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Introducing Aesthetics by
Call Number: 111.85 KUL
Publication Date: 2010
What is beauty, and what is truth? These are some of the questions which aesthetics tries to answer. In our everyday life, we talk about the 'aesthetics' of an artwork or a piece of design. But aesthetics goes beyond the simple experience of art. It is also a branch of philosophy concerned with the whole nature of experience itself, explored through our perceptions, feelings and emotions.
Call Number: 111.85 KUL
Publication Date: 2011
What is art? Why do we find some things beautiful but not others? Is it wrong to share mp3s? These are just some of the questions explored by aesthetics, the philosophy of art. In this sweeping introduction, Charles Taliaferro skilfully guides us through notions of art and beauty around the world, tackling lively debates such as who owns art and how art and morality collide. From Plato on poetry to Ringo Starr on the drums, this is a perfect introductory text for anyone interested in the intriguing questions art can raise. Charles Taliaferro is Professor of Philosophy at St. Olaf College, Minnesota. He is the author of over twenty books on philosophy and lectures on Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Religion.
Call Number: 701.17 BAY
Publication Date: 2013
What is "ugly"? Sourcing centuries of art, design, and cultural history, and citing examples as wide-ranging as Soviet-era architecture and Frankenstein's monster to the World's Ugliest Dog and the so-called jolie-laide of the human species, Stephen Bayley, one of the world's leading commentators on design and popular culture, probes the fascinating and timeless question: Is there such a thing as ugliness . . . or are aesthetic judgments purely a matter of taste? Is ugliness only skin-deep, or can something that is beautifully engineered--a B52 bomber or a Colt .45--also be ugly, if its function is to kill or to maim? What was "Degenerate Art" and why was it deemed such? Why are mountains seen as sublime expression of nature, when only two hundred years ago they were regarded as loathsome things to be avoided at all costs? Just what is the relation, if any, between tattoos and crime? And lastly, if there were no ugliness in the world, would there be any beauty? Stephen Bayley, in his singular and at times tongue-in-cheek style, questions and explains the aesthetics of everything.
Not for Profit by
Call Number: 370.115 NUS
Publication Date: 2010
In this short and powerful book, celebrated philosopher Martha Nussbaum makes a passionate case for the importance of the liberal arts at all levels of education. Historically, the humanities have been central to education because they have rightly been seen as essential for creating competent democratic citizens. But recently, Nussbaum argues, thinking about the aims of education has gone disturbingly awry both in the United States and abroad. Anxiously focused on national economic growth, we increasingly treat education as though its primary goal were to teach students to be economically productive rather than to think critically and become knowledgeable and empathetic citizens. This shortsighted focus on profitable skills has eroded our ability to criticize authority, reduced our sympathy with the marginalized and different, and damaged our competence to deal with complex global problems. And the loss of these basic capacities jeopardizes the health of democracies and the hope of a decent world. In response to this dire situation, Nussbaum argues that we must resist efforts to reduce education to a tool of the gross national product. Rather, we must work to reconnect education to the humanities in order to give students the capacity to be true democratic citizens of their countries and the world. Drawing on the stories of troubling--and hopeful--educational developments from around the world, Nussbaum offers a manifesto that should be a rallying cry for anyone who cares about the deepest purposes of education. (Note by UWC Librarian: chapter 6 concerns literature and the arts.)
Film Theory: an introduction by
Call Number: 791.43 STA
Publication Date: 2000
Providing a collection of some of the most provocative and influential writings of film theory in the past thirty years, this anthology aims to provide a polylogue among theorists, deprovincializing the subject. Film Theory multiplies the perspectives and positions, the situations and locations, from which film theory is spoken. (Pages 153-185 on alternative aesthetics may be of particular interest.)
The curtain: an essay in seven parts by
Call Number: 801 KUN
Publication Date: 2005
Explores the history of the novel and its importance in Western culture; and provides examples of works of fiction that break language and nation of origin barriers to uncover universal truths.
What We See When We Read by
Call Number: 028.9 MEN
Publication Date: 2014
A gorgeously unique, fully illustrated exploration into the phenomenology of reading--how we visualize images from reading works of literature, from one of our very best book jacket designers, himself a passionate reader. What do we see when we read? Did Tolstoy really describe Anna Karenina? Did Melville ever really tell us what, exactly, Ishmael looked like? The collection of fragmented images on a page--a graceful ear there, a stray curl, a hat positioned just so--and other clues and signifiers helps us to create an image of a character. But in fact our sense that we know a character intimately has little to do with our ability to concretely picture our beloved--or reviled--literary figures.
Books in the Library collection
Art Is a Way of Knowing by
Call Number: TOK 700.19 ALL
Publication Date: 1995
Making art--giving form to the images that arise in our mind's eye, our dreams, and our everyday lives--is a form of spiritual practice through which knowledge of ourselves can ripen into wisdom.
Ways of Seeing by
Call Number: TOK 759.94 BER
Publication Date: 1990
John Berger's Classic Text on Art John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the (London) Sunday Times critic commented: "This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures." By now he has. "Berger has the ability to cut right through the mystification of the professional art critics . . . He is a liberator of images: and once we have allowed the paintings to work on us directly, we are in a much better position to make a meaningful evaluation" --Peter Fuller, Arts Review "The influence of the series and the book . . . was enormous . . . It opened up for general attention to areas of cultural study that are now commonplace" --Geoff Dyer in Ways of Telling Winner of the 1972 Booker Prize for his novel, G., John Peter Berger (born November 5th, 1926) is an art critic, painter and author of many novels including A Painter of Our Time, From A to X and Bento's Sketchbook.
The World in Six Songs by
Call Number: 781.11 LEV
Publication Date: 2009
The author of the New York Times bestseller This Is Your Brain on Music reveals music's role in the evolution of human culture-and "will leave you awestruck" (The New York Times) Daniel J. Levitin's astounding debut bestseller, This Is Your Brain on Music, enthralled and delighted readers as it transformed our understanding of how music gets in our heads and stays there. Now in his second New York Times bestseller, his genius for combining science and art reveals how music shaped humanity across cultures and throughout history. Dr. Levitin identifies six fundamental song functions or types-friendship, joy, comfort, religion, knowledge, and love-then shows how each in its own way has enabled the social bonding necessary for human culture and society to evolve. He shows, in effect, how these "six songs" work in our brains to preserve the emotional history of our lives and species. Dr. Levitin combines cutting-edge scientific research from his music cognition lab at McGill University and work in an array of related fields; his own sometimes hilarious experiences in the music business; and illuminating interviews with musicians such as Sting and David Byrne, as well as conductors, anthropologists, and evolutionary biologists. The World in Six Songs is, ultimately, a revolution in our understanding of how human nature evolved-right up to the iPod. Read Daniel Levitin's posts on the Penguin Blog.
The artistic ape: three million years of art by
Call Number: 701.43 MOR
Publication Date: 2013
Desmond Morris, bestselling author and internationally renowned anthropologist, offers a unique appreciation of art - from the most ancient artefact to contemporary event art. Featuring more than 350 illustrations of international art, he combines his deep understanding of human behaviour and his love of art to create a narrative of the evolution of artistic endeavour over three million years.
In Search of the Spirit: the living national treasures of Japan by
Call Number: 700.952 HAM
Publication Date: 1999
After World War II the Japanese government designated as Living National Treasures men and women who had devoted their lives to traditional Japanese crafts and performing arts.For this superlative book the authors visited six of these extraordinary artists, then blended a brief, illuminating text with color photographs, calligraphy, and illustrated sections to convey the essence of each art form.
What is literature? by
Call Number: 801 SAR
Publication Date: 1978
The first part of the book, about writing and authorship, may be most interesting to TOK students.
Playing to the gallery by
Call Number: 709.05 PER
Publication Date: 2014
What is 'good' or 'bad' art - and does it even matter? Is there any way to test if something is art, other than a large group of people standing around looking at it? Is art still capable of shocking us or have we seen it all before? This book deals with these questions.
In addition to the suggestions above, you can also try databases, such as JSTOR, Project Muse and ProQuest Central, on the Reference Sites page of the College Portal (website).