The Aesthetics of Architecture

The Aesthetics of Architecture

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Architecture is distinguished from other art forms by its sense of function, its localized quality, its technique, its public and nonpersonal character, and its continuity with the decorative arts. In this important book, Roger Scruton calls for a return to first principles in contemporary architectural theory, contending that the aesthetic of architecture is, in its very essence, an aesthetic of everyday life. Aesthetic understanding is inseparable from a sense of detail and style, from which the appropriate, the expressive, the beautiful, and the proportionate take their meaning. Scruton provides incisive critiques of the romantic, functionalist, and rationalist theories of design, and of the Freudian, Marxist, and semiological approaches to aesthetic value. In a new introduction, Scruton discusses how his ideas have developed since the book's original publication thirty years ago, and he assesses the continuing relevance of his argument for the twenty-first century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 152 x 235 x 22.86mm | 454g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • Revised edition
  • 90 halftones. 1 musical example.
  • 0691158339
  • 9780691158334
  • 176,779

Back cover copy

"Impressive in its intellectual depth and range, and imbued throughout with wisdom and humanity, this brilliant book is the most important contribution to its subject since the writings of Ruskin. There is simply no modern equal to Professor Scruton's unique and comprehensive architectural treatise."--David Watkin, professor emeritus of the history of architecture, University of Cambridge

"The Aesthetics of Architecture has long been recognized as an important book. This new edition demonstrates that it is indispensable for anyone concerned about rectifying the 'uglification of the world.'"--Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of the New Criterion

"The Aesthetics of Architecture is clear and rigorous in argument, but also brilliantly imaginative and illuminating. This is simply the most important treatment of its subject and it will be read for so long as that subject is discussed."--John Haldane, University of St Andrews

"Scruton presents a brilliant critique of the principles of architecture held as dogma by many architects. Seeing architecture through his eyes is at once a revelation and a compelling narrative for architectural detail and the classical tradition!"--Duncan G. Stroik, University of Notre Dame
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Table of contents

Introduction to the 2013 Edition ix Acknowledgments xxi Preface xxiii 1 Introduction: The problem of architecture 1 Part I 2 Architecture and design 21 3 Has architecture an essence? 34 4 Experiencing architecture 66 5 Judging architecture 96 Part II 6 Freud, Marx and meaning 127 7 The language of architecture 146 8 Expression and abstraction 165 9 The sense of detail 190 10 Conclusion: Architecture and morality 218 Part III Summary 239 Notes 243 Bibliography 275 Index of Names 277 Index of Subjects 283
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Review quote

"Compelling and readable... [O]ne not just to read but to return to and to query with persistence and concentration, a book in fact not to borrow and peruse, but to possess and make one's own."--Anthony Savile, Times Literary Supplement "This book is powerful and unusual... The author combines wide knowledge of both buildings and the main writings on architecture with searching philosophical analysis."--Literary Review "A remarkable contribution that should interest designers, teachers, critics, and historians."--Michael McMordie, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians "This is a highly readable book, valuable in its examination of philosophical concepts in the immediate context of architecture, and valuable in its overview of architecture itself."--Kenneth Nugent, Month "This is an important book which deserves to be read, not just by students and academics, but by all who take an intelligent interest in architecture."--Peter F. Smith, RIBA Journal
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About Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton is a visiting professor at Oxford University, where he is also a Fellow at Blackfriars Hall. His many books include Art and Imagination, Sexual Desire, The Aesthetics of Music, and A Political Philosophy: Arguments for Conservatism.
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Rating details

89 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 27% (24)
4 36% (32)
3 29% (26)
2 7% (6)
1 1% (1)
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