The Genealogy of Aesthetics

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 15, 2002 - History - 439 pages
Is it body or spirit that makes us appreciate beauty and create art? The distinguished Canadian critic Ekbert Faas argues that, with occasional exceptions like Montaigne and Mandeville, the mainstream of western thinking about beauty from Plato onwards has greatly overemphasised the spirit. The Genealogy of Aesthetics redresses this imbalance, and offers a radical re-reading of thinkers like Plato, Augustine, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger and Derrida. Professor Faas attacks both the traditional and postmodern consensus, and offers a new pro-sensualist aesthetics, heavily influenced by Nietzsche, that draws on contemporary cognitive science.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Platos transvaluation of aesthetic values
15
ProtoNietzschean opponents to Plato
28
Late antiquity Plotinus and Augustine
40
Augustines Platonopolis
52
The Middle Ages
64
The Renaissance
75
The Renaissance Academy Ficino Montaigne and Shakespeare
93
Marxs Nietzschean moment
182
Contents
196
Heideggers destruction of traditional aesthetics
199
Heidegger contra Nietzsche
214
Heidegger Nietzsche and Derrida
229
Différance Freud Nietzsche and Artaud
241
Derridas megatranscendentalist mimēsis
257
Postmodern or preNietzschean? Derrida Lyotard
272

Hobbes and Shaftesbury
110
Mandeville Burke Hume and Erasmus Darwin
121
Kants ethicoteleological aesthetics
138
Kants midlife conversion
155
Hegel Feuerbach and Marx
169
The postmodern revival of the aesthetic ideal
286
Notes
318
References
388
Index
413
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

EKBERT FAAS is Professor of Humanities and Graduate English at York University, Toronto, Canada. He has published very widely as both critic (e.g. Shakespeare's Poetics, Cambridge, 1986), biographer (Robert Creeley: a biography) and novelist (The Revolutionist and Mengele's Friend).

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