Day at Black Rock, Mamet shows us how to distinguish true drama from its false variants. He considers the impossibly difficult progression between one act and the next and the mysterious function of the soliloquy. The result, in Three Uses of the Knife, is an electrifying treatise on the playwright’s art that is also a strikingly original work of moral and aesthetic philosophy.
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.
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.
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Introducing Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art covers such topics as:
definitions and the ontology of art;
interpretation and intention;
aesthetic properties and evaluation;
emotion and the arts;
art and morality;
natural, environmental, and everyday aesthetics.
Chapter summaries and outlines help to navigate the major topics covered, while annotated guides to further reading and 'unresolved questions' sections help to encourage and animate study and discussion beyond the text. For those seeking to master the subject this is the most complete introduction available.
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.
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.
Questionnaires are everywhere: we fill them out at doctors' offices and at job interviews, to express ourselves and to advance knowledge, to find love and to kill time. But where did they come from, and why have they proliferated? Evan Kindley's Questionnaire investigates the history of "the form as form,†? from the Victorian confession album to the BuzzFeed quiz. By asking questions about the questions we ask ourselves, Kindley uncovers surprising connections between literature and science, psychology and business, and journalism and surveillance.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
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.
When the Sony Walkman debuted in 1979, people were enthralled by the novel experience it offered: immersion in the music of their choice, anytime, anywhere. But the Walkman was also denounced as self-indulgent and antisocial-the quintessential accessory for the "me†? generation.
In Personal Stereo, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow takes us back to the birth of the device, exploring legal battles over credit for its invention, its ambivalent reception in 1980s America, and its lasting effects on social norms and public space. Ranging from postwar Japan to the present, Tuhus-Dubrow tells an illuminating story about our emotional responses to technological change.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
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 teenage fetish object, the American driver's license has long symbolized freedom and mobility in a nation whose design assumes car travel and whose vastness rivals continents. It is youth's pass to regulated vice-cigarettes, bars, tattoo parlors, casinos, strip joints, music venues, guns. In its more recent history, the license has become increasingly associated with freedom's flipside: screening. The airport's heightened security checkpoint. Controversial ID voting laws. Federally mandated, anti-terrorist driver's license re-designs. The driver's license encapsulates the contradictory values and practices of contemporary American culture-freedom and security, mobility and checkpoints, self-definition and standardization, democracy and exclusion, superficiality and intimacy, the stable self and the self in flux.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in the The Atlantic.
Highlighting European ambivalence towards reason in the aftermath of the violence of the French Revolution, Wick shows how each philosopher deals with the tension between the ideals of scientific rationalism on one side and creativity and human instinct on the other. Should art be evaluated objectively in terms of its form and dimensions, or should we value it because of how it makes us feel? With a colour plate section and written in a lively but objective tone, this book will prove essential for students in Philosophy, Art, and English Literature.
Disparities explores contemporary 'negative' philosophies from Catherine Malabou's plasticity, Julia Kristeva's abjection and Robert Pippin's self-consciousness to the God of negative theology, new realisms and post-humanism and draws a radical line under them. Instead of establishing a dialogue with these other ideas of disparity, Slavoj Žižek wants to establish a definite departure, a totally different idea of disparity based on an imaginative dialectical materialism. This notion of rupturing what has gone before is based on a provocative reading of how philosophers can, if they're honest, engage with each other. Slavoj Žižek borrows Alain Badiou's notion that a true idea is the one that divides. Radically departing from previous formulations of negativity and disparity, Žižek employs a new kind of negativity: namely positing that when a philosopher deals with another philosopher, his or her stance is never one of dialogue, but one of division, of drawing a line that separates truth from falsity.
Beginning with a demonstration of how specific forms of philosophical discourse are presented cinematically, Wartenberg moves on to offer a systematic account of the ways in which specific films undertake the task of philosophy. Focusing on the films The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Modern Times, The Matrix, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Third Man, The Flicker, and Empire, Wartenberg shows how these films express meaningful and pertinent philosophical ideas.
This book is essential reading for students of philosophy with an interest in film, aesthetics, and film theory. It will also be of interest to film enthusiasts intrigued by the philosophical implications of film.
The translations are organized into four parts. The first, The Introduction of Aesthetics, traces the formation of notions of beauty, culture, and art in Japan. It includes discussion of the creation of the museum in Japan and the frenetic efforts of Nishi Amane, Okakura Tenshin, Ernest Fenollosa, and Mori Ogai to introduce German, British, and French aesthetic thought to the Japanese. This is followed by three sections that examine the transformation of the aesthetic field into an academic discipline that flourished at three major Japanese universities.
Aesthetics at Waseda University begins with an essay on the spiritualism and idealism of Onishi Hajime and continues with essays on the impact of German Lebensphilosophie (philosophy of life) on Shimamura Hogetsu and Takayama Chogyu, and work by the major Waseda aesthetician of the twentieth century, Aizu Yaichi. Thinkers of the Tokyo School adopted a scientific method in the study of art theory. Part 3, Aesthetics at the University of Tokyo, focuses on the ideas of Otsuka Yasuji (holder of the world s first Chair of Aesthetics), Onishi Yoshinori, Watsuji Tetsuro, Abe Jiro, Takeuchi Toshio, and Imamichi Tomonobu. The section concludes with a look at the contemporary philosopher Sakabe Megumi. The last section, Aesthetics at the University of Kyoto, includes essays on Nakagawa Shigeki and Fukada Yasukazu, pioneers in the field of aesthetics, and on the philosophy of art of the Kyoto School, which was deeply inspired by the thought of Nishida Kitaro. Finally the work of Kuki Shuzo, an influential teacher of Western philosophy at the University of Kyoto, is examined.
A History of Modern Japanese Aesthetics is a companion volume to Modern Japanese Aesthetics: A Reader (UH Press, 1999)."
Sloterdijk explores a variety of topics, from the Greco-Roman invention of postcards to the rise of the capitalist art market, from the black boxes and white cubes of modernism to the growth of museums and memorial culture. In doing so, he extends his characteristic method of defamiliarization to transform the way we look at works of art and artistic movements. His bold and original approach leads us away from the well-trodden paths of conventional art history to develop a theory of aesthetics which rejects strict categorization, emphasizing instead the crucial importance of individual subjectivity as a counter to the latent dangers of collective culture.
This sustained reflection, at once playful, serious and provocative, goes to the very heart of Sloterdijk’s enduring philosophical preoccupation with the aesthetic. It will be essential reading for students and scholars of philosophy and aesthetics and will appeal to anyone interested in culture and the arts more generally.
Starting from the impossibility of understanding this new and complex art solely within the framework of contemporary art history and criticism, The Engagement Aesthetic offers new modes of critique for new media works of art, literature, and performance that operate in complex ways. Blending a range of methodologies from phenomenology, art history, linguistics, and statistical analysis, Ricardo explores how a new kinship between individual participation, electronic media, virtual and actual space, and mediated language results in a new aesthetic of mutual engagement.
discussions of the image like to emphasize art's societal functions. Few
studies come close to answering why pictures and sculptures fascinate and
intrigue regardless of any practical functions they might serve. In this
original, thought-provoking study, Paul Crowther reveals the intrinsic
significance of pictures and sculptures.
To address the
question of how painting becomes an art, Crowther uses the analytic philosophy
of Richard Wollheim as a starting point. But to sufficiently answer the
question, he makes an important link to a tradition much more successful in
giving voice to the deeper ontology of visual art - existential phenomenology.
The result is a work that demonstrates the
reciprocal relationship between phenomenology and analytic aesthetics. To
expand its ontological scope and solve the problem of expression, analytic aesthetics
needs phenomenology; while to develop a sustained, critically balanced, and
intellectually available ontology, phenomenology needs the discursive force and
lucidity of analytic philosophy. This convincing case for a post-analytic
phenomenology of art is an important advancement of contemporary discussions of
the philosophy of art.
Few could explain, let alone seek out, a career in criticism. Yet what A.O. Scott shows in Better Living Through Criticism is that we are, in fact, all critics: because critical thinking informs almost every aspect of artistic creation, of civil action, of interpersonal life. With penetrating insight and warm humor, Scott shows that while individual critics--himself included--can make mistakes and find flaws where they shouldn't, criticism as a discipline is one of the noblest, most creative, and urgent activities of modern existence.
Using his own film criticism as a starting point--everything from his infamous dismissal of the international blockbuster The Avengers to his intense affection for Pixar's animated Ratatouille--Scott expands outward, easily guiding readers through the complexities of Rilke and Shelley, the origins of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, the power of Marina Abramovich and 'Ode on a Grecian Urn.' Drawing on the long tradition of criticism from Aristotle to Susan Sontag, Scott shows that real criticism was and always will be the breath of fresh air that allows true creativity to thrive. "The time for criticism is always now," Scott explains, "because the imperative to think clearly, to insist on the necessary balance of reason and passion, never goes away."
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.
A groundbreaking alternative to this view is provided by philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand (1901–1982). Best known as the author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Rand also created an original and illuminating theory of art, which confirms the widespread view that much of today's purported art is not really art at all. In What Art Is, Torres and Kamhi present a lucid introduction to Rand's esthetic theory, contrasting her ideas with those of other thinkers. They conclude that, in its basic principles, her account is compelling, and is corroborated by evidence from anthropology, neurology, cognitive science, and psychology.
The authors apply Rand's theory to a debunking of the work of prominent modernists and postmodernists—from Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, and Samuel Beckett to John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and other highly regarded postmodernist figures. Finally, they explore the implications of Rand's ideas for the issues of government and corporate support of the arts, art law, and art education.
"This is one of the most interesting, provocative, and well-written books on aesthetics that I know. While fully accessible to the general reader, What Art Is should be of great interest to specialists as well. Ayn Rand's largely unknown writings on art—especially as interpreted, released from dogma, and smoothed out by Torres and Kamhi—are remarkably refined. Moreover, her ideas are positively therapeutic after a century of artistic floundering and aesthetic quibbling. Anyone interested in aesthetics, in the purpose of art, or in the troubling issues posed by modernism and post modernism should read this book."
—Randall R. Dipert
Author of Artifacts, Art Works, and Agency
"Torres and Kamhi effectively situate Rand's long-neglected esthetic theory in the wider history of ideas. They not only illuminate her significant contribution to an understanding of the nature of art; they also apply her ideas to a trenchant critique of the twentieth century's 'advanced art.' Their exposure of the invalidity of abstract art is itself worth the price of admission."
—Chris Matthew Sciabarra
Author of Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical
"Rand's aesthetic theory merits careful study and thoughtful criticism, which Torres and Kamhi provide. Their scholarship is sound, their presentation is clear, and their judgment is refreshingly free from the biases that Rand's supporters and detractors alike tend to bring to considerations of her work."
University of California, San Diego
Where does a password end and an identity begin? A person might be more than his chosen ten-character combination, but does a bank know that? Or an email provider? What's an 'identity theft' in the digital age if not the unauthorized use of a password? In untangling the histories, cultural contexts and philosophies of the password, Martin Paul Eve explores how 'what we know' became 'who we are', revealing how the modern notion of identity has been shaped by the password.
Ranging from ancient Rome and the 'watchwords' of military encampments, through the three-factor authentication systems of Harry Potter and up to the biometric scanner in the iPhone, Password makes a timely and important contribution to our understanding of the words, phrases and special characters that determine our belonging and, often, our being.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.