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Art as Language: Wittgenstein, Meaning, and Aesthetic Theory

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Overview

"[Art as Language] is in itself extremely valuable as an example of the still largely unappreciated relevance of Wittgenstein's work to traditional philosophical issues. . . . This book, as a more or less encyclopedic critique of aesthetic theories from a Wittgensteinian perspective, will be enlightening to aesthetic theorists who want to know, not what Wittgenstein said about art, but what the relevance of his work is to their use of language as a point of reference for interpreting art."—Choice"In a series of acute arguments, Hagberg dismantles the region of grand aesthetic theory that defines art in the terms philosophy has traditionally used to define language. . . . Written with excellence in argumentation, judiciousness, and a capacious knowledge of Wittgenstein."—Daniel Herwitz, Common Knowledge"A clear and intelligent book. Hagberg's strategy is to show the consequences of holding a Wittgensteinian view of language and mind for aesthetic theories which are either based on, or analogous to, other non-Wittgensteinian positions about language and mind. This is an important project."—Stanley Bates, Middlebury College
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Art as Language is in itself extremely valuable as an example of the still largely unappreciated relevance of Wittgenstein's work to traditional philosophical issues. . . . This book, as a more or less encyclopedic critique of aesthetic theories from a Wittgensteinian perspective, will be enlightening to aesthetic theorists who want to know, not what Wittgenstein said about art, but what the relevance of his work is to their use of language as a point of reference for interpreting art."—Choice

"The arguments are persuasive and deftly executed, and the examples are well chosen. Initiates into the main debates of analytic aesthetics who share the author's sense that the latter tradition is in need of internal critique . . . will not be disappointed."—Casey Haskins, SUNY at Purchase, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. 1999.

"A clear and intelligent book. Hagberg's strategy is to show the consequences of holding a Wittgensteinian view of language and mind for aesthetic theories which are either based on, or analogous to, other non-Wittgensteinian positions about language and mind. This is an important project."—Stanley Bates, Middlebury College

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801485312
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 1999

    Putting Wittgenstein to work

    What's often lost in some very obtuse discussions of Wittgenstein is that he was a very practical guy--as he himself said, he wanted to get things done. That's precisely what Hagberg does in this book, which is the best sustained discussion of Wittgenstein I've read. (I've read plenty...not all the books about Wittgenstein of course, but dozens at any rate). Hagberg puts Wittgenstein 'to work' so to speak by applying W'.'s arguments about meaning and mentalism to the issues of aesthetics. The application of W's arguments to aesthetics brings W's arguments--which out of context strike many as trivial at times and bewildering at other times--down to the ground, so to speak. Especially good is the application to the art-as-translation of W's argument that meaning is not 'mental'. If you've been frustrated by secondary Wittgenstein texts (finding them obscure or meandering or uninformative) then do give this book a try. Hagberg writes with very consistent clarity and (again, this is very important in studying W). always grounds his arguments in highly detailed but clear contexts.

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