David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Princeton University Press (2007)
Neither art nor philosophy was kind to beauty during the twentieth century. Much modern art disdains beauty, and many philosophers deeply suspect that beauty merely paints over or distracts us from horrors. Intellectuals consigned the passions of beauty to the margins, replacing them with the anemic and rarefied alternative, "aesthetic pleasure." In Only a Promise of Happiness , Alexander Nehamas reclaims beauty from its critics. He seeks to restore its place in art, to reestablish the connections among art, beauty, and desire, and to show that the values of art, independently of their moral worth, are equally crucial to the rest of life. Nehamas makes his case with characteristic grace, sensitivity, and philosophical depth, supporting his arguments with searching studies of art and literature, high and low, from Thomas Mann's Death in Venice and Manet's Olympia to television. Throughout, the discussion of artworks is generously illustrated. Beauty, Nehamas concludes, may depend on appearance, but this does not make it superficial. The perception of beauty manifests a hope that life would be better if the object of beauty were part of it. This hope can shape and direct our lives for better or worse. We may discover misery in pursuit of beauty, or find that beauty offers no more than a tantalizing promise of happiness. But if beauty is always dangerous, it is also a pressing human concern that we must seek to understand, and not suppress.
|Keywords||Aesthetics Art Philosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$2.72 used (91% off) $12.46 new (51% off) $19.20 direct from Amazon (24% off) Amazon page|
|Call number||BH39.N378 2007|
|ISBN(s)||0691148651 9780691095219 0691095213 9780691148656|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Nick Riggle (2015). Personal Style and Artistic Style. Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):711-731.
Michael Newall (2014). Painting and Philosophy. Philosophy Compass 9 (4):225-237.
Alexander Nehamas (2010). The Good of Friendship. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (3pt3):267-294.
Sheila Lintott (2015). Friendship and Bias: Ethical and Epistemic Considerations. Journal of Social Philosophy 46 (3):318-339.
Peter K. Walhout (2009). The Beautiful and the Sublime in Natural Science. Zygon 44 (4):757-776.
Similar books and articles
Joe Winston (2009). Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art (Review). Journal of Aesthetic Education 43 (4):pp. 124-129.
Elizabeth Prettejohn (2005). Beauty and Art, 1750-2000. Oxford University Press.
Dave Hickey (2009). The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty Revised and Expanded. University of Chicago Press.
Nick Zangwill (2003). Beauty. In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Oxford Companion to Aesthetics. Oxford University Press
Dave Hickey (2009). The Invisible Dragon: Essays on Beauty. University of Chicago Press.
Roger Scruton (2009). Beauty. Oxford University Press.
Monique Roelofs (2008). Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Artby Nehamas, Alexander. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 66 (4):399-401.
Berys Gaut (2010). Nehamas on Beauty and Love. British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2):199-204.
Christopher Mole (2008). Beauty, Desire and Ignorance. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):581 – 593.
Carolyn Korsmeyer (2010). What Beauty Promises:: Reflections on Alexander Nehamas, Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art. British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (2):193-198.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads5 ( #524,065 of 1,911,323 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #455,910 of 1,911,323 )
How can I increase my downloads?