Susanne Langer's "Philosophy in a New Key" Essay by The Research Group

Susanne Langer's "Philosophy in a New Key"
This paper reviews Susanne Langer's "Philosophy in a New Key", a critique of her theory of art and focuses on her concept of art as presentational symbols.
# 17295 | 1,350 words | 1 source | 1974 | US
Published on Feb 06, 2003 in Communication (General) , Art (General) , Philosophy (General)

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From the Paper:

"In her book, "Philosophy in a New Key", Susanne Langer draws a provocative distinction between verbal discourse and works of art. According to Langer, works of art are presentational symbols. These symbols conceptualize the flux of impressions in the sensory field and transform them into a concrete form. They articulate complex and subtle feelings and emotions which would be incommunicable through language. Presentational symbols differ from Discursive symbols (language) in that they have no vocabulary or syntax. One cannot, according to Langer, obtain meaning from a part of an art work in the same way as one can from part of a sentence. The art work has meaning only in as much as one scrutinizes the work as a whole, a constituent element has no intrinsic meaning. Presentational symbols are no less capable of articulation than are words. However, the laws ... "

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