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The Aesthetics of Mimesis : Ancient Texts and Modern Problems - Stephen Halliwell

The Aesthetics of Mimesis

Ancient Texts and Modern Problems

Paperback Published: 21st July 2002
ISBN: 9780691092584
Number Of Pages: 440

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Mimesis is one of the oldest, most fundamental concepts in Western aesthetics. This book offers a new, searching treatment of its long history at the center of theories of representational art: above all, in the highly influential writings of Plato and Aristotle, but also in later Greco-Roman philosophy and criticism, and subsequently in many areas of aesthetic controversy from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Combining classical scholarship, philosophical analysis, and the history of ideas--and ranging across discussion of poetry, painting, and music--Stephen Halliwell shows with a wealth of detail how mimesis, at all stages of its evolution, has been a more complex, variable concept than its conventional translation of "imitation" can now convey.

Far from providing a static model of artistic representation, mimesis has generated many different models of art, encompassing a spectrum of positions from realism to idealism. Under the influence of Platonist and Aristotelian paradigms, mimesis has been a crux of debate between proponents of what Halliwell calls "world-reflecting" and "world-simulating" theories of representation in both the visual and musico-poetic arts. This debate is about not only the fraught relationship between art and reality but also the psychology and ethics of how we experience and are affected by mimetic art.

Moving expertly between ancient and modern traditions, Halliwell contends that the history of mimesis hinges on problems that continue to be of urgent concern for contemporary aesthetics.

Industry Reviews

"Stephen Halliwell's formidable book ... is scholarly, lucid, wide-ranging, discriminating... An outstanding example of taking ideas seriously, and one that deserves a wide and intelligent readership."--Michael Silk, Times Literary Supplement "Halliwell has given the cognitivist position a highly nuanced, philosophically sophisticated version that will command the attention of scholars of classical and Western literary criticism."--Andrew Ford, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "A magisterial survey ... immensely learned and meticulously argued... [It] will be indispensable to any future discussion of art and representation in classical antiquity."--David Konstan, The Philosophical Quarterly

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Note to the Readerp. xiii
Introduction: Mimesis and the History of Aestheticsp. 1
Representation and Reality: Plato and Mimesisp. 37
Romantic Puritanism: Plato and the Psychology of Mimesisp. 72
Mimesis and the Best Life: Plato's Repudiation of the Tragicp. 98
More Than Meets the Eye: Looking into Plato's Mirrorp. 118
Inside and Outside the Work of Art: Aristotelian Mimesis Reevaluatedp. 151
The Rewards of Mimesis: Pleasure, Understanding, and Emotion in Aristotle's Aestheticsp. 177
Tragic Pity: Aristotle and Beyondp. 207
Music and the Limits of Mimesis: Aristotle versus Philodemusp. 234
Truth or Delusion? The Mimeticist Legacy in Hellenistic Philosophyp. 263
Images of Life: Mimesis and Literary Criticism after Aristotlep. 287
Renewal and Transformation: Neoplatonism and Mimesisp. 313
An Inheritance Contested: Renaissance to Modernityp. 344
Bibliographyp. 383
Indexp. 419
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691092584
ISBN-10: 0691092583
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 440
Published: 21st July 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.7  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.68