Susanne Langer in Focus

Susanne Langer in Focus

The Symbolic Mind
Robert E. Innis
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 01/26/2009
ISBN: 978-0-253-00271-6
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Description

Susanne Langer (1895—1985) was one of American philosophy's most distinctive thinkers. Her philosophy was a deep exploration of human life as a continuous process of meaning-making through symbolic forms. Here, Robert E. Innis brings readers closer to Langer's precise and nuanced account of the symbolic mind. Innis shows how Langer's thought spans the sciences, aesthetics, psychology, religion, education, and music, and where it touches on concerns that were brought forward by American pragmatists such as John Dewey and William James. Innis reveals Langer's intense focus on making meaning clear as he covers her entire philosophical career. Highlighting what is of permanent value to American philosophy in Langer's work, he determines exactly what her positions were and why she proposed them. Readers will find a keen appreciation for and critical appraisal of Langer's unique philosophical vision.

Author Bio

Robert E. Innis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is author of Semiotics: An Introductory Anthology (IUP, 1985) and Consciousness and the Play of Signs (IUP, 1994). His most recent book is Pragmatism and the Forms of Sense: Language, Perception, Technics.

Reviews

“A thorough account of one of American philosophy's most distinctive thinkers whose thought spans the sciences, aesthetics, psychology, religion, education, and music. Readers will find a keen appreciation for and critical appraisal of Langer's unique philosophical vision.”

“This book is based on wide and deep erudition, written in an accessible, engaging, and eloquent manner.”
 — Vincent Colapietro, The Pennsylvania State University

“Robert Innis has performed an immensely valuable service for scholars in the fields of American philosophy, aesthetics, and semiotics. Not only does his comprehensive view of Susanne K. Langer’s opus show us its development, but this is the only book in English devoted solely to Langer.”
 — The Pluralist

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Biographical Note
Abbreviations and Langer Bibliography
Introduction: Links, Themes, and Intersections
1. The Roots of Langer's Philosophical Project: On the "Logic" of Meaning
2. Symbolic Transformation: Philosophy's New Key
3. Meaning after Language: Ritual, Myth, and Art
4. Framing the Art Symbol: Forms of Feeling
5. Art Forms: The Logic of Primary Illusions
6. The Mind of Feeling
7. From Acts to Symbolization
8. The Symbolic Animal
9. Placing Langer's Philosophical Project
List of References
Index