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  • All: "Subjectivity" x
  • Aesthetics & Cultural Theory x

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Batsheva Goldman-Ida

Hasidic Art and the Kabbalah presents eight case studies of manuscripts, ritual objects, and folk art developed by Hasidic masters in the mid-eighteenth to late nineteenth centuries, whose form and decoration relate to sources in the Zohar, German Pietism, and Safed Kabbalah. Examined at the delicate and difficult to define interface between seemingly simple, folk art and complex ideological and conceptual outlooks which contain deep, abstract symbols, the study touches on aspects of object history, intellectual history, the decorative arts, and the history of religion. Based on original texts, the focus of this volume is on the subjective experience of the user at the moment of ritual, applying tenets of process philosophy and literary theory – Wolfgang Iser, Gaston Bachelard, and Walter Benjamin – to the analysis of objects.

Echoes of an Invisible World

Marsilio Ficino and Francesco Patrizi on Cosmic Order and Music Theory

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Jacomien Prins

In Echoes of an Invisible World Jacomien Prins offers an account of the transformation of the notion of Pythagorean world harmony during the Renaissance and the role of the Italian philosophers Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) and Francesco Patrizi (1529-1597) in redefining the relationship between cosmic order and music theory. By concentrating on Ficino’s and Patrizi’s work, the book chronicles the emergence of a new musical reality between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a reality in which beauty and the complementary idea of celestial harmony were gradually replaced by concepts of expressivity and emotion, that is to say, by a form of idealism that was ontologically more subjective than the original Pythagorean and Platonic metaphysics.

Debord, Time and Spectacle

Hegelian Marxism and Situationist Theory

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Tom Bunyard

In Debord, Time and Spectacle Tom Bunyard provides a detailed philosophical study of the theoretical work of Guy Debord and the Situationist International. Drawing on evidence from Debord’s books, films, letters and notes, Bunyard reconstructs the Hegelian and Marxian ideas that support Debord’s central concept of ‘spectacle’. This affords a reconsideration of Debord’s theoretical claims, and a reinterpretation of his broader work that foregrounds his concerns with history and lived time. By bringing Situationist theory into dialogue with recent reinterpretations of Marx, this book also identifies problems in Debord’s critique of capitalism. It argues, however, that the conceptions of temporality and spectacle that support that critique amount to a philosophy of praxis that remains relevant today.

Fearful Symmetries

Essays and Testimonies Around Excision and Circumcision

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Edited by Chantal Zabus

Often labelled ‘rituals’ or ‘customs’, male circumcision and female excision are also irreversible amputations of human genitalia, with disastrous and at times life-long consequences for both males and females. However, scholars and activists alike have been diffident about making a case for symmetry between these two practices. Fearful Symmetries investigates the sociological, medical, legal, and religious justifications for male circumcision and female excision while it points to various symmetries and asymmetries in their discursive representation in cultural anthropology, law, medicine, and literature.
Experts have been convened in the above fields – SAMI ALDEEB ABU-SAHLIEH, DOMINIQUE ARNAUD, LAURENCE COX, ROBERT DARBY, ANNE–MARIE DAUPHIN–TINTURIER, TOBE LEVIN, MICHAEL SINGLETON, J. STEVEN SVOBODA – along with first-person testimonies from J.K. BRAYTON, SAFAA FATHY, KOFFI KWAHULÉ, and ALEX WANJALA. The volume covers various genres such as sacred writings, literary and philosophical texts, websites, songs, experiential vignettes, cartoons, and film as well as a vast geographical spectrum – from Algeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Kenya, and Somalia to the then Congo and contemporary Northern Zambia; from Syria to Australia and the United States.
In addressing many variants of excision and circumcision as well as other practices such as the elongation of the labia, and various forms of circumcision in Jewish, Islamic, and African contexts, Fearful Symmetries provides an unprecedented, panoptical view of both practices.

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Gerhard Wagner

Psychophysical Causation As Kries’s example of the coachman and Menger’s example of exchange show, their concepts can also be used to explain actions causally. Accordingly, Weber made action an object of sociology. For him, ‘action’ is a ‘human behaviour’ if the actor associates a ‘subjective meaning ’ with it

Politics of Art

The Creation Society and the Practice of Theoretical Struggle in Revolutionary China

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Zhiguang Yin

In Politics of Art Zhiguang Yin investigates members of the Creation Society and their social network while in Japan. The study contextualises the Chinese left-wing intellectual movements and their political engagements in relation with the early 20th century international political events and trends in both East Asia and Europe.
The Creation Society was largely viewed as a subject of literary studies. This research, however, evaluates these intellectuals in the context of Chinese revolution and elaborates their theoretical contribution to the Chinese Communist Party’s practice of “theoretical struggle” as a main driving force of ideological construction. As this study tries to demonstrate, theoretical struggle drives the ideological politics forward while maintaining its political vigour.

Critique of Rationality

Judgement and Creativity from Benjamin to Merleau-Ponty

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John E. O'Brien

In his Critique of Rationality, John Eustice O’Brien proposes a fascinating rectification for the distortion of technical necessity in Western Society due to unbridled instrumental reason. He begins with a review of this issue first raised by the Early German Romantics as discussed by Isaiah Berlin and Walter Benjamin. Following French social philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s radically different apperceptive epistemology, he explores the possibility of a social world in which each is anchored by a préobjective disposition to meaning based on the intersubjective presence of all. This justifies the postulate of aesthetic-consciousness as the site of socialization in communities of meaning, as a frame for judgment and creativity. The struggle must continue for awakening that consciousness if an open society is to be realized.

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Egbert Klautke

. As a solution, Lazarus and Steinthal introduced a voluntaristic definition of the nation: the folk was the product of the will of its members to form a folk, and hence the result of a conscious and deliberate decision. A Volk depended on the subjective view of its members of their equality and

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David E. Wellbery

. Since all theory refers, finally, to human subjectivity and since opposition or Entgegensetzung constitutes the principle form of subjective self-realisation, then we may safely expect that the entire field of theoretical concepts generated will bear this structural trait. Relations of opposition and

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Martin A. Ruehl

fin-de-siècle playwrights and novelists who glorified Renaissance artists and princes as unchained, free-spirited individuals, imbued with a new sense of subjectivity and a neo-pagan zest for beauty. Throughout the so-called ‘long’ nineteenth century, the Civilisation of the Renaissance also