This book tackles an obvious yet profound problem of modern political life: the disorientation of intellectuals and activists on the left. As the study of political history and theory has been usurped by cultural criticism, a confusion over the origins and objectives of progressive politics has been the result. Specifically, it has become fashionable for intellectuals to attack the Enlightenment for its imperialism, eurocentrism, and scientism, and for the sexism and racism of some of its major representatives. Although the fact that individual thinkers harbored such prejudices is irrefutable, Stephen Bronner argues that reducing the Enlightenment ethos to these beliefs is wholly unsustainable.
With its championing of democracy, equality, cosmopolitanism, and reason -- and its vociferous attacks on popular prejudice, religious superstition, and arbitrary abuses of power -- the Enlightenment was once hailed as the foundation of all modern, progressive politics. But in 1947, this perspective was dramatically undermined when Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno published their classic work, "Dialectic of Enlightenment," which claims that the Enlightenment was the source of totalitarianism and the worst excesses of modernity. Reclaiming the Enlightenment from purely philosophical and cultural interpretations, Bronner shows that its notion of political engagement keeps democracy fresh and alive by providing a practical foundation for fostering institutional accountability, opposing infringements on individual rights, instilling an enduring commitment to social reform, and building a cosmopolitan sensibility. This forceful and timely reinterpretation of the Enlightenment and its powerful influence on contemporary political life is a resounding wake-up call to critics on both the left and the right.
This book presents the first systematic analysis of artistic techniques and terminology related to the rendering of light and shade in Dutch and Flemish art from the early-seventeenth to the mid-eighteenth century. It traces a shift in aesthetic perception, which is visible in the handling of chiaroscuro in Dutch and Flemish art in the course of 150 years, and challenges the view, widespread since Julius von Schlosser's influential survey of European art and literarure, that Netherlandish art was mainly uninventive. In their discussions Netherlandish writers of art theory drew on a) earlier and foreign art literature, b) their insights, mainly as painters, into workshop practice, c) observation of nature (including natural sciences) and d) aesthetic judgement. This volume investigates the different extents to which Netherlandisch writers on art depended on these four aspects as they devised their concepts of chiaroscuro and how this relates to contemporary pictorial practice. Statements on chiaroscuro in the writings of Karel van Mander, Philips Angel, Willem Goeree, Samuel van Hoogstraten, Gerard de Lairesse, Arnold Houbraken and Jacob Campo Weyerman have been compared with paintings of the period to test the writers' statements against the artists'methods. The comparison shows that writers of art theory described partly the same or similar methods to achieve effects of chiaroscuro that artists used in their works, which is understandable, given that most of them were active as artists themselves. Yet there are also divergences, especially when it comes to the question whether artists should value rendering natural effects over pictorial coherence. Dutch writers of art regarded natural impression as a crucial aim of art, but they often struggled with reconciling nature and aesthetic requirements in their arguments. In the art of the Netherlands, however, we can observe frequently that aesthetic and pictorial composition came before nature.
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In Semantic Spaces of Persian Light Verbs, Neiloufar Family exposes the semantic organization of light verb constructions in Persian. By clustering constructions based on semantic properties, she provides an insightful and more global view of a system that has been notoriously difficult to classify. Using diagrams as visual aids, Neiloufar Family takes a novel, bottom-up approach to analysing the light verb system, starting from small sets of constructions and mapping out consistent patterns. Her analysis leads to a deeper understanding of the structure of semantic spaces within the verbal system in Persian, and other languages that use light verbs. This research provides a blueprint for understanding existing verbal constructions and productively creating new ones.