The Aesthetics of Mimesis: Ancient Texts and Modern Problems / Edition 1

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Overview

"With wide-ranging erudition, bold philosophical insight, and a vibrant aesthetic sensibility, Stephen Halliwell demonstrates that the ancient Greek tradition of arguing about mimesis is not the crude and single-minded defense of literal copying that many have seen in it. It is, rather, a highly complex tradition of debate and contestation, in which questions of foundational importance about artistic meaning are repeatedly confronted. Moving with graceful assurance from Plato and Aristotle to contemporary reworkings of the tradition by Brecht and Adorno, Barthes and Derrida, Halliwell shows us the depth and fertility of classical arguments. A stunning achievement, which will define the subject for many generations."—Martha C. Nussbaum, The University of Chicago

"Halliwell addresses central topics in the history of aesthetics with continuing echoes in current debates. The scholarship is impeccable, the writing is clear, the histories are illuminating, the theoretical views are intriguing, and the scope is most impressive. I do not know of any comparable book that succeeds at combining scholarship with history and original thought."—Cynthia Freeland, University of Houston

"We have not seen a comprehensive study of the classical concepts of mimesis, nor has anyone shown the place of mimesis in the history of aesthetics, nor has anyone argued generally for the usefulness of the concept to contemporary theory. Art and philosophy in the twentieth century were hostile to the idea that art is mimesis, and ancient Greek theories have seemed quaint to modern eyes. Halliwell may, through this book, be on the cutting edge of a revolution in thinking."—Paul Woodruff, University of Texas, Austin

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Editorial Reviews

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Halliwell has given the cognitivist position a highly nuanced, philosophically sophisticated version that will command the attention of scholars of classical and Western literary criticism.
— Andrew Ford
Times Literary Supplement - Michael Silk
Stephen Halliwell's formidable book . . . is scholarly, lucid, wide-ranging, discriminating. . . . An outstanding example of taking ideas seriously, and one that deserves a wide and intelligent readership.
Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews - Andrew Ford
Halliwell has given the cognitivist position a highly nuanced, philosophically sophisticated version that will command the attention of scholars of classical and Western literary criticism.
The Philosophical Quarterly - David Konstan
A magisterial survey . . . immensely learned and meticulously argued. . . . [It] will be indispensable to any future discussion of art and representation in classical antiquity.
From the Publisher
"Stephen Halliwell's formidable book . . . is scholarly, lucid, wide-ranging, discriminating. . . . An outstanding example of taking ideas seriously, and one that deserves a wide and intelligent readership."—Michael Silk, Times Literary Supplement

"Halliwell has given the cognitivist position a highly nuanced, philosophically sophisticated version that will command the attention of scholars of classical and Western literary criticism."—Andrew Ford, Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews

"A magisterial survey . . . immensely learned and meticulously argued. . . . [It] will be indispensable to any future discussion of art and representation in classical antiquity."—David Konstan, The Philosophical Quarterly

Times Literary Supplement
Stephen Halliwell's formidable book . . . is scholarly, lucid, wide-ranging, discriminating. . . . An outstanding example of taking ideas seriously, and one that deserves a wide and intelligent readership.
— Michael Silk
Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews
Halliwell has given the cognitivist position a highly nuanced, philosophically sophisticated version that will command the attention of scholars of classical and Western literary criticism.
— Andrew Ford
The Philosophical Quarterly
A magisterial survey . . . immensely learned and meticulously argued. . . . [It] will be indispensable to any future discussion of art and representation in classical antiquity.
— David Konstan
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691092584
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Acknowledgments xi
Note to the Reader xiii
INTRODUCTION: Mimesis and the History of Aesthetics 1
PART I
CHAPTER ONE
Representation and Reality: Plato and Mimesis 37
CHAPTER TWO
Romantic Puritanism: Plato and the Psychology of Mimesis 72
CHAPTER THREE
Mimesis and the Best Life: Plato's Repudiation of the Tragic 98
CHAPTER FOUR
More Than Meets the Eye: Looking into Plato's Mirror 118
PART II
CHAPTER FIVE
Inside and Outside the Work of Art: Aristotelian Mimesis Reevaluated 151
CHAPTER SIX
The Rewards of Mimesis: Pleasure, Understanding, and Emotion in Aristotle's Aesthetics 177
CHAPTER SEVEN
Tragic Pity: Aristotle and Beyond 207
CHAPTER EIGHT
Music and the Limits of Mimesis: Aristotle versus Philodemus 234
PART III
CHAPTER NINE
Truth or Delusion? The Mimeticist Legacy in Hellenistic Philosophy 263
CHAPTER TEN
Images of Life: Mimesis and Literary Criticism after Aristotle 287
CHAPTER ELEVEN
Renewal and Transformation: Neoplatonism and Mimesis 313
CHAPTER TWELVE
An Inheritance Contested: Renaissance to Modernity 344
Bibliography 383
Index 419

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Introduction

Mimesis and the History of Aesthetics 1
PART I
CHAPTER ONE
Representation and Reality: Plato and Mimesis 37
CHAPTER TWO
Romantic Puritanism: Plato and the Psychology of Mimesis 72
CHAPTER THREE
Mimesis and the Best Life: Plato's Repudiation of the Tragic 98
CHAPTER FOUR
More Than Meets the Eye: Looking into Plato's Mirror 118
PART II
CHAPTER FIVE
Inside and Outside the Work of Art: Aristotelian Mimesis Reevaluated 151
CHAPTER SIX
The Rewards of Mimesis: Pleasure, Understanding, and Emotion in Aristotle's Aesthetics 177
CHAPTER SEVEN
Tragic Pity: Aristotle and Beyond 207
CHAPTER EIGHT
Music and the Limits of Mimesis: Aristotle versus Philodemus 234
PART III
CHAPTER NINE
Truth or Delusion?The Mimeticist Legacy in Hellenistic Philosophy 263
CHAPTER TEN
Images of Life: Mimesis and Literary Criticism after Aristotle 287
CHAPTER ELEVEN
Renewal and Transformation: Neoplatonism and Mimesis 313
CHAPTER TWELVE
An Inheritance Contested: Renaissance to Modernity 344
Bibliography 383
Index 419
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