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Thinking with Things

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Table of Contents

A Note to the Reader Acknowledgments Part One Introduction to Part One 1. Things 2. Thinking with Things 3. Levels of Social Integration 4. Insistence 5. Superpositions 6. Impersonation 7. Enhancement 8. Apotheosis 9. Iconoclasm/Aestheticism 10. Media/Marginalization 11. Transition Bibliography to Part One Part Two Introduction to Part Two: Confessions of a Formalist 12. Still Invisible: The Problem of the Aesthetics of Abstraction for Pre-Columbian Art and Its Implications for Other Cultures 13. Identity and Difference: The Uses and Meanings of Ethnic Styles 14. The Portrait and the Mask: Invention and Translation 15. Aesthetics and Pre-Columbian Art 16. Andean Aesthetics 17. Three Aztec Masks of the God Xipe 18. Shamanism and North American Indian Art Index

Promotional Information

A major new vision of what art is and why we create it, in the tradition of George Kubler's The Shape of Time and Michael Baxandall's Patterns of Intention.

About the Author

ESTHER PASZTORY is the Lisa and Bernard Selz Professor of Pre-Columbian Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University.


"It would greatly contribute to the revitalization of art history if its practitioners would respond to Esther Pasztory's book with an energy commensurate with its critical polemic. She views art from a very long historical perspective, places it in a social science context, shifts the emphasis from taste to cognition, and brings it under the methodology implied by her title Thinking with Things. Taken together, this involves nothing less than a transformation of vision, with the widest implications for the practice of her discipline." Arthur C. Danto, art critic, The Nation

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