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The Landscape of Humanity: Art, Culture and Society (St by Anthony O'Hear

By Anthony O'Hear

The fourteen essays during this publication enhance a perception of human tradition, that's humane and traditionalist. Focusing fairly on notions of attractiveness and the classy, it sees inside of our tradition intimations of the transcendent, and in essays the character of faith is without delay addressed. a few essays additionally discover the relation among politics and tradition.

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Additional info for The Landscape of Humanity: Art, Culture and Society (St Andrews Studies in Philosophy and Public Affairs)

Sample text

Does it intimate to us that we are ‘at home’ in the universe, as religion at one time preached, and as, in different ways, science and morality might contest (science by telling us that the world is really very different from how it seems, morality—at least on some accounts - by imposing on us duties which we either cannot fulfil or which have to be fulfilled at supreme personal cost)? This is not the place to attempt an answer to these questions, or even any adequate analysis of their meaning.

Nor indeed, is it accidental that many of the most prized examples of ‘functional’ excellence, such as James Stirling’s History Faculty building at Cambridge, have proved to be highly unfunctional for the purpose for which they were designed. As we shall see, traditional modes of building often contain elements of functional importance whose roles becomes apparent only when architectural revolutionaries attempt to design buildings without reference to tradition. 13 If this just means that the austere modernist style of architecture which Pevsner used to advocate is now a taste shared by few [12] See also Pevsner, An Outline of European Architecture, p.

Even this modified evolutionary account fails to explain why it was artistic virtuosity which was admired in the first place. In sum, if there is anything to the ‘performance’ account of our aesthetic taste and sensibility, the direction of explanation must be exactly the opposite to that postulated by Pinker and Miller. That is, it is because artistic performance is admired for aesthetic reasons, that outstanding performers become attractive to potential mates and gain high status, rather than the other way round.

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