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Dengerink Chaplin, Adrienne. The Philosophy of Susanne Langer: Embodied Meaning in Logic, Art and Feeling. London: Bloomsbury, 2019.

 

 

This book is a comprehensive study of one of the most insightful and fertile but also most neglected philosophers of the twentieth century, Susanne Langer.

Failure to recognise Langer's seminal philosophical sources has led to frequent misinterpretations and misunderstandings of her unique philosophical thought. Beginning with an overview of Langer's life and education, this study provides a much-needed explanation of how Langer's thinking was shaped by four seminal sources: her mentors Henry Sheffer and Alfred North Whitehead and the European philosophers Ernst Cassirer and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Langer's ability to unite seemingly disparate fields such logic, art, and embodied cognition around the notion of symbolic form, places aesthetics not at the margins of philosophy but at its very centre. By locating Langer's work in the broader context of major developments in twentieth-century European and American philosophy, Dengerink Chaplin shows how she was often ahead of her time.

Shedding new light on Langer as an American philosopher whose innovative thought crosses the customary boundaries between analytic and continental philosophy, this book confirms why she continues to have relevance today.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction
PART I: CONTOURS
1. Life and Work
2. European Philosophy in America
3. Philosophy and Women
PART II: SOURCES
4. Henry M. Sheffer: Logical Form
5. Ernst Cassirer: Symbolic Form
6. Alfred N. Whitehead: Organic Form
7. Ludwig Wittgenstein: Expressive Form
PART III: CONTRIBUTIONS
8. The Logic of Signs and Symbols
9. Art as the Form of Feeling
10. Mind as Embodied Meaning