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From Confucius and Plato to Karl Marx and Noam Chomsky, this book brings together more than 100 illustrated biographies of the world's great philosophers. Introduced with a stunning portrait of each featured philosopher, the biographies trace the ideas, friendships, loves, and rivalries that inspired the great thinkers and influenced their work, providing revealing insights into what drove them to question the meaning of life, and come up with new ways of understanding the world and the history of ideas. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and paintings of philosophers, their homes, friends, studies, and their personal belongings, together with pages from original manuscripts, first editions, and correspondence, this book introduces the key ideas, themes, and working methods of each featured individual, setting their ideas within a wider historical and cultural context. Charting the development of ideas across the centuries in both the East and West, from ancient Chinese philosophy to the work of contemporary thinkers, Philosophers provides a compelling glimpse into the personal lives, loves, and influences of the great philosophers as they probed into life's "big ideas".
'The ideal interpreter of the Ring ... a fascinating and valuable study ... absorbing and convincing' Sunday Times The Ring of the Nibelung is one of the greatest works of art created in modern times. Roger Scruton's brilliant and passionate exploration of the drama, music, symbolism and philosophy of Wagner's masterpiece - with its themes of love, death, sacrifice and freedom - shows how, ultimately, it expresses the truth about the human condition. 'Highly original and penetrating ... tremendous' Tim Blanning, Literary Review 'A rich, historical account ... After reading this book, only the most unadventurous reader would turn down the chance to see Wagner's masterpiece' Economist 'A brilliant gallop through the master's religious, musical and philosophical contexts' Sue Prideaux, Spectator 'Scruton is one of the finest philosopher-musicians since Schopenhauer' Jonathan Gaisman, Standpoint
Enchantment is a profound human experience. When we encounter wonder, awe or amazement, that is enchantment. Enchantment can reveal profound truths, lead to deep values and become central to a life well-lived. This unique book explores how enchantment plays out in a wide range of contexts -- in love, art, religion and learning, in food and drink, and perhaps most significantly in our relationship with the natural world. Patrick Curry argues that modernist attempts to undermine or dismiss enchantment as a delusion are not only misguided but dangerous, potentially leading to a disengagement with our world that could have disastrous consequences for our future on this planet.
Demystifying the key ideas of the world's greatest philosophers, and exploring all of the most important branches of thought including philosophy of science, philosophy of religion and feminist philosophy in a uniquely visual way, this book is the perfect introduction to the history of philosophy. A clear and accessible guide to philosophy, How Philosophy Works combines bold infographics and jargon-free text to demystify fundamental concepts. Covering everything from ethics to epistemology and phenomenology, the book presents the ideas and theories of key philosophical traditions and philosophers - from Plato and Socrates to Nietzsche and Wittgenstein via Kant - in a novel, easy-to-understand way. Its infographics will help you to understand the elements of philosophy on a conceptual level and, by tackling life's "big questions", it will help you to look at the world in an entirely new way. With its unique graphic approach and clear, authoritative text, How Philosophy Works is the perfect introduction to philosophy, and the ideal companion to DK's The Philosophy Book in the "Big Ideas" series.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Do you feel your consciousness, your attention, and your intelligence (not to mention your eyesight) being sucked away, byte by byte, in a deadening tsunami of ill-composed blather, corporate groupthink, commercial come-ons, and other meaningless internet flotsam? Do your work life and your social life, hideously conjoined in your inbox, drag each other down in a surreal cycle of neverending reposts, appointments, and deadlines? Sometime in the mid-1990s, we began, often with some trepidation, to enroll for a service that promised to connect us-electronically and efficiently-to our friends and lovers, our bosses and merchants. If it seemed at first like simply a change in scale (our mail would be faster, cheaper, more easily distributed to large groups), we now realize that email entails a more fundamental alteration in our communicative consciousness. Despite its fading relevance in the lives of the younger generation in the face of an ever-changing array of apps and media, email is probably here to stay, for better or worse. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Hashtags silence as well as shout. They originate in the quiet of the archive and the breathless suspense of the control room, as well as in the roar of rallies in the streets. The #hashtag is a composite creation, with two separate design histories: one involving the crosshatch symbol and one about the choice of letters after it. Celebration and criticism of hashtag activism rarely addresses the hashtag itself as an object or tries to locate its place in the history of writing for machines. Although hashtags tend to be associated with Silicon Valley invention myths or celebrity power users, the story of the hashtag is much more interesting and surprising, speaking to how we think about naming, identity, and ownership. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. We take it for granted yet the magnet is fundamental to our existence-as important as gravity-and to our survival on this planet and in this universe. It is fundamental to the way we think, how we get home, and how we talk about fascination and love. The magnet has been in existence for more than 13 billion years, born just after the big bang. Magnets were used by ancient cultures for architecture, alignment and art. They are in MRIs, maglev trains, tape recorders, and other technologies. From the physical to the metaphorical, our language is littered with magnetic allusions: magnetic personalities, animal magnetism, Mesmerism. Since humans began to write about it two thousand years ago, the magnet has inspired tales of myth, magic, exploration, science, and art. Eva Barbarossa weaves together these stories of ancient and modern wonders, of discovery and creation, of madness and desire, of beauty and awe, taking us from the spectacle of the aurora borealis to the disastrous searches for magnetic north. Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in the The Atlantic.
"Film Worlds" unpacks the significance of the "worlds" that narrative films create, offering an innovative perspective on cinema as art. Drawing on aesthetics and the philosophy of art in both the continental and analytic traditions, as well as classical and contemporary film theory, it weaves together multiple strands of thought and analysis to provide new understandings of filmic representation, fictionality, expression, self-reflexivity, style, and the full range of cinema's affective and symbolic dimensions.
Always more than "fictional worlds" and "storyworlds" on account of cinema's perceptual, cognitive, and affective nature, film worlds are theorized as immersive and transformative artistic realities. As such, they are capable of fostering novel ways of seeing, feeling, and understanding experience. Engaging with the writings of Jean Mitry, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Christian Metz, David Bordwell, Gilles Deleuze, and Hans-Georg Gadamer, among other thinkers, "Film Worlds" extends Nelson Goodman's analytic account of symbolic and artistic "worldmaking" to cinema, expands on French philosopher Mikel Dufrenne's phenomenology of aesthetic experience in relation to films and their worlds, and addresses the hermeneutic dimensions of cinematic art. It emphasizes what both celluloid and digital filmmaking and viewing share with the creation and experience of all art, while at the same time recognizing what is unique to the moving image in aesthetic terms. The resulting framework reconciles central aspects of realist and formalist/neo-formalist positions in film theory while also moving beyond them and seeks to open new avenues of exploration in film studies and the philosophy of film.
Ranging from Homer to Picasso, and from the Iranian Revolution to The Wizard of Oz, this spirited and radiant book awakens us anew to the role of color in our lives Our lives are saturated by color. We live in a world of vivid colors, and color marks our psychological and social existence. But for all color's inescapability, we don't know much about it. Now authors David Scott Kastan and Stephen Farthing offer a fresh and imaginative exploration of one of the most intriguing and least understood aspects of everyday experience. Kastan and Farthing, a scholar and a painter, respectively, investigate color from numerous perspectives: literary, historical, cultural, anthropological, philosophical, art historical, political, and scientific. In ten lively and wide-ranging chapters, each devoted to a different color, they examine the various ways colors have shaped and continue to shape our social and moral imaginations. Each individual color becomes the focal point for a consideration of one of the extraordinary ways in which color appears and matters in our lives. Beautifully produced in full color, this book is a remarkably smart, entertaining, and fascinating guide to this elusive topic.
Translated by Steven Corcoran Only yesterday aesthetics stood accused of concealing cultural games of social distinction. Now it is considered a parasitic discourse from which artistic practices must be freed. But aesthetics is not a discourse. It is an historical regime of the identification of art. This regime is paradoxical, because it founds the autonomy of art only at the price of suppressing the boundaries separating its practices and its objects from those of everyday life and of making free aesthetic play into the promise of a new revolution. Aesthetics is not a politics by accident but in essence. But this politics operates in the unresolved tension between two opposed forms of politics: the first consists in transforming art into forms of collective life, the second in preserving from all forms of militant or commercial compromise the autonomy that makes it a promise of emancipation. This constitutive tension sheds light on the paradoxes and transformations of critical art. It also makes it possible to understand why today's calls to free art from aesthetics are misguided and lead to a smothering of both aesthetics and politics in ethics.
In this book, the founder of object-oriented ontology develops his view that aesthetics is the central discipline of philosophy. Whereas science must attempt to grasp an object in terms of its observable qualities, philosophy and art cannot proceed in this way because they don't have direct access to their objects. Hence philosophy shares the same fate as art in being compelled to communicate indirectly, allusively, or elliptically, rather than in the clear propositional terms that are often taken - wrongly - to be the sole stuff of genuine philosophy. Conceiving of philosophy and art in this way allows us to reread key debates in aesthetic theory and to view art history in a different way. The formalist criticism of Greenberg and Fried is rejected for its refusal to embrace the innate theatricality and deep multiplicity of every artwork. This has consequences for art criticism, making pictorial content more important than formalism thinks but less entwined with the social sphere than anti-formalism holds. It has consequences for art history too, as the surrealists, David, and Poussin, among others, gain in importance. The close link between aesthetics and ontology also invites a new periodization of modern philosophy as a whole, and the habitual turn away from Kant's thing-in-itself towards an increase in philosophical "immanence" is shown to be a false dawn. This major work will be of great interest to students and scholars of philosophy, aesthetics, art history and cultural theory.
This richly illustrated book is an exploration of how chance and risk, on the one hand, and meaning or significance on the other, compete for the limelight in art, in philosophy, and in science. In modern society, prudence and probability calculation permeate our daily lives. Yet it is clear for all to see that neither cautious bank regulations nor mathematics have prevented economic crises from occurring time and again. Nicolas Bouleau argues that it is the meaning we assign to an event that determines the perceived risk, and that we generally turn a blind eye to this important fact, because the word "meaning" is itself awkward to explain. He tackles this fundamental question through examples taken from cultural fields ranging from painting, architecture, and music, to poetry, biology, and astronomy. This enables the reader to view overwhelming risks in a different light. Bouleau clarifies that the most important thing in a time of uncertainty is to think of prudence on a higher level, one that truly addresses the various subjective interpretations of the world.
What makes a colour work? What do colours mean to artists or cultures? Why does grey make a colour stand out? What colour are the oceans? Why is the yellow of lemons something to treasure? Award-winning illustrator Marion Deuchars takes us on a journey through colour, showing how its language is at the centre of how we think and feel about the world. Colour is everywhere. Through this book, we can see it afresh.
Philosophy Bites Again is a brand new selection of interviews from the popular podcast of the same name. It offers engaging and thought-provoking conversations with leading philosophers on a selection of major philosophical issues that affect our lives. Their subjects include pleasure, pain, and humour; consciousness and the self; free will, responsibility, and punishment; the meaning of life and the afterlife. Everyone will find ideas in this book to fascinate, provoke, and inspire them. Philosophy Bites was set up in 2007 by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton. It has, to date, over 20 million downloads, and is listened to all over the world.
Acclaimed social critic Curtis White describes an all-encompassing and little-noticed force taking over our culture and our lives that he calls the Middle Mind: the current failure of the American imagination in the media, politics, education, art, technology, and religion. Irreverent, provocative, and far-reaching, White presents a clear vision of this dangerous mindset that threatens America's intellectual and cultural freedoms, concluding with an imperative to reawaken and unleash the once powerful American imagination.
The Middle Mind is pragmatic, plainspoken, populist, contemptuous of the Right's narrowness, and incredulous before the Left's convolutions. It wants to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and has bought an SUV with the intent of visiting it. It even understands in some indistinct way how that very SUV spells the Arctic's doom.
How do we define taste? The only certainty is that it shifts and changes sometimes abruptly. With the explosion of vulgar consumerism in the mid-nineteenth century, the Victorians seized upon the notion of good taste as a way of codifying middleclass mores. A century later, to talk about taste had become almost taboo, since judgments made about dress, manners, food and art can often be painfully revealing. And today? When this classic text was first published in 1991, Stephen Bayley illuminated the nuances and niceties of our mercurial understanding of taste. In this new edition, he ranges far and wide to bring us exquisitely up to date.
Throughout modernity there has been a clear divide between art and commerce. Objects could either be consumed as commerce or contemplated as art. Today, as museums are facing increasing financial pressure and as stores have become inventive locations for new modes of display, this clear divide has begun to dissolve. There is one place that represents a key stage in this evolution: 10 Corso Como. It was founded in Milan, at that very address, by fashion editor Carla Sozzani and has since expanded to Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, and New York. The name "concept store," which has now spread across our globalized world, was originally coined to describe this new form. This book is the first philosophical inquiry into this new form of store and it sheds new light on how categories that have governed our modern lives, such as commerce, art, fashion, and museum, are being redefined today.
In James Joyce and the Matter of Paris, Catherine Flynn recovers the paradigmatic city of European urban modernity as the foundational context of Joyce's imaginative consciousness. Beginning with Joyce's underexamined first exile in 1902-03, she shows the significance for his writing of the time he spent in Paris and of a range of French authors whose works inflected his experience of that city. In response to the pressures of Parisian consumer capitalism, Joyce drew on French literature to conceive a somatic aesthetic, in which the philosophically disparaged senses of taste, touch, and smell as well as the porous, digestive body resist capitalism's efforts to manage and instrumentalize desire. This book resituates the most canonical of Irish modernists in a European avant-garde context while revealing important links between Anglophone modernism and critical theory.
The Architecture of Happiness is Alain de Botton's exploration of the hidden links between buildings and our well being. In The Architecture of Happiness, bestselling author Alain de Botton explores one of our most intense but often hidden love affairs: with our houses and their furnishings. He asks: What makes a house truly beautiful? Why are many new houses so ugly? Why do we argue so bitterly about sofas and pictures - and can differences of taste ever be satisfactorily resolved? To answer these questions and many more, de Botton looks at buildings across the world, from medieval wooden huts to modern skyscrapers; he examines sofas and cathedrals, tea sets and office complexes, and teases out a host of often surprising philosophical insights. The Architecture of Happiness will take you on a beguiling tour through the history and psychology of architecture and interior design, and will change the way you look at your home. 'Engaging and intelligent . . . full of splendid ideas, happily and beautifully expressed' Independent
An exploration of cuteness and its immense hold on us, from emojis and fluffy puppies to its more uncanny, subversive expressions Cuteness has taken the planet by storm. Global sensations Hello Kitty and Pok (c)mon, the works of artists Takashi Murakami and Jeff Koons, Heidi the cross-eyed opossum and E.T. "all reflect its gathering power. But what does oecute mean, as a sensibility and style? Why is it so pervasive? Is it all infantile fluff, or is there something more uncanny and even menacing going on "in a lighthearted way? In The Power of Cute, Simon May provides nuanced and surprising answers. We usually see the cute as merely diminutive, harmless, and helpless. May challenges this prevailing perspective, investigating everything from Mickey Mouse to Kim Jong-il to argue that cuteness is not restricted to such sweet qualities but also beguiles us by transforming or distorting them into something of playfully indeterminate power, gender, age, morality, and even species. May grapples with cuteness (TM)s dark and unpindownable side "unnerving, artful, knowing, apprehensive "elements that have fascinated since ancient times through mythical figures, especially hybrids like the hermaphrodite and the sphinx. He argues that cuteness is an addictive antidote to today (TM)s pressured expectations of knowing our purpose, being in charge, and appearing predictable, transparent, and sincere. Instead, it frivolously expresses the uncertainty that these norms deny: the ineliminable uncertainty of who we are; of how much we can control and know; of who, in our relations with others, really has power; indeed, of the very value and purpose of power. The Power of Cute delves into a phenomenon that speaks with strange force to our age.
Over the past two centuries Western culture has largely valorized a particular kind of "good" music--highly serious, wondrously deep, stylistically authentic, heroically created, and strikingly original--and, at the same time, has marginalized music that does not live up to those ideals. In Good Music, John J. Sheinbaum explores these traditional models for valuing music. By engaging examples such as Handel oratorios, Beethoven and Mahler symphonies, jazz improvisations, Bruce Springsteen, and prog rock, he argues that metaphors of perfection do justice to neither the perceived strengths nor the assumed weaknesses of the music in question. Instead, he proposes an alternative model of appreciation where abstract notions of virtue need not dictate our understanding. Good music can, with pride, be playful rather than serious, diverse rather than unified, engaging to both body and mind, in dialogue with manifold styles and genres, and collaborative to the core. We can widen the scope of what music we value and reconsider the conventional rituals surrounding it, while retaining the joys of making music, listening closely, and caring passionately.
'Pain and pleasure are simple ideas, incapable of definition.' In 1757 the 27-year-old Edmund Burke argued that our aesthetic responses are experienced as pure emotional arousal, unencumbered by intellectual considerations. In so doing he overturned the Platonic tradition in aesthetics that had prevailed from antiquity until the eighteenth century, and replaced metaphysics with psychology and even physiology as the basis for the subject. Burke's theory of beauty encompasses the female form, nature, art, and poetry, and he analyses our delight in sublime effects that thrill and excite us. His revolution in method continues to have repercussions in the aesthetic theories of today, and his revolution in sensibility has paved the way for literary and artistic movements from the Gothic novel through Romanticism, twentieth-century painting, and beyond. In this new edition Paul Guyer conducts the reader through Burke's Enquiry, focusing on its place in the history of aesthetics and highlighting its innovations, as well as its influence on many subsequent authors from Kant and Schiller to Ruskin and Nietzsche. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
In this book, one of Italy's most important and original
contemporary philosophers considers the status of art in the modern
era. He takes seriously Hegel's claim that art has exhausted its
spiritual vocation, that it is no longer through art that Spirit
principally comes to knowledge of itself. He argues, however, that
Hegel by no means proclaimed the "death of art" (as many still
imagine) but proclaimed rather the indefinite continuation of art
in what Hegel called a "self-annulling" mode.
First published in French in 1943, Jean-Paul Sartre's L'Etre et le Neant is one of the greatest philosophical works of the twentieth century. In it, Sartre offers nothing less than a brilliant and radical account of the human condition. The English philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch wrote to a friend of "the excitement - I remember nothing like it since the days of discovering Keats and Shelley and Coleridge". This new translation, the first for over sixty years, makes this classic work of philosophy available to a new generation of readers. What gives our lives significance, Sartre argues in Being and Nothingness, is not pre-established for us by God or nature but is something for which we ourselves are responsible. At the heart of this view are Sartre's radical conceptions of consciousness and freedom. Far from being an internal, passive container for our thoughts and experiences, human consciousness is constantly projecting itself into the outside world and imbuing it with meaning. Combining this with the unsettling view that human existence is characterized by radical freedom and the inescapability of choice, Sartre introduces us to a cast of ideas and characters that are part of philosophical legend: anguish; the "bad faith" of the memorable waiter in the cafe; sexual desire; and the "look" of the Other, brought to life by Sartre's famous description of someone looking through a keyhole. Above all, by arguing that we alone create our values and that human relationships are characterized by hopeless conflict, Sartre paints a stark and controversial picture of our moral universe and one that resonates strongly today. This new translation includes a helpful Translator's Introduction, a comprehensive Index and a Foreword by Richard Moran, Brian D. Young Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University, USA. Translated by Sarah Richmond, University College London, UK.
A groundbreaking reassessment of Symbolist artists and writers that investigates the concerns they shared with scientists of the period-the problem of subjectivity in particular. In A Forest of Symbols, Andrei Pop presents a groundbreaking reassessment of those writers and artists in the late nineteenth century associated with the Symbolist movement. For Pop, "symbolist" denotes an art that is self-conscious about its modes of making meaning, and he argues that these symbolist practices, which sought to provide more direct access to viewers and readers by constant revision of its material means of meaning-making (brushstrokes on a canvas, words on a page), are crucial to understanding the genesis of modern art. The symbolists saw art not as a social revolution, but as a revolution in sense and how to conceptualize the world. The concerns of symbolist painters and poets were shared to a remarkable degree by theoretical scientists of the period, who were dissatisfied with the strict empiricism dominant in their disciplines, which made shared knowledge seem unattainable. The problem of subjectivity in particular, of what in one's experience can and cannot be shared, was crucial to the possibility of collaboration within science and to the communication of artistic innovation. Pop offers close readings of the literary and visual practices of Manet and Mallarme, of drawings by Ernst Mach, William James and Wittgenstein, of experiments with color by Bracquemond and Van Gogh, and of the philosophical systems of Frege and Russell-filling in a startling but coherent picture of the symbolist heritage of modernity and its consequences.
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