Books, Recent finds

Recent Find

Art and Truth After Plato

Tom Rockmore

“Despite its foundational role in the history of philosophy, Plato’s famous argument that art does not have access to truth or knowledge is now rarely examined, in part because recent philosophers have assumed that Plato’s challenge was resolved long ago. In Art and Truth after Plato, Tom Rockmore argues that Plato has in fact never been satisfactorily answered—and to demonstrate that, he offers a comprehensive account of Plato’s influence through nearly the whole history of Western aesthetics. Rockmore offers a cogent reading of the post-Platonic aesthetic tradition as a series of responses to Plato’s position, examining a stunning diversity of thinkers and ideas. He visits Aristotle’s Poetics, the medieval Christians, Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Hegel’s phenomenology, Marxism, social realism, Heidegger, and many other works and thinkers, ending with a powerful synthesis that lands on four central aesthetic arguments that philosophers have debated. More than a mere history of aesthetics, Art and Truth after Plato presents a fresh look at an ancient question, bringing it into contemporary relief.”

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Books, Recent finds

Recent Find

The Great Image Has No Form, or On the Nonobject through Painting

FranCois Jullien

“In premodern China, elite painters used imagery not to mirror the world around them, but to evoke unfathomable experience. Considering their art alongside the philosophical traditions that inform it, The Great Image Has No Form explores the “nonobject”—a notion exemplified by paintings that do not seek to represent observable surroundings.

François Jullien argues that this nonobjectifying approach stems from the painters’ deeply held belief in a continuum of existence, in which art is not distinct from reality. Contrasting this perspective with the Western notion of art as separate from the world it represents, Jullien investigates the theoretical conditions that allow us to apprehend, isolate, and abstract objects. His comparative method lays bare the assumptions of Chinese and European thought, revitalizing the questions of what painting is, where it comes from, and what it does. Provocative and intellectually vigorous, this sweeping inquiry introduces new ways of thinking about the relationship of art to the ideas in which it is rooted.”

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Books, Recent finds

Recent Find

Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle

Michelle Karnes. University of Chicago Press, 2011.

“In Imagination, Meditation, and Cognition in the Middle Ages, Michelle Karnes revises the history of medieval imagination with a detailed analysis of its role in the period’s meditations and theories of cognition. Karnes here understands imagination in its technical, philosophical sense, taking her cue from Bonaventure, the thirteenth-century scholastic theologian and philosopher who provided the first sustained account of how the philosophical imagination could be transformed into a devotional one. Karnes examines Bonaventure’s meditational works, the Meditationes vitae Christi, the Stimulis amoris, Piers Plowman, and Nicholas Love’s Myrrour, among others, and argues that the cognitive importance that imagination enjoyed in scholastic philosophy informed its importance in medieval meditations on the life of Christ. Emphasizing the cognitive significance of both imagination and the meditations that relied on it, she revises a long-standing association of imagination with the Middle Ages. In her account, imagination was not simply an object of suspicion but also a crucial intellectual, spiritual, and literary resource that exercised considerable authority.”

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Books, Recent finds

Thought is more than language

Front Cover
University of California Press, Mar 1, 2004 – Art – 345 pages
“Groundbreaking when first published in 1969, this book is now of even greater relevance to make the reader aware of the need to educate the visual sense, a matter so harmfully neglected in the present system.”–Peter Selz, author of Nathan Oliveira

“Freud argued that a cogent thought process, to say nothing of conscious intellectual work, could not exist amidst the unruliness of visual experience. Over the last half century in a sequence of landmark books, Rudolf Arnheim has not only shown us how wrong that is, he has parsed the grammar of form with uncanny acuity and taught us how to read it. Few books continue to speak to the generations after them; Visual Thinking is one of those rare exceptions.”–Jonathan Fineberg, author of Art Since 1940

Rudolf Arnheim is Professor Emeritus of the Psychology of Art at Harvard University. His books include Film as Art (California, 1957), Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye (California, 1974), The Dynamics of Architectural Form (California, 1977), and The Split and the Structure: Twenty-eight Essays (California, 1996).

Bibliographic information

Title Visual Thinking
Author Rudolf Arnheim
Edition 35, illustrated, reprint
Publisher University of California Press, 2004
ISBN 0520242262, 9780520242265
Length 345 pages
Subjects

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