Academic Books, 2007
Examining Julia Kristeva's contention that contemporary Western society is witnessing a crisis of subjectivity due to the failure of the paternal function, Gambaudo places Kristeva's thesis within the context of Freudian psychoanalytic thought and shows how Kristeva defends her position against a cultural climate privileging scientific and cognitive answers to aesthetic concerns.
Gambaudo argues that while Kristeva's position might be construed as defensive and a reactive clinging on to paternal modes of organisation of subjectivity, it also offers a unique and visionary analysis of subjectivity that rescues the paternal project from its decline. Eschewing a traditional emphasis on Kristeva's feminism, this book's primary interest is located at the intersection between psychoanalysis and culture, specifically analysing the superseding of Oedipus by narcissistic organisation.
The Continuum Aesthetics Series looks at the aesthetic questions and issues raised by all major art forms. Stimulating, engaging and accessible, the series offers food for thought not only for students of aesthetics, but also for anyone with an interest in philosophy and the arts. Aesthetics and Music is a fresh and often provocative exploration of the key concepts and arguments in musical aesthetics. It draws on the rich heritage of the subject, while proposing distinctive new ways of thinking about music as an art form.
The book looks at: the experience of listening; rhythm and musical movement; what modernism has meant for musical aesthetics; the relation of music to other 'sound arts'; Improvisation and composition; as well as more traditional issues in musical aesthetics such as absolute versus programme music and the question of musical formalism.
Thinkers discussed range from Pythagoras and Plato to Kant, Nietzsche and Adorno. Areas of music covered include classical, popular and traditional music, and jazz. Aesthetics and Music makes an eloquent case for a humanistic, democratic and genuinely aesthetic conception of music and musical understanding. Anyone interested in what contemporary philosophy has to say about music as an art form will find this thought-provoking and highly enjoyable book required reading.
The preeminent altoist associated with the "cool" school of jazz, Lee Konitz was one of the few saxophonists of his generation to forge a unique sound largely independent of the influence of Charlie Parker. In the late 1940s, Konitz began his career with the Claude Thornhill band and came into contact with Miles Davis, with whom he worked on the legendary Birth of the Cool sessions. Konitz is perhaps best known through his association with Lennie Tristano, under whose influence much of his sound evolved, and for his work with Stan Kenton and Warne Marsh. His recordings have ranged from cool bop to experimental improvisation and have appeared on such labels as Prestige, Atlantic, Verve, and Polydor.
Crafted out of numerous interviews between the author and his subject, the book offers a unique look at the story of Lee Konitz's life and music, detailing Konitz's own insights into his musical education and his experiences with such figures as Miles Davis, Stan Kenton, Warne Marsh, Lennie Tristano, Charles Mingus, Bud Powell, and Bill Evans.
This pioneering book lays new foundations for the study of reference and truth. It seeks to explain the origins and characteristics of human ways of relating to the world by means of an understanding of the inherent structures of the mind. Wolfram Hinzen explores truth in the light of Noam Chomsky's Minimalist Program. Truth, he argues, is a function of the human mind and, in particular, likely presupposes the structure of the human clause.
Professor Hinzen begins by setting out the essentials of the Minimalist Program and by considering the explanatory role played by the interfaces of the linguistic system with other cognitive systems. He then sets out an internalist reconstruction of meaning. He argues that meaning stems from concepts, originating not from reference but from intentional relations built up in human acts of language in which such concepts figure. How we refer, he suggests, is a function of the concepts we possess, rather than the reverse in which reference to the world gives us the concepts to realize it. He concludes with extended accounts of declarative sentences and names, the two aspects of language which seem most inimical to his approach.
The book makes important and radical contributions to theory and debate in linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science. The author frames his argument in a way that will be readily comprehensible to scholars and advanced students in all three disciplines.
What is it to understand another person? A popular view in philosophy of mind, cognitive science and various other disciplines is that interpersonal understanding is a matter of attributing a 'commonsense' or 'folk' psychology, consisting primarily of an ability to attribute internal propositional attitudes on the basis of behavioural observations. The emphasis of recent debates has been on which mechanisms enable us to do this, how they arise during development and how they might have evolved, rather than on whether we actually do it at all. Ratcliffe disputes the shared premise on which these debates rest. He argues that 'folk psychology', as generally described, is a theoretically motivated, simplistic and misleading abstraction from social life, which is wrongly asserted to be 'commonsense' or 'what the folk think'. Drawing on phenomenology, he offers an alternative account of interpersonal understanding. his account emphasizes a distinctive kind of bodily relatedness between people and the extent to which interpersonal interactions are regulated by shared social environments.
Needs and Moral Necessity analyses ethics as a practice, explains why we have three moral theory-types, consequentialism, deontology and virtue ethics, and argues for a fourth needs-based theory.
What is death and why does it matter to us? How should the knowledge of our finitude affect the living of our lives and what are the virtues suitable to mortal beings? Does death destroy the meaningfulness of lives, or would lives that never ended be eternally and absurdly tedious? Can death really be an evil if, after death, we no longer exist as subjects of goods or evils? How should we respond to the deaths of others and do we have any duties towards the dead? These, and many other, questions are addressed in Geoffrey Scarre's book, which draws upon a wide variety of philosophical and literary sources to offer an up-to-date and highly readable study of some of the major ethical and metaphysical riddles concerning death and dying. Scarre shows that far from being a morbid subject for a philosophy book reflecting on death and its significance doubles as an illuminating way of reflecting on life.
First published in 1859, John Stuart Mill's On Liberty has exerted an enormous influence on philosophical and political thought. Numerous moral and political theorists have drawn on Mill's work, including Rawls and Raz, and his ideas remain as relevant as ever today. Here, Geoffrey Scarre provides a concise and accessible introduction to this classic work of philosophy.
Scarre gives first-time readers of Mill and those who have been exposed to interpretations of his work a solid idea of what Mill actually wrote, and only then supplies the embellishments of moral and political theorists. He gives the contexts under which Mill wrote and the reasons for his working slightly outside of his signature utilitarianism, overviews the basic themes, then analyzes the text itself to be sure readers understand what applies to politics and what does not. Only then does Scarre allow for commentary by Mill's earliest readers and describe the influence On Liberty has had on subsequent thought.
Aesthetic and moral value are often seen to go hand in hand. They do so not only practically, such as in our everyday assessments of artworks that raise moral questions, but also theoretically, such as in Kant's theory that beauty is the symbol of morality. Some philosophers have argued that it is in the relation between aesthetic and moral value that the key to an adequate understanding of either notion lies. But difficult questions abound. Must a work of art be morally admirable in order to be aesthetically valuable? How, if at all, do our moral values shape our aesthetic judgements - and vice versa?
Aesthetics and Morality is a stimulating and insightful inquiry into precisely this set of questions. Elisabeth Schellekens explores the main ideas and debates at the intersection of aesthetics and moral philosophy. She invites readers to reflect on the nature of beauty, art and morality, and provides the philosophical knowledge to render such reflection more rigorous. This original, inspiring and entertaining book sheds valuable new light on a notably complex and challenging area of thought.
What is the purpose of a work of art? What drives us to make art? Why do we value art and consume it? Nick Zangwill argues that we cannot understand the nature of art without first having answers to these fundamental questions. On his view, which he dubs 'the Aesthetic Creation Theory', a work of art is something created for a particular aesthetic purpose. More specifically, the function of art is to have certain aesthetic properties in virtue of its non-aesthetic properties, and this function arises because of the artist's insight into the nature of these dependence relations and her intention to bring them about. In defending this view, Zangwill provides an account of aesthetic action and aesthetic creative thought and shows how the Aesthetic Creation Theory can accommodate two kinds of seeming counterexamples to aesthetic theories of art: narrative art and twentieth-century avant-garde art. Aesthetic Creation also contains a detailed exposition and critique of a range of rival views, including Dickie's institutional theory of art, accounts of art that make essential reference to an audience, and sociological theories which purport to explain the nature of art without recourse to the notion of the aesthetic.
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