Performing Live: Aesthetic Alternatives for the Ends of Art

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Cornell University Press, 2000 - Philosophy - 266 pages
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Current philosophies of art remain sadly dominated by visions of its end and lamentations of decline. Defining the very notions of art and the aesthetic as special products of Western modernity, they suggest that postmodern challenges to traditional high culture pose a devastating danger to art's future. Richard Shusterman's new book cuts through the seductive confusions of these views by tracing the earthy roots of aesthetic experience and showing how the recent flourishing of aesthetic forms outside modernity's sacralized realm of fine art evince the persistent presence of an artistic impulse far deeper and more durable than the modernist moment. Performing Live defends the abiding power of aesthetic experience by exploring its diverse roles, methods, and meanings, especially in fields marginal to traditional aesthetics but now most vibrantly alive in today's culture and new media. Ranging from rap, techno, and country music to cinema, cyberspace and urban design, Shusterman develops his radical theory of "somaesthetics," charting the complex network of bodily arts so prominent in contemporary life and self-styling. By blending concrete aesthetic analysis with insightful social critique, Shusterman, a well-known pragmatist philosopher, provides a rich menu and critical guide for today's pursuit of the art of living.

 

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Contents

the end of aesthetic experience
15
dont believe the hype
35
the fine art of rap
60
affect and authenticity in country musicals
76
the urban aesthetics of absence
96
SOMA SELF AND SOCIETY
113
beneath interpretation
115
somaesthetics and the bodymedia issue
137
the somatic turn care of the body in contemporary culture
154
multiculturalism and the art of living
182
genius and the paradox of selfstyling
201
notes
219
index
259
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Page 248 - Peter Brown, The Body and Society: Men, Women and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988); Deborah Sawyer, Women and Religion in the First Christian Centuries (London: Routledge, 1996).

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About the author (2000)

Richard Shusterman is Professor of Philosophy at Temple University and the CollŔge International de Philosophie. His books include Performing Live: Aesthetic Alternatives for the Ends of Art (also from Cornell), Pragmatist Aesthetics, and Practicing Philosophy.

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