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eBook The Idea of Culture download
Fiction
Author: Terry Eagleton
ISBN: 0631219668
Subcategory: History & Criticism
Pages 168 pages
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (May 18, 2000)
Language English
Category: Fiction
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 836
ePUB size: 1858 kb
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eBook The Idea of Culture download

by Terry Eagleton


Both were a pleasure to read and opened me to more of Eagleton's work. However, for whatever reasons, in his brief book titled The Idea of Culture, Eagleton makes no discernible effort to pitch it to the cheap seats, occupied by readers who are intelligent, engaged, and generally well educated.

The Idea of Culture book. Terry Eagleton's book, in this vital new series from Blackwell, focuses on discriminating different meanings of culture, as a way of introducing to the general reader the contemporary debates around it. Get A Copy.

Terry Eagleton's book, in this vital new series from Blackwell, focuses on discriminating different meanings of culture, as a way of introducing to the general reader the contemporary debates around i. n what amounts to a major statement, with pointed relevance to the world in the ne. . n what amounts to a major statement, with pointed relevance to the world in the new millennium, Eagleton launches a critique of postmodern "culturalism", arguing instead for a more complex relation between Culture and Nature, and trying to retrieve the importance of such concepts as human nature from a non-naturalistic perspective.

Terry Eagleton's book, in this vital new series from Blackwell, focuses on.

Terry Eagleton's book, in this vital new series from Blackwell, focuses on discriminating different meanings of culture, as a way of introducing to the general reader the contemporary debates around it. Год: 2000. p. cm. – (Blackwell manifestos) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN: 978–0–631–21966–8 1. Culture.

In the first chapter of his book 'The Idea of Culture', published in the year 2000, Terry Eagleton critically examines how the term 'culture' changed over the last centuries until today

In the first chapter of his book 'The Idea of Culture', published in the year 2000, Terry Eagleton critically examines how the term 'culture' changed over the last centuries until today. Including reference to important thinkers like Friedrich Schiller, Matthew Arnolds, Johann G. Herder, etc. his text depicts the variety of senses that culture can imply. In the following, I will try to give a broad summary of this chapter called: 'Versions of Culture'. He starts the chapter by pointing out that the concept of culture is a derivative of nature in an etymologically.

Terry Eagleton- Versions of Culture. Documents Similar To Eagleton the Idea of Culture. Carousel Previous Carousel Next. Terry Eagleton: After Theory. Reason Faith and Revolution Reflections on the God Debate. EAGLETON - Shakespeare.

One way to think of Terry Eagleton’s new book, Culture (Yale University Press), is as a broad catalog of the .

One way to think of Terry Eagleton’s new book, Culture (Yale University Press), is as a broad catalog of the stuff that comes out when you begin unpacking the concept in its title - arranging the contents along a spectrum rather than sorting them into two piles. In doing so, Eagleton, a distinguished professor of English literature at the University of Lancaster, follows closely the line of thought opened by the novelist and critic Raymond Williams, who coined the expression culture as a whole way of life.

Eagleton has published over forty books, but remains best known for Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), which has sold over 750 . Crazy John and the Bishop and Other Essays on Irish Culture (1998). The Idea of Culture (2000). The Truth about the Irish (2001).

Eagleton has published over forty books, but remains best known for Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), which has sold over 750,000 copies. The work elucidated the emerging literary theory of the period, as well as arguing that all literary theory is necessarily political. He has also been a prominent critic of postmodernism, publishing works such as The Illusions of Postmodernism (1996) and After Theory (2003). The Gatekeeper: A Memoir (2002). Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic (2002).

Terry Eagleton gives high-performance ideas a quick spin as he surveys the history and philosophy of religion, writes . In defending Karl Marx, Terry Eagleton loses sight of the economist's brio and anger, writes Tristram Hunt. Published: 29 May 2011.

Terry Eagleton gives high-performance ideas a quick spin as he surveys the history and philosophy of religion, writes Jonathan Rée. Published: 27 Feb 2014. Owen Hatherley enjoys two challenges to received ideas about communism. Published: 21 May 2011.

Eagleton’s erudition can at times be overwhelming. This book presumes a thorough familiarity with the history of English literature and with contemporary political theory.

In Radical Sacrifice, Terry Eagleton wants to rescue the concept for political purposes. To do this, he traces the history of sacrifice in literature and philosophy, covering a broad range of writers from Greek tragedy to contemporary philosophy, with Jesus’ crucifixion at the center. Eagleton’s erudition can at times be overwhelming. Nonetheless, Radical Sacrifice makes a persuasive case that a life given in the defense of those who are rejected, or sacrificed, is a life deeply lived.

Terry Eagleton's book, in this vital new series from Blackwell, focuses on discriminating different meanings of culture, as a way of introducing to the general reader the contemporary debates around it.
sobolica
I think Terry Eagleton is a very good writer, and for the most part, he has made many seemingly-difficult concepts accessible to larger audiences. And this book is another example of that. His discussion of the culture vs. nurture debate, the tracing of the idea of culture historically, and his reflections of Culture vs. culture are lively and interesting - and one does not need to be a critic of culture to understand Eagleton. However, I do feel, not unlike some other reviewers here, that this book sometimes takes on some asides that are either meant to be funny, or incredibly witty, but that nevertheless have very little to do with the subject at hand, or at least, take very long and provide very little to his discussions. Many a time I believe Eagleton gives in to comedic, or tongue-in-cheek characterizations or commentary that seem irrelevant or contradictory to his overall argument about the intricacies of the understanding of culture. Although I am very close to U.S. American culture, and this clearly creates a bias that I'd like to make evident, the book goes off, at some points, rampantly against U.S. Americans and their culture, utilizing generalizations about their poor nutrition ("If people of truly surreal fatness complacently patrol its streets, it is partly because they have no idea that this is not happening everywhere else") or linguistic incapability ("A statement like 'He rejected my proposal, and even though I kept insisting he was adament in his refusal', becomes in some youthful American-English 'Like he was all "uh-uh" and I was like kinda "hey!" but he was like "no way" or whatever"). These detractions from his argument are somewhat comedic, but really unhelpful. I would even go as far as to say they are pitiful or even reprehensible (he's so widely read in the U.S., and I am not completely sure, but I would say connected to U.S. academic and intellectual circles), even if they bear the ring of truth.

Also, I read the Kindle version of this book, and the Index has a bunch of terms, but no pages to go along with them, and they are not hyperlinked to the book either, so the index is extremely unhelpful, or even pointless. Hopefully, they can fix that.
Ohatollia
Terry Eagleton has a gift for making complex and esoteric material accessible to a broad and interested range of readers. I was especially impressed with his efforts to make dizzyingly new and abstruse material readily available to non-specialist readers of his books Literary Theory and After Theory. Both were a pleasure to read and opened me to more of Eagleton's work. They also helped me avoid being too quick to dismiss those whose writings have a similar substance but a less readable style.

However, for whatever reasons, in his brief book titled The Idea of Culture, Eagleton makes no discernible effort to pitch it to the cheap seats, occupied by readers who are intelligent, engaged, and generally well educated. The intended audience for The Idea of Culture seems clearly to be people like Eagleton himself who have read and remembered everything of importance ever written in cultural studies and the humanities, broadly construed. Given that, his failure to refer to philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer's book Truth and Method and its pertinent and instructive treatment of the concept tradition seems a mistake, though there are so many references in this book that I suppose this sort of oversight was inevitable.

Oddly, moreover, with the exception of Marx and a few anthropologists, references to the social sciences are notable by their absence in a book whose substance would seem to scream for their inclusion. This, it seems to me, is a costly failing, one that makes Eagleton's job much more difficult. The sociological insights into the nature of culture included in Emile Durkheim's account of the collective consciousness, George Herbet Mead's the generalized other, and Peter Berger's rendering of taken-for-grantedness provide exactly the sort of information Eagleton could put to excellent use. Nevertheless, the only sociologist Eagleton mentions is Pierre Bourdieu, in a brief sentence that reads like an excuse to drop another name.

In consequence, Eagleton gives us a peculiar history of culture that, I think, is needlessly long and has too many dubious references based on Eagleton's humanities-intensive assessment of what is important. I suppose his efforts to disabuse us of misuses of culture are well placed, but some are obvious and treated at length when a passing observation would have been enough. Eagleton could, for example, briefly make his case that, as often employed, culture is devoid of any reasonable specificity and concreteness, having been used in a conveniently lazy way as an umbrella term or grab bag for just about any sort of ideas and activities, however shallow and banal, and then he could have moved on. After all, as Eagleton makes clear, he sees plenty of non-trivial and much less easy to understand misuses of culture that merit a good deal of attention. The relationships among culture, the nation, and the state is are interesting examples.

In his discussion of the distinction between nature and culture, Eagleton is at odds with rigid cultural determinists, scholars and others who construe everything, however solidly, irrevocably, and immovably natural they present themselves, as fundamentally cultural rather than innately natural. It's as if a dug up and hauled away ton of coal does not exist until it is transformed into a source of heat to be burned in man-made stoves to make reading rooms more comfortable for members of the literati who read Proust on winter evenings. Yes, Eagleton would acknowledge that coal certainly has its place in culturally prescribed practices and significations, but he would insist that, first and foremost, it is naturally occurring, and its existence should be explained in those terms. Eagleton understandably seems eager to avoid the embarrassment experienced by the editors of the journal Social Text who published an article that construed the law of gravity as a social convention, only to learn that the manuscript, written by a physicist, was a hoax.

When all is said and done, the primary distinction between types of culture, as Eagleton presents it, is between manifestations of ostensibly universal truths and standards of excellence, on the one hand, and ensembles of everyday, taken-for-granted practices, on the other. All of us participate in the latter cultural forms, and we do so as members, without reflection or evaluation. It's just how things are done, and the wherewithal to proceed in this way exists as if it were inscribed in our central nervous systems, a product of commonplace activities that have occupied our time and shown us the way to be members of a particular human group beginning in early childhood. By the time we are adults, the repertoire of unacknowledged interpretations and behaviors defines us and our world.

Moreover, there is always more contained therein than we realize -- we know more than we are aware of -- and are thereby able to deal with new arrangements that come along in an unannounced, unscripted way. As a mundane example, say someone is late for an appointment with a dentist, and offers the excuse that he or she had a flat tire. Did anyone ever explicitly teach the dentist that a flat tire is a reasonable excuse for lateness? Of course not, but the dentist, nevertheless, unself-consciously recognizes it as such. It's a commonsense extension of the culture that he or she has already internalized.

For Eagleton, the primary difference between those whose lives are lived wholly in this everyday culture and the favored few who have access to universal truths is reflexivity or self-consciousness. Those who live day to day taking things unself-consciously and as they come, lack the resources and vantage point to critically evaluate what they do. By contrast, those with access to the privileged and advantageous position of being familiar with universal values are capable of making judgments, reflecting on the taken-for-granted, and guiding the less detached and less well informed in making better use of their lot. Eagleton credits the literary critic and scholar T. S. Eliot with this account.

For my purposes, the distinction just introduced creates problems where there need be none. It acknowledges high culture, such as the finest of fine arts or religion, but raises needless questions about the source of universal standards that are especially troublesome in a book about culture. Whether a specific culture is benign or malignant, I find culture as treated by Durkheim, Mead, and Berger much more useful. For present purposes, the elitism that seems, for better or worse, to be an inescapable aspect of the humanities, just gets in the way.

Eagleton would have done well to make more of the cultural differences inherent in the Gemeinschaft-Gesellschaft distinction. The former has a richly prescriptive culture and provides security in membership and position, though it may be insular and oppressive. Culture in the latter setting, by conatrast, is thin, much less prescriptive and embracing, lending itself to creation of anomic and egoistic circumstances. This distinction is noted in The Idea of Culture but is not well developed. Once again, I think, Eagleton's failure to appreciate the contribution of the social sciences as far back as the Nineteenth Century makes his work more difficult and less compelling. Why he settled on the bifurcation due to T. S. Eliot escapes me, especially since it raises unanswered -- perhaps unanswerable -- questions as to its provenance.

Furthermore, as Eagleton notes, it's commonplace to refer to a feminist culture, an American gun culture, a Neo-Nazi culture, and so on. However, these fail the taken-for-granted, unself-conscious test that I think is crucial. It seems that we need to find new ways of referring to social forms that are collective and real but not cultural.
Cointrius
Frankly, this is one of the worst books I have ever read. My ultimate displeasure with this book is not due to the ideas espoused, but to the almost incomprehensible nature of the author's writing. I simply could not find one strand of sustainable, coherent argumention in the entire book. I don't believe I have ever encountered a book wherein the authors says so many things but, in the end, says nothing at all. If you are looking for a good book on the nature and philosphy of culture, please, take my advice and look elsewhere.
INvait
If you can't handle criticism of America without getting all butthurt about it, I don't think you're really thinking critically about your own culture.