Techne Theory

A New Language for Art

Techne Theory

Only since the Romantic period has art been understood in terms of an ineffable aesthetic quality of things like poems, paintings, and sculptures, and the art-maker as endowed with an inexplicable power of creation. Les mer
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Techne Theory

Only since the Romantic period has art been understood in terms of an ineffable aesthetic quality of things like poems, paintings, and sculptures, and the art-maker as endowed with an inexplicable power of creation. From the Greeks to the 18th century, art was conceived as techne--the skill and know-how by which things and states of affairs are ordered. Techne Theory shows how to use this concept to cut through the Romantic notion of art as a kind of magic by returning to the original sense of art as techne, the standpoint of the person who actually knows how to make a work of art.

Understood as techne, art-making, like all other cultural accomplishments, is a form of work performed by an artisan who has inherited the know-how of previous generations of artisans. Along the way, Techne Theory cuts through the humanist-structuralist impasse over the question of artistic agency and explains what 'form' really means.

Acknowledgements

Part One: Fundamentals
Chapter 1: Introduction: The Techne Standpoint
Chapter 2: Art and Evolution
Chapter 3: The Artist's Touch

Part Two: Origins in Greek Philosophy
Chapter 4: How Plato (Despite Himself) Invented Techne Theory
Chapter 5: From Aristotle to Extended Mind

Part Three: Where Do Poems Come From?
Chapter 6: A Romantic View: Seamus Heaney
Chapter 7: Excursus on the Nature of Language
Chapter 8: An Anti-Romantic View: Paul Valery

Part Four: Studies in Modernist Techne
Chapter 9: T. J. Clark's Picasso
Chapter 10: What's Radical About Radical Painting?
Chapter 11: The Techne of Kafka's Metamorphosis

Part Five: Techne Metatheory
Chapter 12: Universal Design Space and the Lines of Force
Bibliography
Index

Original contribution to contemporary aesthetics that draws on a combination of traditional philosophical ideas and contemporary materialist and theoretical approaches.

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