The Ideology of the Aesthetic / Edition 1

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The Ideology of the Aesthetic presents a history and critique of the concept of the aesthetic throughout modern Western thought. As such, this is a critical survey of modern Western philosophy, focusing in particular on the complex relations between aesthetics, ethics and politics. Eagleton provides a brilliant and challenging introduction to these concerns, as characterized in the work of Kant, Schiller, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Lukacs, Adorno, Habermas, and others.

Wide in span, as well as morally and politically committed, this is Terry Eagleton's major work to date. It forms both an original enquiry and an exemplary introduction.

Presenting no less than a history and critique of the concept of the aesthetic throughtout modern Western thought, The Ideology of the Aesthetic is a critical survey of modern Western philosphy, focusing in particular on the complex relations between aesthetics, ethics, and politics.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"That contemporary theory would eventually turn back to consider its origins in the contradictions of philosophical aesthetics was predictable; but nothing could have prepared us for Eagleton's extraordinary confrontation with the entire modern history of this discourse, in a book which will be indispensable for years to come."
F. R. Jameson, Duke University

"Eagleton succeeds brilliantly in situating aesthetic theory as an irreducibly heterogeneous series of discourses who ideological and political effect on North Atlantic civilization since the Englightenment has been more diverse and consequential than traditional philosophical, literary, and cultural theory has previously suspected or acknowledged."

Library Journal
Although not a history of aesthetics, Eagleton's new book traces the relationship between aesthetics and political interests from the Enlightenment through post-modernism, aiming at a Marxist philosophy of the body. While starting with Shaftesbury, Hume, and Burke, he is primarily concerned with the contribution of the German philosophical tradition. He is especially interested in the Hegelians from Hegel and Marx to Benjamin, Adorno, and Habermas, and the anti-Hegelians from Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche to Heidegger and Foucault. As with his many earlier books on literary theory and Marxist aesthetics (e.g., Literary Theory , LJ 8/83), Eagleton's new volume is marked both by its clarity and its commitment.--T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631163022
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/3/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,349,378
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Eagleton is Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow at the University of Manchester. His works include The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1990), Literacy Theory: An Introduction (1983), Walter Benjamin (1981) and Marxism and Literacy Criticism (1976).

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Table of Contents


1. Free Particulars.

2. The Law of the Heart: Shaftesbury, Hume, Burke.

3. The Kantian Imaginary.

4. Schiller and Hegemony.

5. The World as Artefact: Fichte, Schelling, Hegel.

6. The Death of Desire: Arthur Schopenhauer.

7. Absolutte Ironies: Sren Kierkegaard.

8. The Marxist Sublime.

9. True Illusions: Friedrich Nietzshe.

10. The Name of the Father: Sigmund Freud.

11. The Politics of Being: Martin Heidegger.

12. The Marxist Rabbi: Walter Benjamin.

13. Art After Auschwitz: Theodor Adorno.

14. From the Polis to Postmodernism.


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