In Defense of Humanism

In Defense of Humanism : Value in the Arts and Letters

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This book offers a response to the critique of traditional humanism, and particularly its cultural dimension, that has been at the heart of intellectual discourse of the past decade. In simple, clear language, Richard Etlin articulates the nature of aesthetic experience through analysis of works in a wide variety of media, including painting, sculpture, architecture, drawing, literature and dance. Establishing categories for determining value in the arts and letters, Etlin also explores the operations of the creative process in a discussion of artistic genius, reaffirming the transcendent moral and enduring qualities in great works of art. Etlin offers, moreover, a critique of the fundamental premises of the post-structuralist thinkers, including Jacques Derrida, Stanley Fish, Hayden White, Pierre Bourdieu, and Edward W. Said, whose work is placed within the context of modern intellectual more

Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 48 b/w illus.
  • 1139172794
  • 9781139172790

Review quote

"This book is marked by a refreshing clarity of style and a remarkably wide range of reference." Choice "In Defense of Humanism is a cool, clear breeze blowing some fairly foul-smelling fog from the corridors of the academy. In scholarly fields marked by obscurity, conformity, and eagerness not to offend, Etlin is willing to walk straight in, speak plainly, and raise the right issues. This is a wonderfully offensive book." Denis Dutton, Philosophy and Literatureshow more

Table of contents

Part I. Defining value: 1. Aesthetic value; 2. Creativity and Genius; Part II. Defending value: 3. Pascal's reason; 4. Nietzsche's error; Postscript: the parameters of culture; more

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