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The Man Without Content (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In this book, one of Italy's most important and original contemporary philosophers considers the status of art in the modern era. He takes seriously Hegel's claim that art has exhausted its spiritual vocation, that it is no longer through art that Spirit principally comes to knowledge of itself. He argues, however, that Hegel by no means proclaimed the "death of art" (as m ...more
Paperback, 1st edition Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics, 144 pages
Published June 1st 1999 by Stanford University Press (first published 1970)
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Michael Edgerton
Amazing book. In a very slim volume Agamben condenses the whole problematic of Western aesthetics. A little too Heideggerrian for me, ultimately, but a great book. The last third really drifts into abstraction and his bit on ruthmos, or rhythm is not nearly so well worked out as the rest. The key is the final notion of transmissibility, which I had previously been working through via Kant's purposeless purposiveness and the idea that what art communicates is always only, fundamentally, communica ...more
Apr 07, 2011 Jason rated it it was amazing
Giorgio Agamben examines the place of art in the modern world and how it has evolved and changed through history. He asks if there is something about the essence of art that is changing or has changed? When Plato said he would banish poetry from his city he was referring to something very different from what poetry and art mean to us today.

Why is it that as artists and writers we often find ourselves on the “other side” of art from our audience? Agamben argues that there is a split in art betwee

Філософія, особливо тепер, трохи схожа на огрядного приголомшеного архівіста, який кожен раз перепитує все те, що ви йому до цього сказали, перш ніж таки почати перебирати свою картотеку. За останнє століття філософські шати стали ще більше картаті – онтологію і метафізику випиляли без жалю. Тепер її зазіхання поширюються тільки на те, чим і варто займатись було – епістеміологією, походженням наших знань. Тому, можна сказати, що ця прислужниця логіки також прислуговує й іншій газдині – науці, що

Jan 04, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it
Wonderful short read on aesthetics. Challenges notions of how we perceive art and how aesthetic judgment and the act of creation has become oftentimes more important than the artwork itself. Second half of the book is a bit denser than the first half. Here's a nice quote from it to give you a taste:

“It is also likely that we will soon create institutes to restore natural beauty just like those for the restoration of works of art, without recognizing that such an idea presupposes a radical transf
May 17, 2013 Leif rated it really liked it
"For poetry makes nothing happen: it survives"

Auden's line could be the summary of good parts of this book. And the ramifications could occupy much of the rest---what is substantial here, anyway, specifically the chapters on poiesis and praxis (which is, by the by, astonishingly good) and on the uncanny longevity of the work of art. Perhaps that's unfair. Early chapters on taste and doubleness are written in a nice blend of informative and light-witted historiographic reconstruction for the pres
Oct 15, 2008 Eszter marked it as to-read
i was stalking the goodreads profiles of people who'd also read voyage on the north sea and saw that a few of them had read this, as well. intriguing. i've never read anything by agamben, but, according to the official goodreads review, might just become a brand new fan by reading this runway book. game on.
Feb 05, 2008 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theory
Possibly one of the most important contemporary living philosophers. Agamben traces the role of the artist/art in an increasingly capitalistic culture, vital in regard to aesthetic theory.
Dec 20, 2010 Mark rated it it was amazing
Very approachable Agamben about literature. I go back to this frequently to plunge for new ideas.
Olafur Gislason
Oct 13, 2012 Olafur Gislason rated it it was amazing
A fundamental investigation into the state of art in our contemporary world
Lily Wei
Mar 18, 2007 Lily Wei added it
Recommends it for: philosophers
Read it once, but need to re-read to really understand it fully :)
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  • The Relevance of the Beautiful and Other Essays
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  • Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism
  • Mimesis and Alterity: A Particular History of the Senses: A Particular Study of the Senses
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  • Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 1, 1913-1926
  • A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life
  • Tarrying with the Negative: Kant, Hegel, and the Critique of Ideology
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  • Inoperative Community
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Other Books in the Series

Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics (1 - 10 of 108 books)
  • Writing and Madness: Literature/Philosophy/Psychoanalysis (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics (Stanford, Calif.) )
  • On the Name
  • God, Death, and Time
  • Friendship
  • Selected Writings (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics) (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)
  • Points...: Interviews, 1974-1994
  • Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime
  • The Muses
  • The Birth to Presence
  • Poetry as Experience

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