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Philosophers on Art from Kant to the Postmodernists: A Critical Reader

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Overview

Here, for the first time, Christopher Kul-Want brings together twenty-five texts on art written by twenty philosophers. Covering the Enlightenment to postmodernism, these essays draw on Continental philosophy and aesthetics, the Marxist intellectual tradition, and psychoanalytic theory, and each is accompanied by an overview and interpretation.

The volume features Martin Heidegger on Van Gogh's shoes and the meaning of the Greek temple; Georges Bataille on Salvador Dalí's The Lugubrious Game; Theodor W. Adorno on capitalism and collage; Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes on the uncanny nature of photography; Sigmund Freud on Leonardo Da Vinci and his interpreters; Jacques Lacan and Julia Kristeva on the paintings of Holbein; Freud's postmodern critic, Gilles Deleuze on the visceral paintings of Francis Bacon; and Giorgio Agamben on the twin traditions of the Duchampian ready-made and Pop Art. Kul-Want elucidates these texts with essays on aesthetics, from Hegel and Nietzsche to Badiou and Rancière, demonstrating how philosophy adopted a new orientation toward aesthetic experience and subjectivity in the wake of Kant's powerful legacy.

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What People Are Saying

Kalliopi Nikolopoulou

Growing interest in the relation between Continental aesthetics and visual studies makes this book essential reading, presenting texts which have not yet been available in such a comprehensive form. It is therefore indispensable for both introductory courses on aesthetics and advanced seminars on art theory.

Kalliopi Nikolopoulou, State University of New York, Buffalo

Michael Newman

The selection of texts in Christopher Kul-Want's anthology is excellent. It covers all the necessary ground, while including some very nice, unexpected additions, such as selections from Georges Bataille and Jean-Luc Nancy.

Michael Newman, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Kalliopi Nikolopoulou

Growing interest in the relation between Continental aesthetics and visual studies makes this book essential reading, presenting texts which have not yet been available in such a comprehensive form. It is therefore indispensable for both introductory courses on aesthetics and advanced seminars on art theory.

Michael Newman

The selection of texts in Christopher Kul-Want's anthology is excellent. It covers all the necessary ground, while including some very nice, unexpected additions, such as selections from Georges Bataille and Jean-Luc Nancy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231140942
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Kul-Want is director of the M.A. fine art course at the Byam Shaw School of Art, Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London. His books include Introducing Kant and Introducing Aesthetics.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: Art and Philosophy 1

1 Critique of Judgment Immanuel Kant 21

2 Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel 40

3 How the "True World" Finally Became a Fable: The History of an Error Friedrich Nietzsche 60

The Will to Power as Art

4 Beyond the Pleasure Principle Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood Sigmund Freud 74

5 The Lugubrious Game Georges Bataille 96

6 A Small History of Photography Walter Benjamin 102

7 Nietzsche's Overturning of Platonism Martin Heidegger 118

The Origin of the Work of Art

8 The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the / Of the Gaze as Object Petit a Jacques Lacan 149

9 Las Meninas Michel Foucault 168

10 Society Theodor Adorno 178

11 The Work of Art and Fantasy Sarah Kofman 184

12 Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography Roland Barthes 195

13 Giotto's Joy Holbein's Dead Christ Julia Kristeva 205

14 Spurs: Nietzsche's Styles Jacques Derrida 217

15 Hysteria Gilles Deleuze 228

16 Answering the Question: What Is Postmodernism? Jean-François Lyotard 237

17 Privation Is Like a Face Giorgio Agamben 250

18 The Vestige of Art Jean-Luc Nancy 259

19 Art and Philosophy Alain Badiou 277

20 The Janus-Face of Politicized Art Jacques Rancière 293

Notes 303

Bibliography 337

Index 345

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