What should our buildings look like? Or is their usability more important than their appearance? Paul Guyer argues that the fundamental goals of architecture first identified by the Roman architect Marcus Pollio Vitruvius - good construction, functionality, and aesthetic appeal - have remained valid despite constant changes in human activities, building materials and technologies, as well as in artistic styles and cultures. Guyer discusses philosophers and architects throughout history, including Alberti, Kant, Ruskin, Wright, and Loos, and surveys the ways in which their ideas are brought to life in buildings across the world. He also considers the works and words of contemporary architects including Annabelle Selldorf, Herzog and de Meuron, and Steven Holl, and shows that - despite changing times and fashions - good architecture continues to be something worth striving for. This new series offers short and personal perspectives by expert thinkers on topics that we all encounter in our everyday lives.
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
Series: Philosopher looks
Publication Date: 20 May 2021
Professional and scholarly
Introduction; 1. Good Construction, Functionality, and Aesthetic Appeal: From Vitruvius to the Eighteenth Century; 2. The Meaning of Beauty: From Kant to Semper; 3. Multiplicity of Meaning in Twentieth-Century Theories; 4. Words and Works: Modern Architecture and Traditional Values; 5. Looking Forward.
Paul Guyer is Jonathan Nelson Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at Brown University. He is the author of numerous books on Kant and aesthetics, including Knowledge, Reason, and Taste: Kant's Response to Hume (2008) and the three-volume A History of Modern Aesthetics (Cambridge, 2014).
Reviews for A Philosopher Looks at Architecture
'Recommended.' D. Stillman, Choice Magazine