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Space, Geometry and Aesthetics
Space, Geometry and Aesthetics: Through Kant and Towards Deleuze Renewing Philosophy Series, edited by Gary Banham Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan April 2008 ISBN 0-230-55291-9 pp. 256 This single-authored book reveals an overlooked tradition of aesthetic geometric encounters in the history of philosophy. Its six chapters present a closely-argued original scholarly analysis of significant primary sources in metaphysical philosophy, drawing out unique geometric methods and figures in each text. It addition, its preface and introduction situate this analysis in relation to contemporary philosophical methodologies, in particular, philosophy after Deleuze, feminist theories of subjectivity, and aesthetic theory, thereby also making it relevant to interdisciplinary research methods. The book connects Kant’s aesthetic subject with Proclus’s neo-platonic geometry, Spinoza and Leibniz’s post-Cartesian thinking, and discussions of space by twentieth century French philosophers; Bergson, Husserl and Deleuze. It identifies and analyses six geometric figures in key ‘geometric’ texts where geometry and its respective figures are aesthetic actions, events or bodies. These six figures - the reflective subject, the fold, passage, plenum, envelope and the horizon – therefore demonstrate that geometry is not merely a mathematical method of constructing space, but is also composed of aesthetic and embodied spatial activities, rethinking the view that geometry is exclusively concerned with scientific forms of knowledge. The book contributes to recent international Continental philosophical examinations of spatio-temporal concepts, and subjectivity. First, it extends recent Deleuzian scholarship that re-examines the relationship between rationalist and materialist philosophical theories (e.g. Ansell-Pearson, Banham, Gatens, Lloyd, Smith). Secondly, it informs aesthetic theory in architecture and the visual arts which promotes theories of subjectivity and ontology (e.g. Jay, Grosz, Krauss, Florence, Rendell, Till, Colomina). Selected for the 'Renewing Philosophy' series, national and international refereed papers have been given on its content including; University of Cork 2004, Institute of Romance Studies 2004, Goldsmiths University 2004, 2006, Association of Art Historians 2003.
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