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Beyond Beauty
Beyond Beauty
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Federico Vercellone - Author
Sarah De Sanctis - Translator
SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy
Price: $80.00 
Hardcover - 164 pages
Release Date: September 2017
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6587-6

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Traces the decline of beauty as an ideal from early German romanticism to the twentieth century.

The American abstract expressionist painter Barnett Newman famously declared in 1948 that the impulse of modern art is to destroy beauty. Not long after that, Andy Warhol was reconciling the world of art with the world of everyday life, painting soup cans and soda bottles. In this book, Federico Vercellone provides an account of the decline of beauty as a Platonic ideal from early German Romanticism to the twentieth century. He traces this intellectual trajectory from Goethe, Dilthey, and Nietzsche, through modernism and the avant-garde movement, to the work of Adorno and Heidegger. Rather than the death or destruction of beauty, Vercellone argues instead that beauty in the twentieth century came back to live in reality and everyday life. He suggests this is a new edition of the classical ideal rather than an abandonment of it, and further makes the case for the ecological significance of this orientation and outlook.

Federico Vercellone is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Torino and the author of many books, including (with Olaf Breidbach) Thinking and Imagination: Between Science and Art. Sarah De Sanctis is a philosophy scholar and the translator of over fifteen philosophy books, including Quasi-Things: The Paradigm of Atmospheres, by Tonino Griffero and Manifesto of New Realism, by Maurizio Ferraris, both also published by SUNY Press. She has edited, with Anna Longo, Breaking the Spell: Contemporary Realism under Discussion.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Beauty and the Twentieth Century

Does Beauty Have a History?
A History of Beauty
In Myth, Beyond Myth
The Spectre of Beauty

1. The Romantic Farewell to Beauty

The Airy Premises of a Necessary Catastrophe
Form, Style, Entropy
Decorum and Expression

2. The Non- containing Form: From Nietzsche to Spengler

Mimesis and Descriptive Knowledge
From Goethe to Dilthey
Nietzsche and the Decline of Form
From Nietzsche to Goethe and Beyond
Spengler and Beyond
Apollo vs. Faust

3. From Modernity to the Avant- Garde

The Gothic Style and the Avant- Garde
Expressionism and the Gothic Style
From Goethe to Worringer and Beyond
Croce: An Enemy of the Avant- Garde?

4. From Negativity to the Event: Adorno after Heidegger

Philosophy of Art as Rearguard
Adorno: From Negative Dialectics to Aesthetic Utopia
A Hopeless Hope
From Adorno to Benjamin, from Jünger to Heidegger

5. The Dissolution of the Artwork and the Rebirth of Ancient Beauty

Aesthetics as Energetics
From Philosophy to Surrealism
“The impulse of modern art was this desire to destroy beauty . . .”
“High and Low”

Conclusion. Classicism, Again

Enlightenment without “Nostos”
An “Ecological” Thought


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