Full Text

Langer, Susanne (1895–1985)

THOMAS M. ALEXANDER


Subject Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art » Aesthetics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405169226.2009.x


Extract

American philosopher, best known for her contributions to philosophical anthropology and aesthetics; one of the most important aestheticians of the twentieth century. Her views on art are integrated with a general philosophical position of some intricacy. Her aesthetic theory had its genesis in her book on the nature of symbolism and meaning, Philosophy in a New Key (first published in 1942), became the focus in its sequel, Feeling and Form (1953 ), and was expanded in the three volumes of Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling (1967, 1972, 1982 ) In all these works, Langer wove together an astounding variety of influences with a sensitive understanding of art. The writings of A. N. Whitehead, Ernst Cassirer, Wittgenstein, C. S. Peirce, and Rudolf Carnap feature strongly in her work, not to mention those of biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and numerous writers on art. Only the portion of her work directly concerned with the aesthetic is considered here. Langer began by accepting the great division made by positivism between cognitive and emotive expression, but it was her intention to rescue the emotive from being dismissed as meaningless by describing how it exhibits an alternative form of meaning best illustrated by art. Human beings are essentially symbolic animals; this capacity cannot be regarded as a mere extension of animal psychology. Her last work undertook ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top