Plato was the first great figure in Western philosophy to assess the value of the arts; he famously argued in the Republic that traditionally accepted forms of poetry, drama, and music are unsound, claiming they are conducive to warped ethical standards, detrimental to the psyche, andpurveyors of illusions about important matters in human life. This view has been widely rejected; but Christopher Janaway here argues that Plato's hostile case is a more coherent and profound challenge to the arts than has sometimes been supposed.Denying that Plato advocates `good art' in any modern sense, Dr Janaway seeks both to understand Plato's critique in the context of his own philosophy and to locate him in today's philosophy of art, showing how issues in aesthetics arise from responses to his charges. Plato's questions about beauty,emotion, representation, ethical knowledge, artistic autonomy, and censorship are of contemporary relevance as formerly secure assumptions about the value of art and the aesthetic come under scrutiny.Images of Excellence gives a new and original view of a famous issue in the history of philosophy; it is written not only for readers working in ancient philosophy, but for all who are interested in aesthetics, art theory, and literary theory.
Christopher Janaway both illuminates Plato's criticisms of the arts in the context of his own philosophy and locates him in today's philosophy of art, providing a new, original view of a famous issue in the history of ideas.
This original new book argues for a reassessment of Plato's challenge to the arts. Plato was the first great figure in Western philosophy to assess the value of the arts; he argued in the Republic that traditionally accepted forms of poetry, drama, and music are unsound. While this view has been widely rejected, Janaway argues that Plato's hostile case is a more coherent and profound challenge to the arts than has sometimes been supposed. Denying that Plato advocates "good art" in any modern sense, Janaway seeks both to understand Plato's critique in the context of his own philosophy and to locate him in today's philosophy of art, showing how issues in aesthetics arise from responses to his charges.
The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and state-of-the-art survey of current thinking and research in a particular area. Specially commissioned essays from leading international figures in the discipline give critical examinations of the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. Plato is the best known, and continues to be the most widely studied, of all the ancient Greek philosophers. The twenty-one newly commissioned articles in the Oxford Handbook of Plato provide in-depth and up-to-date discussions of a variety of topics and dialogues. The result is a useful state-of-the-art reference to the man many consider the most important philosophical thinker in history. Each article is an original contribution from a leading scholar, and they all serve several functions at once: they survey the lay of the land; express and develop the authors' own views; and situate those views within a range of alternatives. This Handbook contains chapters on metaphysics, epistemology, love, language, ethics, politics, art and education. Individual chapters are are devoted to each of the following dialogues: the Republic, Parmenides, Theaetetus, Sophist, Timaeus, and Philebus. There are also chapters on Plato and the dialogue form; on Plato in his time and place; on the history of the Platonic corpus; on Aristotle's criticism of Plato, and on Plato and Platonism.
Why Plato Wrote argues that Plato was not only the world’s first systematic political philosopher, but also the western world’s first think-tank activist and message man. Shows that Plato wrote to change Athenian society and thereby transform Athenian politics Offers accessible discussions of Plato’s philosophy of language and political theory Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2011
Augustine's City of God has profoundly influenced the course of Western political philosophy, but there are few guides to its labyrinthine argumentation that hold together the delicate interplay of religion and philosophy in Augustine's thought. The essays in this volume offer a rich examination of those themes, using the central, contested distinction between a heavenly city on earthly pilgrimage and an earthly city bound for perdition to elaborate aspects of Augustine's political and moral vision. Topics discussed include Augustine's notion of the secular, his critique of pagan virtue, his departure from classical eudaimonism, his mythology of sin, his dystopian politics, his surprising attention to female bodies, his moral psychology, his valorisation of love, his critique of empire and his conception of a Christian philosophy. Together the essays advance our understanding of Augustine's most influential work and provide a rich overview of Augustinian political theology and its philosophical implications.
Thinking about sensory experiences and evaluating human artifacts is an important part of Western European cultural and intellectual history. This book investigates from different perspectives the origins of this practice and the rich discourse of aesthetic value in classical antiquity.
OF all the writings of Plato the Timaeus is the most obscure and repulsive to the modern reader, and has nevertheless had the greatest influence over the ancient and mediaeval world. The obscurity arises in the infancy of physical science, out of the confusion of theological, mathematical, and physiological notions, out of the desire to conceive the whole of nature without any adequate knowledge of the parts, and from a greater perception of similarities which lie on the surface than of differences which are hidden from view. Aeterna Press
In this book, David McNeill illuminates Plato&’s distinctive approach to philosophy by examining how his literary portrayal of Socrates manifests an essential interdependence between philosophic and ethical inquiry. In particular, McNeill demonstrates how Socrates&’s confrontation with profound ethical questions about his public philosophic activity is the key to understanding the distinctively mimetic, dialogic, and reflexive character of Socratic philosophy. Taking a cue from Nietzsche&’s account of &“the problem of Socrates,&” McNeill shows how the questions Nietzsche raises are questions that, in Plato's depiction, Socrates was aware of and responded to. McNeill also shows how the Republic provides a view of Socratic moral psychology that resembles Nietzsche&’s account of human psychology: it deals with the internalized ethical narratives and justificatory schemes through which human beings orient themselves to their world. McNeill argues that this moral psychology not only determines Socrates&’s explicit account of different character types and political regimes but also crucially informs his dialectical engagements with his various interlocutors in the dialogues. In addition to contributing a unique perspective to current debates about Socrates&’s philosophic methods and the significance of the literary character of Plato&’s dialogues, the book offers a far-reaching interpretation of Plato&’s presentation of the theoretical and practical activities of the fifth-century Sophists. And in showing how Plato responds to &“modern&” theoretical challenges, McNeill provides new evidence to question standard views of the differences between ancient and modern conceptions of the self, society, and nature.
This is a commentary on selected texts of Plato concerned with poetry: the Ion and relevant sections of the Republic. It is the first commentary to present these texts together in one volume, and the first in English on Republic 2 and 3 and Ion for nearly 100 years. The introduction sets Plato's views in their Greek context and outlines their influence on later aesthetic thought. An important feature of the commentary is its exploration of the ambivalence of Plato's pronouncements through an analysis of his own skill as a writer.
The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950
Author: Charles Murray
Publisher: Harper Collins
A sweeping cultural survey reminiscent of Barzun's From Dawn to Decadence. "At irregular times and in scattered settings, human beings have achieved great things. Human Accomplishment is about those great things, falling in the domains known as the arts and sciences, and the people who did them.' So begins Charles Murray's unique account of human excellence, from the age of Homer to our own time. Employing techniques that historians have developed over the last century but that have rarely been applied to books written for the general public, Murray compiles inventories of the people who have been essential to the stories of literature, music, art, philosophy, and the sciences—a total of 4,002 men and women from around the world, ranked according to their eminence. The heart of Human Accomplishment is a series of enthralling descriptive chapters: on the giants in the arts and what sets them apart from the merely great; on the differences between great achievement in the arts and in the sciences; on the meta-inventions, 14 crucial leaps in human capacity to create great art and science; and on the patterns and trajectories of accomplishment across time and geography. Straightforwardly and undogmatically, Charles Murray takes on some controversial questions. Why has accomplishment been so concentrated in Europe? Among men? Since 1400? He presents evidence that the rate of great accomplishment has been declining in the last century, asks what it means, and offers a rich framework for thinking about the conditions under which the human spirit has expressed itself most gloriously. Eye-opening and humbling, Human Accomplishment is a fascinating work that describes what humans at their best can achieve, provides tools for exploring its wellsprings, and celebrates the continuing common quest of humans everywhere to discover truths, create beauty, and apprehend the good.
Two controversial thinkers discuss a timeless but nonetheless urgent question: should philosophy interfere in the world? Nothing less than philosophy is at stake because, according to Badiou, philosophy is nothing but interference and commitment and will not be restrained by academic discipline. Philosophy is strange and new, and yet speaks in the name of all - as Badiou shows with his theory of universality. Similarly, Zizek believes that the philosopher must intervene, contrary to all expectations, in the key issues of the time. He can offer no direction, but this only shows that the question has been posed incorrectly: it is valid to change the terms of the debate and settle on philosophy as abnormality and excess. At once an invitation to philosophy and an introduction to the thinking of two of the most topical and controversial philosophers writing today, this concise volume will be of great interest to students and general readers alike.
The Closing of the American Mind, a publishing phenomenon in hardcover, is now a paperback literary event. In this acclaimed number one national best-seller, one of our country's most distinguished political philosophers argues that the social/political crisis of 20th-century America is really an intellectual crisis. Allan Bloom's sweeping analysis is essential to understanding America today. It has fired the imagination of a public ripe for change.
The great philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist masterfully offers his fascinating outline of Aesthetics Theory. Drawing on the art, literature, and social sciences involved, Santayana discusses the nature of beauty, form, and expression.
Acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters, this modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974, transforming a generation and continuing to inspire millions. This 25th Anniversary Quill Edition features a new introduction by the author; important typographical changes; and a Reader's Guide that includes discussion topics, an interview with the author, and letters and documents detailing how this extraordinary book came to be. A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, the book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. The narrator's relationship with his son leads to a powerful self-reckoning; the craft of motorcycle maintenance leads to an austerely beautiful process for reconciling science, religion, and humanism. Resonant with the confusions of existence, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a touching and transcendent book of life.