A Quick Immersion

On Sale

“Sartwell has created a thorough survey of the idea of beauty that is sophisticated but easy to read. Combining and adding to the results of several earlier books, this economical treatment will be useful for generations to come, summing up the thoughts of many thinkers from every corner of the world and letting readers decide for themselves what beauty is, its uses and value, and its persistent problems. Sartwell goes right to the difficult controversies, but does not take sides until the end. But don't skip to the end! This book makes an excellent teaching tool and would work equally well for high school as for graduate school.” -Randall Auxier, Southern Illinois University

“Theories of beauty distilled through years of scholarship could easily devolve into esoteric abstractions. But not the way Crispin Sartwell does it. Exposing the false dilemma of whether beauty is objective or subjective–while discussing the implications beauty has on politics–Sartwell presents an exemplary piece of public philosophy.” -Michael R. Spicher, founder, Aesthetics Research Lab (lecturer) MassArt, Boston Architectural College

A perfect blossom and a sunset replete with color, Bob Marley and Marilyn Monroe, the middle of the wilderness or of an urban festival, your favorite song, your favorite shoes: people continue to find beauty everywhere, even as it is also entwined with many social problems and hierarchies. It is difficult, and maybe unnecessary, to figure out what it is. But Crispin Sartwell argues in this quick immersion that classic reflections from around the world about the nature of beauty can enhance and deepen our pleasures, opening us to the world and one another.

Crispin Sartwell teaches philosophy at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA. His books include Six Names of Beauty (Routledge 2006) and Political Aesthetics (Cornell, 2010), and he has contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Times Literary Supplement, and many other publications. He lives in an old one-room schoolhouse near Gettysburg with his partner, the painter Jane Irish.