The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics (Routledge Philosophy Companions)
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The third edition of the acclaimed Routledge Companion to Aesthetics contains over sixty chapters written by leading international scholars covering all aspects of aesthetics.
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.
sociology, history, politics, linguistics, psychology and philosophy. Foucault’s writings, though, are punctuated continually with reﬂections on art, and these are not merely stylistic embellishments; they can be understood quite directly to inform the trajectory of his philosophical development. Perhaps one of the most reliable summations of Foucault’s general outlook comes from Foucault himself, in a pseudonymously authored entry for a philosophical dictionary that he wrote under the name of
characters must be spoudaioi (serious, superior) people (Poetics 1448a2, 1454a17). These characters’ dignity and standing ensure the importance of what they undertake and undergo. Seriousness also means that the action in a tragedy must possess moral signiﬁcance. This is not a matter of its having a moral. Some popularizations still speak of tragic ﬂaws and heroes’ falls, but Aristotle has no such thoughts about tragedy. Poetic justice of that type would ruin the tragic pleasure, since if tragic
is left is “existence” – not existence as such, but human existence as it is led in the everyday world of experience; and this is no longer to be “eternally justiﬁed” but merely made “bearable” – and made bearable, moreover, “for us.” The idea of eternal justiﬁcation has no room for “us” in it: no room, that is, for the points of view of intrinsically embodied, intrinsically temporal creatures such as ourselves. Eternal justiﬁcation could be oﬀered, if at all, only from a standpoint beyond the
mind–body or consciousness–world dichotomies. For Merleau-Ponty, “the theory of the body is already a theory of perception” (ibid.: 203). The philosophical challenge is to give a proper account of this bodily perception. In discussing the meaning of colors he notes: “we must rediscover how to live these colours as our body does, that is as peace or violence in concrete form” (ibid.: 211). Emphasizing that we always experience things in their unity of style and synaesthetic value, he observes that
ContinentalAnalytic Divide, New York: Humanity Books. (An excellent range of studies showing Merleau-Ponty’s relevance to issues in analytic and continental philosophy and cognitive science.) Kaelin, E. (1962) An Existentialist Aesthetic: The Theories of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. (A useful comparison of Sartre’s and Merleau-Ponty’s aesthetics.) Merleau-Ponty, M. (1964) The Primacy of Perception and Other Essays, ed. J. Edie, Evanston, IL: Northwestern