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From Kant to Nietzsche

In 1796 a German politico-philosophical manifesto proclaims the 'highest act of reason' as an 'aesthetic act'. The ways in which this transformation relates to the development of some of the major directions in modern philosophy is the focus of this book. The book focuses on the main accounts of the human subject and on the conceptions of art and language which emerge within the Kantian and post-Kantian history of aesthetics. Immanuel Kant's main work on aesthetics, the 'third Critique', the Critique of Judgement, forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason. The early Romantics, who, after all, themselves established the term, can be characterized in a way which distinguishes them from later German Romanticism. The 'Oldest System Programme of German Idealism', is a manifesto for a new philosophy and exemplifies the spirit of early Idealism, not least with regard to mythology. The crucial question posed by the Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling of the System of Transcendental Idealism (STI) is how art relates to philosophy, a question which has recently reappeared in post-structuralism and in aspects of pragmatism. Despite his undoubted insights, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's insufficiency in relation to music is part of his more general problem with adequately theorising self-consciousness, and thus with his aesthetic theory. Friedrich Schleiermacher argues in the hermeneutics that interpretation of the meaning of Kunst is itself also an 'art'. The book concludes with a discussion on music, language, and Romantic thought.

Andrew Bowie

7 Music, language and literature Language and music The divergent interpretations of the relationship between music and language in modernity are inseparable from the main divergences between philosophical conceptions of language. The attempt to explain language in representational terms in the empiricist tradition that eventually leads to analytical philosophy, and the understanding of language as a form of social action and as constitutive of the world we inhabit in the hermeneutic tradition give rise to very different conceptions of music. One paradigmatic

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Der Blaue Reiter and its legacies

This book presents new research on the histories and legacies of the German Expressionist group, Der Blaue Reiter, the founding force behind modernist abstraction. For the first time Der Blaue Reiter is subjected to a variety of novel inter-disciplinary perspectives, ranging from a philosophical enquiry into its language and visual perception, to analyses of its gender dynamics, its reception at different historical junctures throughout the twentieth century, and its legacies for post-colonial aesthetic practices. The volume offers a new perspective on familiar aspects of Expressionism and abstraction, taking seriously the inheritance of modernism for the twenty-first century in ways that will help to recalibrate the field of Expressionist studies for future scholarship. Der Blaue Reiter still matters, the contributors argue, because the legacies of abstraction are still being debated by artists, writers, philosophers and cultural theorists today.

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At a time when monolingualist claims for the importance of ‘speaking English’ to the national order continue louder than ever, even as language diversity is increasingly part of contemporary British life, literature becomes a space to consider the terms of linguistic belonging. Bad English examines writers including Tom Leonard, James Kelman, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall, who engage multilingually, experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power. Considering their invented vernaculars and mixed idioms, their dramatised scenes of languaging – languages learned or lost, acts of translation, scenes of speaking, the exposure and racialised visibility of accent – it argues for a growing field of contemporary literature in Britain pre-eminently concerned with language’s power dynamics, its aesthetic potentialities, and its prosthetic strangeness. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, Bad English explores contemporary arguments about language in Britain – in debates about citizenship or education, in the media or on Twitter, in Home Office policy and asylum legislation – as well as the ways they are taken up in literature. It uncovers both an antagonistic and a productive interplay between language politics and literary form, tracing writers’ articulation of linguistic alienation and ambivalence, as well as the productivity and making-new of radical language practices. Doing so, it refutes the view that language difference and language politics are somehow irrelevant to contemporary Britain and instead argues for their constitutive centrality to the work of novelists and poets whose inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms is the generative force of their writing.

From Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry to British Romantic art

The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.

Pamela Sue Anderson

on natural law. But can this be a universal without being presumptive? An answer to this question should force Hauerwas to see self-contradiction inherent in his relativist claims about communities which have a universal basis in nature. Instead he simply insists that he is a particularist, not a universalist, and rejects the popular ‘universal particularism’ amongst religious groups as incoherent. So it remains unclear how Hauerwas’s conception of languages of peace finally avoids the incoherence that he perceives in any form of presumptive universalism. Barthians

in Religion and rights
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Gemma King

’s words; it ‘means a new way of being French, a new way of being German, a new way of being British – and perhaps also a new way of being European’. (2011: 8) These films eschew rigid, hierarchical conceptions of language and power, exploring the potential of any and all languages to present cultural capital and social power to their speakers. Other Western tongues do not necessarily coexist harmoniously with French in the European space, and tensions exist between French and Western and Eastern languages alike.1 Likewise, historically ­ marginalised languages such as

in Decentring France
Margret Fetzer

, interests. But the general thrust of my argument actually does make a statement on Donne’s religious identity: a theory of performativity goes hand in hand with a particular conception of language and identity that also has consequences for religious discourse and personal faith. Religion, as, for example, my interpretation of Donne’s ‘Holy Sonnets’ has suggested, is a matter of performance. By this I do not mean to imply that religious faith is pretentious or illusory; 272 John Donne’s Performances my intention has been to emphasise that personal and religious

in John Donne’s Performances
Beckett and the matter of language
Laura Salisbury

strangely materialised, perhaps 214 Beckett and nothing even neurological, conception of language to be found there, can be traced as far back as the work of the 1930s. What lies behind textual images of the hard surface of the skull in Beckett’s work is, of course, in the end, nothing but words – linguistic matter that describes cranial interiorities, wounded heads and a way of uttering traced through with lesions and disturbances. But there is a strange translation at work, here, a shuttling back and forth, in which language shapes the imagined appearance of a

in Beckett and nothing
Don Randall

author’s conception of language and (more innovatively) considering how his figuring of the body may be of Romantic derivation. Taylor’s publication on Malouf is particularly substantial and varied, however, and includes a crucial article, published in 1999, reflecting upon a possible reconception of identity, both personal and national, in The Conversations at Curlow Creek.5 The Malouf-focused issue of World Literature Today coordinates with, and commemorates, Malouf’s election as the sixteenth laureate of the University of Oklahoma’s Neustadt International Prize for

in David Malouf