This Strange Idea of the Beautiful
Distributed for Seagull Books
In This Strange Idea of the Beautiful, François Jullien explores what it means when we say something is beautiful. Bringing together ideas of beauty from both Eastern and Western philosophy, Jullien challenges the assumptions underlying our commonly agreed upon definition of what is beautiful and offers a new way of beholding art.
Jullien argues that the Western concept of beauty was established by Greek philosophy and became consequently embedded within the very structure of European languages. And due to its relationship to language, this concept has determined ways of thinking about beauty that often go unnoticed or unchecked in discussions of Western aesthetics. Moreover, through globalization, Western ideals of beauty have even spread to cultures whose ancient traditions are based upon radically different aesthetic foundations; yet, these cultures have adopted such views without question and without recognizing the cultural assumptions they contain.
1. Beautiful, the Beautiful
2. The Beautiful: Exercises in Philosophy
3. In the Rut of an Impossible Definition
4. Statement: China Has Not Been Aware of the Monopolization of the Beautiful
5. What Do We Lose Owing to the Beautiful
6. The Beautiful: Lynchpin of Metaphysics
7. Separation-Medication: On What the Beautiful Is Perched
8. To” Transmit the Spirit’ through the Tangible
9. Beauty Comes from Form
10. Or To Paint the Transformation
11. Variety or Variance
15. About the Nude or Beauty
16. The ‘Beautiful Representation of a Thing’
17. ‘How Beautiful’, or What Can I do but ‘Judge’?
18. Is It a Matter of Pleasure?
19. Democracy of the Beautiful
20. The Dread of the Beautiful
21. The Beautiful Dead
22. The Cult of the Beautiful
23. To Be free of Beauty?
24. To Restore to Beauty Its Strangeness