This book is the first attempt to think philosophically about the comic phenomenon in literature, art, and life. Working across a substantial collection of comic works author Agnes Heller makes seminal observations on the comic in the work of both classical and contemporary figures. Whether she's discussing Shakespeare, Kafka, Rabelais, or the paintings of Brueghel and Daumier Heller's Immortal Comedy makes a characteristic contribution to modern thought across the humanities.
This article distinguishes between two constituents of modernity which together stand for the essence of modernity. It also distinguishes between three logics or tendencies in modernity. In pursuit of these aims it concentrates on a single issue, arguing that one cannot understand modernity, particularly not its heterogeneous character, from the viewpoint of the technological imagination (the Heideggerian Gestell) alone. The article interprets modernity as a world that draws on two sources of imagination: the technological and the historical. Most of this (...) article is devoted to discussing these two kinds of imagination, their conflicts, balances, and imbalances within each of the three logics of modernity. The article demonstrates that the balance between the two kinds of imagination is different in each of the three logics, and that the role of the historical imagination is different not only in terms of force and magnitude but also in kind. (shrink)
While Shakespeare's historical and political imagination mainly centres on the traditional character of the stranger or exile, The Merchant of Venice and Othello stand out as dramas about a new figure, the absolute stranger. The absolute stranger belongs to a new situation Shakespeare found in cosmopolitan Venice. Through Shylock and Othello, Shakespeare encounters the drama of the outsider's failed assimilation into cosmopolitan life. For Shakespeare, the figure of the absolute stranger is a representative illusion, and these two plays are dramas (...) about the modern world. (shrink)
A Theory of Feelings examines the problem of human feelings, widely understood, from phenomenological, analytical, and historical perspectives. It begins with an analysis of drives and affects, and pursues the nature of 'feeling' itself, in all of its variability, through a close study of the distinctive categories of the emotions, emotional dispositions, orientive feelings, and the pasions. The book will be of interest to anyone interested in philosophy, psychology, sociology, and cognitive science.