Mimesis, the notion that art imitates reality, has long been recognized as one of the central ideas of Western aesthetics and has been most frequently associated with Aristotle. Less well documented is the great importance of mimetic theories of literature, theater, and the visual arts during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. In this book, the most comprehensive overview of the theory of mimesis since Auerbach's monumental study, Gunter Gebauer and Christoph Wulf provide a thorough introduction to the complex (...) and shifting meanings of the term. Beginning with the Platonic doctrine of imitation, they chart the concept's appropriation and significance in the aesthetic theories of Aristotle, Molière, Shakespeare, Racine, Diderot, Lessing, and Rousseau. They examine the status of mimesis in the nineteenth-century novel and its reworking by such modern thinkers as Benjamin, Adorno, and Derrida. Widening the traditional understanding of mimesis to encompass the body and cultural practices of everyday life, their work suggests the continuing value of mimetic theory and will prove essential reading for scholars and students of literature, theater, and the visual arts. (shrink)
A two-fold study, on the one hand of the thought-provoking mimesis by which Plato gives his hearer an occasion for self-knowledge and self-transcendence and of the typical sequential structure, an appropriation of the trajectory of the poem of Parmenides, by which Plato orders the drama of inquiry, and on the other hand a commentary on the Crito that aims to show concretely how these elements — mimesis and Parmenidean structure — work together to give the dialogues their exceptional (...) elicitative power. (shrink)
Philosophy of education is regarded as an art of hermeneutics that integrates a theory of mimesis in its understanding of the educational transmission. The idea of the master is reconsidered in this perspective in order to overcome the old opposition between classicism and romanticism. In that way the author attempts to respond to the question: What is the secret to pedagogically sound education?
Trata-se de analisar os usos da racionalidade mimética em Jacques Lacan e Theodor Adorno, isto a fim de mostrar como, nos dois casos, encontramos uma estratégia de reflexão sobre a mimesis que a eleva à condição de elemento fundamental para uma teoria do reconhecimento que não se esgote na temática da intersubjetividade. Neste sentido, este estudo insere-se em uma pesquisa mais ampla a respeito dos modos de aproximação entre psicanálise lacaniana e Escola de Frankfurt no que diz respeito ao (...) problema dos destinos da categoria de sujeito e dos processos de reconhecimento. (shrink)
One of the main characteristics of the contemporary aesthetic debate is the recovery of the concept of mimesis, as a dimension that is originally involved in the foundation of human culture and the processes of cultural learning. This is evident in the aesthetic reflection developed by Gunter Gebauer and Christoph Wulf. For these two authors, mimesis is never a mere reproduction of the given reality, but always implies the production of the New, of the Other, of the different (...) with respect to the empirical world, i.e. to the existing categorical order of the world. In particular, Gebauer and Wulf underline the constitutive ambivalence of the notion of mimesis: on the one hand, it favors the processes of reification fueled by capitalist society and, on the other hand, it contributes to the affirmation of a critical and “utopian” instance that can counter “instrumental reason” and the primacy of identity. (shrink)
The absence of any discussion of the virtue of piety in Plato’s Republic has been much remarked, but there are textual clues by which to recognize its importance for Plato’s construction and for the book’s intended effect. This dialogue is Socrates’s repetition, on the day after the first festival of Bendis, of a liturgical action that he undertook—at his own expense, at the “vote” of his “city”—on the previous day. Socrates’s activity in repeating it the next day is an “ethological” (...)mimesis of properly pious liturgy. In the course of that liturgy we find that piety is specifically discussed, but in a mirror, and darkly. The mirror of piety is the laws about stories of the gods. The absence is in the discussion of the best city, that is, one above aristocracy. (shrink)
This paper wants to address the Aristotelian analysis of the concept of mimesis from a social and cultural angle. It is going to show that mimesis is crucial if we want to understand why the institution of the theatre played such a crucial role in the civic educational programme of classical Athens. The paper’s argument is that the magic spell of theatrical imitation, its aesthetic machinery was exploited by the city for civic educational function. Dramas, and in particular (...) tragedies helped to articulate the city’s political expectations from the citizens, and they achieved it with far better efficiency than any other medium of propaganda which was available in those days. It will first reconstruct the duality within the internal structure of the Aristotelian account of mimesis in Poetics: it will show both 1.) the aesthetic and 2.) the socio-cultural dimensions of his theory of civic initiation through dramatic imitation. In the second part it will compare this Greek cultural context with a similar context in Rome in the activity and writings of Cicero. Finally, the paper presents the Renaissance republican context of early modern Europe, which also connected politico-moral education with the idea of mimesis. (shrink)
En República, libro X, Platón justifica su exclusión de la poesía imitativa mediante argumentos metafísicos y psicológicos. Al hacerlo, enfatiza la distancia de los productos de la imitación respecto de la verdad, y los condena porque apelan al elemento inferior del alma. En Sofista 233d- 236c, se propone una crítica similar contra la sofistería. El imitador puede hacer eidola, que puede ser considerado como real por un ignorante. En ambos casos Platón se refiere a la distancia respecto de la verdad (...) que guardan tanto los objetos hechos por los imitadores –pintores, poetas o sofistas– como los destinatarios de tales artes –espectadores u oyentes–. Los paralelismos entre ambos tratamientos son abundantes. Tal «distancia», como tratamos de mostrar, ofrece una clave no sólo para entender la crítica platónica de la mímesis, sino que también arroja luz sobre algunos pasajes de República cuya conexión con el tratamiento de la imitación no es evidente de inmediato: la sección eikasía de la «línea dividida», así como ciertos pasajes de la alegoría de la caverna. Ambos textos, independientemente de las variadas lecturas e interpretaciones que han merecido, aclaran la naturaleza de la mimesis y las críticas de Platón contra ella. Además, testifican la confianza de Platón en que el contacto directo con lo real neutraliza los efectos perniciosos de la imitación Palabras clave: Mímesis; Verdad; DistanciaIn Republic Book X, Plato justifies his exclusion of imitative poetry by means of metaphysical and psychological arguments. In doing that, he emphasizes the distance from truth of the products of imitation, and condemns them because they appeal to the lower element of the soul. In Sophist 233d-236c, a similar critique is directed against sophistry. The imitator can make eidola, which can be taken by an ignorant as being real. In both cases Plato refers to the distance that both the objects made by imitators –painters, poets or sophists– and the recipients of such arts –spectators or auditors– have from truth. The parallelisms between both treatments are abundant. Such «distance», as we try to show, offers a key not only to understand Platonic criticism of mimesis. It also throws light on some passages of Republic whose connection with the treatment of imitation is not immediately evident: the eikasía section of the «divided line», and certain passages of the allegory of the cave. Both texts, independently of the various readings and interpretations they have deserved, clarify the nature of mimesis and Plato’s criticisms against it. In addition, they testify Plato’s confidence that direct contact with the real neutralizes the pernicious effects of imitation. Keywords: Mimesis; Truth; Distance. (shrink)
Art, Mimesis and the Avant-Garde explores the relationship between art and philosophy. Andrew Benjamin argues for a reworking of the task of philosophy in terms of the centrality of ontology. It is in relation to this centrality, understood through the differences between modes of being, that art, mimesis, and the avant-garde come to be presented. A fundamental part of this book is the original interpretations of important contemporary painters and their themes: Lucian Freud's self-portraits, Francis Bacon 's use (...) of mirrors, R. B. Kitaj and Jewish identity, Anselm Kiefer and iconoclasm. Apart from painting, Benjamin considers architecture, literature, and the philosophical writings of Walter Benjamin and Descartes in elaborating the various aspects of ontological difference. Benjamin develops the theory of the avant-garde as a philosophical category rather than a historical marker, thus bringing the worlds of contemporary art criticism and contemporary philosophy closer together. (shrink)
This paper revisits Plato’s and Aristotle’s views on mimesis with a special emphasis on mythos as an integral part of it. I argue that the Republic ’s notorious “mirror argument” is in fact ad hominem : first, Plato likely has in mind Agathon’s mirror in Aristophanes’ Thesmoforiazusae, where tragedy is construed as mimesis ; second, the tongue-in-cheek claim that mirrors can reproduce invisible Hades, when read in combination with the following eschatological myth, suggests that Plato was not committed (...) to a mirror-like view of art; third, the very omission of mythos shows that the argument is a self-consciously one-sided one, designed to caricature the artists’ own pretensions of mirror-like realism. These points reinforce Stephen Halliwell’s claim that Western aesthetics has been haunted by a «ghostly misapprehension» of Plato’s mirror. Further evidence comes from Aristotle’s “literary” discussion: rather than to the “mirror argument”, the beginning of the Poetics points to the Phaedo as the best source of information about Plato’s views on poetry. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a reconsideration of the complex concept of mimesis, as it is deployed in the critical theory of Theodor W. Adorno, which, I argue, provides some interesting and original avenues through which we may interpret some of the infinitely engaging if enigmatic films of Andrei Tarkovsky. The paper is divided into two parts. In the first, I explore Adorno's development and usage of the concept of mimesis, as well as the latter's fall into disfavour (...) since Habermas's influential 'communicative turn'. In the second part, I undertake to read some of Tarkovsky's work in an Adornian vein, with the hope of reconfiguring mimesis as a valuable and fruitful concept in understanding the somatic and extra-discursive elements within communication. What I call Tarkovsky's 'mimetic method' can be seen to follow Adorno's epistemological principle of the 'preponderance of the object', while testifying to the mimetic potential of non-discursive communication. In so doing, Tarkovsky's filmic work - with Adorno's critical theory - refutes the purely linguistic/discursive grounds of Habermasian communication. This implicit refutation works on two levels. It enacts forms of mimetic construction, at the first level, and calls forth acts of interpretation and mimetic reception, at the second. I argue that these features are in need of greater attention and elaboration. The works of Adorno and Tarkovsky, in my view, provide useful grounds for challenging and enhancing existing understandings of aesthetic and philosophic communication, by more fully appreciating their interconnectedness and complementarity. (shrink)
The mirror analogy in Republic X (596c-e) helps Socrates formulate the conception of mimesis used to make the argument that the painter is an imitator and his works are inferior, being thrice-removed from reality (596a-598d). The painter is classified as an impostor by an unfair assimilation with the sophistic mirror-holder. The mirror analogy and its imaging-devices give Socrates a dialectical advantage that he would not otherwise have. If Socrates succeeds with Glaucon in showing that painters are imitators, his success (...) is due primarily to the mirror analogy and its metaphorical imagery. (shrink)
Este ensayo presenta un análisis arqueo-genealógico de la mímēsis humana en dos momentos: en su arkhē pre-socrático y en la interpretación platónica de la misma. El mismo desarrolla la tesis de que la mímēsis es una facultad humana atravesada por la condición paradójica a partir de la cual es factible su instrumentalización alienante de las conciencias, pero también su uso creativo para producir diferencias de lo semejante y semejanzas de lo diferente. la condición paradójica impide el reduccionismo de la mímēsis (...) a una única perspectiva. Se concluye el ensayo con algunos desdoblamientos críticos del carácter paradójico de la mímēsis en nuestro presente. (shrink)
In this article, I relate the demand that Paul Ricoeur suggests mimesis places on the way we think about truth to the idea that the work of art is a model for thinking about testimony. By attributing a work’s epoché of reality to the work of imagination, I resolve the impasse that arises from attributing music, literature, and art’s distance from the real to their social emancipation. Examining the conjunction, in aesthetic experience, of the communicability and the exemplarity of (...) a work reveals how Ricoeur’s definition of mimesis as refiguration relates to the “rule” that the work summons. This “rule” constitutes the solution to a problem or question for which the work is the answer. In conclusion, as a model for thinking about testimony, the claims that works make have a counterpart in the injunctions that issue from exemplary moral and political acts.  . (shrink)
Author: Michalski Rafał Title: ANCIENT SOURCES OF MEANING OF THE TERM “MIMESIS” (Antyczne źródła pojęcia mimezis) Source: Filo-Sofija year: 2005, vol:.5, number: 2005/1, pages: 45-64 Keywords: ‘MIMESIS’, PLATO, PYTHAGORAS Discipline: PHILOSOPHY Language: POLISH Document type: ARTICLE Publication order reference (Primary author’s office address): E-mail: www:In this article I show the evolution of meaning of the term ‘mimesis’ in ancient Greece. I distinguish its two basic meanings: copying (imitation) and expression. The older meaning (mimesis as expression) comes (...) from the Pythagorean tradition, whereas the newer one (mimesis as copying) can be traced back to the philosophy of Plato. Analysis of Plato’s dialogues step by step reveals ambivalence of the notion, and, what is most important, points out how useful it can be in epistemology, philosophy of language, psychology and aesthetics. (shrink)
Este artigo analisa o conceito de fetichismo no interior da filosofia da música adorniana, a fim de mostrar como ele visa dar conta de uma ampla crítica aos processos de racionalização do material musical na modernidade ocidental. Para que o teor da crítica seja medido de maneira correta, devemos perceber como, no conceito adorniano de "fetichismo", convergem deliberadamente motivos de suas tradições de crítica ao fetichismo: a marxista e a psicanalítica. Tal estratégia nos permitirá compreender a razão pela qual o (...) conceito de mimesis é resgatado enquanto dispositivo de crítica ao fetichismo. (shrink)
The article examines the use of the concept of mimesis in Adorno’s notes towards a theory of musical performance. In trying to idiosyncratically define the latter as “reproduction”, Adorno relied on a framework elaborating on concepts introduced by Arnold Schoenberg, Hugo Riemann and Walter Benjamin – a framework that the article discusses insofar as it deals with the problem of mimesis. Specific attention is devoted to the relation between Benjamin’s essays on language and translation and Adorno’s theory of (...) notation, that soon became the crucial aspect of his theory of reproduction. Given the shortcomings of Adorno’s theory, which in the end did not achieve its goals, the article proposes to capitalize on his terminology while at the same time rethinking his framework in the light of recent musicological paradigms for the study of musical performance. On the whole, the article shows that it was Adorno’s philosophical assumptions – in particular the theses of music’s non-intentionality and of its non-similarity to language – that prevented him from convincingly theorizing musical performance, and suggests an alternative framework for future research. (shrink)
The article analyzes the use of visual metaphors to understand the conceptual potential of mimesis in education from the viewpoint of the theory of communicative action. The article seeks to reflect on mimesis in art from the sphere of classical antiquity up to modernity, taking as a basic pa..
The thesis of this text is that representation and mimesis, and so reason and passion, are not opposed, but differ. Their presumed opposition leads to many false and therefore harmful ideas and practices, as Glaucon exhibits in his republic, but even these harmful ideas and practices exhibit not only that it is not possible to escape either mimesis or representation but also that the harm is precisely to develop a culture along the lines of a hegemonic structure wherein (...) one is dominant and the other secondary—that is the point Plato exhibits in his Republic. Mimesis and representation are, in a more contemporary parlance, differing regimens of phrasal connection, phrase being a word that is as musical as it is grammatical. No ground can serve as a place of judgement between the two of them for all ground is the dust/blood/text of both. As Plato says, "all the arts of the muses are iconic and mimetic." It is more accurate, and therefore best, to see mimesis and representation not as differing acts, but as differing aspects or moments of every semiotic act—and every act is semiotic to a being for which any act is so. (shrink)
This paper deals with a development of the ancient thought on mimesis in its modern reception as regards a certain idea of theatre. It defends the hypothesis that the figure of the character, as set up in Diderot’s Paradoxe sur le comédien, has its source in a curious reversal of the Platonic mimesis. After presenting the main tenets of Plato’s reflection on mimesis and of Diderot’s theory on character, showing their convergences and contrasts, it is analyzed how (...) such a conceptual turnaround has historically taken place, by establishing a chain of reception from Plato to Diderot passing through Cicero and the Renaissance artists. (shrink)
In dem Beitrag wird der Frage nachgegangen, wie der Widerstreit zwischen mimesis und methexis eine – so die These – ›atopische Differenz‹ hervorbringt, die den Sinn des Gegenstandes zu einer fortwährenden Bildung zwingt, einen Sinn, der sich weder vollständig erhellen noch in bestehenden Begrifflichkeiten erfassen lässt, sondern sich eher in sinnlichen Erfahrung ausdrückt. Der Begriff der Atopie bedeutet nach Franco Rella , außerhalb unseres Platzes bzw. der Grenzen unserer wahrnehmungsmäßigen und kognitiven Gewohnheiten zu sein. Die hier vorgeschlagene atopische Differenz (...) – eine Differenz, die sich in keinem eigenen Ort bzw. topos idios im Sinne Aristoteles verankern lässt – wandert zwischen dem Abbild und dem Trugbild und entzieht sich unseren Gewohnheiten und übernommenen Begriffen. Um die Voraussetzungen der Repräsentation, wie sie von Platon benannt werden, aufzudecken, soll in einem ersten Schritt das Verhältnis zwischen Urbild und Abbild im Denken Platons vorgestellt werden. Anschließend wird auf Gilles Deleuze’ Schriften Differenz und Wiederholung und Logik des Sinns eingegangen, die die Grundbausteine für eine moderne Aufwertung der mimetischen Praktiken liefern. Der französische Philosoph hebt die Produktion von Trugbildern als eine »Umkehrung des Platonismus« hervor, denn diese reproduzieren nicht mehr das Urbild. In einem dritten Schritt werden die Eigenschaften der Trugbilder anhand der Gemälde des englischen Malers Francis Bacon näher bestimmt. Zum Schluss wird die ›atopische Differenz‹ in ihrer Entstehungsmöglichkeit und ihrer Tragweite näher beleuchtet. Es wird sich herausstellen, dass die Umkehrung des Platonismus nicht nur eine Produktion des Trugbildes ist, sondern auch einen sinnlichen Überschuss verursacht, der sich jeder wesentlichen Bestimmung widersetzt, unlokalisierbar bleibt und die Betrachter affiziert. (shrink)
Cet article essaye d’analyser l’ Histoire de la Guerre du Péloponnèse de Thucydide à la lumière des thèses ricœuriennes sur l’épistémologie de la connaissance historique, notamment les trois moments essentiels de l’opération historiographique : la preuve documentaire, l’explication/compréhension et l’écriture/représentation. Ce qui nous amène à insérer le texte de Thucydide dans la séquence des trois phases de la mimésis impliquée dans toute mise en discours : préfiguration, configuration, refiguration. Le dialogue que nous établissons entre le philosophe français et l’historien grec (...) nous permet aussi de trouver plusieurs dissimilitudes et similitudes entre les deux, soit en réfléchissant sur la question de la vérité, soit en réfléchissant sur la dialectique entre lire et voir, sous le signe du concept rhétorique de l’ enargeia. (shrink)
Les théories contemporaines de la fiction, comme les poétiques de la Renaissance, privilégient une conception de la mimesis fondée sur la vraisemblance : la démonstration du profit cognitif et moral de la fiction passe toujours par une définition de l’imitation (de quelque façon qu’on la définisse) fondée sur la rationalité. L’auteur de cet article examine tout d’abord le statut des contradictions et de l’impossible chez quelques théoriciens actuels (principalement J.-M. Schaeffer, M.-L. Ryan, L. Doležel) et poéticiens du 16e siècle (...) (L. Castelvetro et F. Patrizi). Sont ensuite étudiées la forme et la fonction que prend l’impossible dans trois fictions narratives de la Renaissance. L’hypothèse majeure qui est défendue est que ces paradoxes permettent de penser le non-existant, dans la continuité de la scolastique médiévale et en relation avec une problématique religieuse, sérieuse ou parodique. Par là même, et en raison de leur auto-référentialité constitutive, les paradoxes inscrivent dans la fiction une réflexion sur elle-même qui n’a rien d’une apologie. La pensée de la fiction s’articule en définitive de façon bien différente dans les théories et dans les fictions elles-mêmes. (shrink)
This essay aims at an elucidation of the performative relation connecting artistic mimesis with the living body. Encompassing art theory and phenomenology of the body, the scope is to evince a crucial link between aesthetic interpretation, body motion, and mimetic creativity, with general implications for reflection on the body, as well as a deeper understanding of a major element of ancient Chinese culture. By mainly analyzing Chinese texts on ink brush writing, as well as some testimony taken from 20th (...) century European philosophy, this essay, from a transcultural stance, tries to show how ink brush writing may be interpreted as a type of regulated body movement and body exercise. What appears as responsiveness within this phenomenal field is a specific form of mimesis, namely body mimesis. As a sort of imitative action, body mimesis runs through the bodily self, beyond consciousness, transforming it and shaping its behavior. (shrink)
Mimesis can refer to imitation, emulation, representation, or reenactment - and it is a concept that links together many aspects of ancient Greek Culture. The Western Greek bell-krater on the cover, for example, is painted with a scene from a phlyax play with performers imitating mythical characters drawn from poetry, which also represent collective cultural beliefs and practices. One figure is shown playing a flute, the music from which might imitate nature, or represent deeper truths of the cosmos based (...) upon Pythagorean views (which were widespread in Western Greece at the time). The idea that mimesis should be restricted to ideals was made famous by Plato (whose connections to Pythagoreanism and Siracusa are well-known), and famously challenged by his student Aristotle (not to mention by the mimetic character of Plato’s own poetry). This volume gathers essays not only on the philosophical debate about mimesis, but also on its use in architecture, drama, poetry, history, music, ritual, and visual art. The emphasis is on examples from Hellenic cities in Southern Italy and Sicily, but the insights apply far beyond – even to modern times. Contributors include: Thomas Noble Howe, Francisco J. Gonzalez, Gene Fendt, Guilherme Domingues da Motta, Jeremy DeLong, Carolina Araújo, Marie-Élise Zovko, Lidia Palumbo, Sean Driscoll, Konstantinos Gkaleas, Anna Motta, Jure Zovko, Alexander H. Zistakis, Christos C. Evangeliou, Dorota Tymura, Iris Sulimani, Elliott Domagola, Jonah Radding, Giulia Corrente, Laura Tisi, Ewa Osek, Argyri G. Karanasiou, Rocío Manuela Cuadra Rubio, Jorge Tomás García, Aura Piccioni, and José Miguel Puebla Morón. (shrink)
What happens to education when the potential it helps realizing in the individual works against the formal purposes of the curriculum? What happens when education becomes a vehicle for its own subversion? As a subject-forming state apparatus working on ideological speciesism, formal education is engaged in both human and animal stratification in service of the capitalist knowledge economy. This seemingly stable condition is however insecured by the animal rights activist as undercover learner and—worker, who enters education and research laboratories under (...) false premises in order to extract the knowledge necessary to dismantle the logic of animal utility on which the scientific-educational apparatus rests. The present article is based on a semi-structured interview with an undercover worker. It draws on a synthesis of critical education and posthumanist theories to configure knowledge creation and subjectification processes in the “negative spaces” of education. The techne of undercover work includes mnemotechnical and prosthetic devices, calculation of risk, and mimetic labor. The article argues that the agenda of the undercover worker generates a multi-strained mimetic complex that composes a parasitic educational subject-assemblage redirecting scientific knowledge away from the animal stratification logic of the knowledge economy into different viral circuits; different lines of flight. It invites a rearticulation of the formal education state apparatus in more indeterminate directions, provoking scientific-educational knowledge-practices to become a catalytic impulse for their own disintegration. (shrink)
In a letter to Raymund Schwager from October 1991, René Girard arrived at a very critical verdict concerning his 1978 book Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World—the very book about which he had written almost one and a half decades before, that it contained the “essence of what I have to say” and “clarified and dissipated former misunderstandings.”1 The reason for this change of mind was Raymund Schwager himself, who had sent him the manuscript of a paper on (...) “Mimesis and Freedom” he had presented seven years earlier, in 1984, at a symposium on Girard’s thinking in Provo, Utah.2 For Girard, who had actually attended the Provo symposium, this text as such was, naturally, not new. And it was not new for him .. (shrink)
Frente a argumentos tomados de las poéticas neoaristotélicas que esgrime el canónigo para condenar los libros de caballerías, don Quijote pretende mostrar con su propio ejemplo, que ese tipo de lecturas no llevan a la locura ni al abandonó de sí mismo, sino que por el contrario sacan lo mejor de la ..
El presente artículo se refiere a la discusión de los autores del así llamado romanticismo temprano con las tesis estéticas de Lessing. En directa vinculación con los movimientos artísticos de finales de siglo XVIII y comienzos del XIX, los hermanos Schlegel se separan de la larga tradición, de procedencia aristotélica, en que la acción creadora es reducida al acto mimético, proponiendo para ello un concepto común de arte que ya no separa a la poética de la plástica, iniciando así, según (...) el autor, la moderna crítica de arte. (shrink)
Steven Halliwell’s book has set a new standard in the scholarship on the philosophical aspects of mimesis. The book is clearly written, extensively researched, and, most importantly, it is a comprehensive analysis of the history and development of the complex, but often oversimplified, notion of mimesis. This is the kind of book scholars are lucky to come across in doing their own research, and a book of this level of achievement is something that we can all use as (...) a model for our own writing. This is undoubtedly the most extensive and useful book on the subject of mimesis available today. (shrink)
Crucial in Girard's Mimetic Theory is the notion of mimetic desire, viewed as appropriative mimicry, the main source of aggressiveness and violence characterizing our species. The intrinsic value of the objects of our desire is not as relevant as the fact that the very same objects are the targets of others' desire. One could in principle object against such apparently negative and one-sided view of mankind, in general, and of mimesis, in particular. However, such argument would misrepresent Girard's thought. (...) Girard himself acknowledged that mimetic desire is also good in itself, because is at the basis of love, and even more importantly because it's the opening out of oneself. Starting from the notion of desire as openness to others I will discuss from a neuroscientific perspective the implications for social cognition of mimesis against the background of Girard's Mimetic Theory, an ideal starting framework to foster a multidisciplinary approach to the study of human intersubjectivity. It will be posited that a different, not mutually exclusive, account of mimesis leads to social identification henceforth to sociality. Mimesis is neither good or bad, but has the potentials to lead not only to mimetic violence but also to the most creative aspects of human cognition. Results of empirical research in neuroscience and developmental psychology show that such account of mimesis finds solid supporting evidence. It will be concluded that a thorough and biologically plausible account of human intersubjectivity requires the integration of both sides of mimesis. (shrink)
Philosopher, literary critic, translator (of Nietzsche and Benjamin), Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe is one of the leading intellectual figures in France. This volume of six essays deals with the relation between philosophy and aesthetics, particularly the role of mimesis in a metaphysics of representation, and is introduced by Jacques Derrida.
Alfred Hitchcock’s first cinematic success, The Lodger (1926, silent), provides a case study of contagious violence in the modern metropolis. The film is ostensibly a crime thriller centered on the search for the Avenger, a serial killer modeled on Jack the Ripper. But Hitchcock raises the stakes by introducing a love plot in which the detective and the suspected killer compete for the same woman, who may or may not be the slayer’s next target. In the course of this triangular (...) struggle, the hostility between rivals for the same object of desire escalates to the point of eroding any secure distinction between the cop and the killer, innocence and guilt, legal authority and criminal transgression. As if in homage to .. (shrink)
:This paper explores a form of corporeal copying which it terms mimetic communication, and explores the way it is not limited to human communication but can and does operates across species. Focusing on the way movement and vision can be seen to be at work in this kind of mimetic communication, the paper argues that it constitutes an important form of affective knowledge about both human and non-human others. Taking the work of early twentieth-century documentary ﬁlmmaker Jean Painlevé, who worked (...) extensively with marine creatures, as a case in point, it explores the way in which certain technologies – in this case, cinema – can make use of mimesis as a communicational strategy which comprises the key feature of an aesthetic practice. It examines the implications of this for the way we conceive of affective spectatorship in cinema and for the way we understand our relations with animals, especially as we seek to study them. (shrink)
The case of Kafka stands at the very centre of Adorno’s articulation of modernist mimesis. His main study of Kafka is the long and complex essay “Notes on Kafka” (1953), which he republished in the collection Prisms (1955). But numerous references to Kafka are found throughout his unfinished masterpiece, Aesthetic Theory (first published in 1970) and in the four part collection of essays, Notes to Literature.
I argue that an evolutionary adaptation for bodily mimesis, the volitional use of the body as a representational devise, is the “small difference” that gave rise to unique and yet pre-linguistic features of humanity such as imitation, pedagogy, intentional communication and the possibility of a cumulative, representational culture. Furthermore, it is this that made the evolution of language possible. In support for the thesis that speech evolved atop bodily mimesis and a transitional multimodal protolanguage, I review evidence for (...) the extensive presence of sound-symbolism in modern languages, for its psychological reality in adults, and for its contribution to language acquisition in children. On a meta-level, the argument is that dividing human cognitive-semiotic evolution into a sequence of stages is crucial for resolving classical dichotomies concerning human nature and language, which are both natural and cultural, both continuous with and discontinuous from those of animals. (shrink)
This book focuses on a dimension of art which the philosophical tradition has consistently overlooked, such was its commitment – explicit or implicit – to mimesis and the metaphysics of truth it presupposes. De Beistegui refers to this dimension, which unfolds outside the space that stretches between the sensible and the supersensible – the space of metaphysics itself – as the _hypersensible_ and show how the _operation_ of art to which it corresponds is best described as _metaphorical_. The movement (...) of the book, then, is from the classical or metaphysical aesthetics of mimesis to the aesthetics of the hypersensible and metaphor. Against much of the history of aesthetics and the metaphysical discourse on art, he argues that the philosophical value of art doesn’t consist in its ability to bridge the space between the sensible and the supersensible, or the image and the Idea, and reveal the sensible as proto-conceptual, but to open up a different sense of the sensible. His aim, then, is to shift the _place_ and _role_ that philosophy attributes to art. (shrink)