Aesthetics and Modernity
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Aesthetics and Modernity : Essays by Agnes Heller

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Aesthetics and Modernity brings together Agnes Heller's most recent essays on aesthetic genres such as painting, music, literature and comedy, aesthetic reception and embodiment in the context of the continuing pitfalls of modernity. The essays also throw light on Heller's theories of values, emotions and feelings, embodiment, and modernity. Those with an interest in philosophy, critical theory, aesthetics, and social theory will find this collection illuminating, and an essential addition to any philosophy bookshelf.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 206 pages
  • 158 x 230 x 24mm | 539.77g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739141317
  • 9780739141311
  • 2,125,490

Review quote

Agnes Heller is peerless as a philosopher of the modern condition. Long acclaimed for her acuity and extraordinary compass, here Heller presents a vivid cross-section of her thinking, convening analyses of emotions and needs, forms of rationality and social association, and questions about the crux of value and human communion around a sustained consideration of artworks and of the beleaguered concept of the beautiful. As John Rundell expounds in his instructive introduction to the collection, Heller approaches postmodern critique as a way of sharpening the best insights of modern thought, while concurrently refusing its metaphysical biases. She resuscitates the notion of a vibrant subjectivity, takes up the ipseity of artworks, and enters into dialogue with an array of thinkers, demonstrating how the urge for sure guarantors of value may be tackled with an understanding of contingency and historical truth. And Heller writes with utter disregard for jargon or cant, confessing her concerns directly and never allowing the reader to forget that this is a discussion of our shared modernity, and of the open possibility of coming to be at home within it. -- Katie Terezakis, Rochester Institute of Technology Agnes Heller is one of the sublime philosophical voices of our time. Aesthetics and Modernity is a beguiling and profound collection of essays from 1995 to 2008 reflecting Heller's late turn to an intensive reflection on the nature of art and the arts. Here she engages with Shakespeare, the Greek gods, jokes, the dignity of artworks and much more besides, casting an astonishing eye over the fate of freedom, beauty and the imagination across the vast terrain that separates Homer from the modern historical novel. The work ripples with intelligence and insight. This exquisite selection draws together threads from one of the most compelling and rewarding inquiries into the aesthetic condition of humankind ever undertaken by a philosopher. -- Peter Murphy, Monash Universityshow more

About John F. Rundell

John Rundell is associate professor of social theory at the University of Melbourne. Agnes Heller is an influential and internationally recognized philosopher who frequently writes on such diverse topics as ethics, modernity, and political theory. In 2005 she was awarded the Sonning Prize. She is currently the Hannah Arendt Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at The New School in New York City.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Chapter One. Agnes Heller: Modernity, Aesthetics and the Human Condition-An Interpretative Essay Chapter 2 Chapter Two. What Went Wrong with the Concept of the Beautiful? Chapter 3 Chapter Three. Autonomy of Art or the Dignity of the Artwork Chapter 4 Chapter Four. The Role of Emotions in the Reception of Artworks Chapter 5 Chapter Five. Joke culture and transformations of the public sphere. Chapter 6 Chapter Six. The Contemporary Historical Novel Chapter 7 Chapter Seven. The Metaphysics of Embodiment in the Western Tradition Chapter 8 Chapter Eight. European master-narratives about freedom. Chapter 9 Chapter Nine. The Three Logics of Modernity and the Double Bind of the Modern Imagination Chapter 10 Chapter Ten. The Absolute Stranger: Shakespeare and the Drama of Failed Assimilation Chapter 11 Chapter Eleven. The Gods of Greece: Germans and Greeks Chapter 12 Chapter Twelve. Self representation and the representation of the other. Chapter 13 Chapter Thirteen. Where are we at Home?show more

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