Book Description

Review The central problem of this interesting book is to ascertain precisely the functions served by myth, ritual, and especially the arts, and to develop an adequate theory of artistic significance...What is novel in this book is...Mrs. Langer's development of her theme within the framework of a general theory of symbolism, in accordance with her conviction that the coming period of creative philosophy will use the distinctions of symbolic analysis as its key concepts. To her task she brings an unusual equipment: a solid grounding in modern logical and philosophical analysis, a wide familiarity with relevant anthropological literature, and an expert knowledge of the materials of the arts, especially music...Her analyses are singularly earnest and vigorous, and her conception of the problem is fresh and generally broad. (Ernest Nagel Journal of Philosophy)The leading contention of Mrs. Langer's striking book resides in the thesis that there is a bifurcation of the world of human meaning into the two domains of semantic and symbolic interpretation, and that the elucidation of the semantic side, which proliferates into the fields of viable behaviour and the logic of the sciences, has, in philosophy, been yielding place for some time past to the insistent claims of the symbolic impulse...One can have little but admiration for the sanity and clarity of the principles of interpretation to which Mrs. Langer subscribes. (Times Literary Supplement)One of those synoptic works which, by bringing together separate areas of knowledge, suddenly reveals the pattern of reality, and gives new meaning to all one's piecemeal explorations...I know of no book in the field of aesthetics which in our time has had such a profound effect. (Herbert Read) Read more Review One of those synoptic works which, by bringing together separate areas of knowledge, suddenly reveals the pattern of reality, and gives new meaning to all one's piecemeal explorations...I know of no book in the field of aesthetics which in our time has had such a profound effect. --Herbert Read --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Read more See all Editorial Reviews

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