Best Aesthetics Books

Here you will get Best Aesthetics Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction

Author: by Roger Scruton
Published at: Oxford University Press; Illustrated edition (April 8, 2011)
ISBN: 978-0199229758

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Beauty can be consoling, disturbing, sacred, profane; it can be exhilarating, appealing, inspiring, chilling. It can affect us in an unlimited variety of ways. Yet it is never viewed with indifference. In this Very Short Introduction, the renowned philosopher Roger Scruton explores the concept of beauty, asking what makes an object-either in art, in nature, or the human form-beautiful, and examining how we can compare differing judgments of beauty when it is evident all around us that our tastes vary so widely.

Is there a right judgment to be made about beauty? Is it right to say there is more beauty in a classical temple than a concrete office block, more in a Rembrandt than in an Andy Warhol Campbell Soup Can?

Forthright and thought-provoking, and as accessible as it is intellectually rigorous, this introduction to the philosophy of beauty draws conclusions that some may find controversial, but, as Scruton shows, help us to find greater sense of meaning in the beautiful objects that fill our lives.


2. White

Author: by Kenya Hara
Published at: Lars Muller; 1st edition (November 25, 2009)
ISBN: 978-3037781838

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“White” is not a book about colors. It is rather Kenya Haras attempt to explore the essence of “White”, which he sees as being closely related to the origin of Japanese aesthetics symbolizing simplicity and subtlety. The central concepts discussed by Kenya Hara in this publication are emptiness and the absolute void.

Kenya Hara also sees his work as a designer as a form of communication. Good communication has the distinction of being able to listen to each other, rather than to press one’s opinion onto the opponent. Kenya Hara compares this form of communication with an “empty container”. In visual communication, there are equally signals whose signification is limited, as well as signals or symbols such as the cross or the red circle on the Japanese flag, which like an “empty container” permit every signification and do not limit imagination.

Not alone the fact that the Japanese character for white forms a radical of the character for emptiness has prompted him the closely associate the color white with emptiness.


3. The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media

Author: by Walter Benjamin
Published at: Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press; Illustrated edition (May 31, 2008)
ISBN: 978-0674024458

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Benjamin’s famous Work of Art essay sets out his boldest thoughtson media and on culture in generalin their most realized form, while retaining an edge that gets under the skin of everyone who reads it. In this essay the visual arts of the machine age morph into literature and theory and then back again to images, gestures, and thought.

This essay, however, is only the beginning of a vast collection of writings that the editors have assembled to demonstrate what was revolutionary about Benjamin’s explorations on media. Long before Marshall McLuhan, Benjamin saw that the way a bullet rips into its victim is exactly the way a movie or pop song lodges in the soul.

This book contains the second, and most daring, of the four versions of the Work of Art essaythe one that addresses the utopian developments of the modern media. The collection tracks Benjamin’s observations on the media as they are revealed in essays on the production and reception of art; on film, radio, and photography; and on the modern transformations of literature and painting.


4. Poetics (Penguin Classics)

Author: by Aristotle
Published at: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (March 1, 1997)
ISBN: 978-0140446364

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Essential reading for all students of Greek theatre and literature, and equally stimulating for anyone interested in literature In the Poetics, his near-contemporary account of classical Greek tragedy, Aristotle examine the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process.

Taking examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the Poetics introduced into literary criticism such central concepts as mimesis (‘imitation’), hamartia (‘error’) and katharsis, which have informed serious thinking about drama ever since. Aristotle explains how the most effective tragedies rely on complication and resolution, recognition and reversals, while centring on chaaracerts of heroic stature, idealised yet true to life.

One of the most perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history, the Poetics has informed serious thinking about drama ever since. Malcolm Heath’s lucid translation makes the Poetics fully accessible to the modern reader. In this edition it is accompanied by an extended introduction, which discusses the key concepts in detail, and includes suggestions for further reading.


5. The Beauty of Everyday Things (Penguin Classics)

Author: by Soetsu Yanagi
Published at: Penguin Classics; Translation edition (October 8, 2019)
ISBN: 978-0241366356

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The Japanese philosopher and aesthete’s definitive, hugely influential exposition of his philosophy of folkcrafts, setting out the hallmarks of Japanese design as we know it today: anonymity, quality, simplicity and honestyand, of course, wabi-sabi, the beauty of imperfectionA Penguin ClassicOur lives are filled with objects.

Everyday things used in everyday settings, they are our constant companions. As such, writes Soetsu Yanagi, they should be made with care and built to last, treated with respect and even affection. They should be natural and simple, sturdy and safean aesthetic fulfillment of our practical needs.

They should, in short, be things of beauty. Long revered as the authority on craftsmanship and Japanese aesthetics, Yanagi devoted his life and writing to defend the value of craft. In an age of feeble and ugly machine-made things, The Beauty of Everyday Things is a call for each of us to deepen our relationship with the objects that surround us.

Inspired by the work of the simple artisans Yanagi encountered on his lifelong travels through Japan and Korea, this now-classic book is a heartfelt defence of modest, honest, handcrafted objects, from traditional teacups to jars to paperobjects that exemplify the beauty of everyday things.


6. Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: by Christopher Butler
Published at: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (January 16, 2003)
ISBN: 978-0192802392

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Postmodernism has become the buzzword of contemporary society over the last decade. But how can it be defined? In this highly readable introduction the mysteries of this most elusive of concepts are unraveled, casting a critical light upon the way we live now, from the politicizing of museum culture to the cult of the politically correct.

The key postmodernist ideas are explored and challenged, as they figure in the theory, philosophy, politics, ethics and artwork of the period, and it is shown how they have interacted within a postmodernist culture. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life’s most interesting topics.

Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.


7. Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)

Author: by Steven M. Cahn
Published at: Wiley-Blackwell; 2nd edition (June 22, 2020)
ISBN: 978-1118948323

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A revised second edition of the bestselling anthology on the major figures and themes in aesthetics and philosophy of art, the ideal resource for a comprehensive introduction to the study of aesthetics Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Anthology offers a well-rounded and thorough introduction to the evolution of modern thought on aesthetics.

In a collection of over 60 readings, focused primarily on the Western tradition, this text includes works from key figures such as Plato, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Danto, and others. Broad in scope, this volume also contains contemporary works on the value of art, frequently-discussed continental texts, modern perspectives on feminist philosophy of art, and essays by authors outside of the community of academic philosophy, thereby immersing readers in an inclusive and balanced survey of aesthetics.

The new second edition has been updated with contemporary essays, expanding the volume’s coverage to include the value of art, artistic worth and personal taste, questions of aesthetic experience, and contemporary debates on and new theories of art. This edition also incorporates new and more standard translations of Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment and Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation, as well as texts by Rousseau, Hegel, DuBois, Alain Locke, Budd, Robinson, Saito, Eaton and Levinson.


8. On Beauty and Being Just

Author: by Elaine Scarry
Published at: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (November 1, 2001)
ISBN: 978-0691089591

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Have we become beauty-blind? For two decades or more in the humanities, various political arguments have been put forward against beauty: that it distracts us from more important issues; that it is the handmaiden of privilege; and that it masks political interests.

In On Beauty and Being Just Elaine Scarry not only defends beauty from the political arguments against it but also argues that beauty does indeed press us toward a greater concern for justice. Taking inspiration from writers and thinkers as diverse as Homer, Plato, Marcel Proust, Simone Weil, and Iris Murdoch as well as her own experiences, Scarry offers up an elegant, passionate manifesto for the revival of beauty in our intellectual work as well as our homes, museums, and classrooms.

Scarry argues that our responses to beauty are perceptual events of profound significance for the individual and for society. Presenting us with a rare and exceptional opportunity to witness fairness, beauty assists us in our attention to justice. The beautiful object renders fairness, an abstract concept, concrete by making it directly available to our sensory perceptions.


9. Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama

Author: by David Mamet
Published at: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (June 13, 2000)
ISBN: 978-0375704239

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The purpose of theater, like magic, like religion … Is to inspire cleansing awe. What makes good drama? And why does drama matter in an age that is awash in information and entertainment? David Mamet, one of our greatest living playwrights, tackles these questions with bracing directness and aphoristic authority.

He believes that the tendency to dramatize is essential to human nature, that we create drama out of everything from today’s weather to next year’s elections. But the highest expression of this drive remains the theater. With a cultural range that encompasses Shakespeare, Bretcht, and Ibsen, Death of a Salesman and Bad Day at Black Rock, Mamet shows us how to distinguish true drama from its false variants.

He considers the impossibly difficult progression between one act and the next and the mysterious function of the soliloquy. The result, in Three Uses of the Knife, is an electrifying treatise on the playwright’s art that is also a strikingly original work of moral and aesthetic philosophy.

10. What Is Art? (Penguin Classics)

Author: by Leo Tolstoy
Published at: Penguin Classics; Revised ed. edition (January 1, 1996)
ISBN: 978-0140446425

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This profound analysis of the nature of art is the culmination of a series of essays and polemics on issues of morality, social justice, and religion. Considering and rejecting the idea that art reveals and reinvents through beauty, Tolstoy perceives the question of the nature of art to be a religious one.

Ultimately, he concludes, art must be a force for good, for the progress and improvement of mankind. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines.

Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

11. Nietzsche: The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)

Author: by Friedrich Nietzsche
Published at: Cambridge University Press; First Edition (US) First Printing (April 28, 1999)
ISBN: 978-0521639873

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The central argument of Chromophobia is that a chromophobic impulse – a fear of corruption or contamination through color – lurks within much Western cultural and intellectual thought. This is apparent in the many and varied attempts to purge color, either by making it the property of some foreign body – the oriental, the feminine, the infantile, the vulgar, or the pathological – or by relegating it to the realm of the superficial, the supplementary, the inessential, or the cosmetic.

Chromophobia has been a cultural phenomenon since ancient Greek times; this book is concerned with forms of resistance to it. Writers have tended to look no further than the end of the nineteenth century. David Batchelor seeks to go beyond the limits of earlier studies, analyzing the motivations behind chromophobia and considering the work of writers and artists who have been prepared to look at color as a positive value.

Exploring a wide range of imagery including Melville’s great white whale, Huxley’s reflections on mescaline, and Le Corbusier’s journey to the East, Batchelor also discusses the use of color in Pop, Minimal, and more recent art.

13. Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: by Catherine Belsey
Published at: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (November 28, 2002)
ISBN: 978-0192801807

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Poststructuralism changes the way we understand the relations between human beings, their culture, and the world. Following a brief account of the historical relationship between structuralism and poststructuralism, this Very Short Introduction traces the key arguments that have led poststructuralists to challenge traditional theories of language and culture.

While the author discusses such well-known figures as Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan, she also draws pertinent examples from literature, art, film, and popular culture, unfolding the poststructuralist account of what it means to be a human being. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life’s most interesting topics.

Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam

14. Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, 1: 1913–1926

Author: by Walter Benjamin
Published at: Belknap Press: An Imprint of Harvard University Press; New Ed edition (May 30, 2004)
ISBN: 978-0674013551

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Walter Benjamin was one of the most original and important critical voices of the twentieth century, but until now only a few of his writings have been available in English. Harvard University Press has now undertaken to publish a significant portion of his work in definitive translation, under the general editorship of Michael W.Jennings.

This volume, the first of three, will at last give readers of English a true sense of the man and the many facets of his thought. (The magnum opus of Benjamin’s Paris years, The Arcades Project, has been published in a separate volume.

Walter Benjamin emerged from the head-on collision of an idealistic youth movement and the First World War, which Benjamin and his close friends thought immoral. He walked away from the wreck scarred yet determined to be considered as the principal critic of German literature.

But the scene, as he found it, was dominated by talented fakes, soto use his wordsonly a terrorist campaign would I suffice to effect radical change. This book offers the record of the first phase of that campaign, culminating with One Way Street, one of the most significant products of the German avant-garde of the Twenties.

15. Distinction (Routledge Classics)

Author: by Pierre Bourdieu
Published at: Routledge; 1st edition (December 13, 1986)
ISBN: 978-0415567886

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No judgement of taste is innocent – we are all snobs. Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction brilliantly illuminates the social pretentions of the middle classes in the modern world, focusing on the tastes and preferences of the French bourgeoisie. First published in 1979, the book is at once a vast ethnography of contemporary France and a dissection of the bourgeois mind.

In the course of everyday life we constantly choose between what we find aesthetically pleasing, and what we consider tacky, merely trendy, or ugly.Taste is not pure. Bourdieu demonstrates that our different aesthetic choices are all distinctions – that is, choices made in opposition to those made by other classes.

This fascinating work argues that the social world functions simultaneously as a system of power relations and as a symbolic system in which minute distinctions of taste become the basis for social judgement.