The Relevance of the Beautiful and Other Essays

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, 1986 - Philosophy - 191 pages
0 Reviews
This volume explores some of the more important of Hans-Georg Gadamer's extensive writings on art and literature. The principal text included is 'The Relevance of the Beautiful', Gadamer's most sustained treatment of philosophical aesthetics. The eleven other essays focus particularly on the challenge issued by modern painting and literature to our customary ideas of art, and in turn revitalize our understanding of it. Gadamer demonstrates the continuing importance of such concepts as imitation, truth, symbol, and play for our appreciation of contemporary art, and thereby establishes its continuity with the Western tradition. The essays here are not technical and are readily accessible to the beginning student and the general reader. The collection as a whole serves to illustrate the practice of hermeneutics and to introduce Gadamer's thought. Robert Bernasconi provides an introduction clarifying the central aims of the essays and their relations to Gadamer's major work, Truth and Method, and to the philosophy of art since Kant. A bibliography of Gadamer's writings available in English is also included.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The festive character of theater
57
Composition and interpretation
66
Image and gesture
74
The speechless image
83
Art and imitation
92
On the contribution of poetry to the search for truth
105
Poetry and mimesis
116
The play of art
123
Philosophy and poetry
131
Aesthetic and religious experience
140
Intuition and vividness
155
Notes
171
Bibliography of Gadamers works in English translation
183
Index
187
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Digital Aesthetics
Sean Cubitt
Limited preview - 1998
All Book Search results »

About the author (1986)

Hans-Georg Gadamer is the father of contemporary philosophical hermeneutics. He was born and educated in Marburg, Germany, where he studied under Martin Heidegger. Shortly after World War II, he was appointed professor of philosophy at Heidelberg University, a position that he held for almost 20 years, until he retired in 1968. His work seeks a recovery of the Greek sense of a comprehensive and coherent worldview, which he believes has been lost in the fragmentation of modern industrial culture. Gadamer has written major studies of Plato, Aristotle, and Georg Hegel. He is known for opposing science as it is developed and valued in Enlightenment thought. Gadamer's major contribution has been his work in hermeneutics, an approach that seeks to liberate the humanistic interpretation of experience from the strictures of science and technology, challenging the doctrine that truth is correspondence between an external fact and an idea in the mind of a subject. In place of mechanistic perspectives that regard nature as nothing but raw material for human manipulation, philosophical hermeneutics aims to develop a broader interpretation of experience by showing that all experience is conditioned by history. Thus, various investigations of the same subject can lead to different conclusions. Only interpretation provides the means to understand how this can occur and also to open culture once again to the voices of art. As developed by Gadamer, hermeneutics engages tradition critically so that culture can become alert to its own moral horizons and thereby restore a continuity of thought and practice.

Robert Bernasconi is Professor of Philosophy, Moss Professor of Philosophy at the University of Memphis.

Bibliographic information