The Horizon: A History of Our Infinite Longing

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University of California Press, Feb 15, 2011 - History - 392 pages
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What is a horizon? A line where land meets sky? The end of the world or the beginning of perception? In this brilliant, engaging, and stimulating history, Didier Maleuvre journeys to the outer reaches of human experience and explores philosophy, religion, and art to understand our struggle and fascination with limits—of life, knowledge, existence, and death. Maleuvre sweeps us through a vast cultural landscape, enabling us to experience each stopping place as the cusp of a limitless journey, whether he is discussing the works of Picasso, Gothic architecture, Beethoven, or General Relativity. If, as Aristotle said, philosophy begins in wonder, then this remarkable book shows us how wonder—the urge to know beyond the conceivable—is itself the engine of culture.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
THE ARCHAIC AGE
9
THE PHILOSOPHICAL AGE
63
THE THEOLOGICAL AGE
93
THE SCIENTIFIC AGE
167
THE SUBJECTIVE AGE
211
THE MATHEMATICAL AGE
265
Afterword
325
Notes
329
Bibliography
345
Index
357
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About the author (2011)

Didier Maleuvre is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Religion of Reality: Inquiry into the Self, Art, and Transcendence and Museum Memories: History, Technology, Art.

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