The Continental Aesthetics Reader: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Continental Aesthetics Reader

2nd Edition

Edited by Clive Cazeaux


768 pages

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Paperback: 9780415481847
pub: 2011-06-29
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The Continental Aesthetics Reader brings together classic and contemporary writings on art and aesthetics from the major figures in continental thought. The second edition is clearly divided into seven sections:

  • Nineteenth-Century German Aesthetics
  • Phenomenology and Hermeneutics
  • Marxism and Critical Theory
  • Excess and Affect
  • Embodiment and Technology
  • Poststructuralism and Postmodernism
  • Aesthetic Ontologies.

Each section is clearly placed in its historical and philosophical context, and each philosopher has an introduction by Clive Cazeaux. An updated list of readings for this edition includes selections from Agamben, Butler, Guattari, Nancy, Virilio, and Žižek. Suggestions for further reading are given, and there is a glossary of over fifty key terms.

Ideal for introductory courses in aesthetics, continental philosophy, art, and visual studies, The Continental Aesthetics Reader provides a thorough introduction to some of the most influential writings on art and aesthetics from Kant and Hegel to Badiou and Rancière.


The Continental Aesthetics Reader is a rich and intellectually uncompromising anthology. It fills an important gap in the literature.’ Timothy R. Quigley, New School for Social Research, USA

‘There is a clear need for a reader in continental aesthetics and Clive Cazeaux has assembled the readings with great care.’ Michael Newman, Slade School of Art, London, UK

‘Cazeaux's brief introductions to the selections are insightful and cogent. This volume will serve as a much-needed source for considering the range and depth of modern aesthetic theory.’ Tom Huhn, Wesleyan University, USA

‘… a balanced and judicious selection of the most important texts from two centuries of European ruminations on art and its meaning… a welcome gift.’ Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Nineteenth-Century German Aesthetics 1. Extracts from Critique of Judgment Emmanuel Kant 2. Extracts from Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art G. W. F. Hegel 3. On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense Friedrich Nietzsche Part 2: Phenomenology and Hermeneutics 4. The Origin of the Work of Art Martin Heidegger 5. What is Writing? Jean Paul Sartre 6. Reality and its Shadow Emmanuel Levinas 7. The World of the Aesthetic Object Mikel Dufrenne 8. The Dialectics of Outside and Inside Gaston Bachelard 9. Aesthetics and Hermeneutics Hans Georg Gadamer 10. What is a Text? Explanation and Understanding Paul Ricoeur 11. The Death or Decline of Art Gianni Vattimo Part 3: Marxism and Critical Theory 12. Private Property and Communism Karl Marx 13. Extracts from Minima Moralia Theodor W. Adorno 14. Nature and Revolution Herbert Marcuse 15. Discourse in the Novel (Heteroglossia in the Novel) Mikhail Bakhtin 16. Modernity versus Postmodernity Jürgen Habermas Part 4: Embodiment and Technology 17. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Walter Benjamin 18. Eye and Mind Maurice Merleau-Ponty 19. Cosi Fan Tutti Luce Irigaray 20. The New Aesthetic Paradigm Félix Guattari 21. Gender is Burning: Questions of Appropriation and Subversion Judith Butler 22. The Aesthetics of Disappearance Paul Virilio Part 5: Excess and Affect 23. The Unconscious Sigmund Freud 24. The Original Experience Maurice Blanchot 25. Sanctity, Eroticism, and Solitude Georges Bataille 26. The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason Since Freud Jacques Lacan 27. Approaching Abjection Julia Kristeva 28. Pornography, Nostalgia, Montage Slavoj Zizek Part 6: Poststructuralism and Postmodernism 29. The Death of the Author Roland Barthes 30. What is an Author? Michel Foucault 31. The Parergon Jacques Derrida 32. The Resistance to Theory Paul de Man 33. The Evil Demon of Images Jean Baudrillard 34. The Sublime and the Avant-Garde Jean-Francois Lyotard 35. The Last Painting or the Portrait of God Hélène Cixous Part 7: Aesthetic Ontologies 36. Percept, Affect, and Concept G Deleuze & F Guattari 37. Art, a Fragment Jean-Luc Nancy 38. The Melancholy Angel Giorgio Agamben 39. Art and Philosophy Alain Badiou 40. Aesthetics as Politics Jacques Rancière. Index

About the Editor

Clive Cazeaux is Reader in Aesthetics at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. His research interests are the philosophies of metaphor, visual thinking, visual arts research, and art-science practice. He is the author of Metaphor and Continental Philosophy: From Kant to Derrida (Routledge 2007).

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