The Concept of the Beautiful

The Concept of the Beautiful

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This book details the history of the concept of the beautiful, starting with a distinction between the 'warm' metaphysics of beauty and the 'cold' one modeled on Plato's Janus-faced relationship to beauty, and ending with a fragmented yet hopeful vision propagated by the likes of Nietzsche, Benjamin, and Adorno. The most important intellectual figures to write about beauty in Western metaphysics and in the post-metaphysical age are examined in this book.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 589.67g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0739170473
  • 9780739170472
  • 2,253,657

Table of contents

Preface Editor's Essay The Concept of the Beautiful, by Agnes Heller Introduction: What Went Wrong with the Concept of the Beautiful? Chapter 1: The Platonic Concept of the Beautiful Chapter 2: Enlightenment, or the This-Worldly Concept of the Beautiful Chapter 3: Kant's Concept of the Beautiful Chapter 4: Departure and Arrival: Hegel's Adventure Chapter 5: The Fragmentation of the Concept of the Beautiful
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Review quote

Heller's text is an impressive interpretation of a very particular slice of aesthetic theory... The text is especially oriented towards specialists in philosophical aesthetics or critical theory, and thus would be a welcome addition to any academic library. Those working in theological aesthetics may... find great value in its presentation, particularly in the introductory essay by Morgan. Catholic Books Review Agnes Heller's voice resounds in this pedagogic journey through the history of philosophical conceptions of the beautiful. Her choice of philosophical theories follows a continental strain, from Plato through Hume, Burke, Kant, and Hegel, to Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, Benjamin and Adorno. Her interpretations are original, offering us new insight to her philosophy as a whole and into a world that many claim has no beauty left within it. She engages the pessimistic conclusion deeply but ultimately surpasses it, persuasively and without sentimentality. -- Lydia Goehr, Professor, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University Beautifully narrated, abundant in aphoristic formulations and original thoughts, this book is an engaging biography of the concept of the beautiful from its birth in Plato to its flourishing in Kant and Hegel and to its fragmentation in Benjamin and Adorno. As Heller compellingly argues, the experience of the beautiful can, and perhaps should, lead to a transformation and fulfillment of the human being in her quest for a good life. -- Dmitri Nikulin, Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research
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About Agnes Heller

Agnes Heller, born in 1929 in Budapest, is an influential and internationally recognized philosopher. For her work in political philosophy and ethics she has been awarded the Lessing Prize (Hamburg, 1981), the Hannah Arendt Prize (Bremen, 1995), the Sonning Prize (Copenhagen, 2005), and the Goethe Medal (Weimar, 2010). She is Professor Emeritus at the New School for Social Research in New York. Marcia Morgan is assistant professor in philosophy at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania and lectures regularly on invitation in Europe and the United States. In 2010 she was awarded the Edna Hong Research Scholarship from the Kierkegaard Library of St. Olaf College for her forthcoming book on Kierkegaard.
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