The Landscape of Humanity: Art, Culture and Society (St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs)

The Landscape of Humanity: Art, Culture and Society (St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs)

Anthony O'Hear

Language: English

Pages: 242

ISBN: 1845401123

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The fourteen essays in this book develop a conception of human culture, which is humane and traditionalist. Focusing particularly on notions of beauty and the aesthetic, it sees within our culture intimations of the transcendent, and in two essays the nature of religion is directly addressed. A number of essays also explore the relation between politics and tradition.

Metonymy in Contemporary Art: A New Paradigm

Heidegger and the Aesthetics of Living

Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology's Designs on Nature

Foucault on Politics, Security and War

Adorno and Art: Aesthetic Theory Contra Critical Theory

In the Blink of an Eye (Revised 2nd Edition)




















scientists; if the experience of no-doubt jaundiced academics can be trusted, it is alive and well among young people. Even more striking, one might, in looking at university literature departments and the fine art world, point to rampant philistinism within the professional heart of the humanities. In any case, while Matthew Arnold might have raised discussion of some topics related to our theme in terms of philistinism, philistinism was certainly not a category used by Pascal to interpret the

art and their producers, we need initially to distinguish between production and reproduction. There are certainly works of art which can be mechanically replicated, even after their creators have lost interest in them, or even died. Sculptural bronzes, engravings and prints can all be [9] John Ruskin, Elements of Drawing (1857), section 135. 132 The Landscape of Humanity produced in the absence of the original artist, according to the matrix he has produced. (I leave aside the practice at

involved in all material activity, although this may lead to theological difficulties in making the divine subject to the sort of open future classical quantum theory, to say nothing of doctrines of human free will, envisage.) If there is a divine face behind the material world, can we learn anything of that face and its purpose from study of the natural world, from what might broadly be called natural theology? The first and most obviously relevant feature of the natural world is its

with analogous state health and welfare schemes). Deaf to the warnings of nineteenth century commentators like de Tocqueville and Mill, we are then surprised when the results of state [4] Ibid., p. 691. Democracy and Openness 169 education and other forms of welfare are dire throughout Europe and the USA. Critical as he is of some tendencies of democracy, it seems to be that in one respect de Tocqueville is not critical enough. He clearly thinks that, as part of its general softening effect,

fundamental moral differences are at issue (e.g., on abortion, women’s rights, arranged marriages, euthanasia, and so on), at least some may feel unable to accept them, even after as much dialogue as anyone could want. Perhaps this might seem initially to imply a minimal state, where very few decisions have to be made as matters of public policy, and this would certainly be in line with what I suggested earlier in discussing de Tocqueville, but before one becomes too sanguine about that, remember

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