Download Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, by Susanne K. Langer PDF

By Susanne K. Langer

sleek theories of which means frequently culminate in a critique of technology. This publication provides a examine of human intelligence starting with a semantic thought and best right into a critique of song.

by way of implication it units up a conception of the entire arts; the transference of its uncomplicated strategies to different arts than song isn't constructed, however it is sketched, commonly within the bankruptcy on inventive import. considerate readers of the unique version came across those far-reaching rules speedy adequate because the occupation of the publication indicates: it truly is as acceptable to literature, paintings and track as to the sphere of philosophy itself.

the themes it bargains with are many: language, sacrament, fable, track, abstraction, truth, knowledge--to identify in simple terms the most ones. yet via all of them is going the primary topic, symbolic transformation because the crucial task of human minds. This significant thought, emphasizing because it does the proposal of symbolism, brings Mrs. Langer's publication into line with the present curiosity in semantics. All profound problems with our age appear to focus on the fundamental suggestions of symbolism and which means. The formative, artistic, articulating strength of symbols is the tonic chord which thinkers of all colleges and plenty of various fields are unmistakably amazing; the staggering, far-reaching implications of this new primary belief represent what Mrs. Langer has known as "philosophy in a brand new key."

Mrs. Langer's e-book brings the dialogue of symbolism right into a wider basic use than feedback of note which means. Her quantity is lively, powerful, and good written and may entice each person attracted to the modern difficulties of philosophy.

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Extra info for Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art

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Tylor, Primitive Culture, 2 vols. , 1920; first published in 1871), I, 134. 40 PHILOSOPHY IN A NEW KEY Because it springs from a primary human need, it is a spontaneous activity—that is to say, it arises without intention, without adaptation to a conscious purpose; its growth is undesigned, its pattern purely natural, however intricate it may be. It was never "imposed" on people; they acted thus quite of themselves, exactly as bees swarmed and birds built nests, squirrels hoarded food, and cats washed their faces.

Symbolization is both an end and an instrument. So far, epistemology has treated it only in the latter capacity; and philosophers have ample reason to wonder why this purely utilitarian trait of man's mind so frequently plays him false, why nature permitted it to grow beyond the limits of usefulness, to assume a tyrant role and lure him into patently impractical ventures. The fact is, I believe, that it did not originate purely in the service of other activities. It is a primary interest, and may require a sacrifice of other ends, just as the imperative demand for food or sex-life may necessitate sacrifices under difficult conditions.

Men who can use symbols to facilitate their practical responses, but use them constantly to confuse and inhibit, warp and misadapt their actions, and gain no other end by their symbolic devices, have no prospect of inheriting the earth. Such an "instinct" would have no chance to develop by any process of successful exercise. The errorquotient is too great. The commonly recognized biological needs—food and shelter, security, sexual satisfaction, and the safety of young ones—are probably better assuaged by the realistic activities, the meows and gestures, of Hobie Baker than by the verbal imagination and reflection of his master.

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