- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Kingwell (philosophy, Univ. of Toronto; In Pursuit of Happiness: Better Living from Plato to Prozac) here gives an account of modern cities while also offering a critique of postmodernist architecture. He uses the points he makes about cities to discuss issues in the theory of knowledge and metaphysics, paying the most attention to problems of consciousness. Kingwell has a good eye for details: he discusses, e.g., the properties of concrete, the technique of walking in New York, and the significance of the Manhattan eruv, an accommodation that allows religious Jews to carry on the Sabbath. His account of cities, which concentrates on Shanghai as well as New York, emphasizes thresholds and throws into question the sharp separation between interior and exterior in buildings. Kingwell criticizes postmodern architects such as Rem Koolhaas for having become less revolutionary, and more cynical, than they once had been. He extends his criticism of sharp boundaries to challenge the Cartesian self; here he has been much influenced by Gilbert Ryle. An extensive bibliographical essay concludes this excellent book. Highly recommended for philosophy, urban, and architecture collections.