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This was a excellent addition to my library. I'm in a higher education doctoral program and much of my research leans on critical theory. This book briefly broke down the history and contemporary ideas about critical theory. I while recommend this to any student that needs a fast method to grasp this theory without reading heady articles.
Like most of OUP's A Very Short Introduction series, this volume does a amazing job. It introduces the Frankfurt School of Thought, that School's major figures and that School's influence on the study of critical theory. This volume is well written and provides a short reading list for exploring subjects in greater detail. Given the turmoil that the study of critical theory has experienced over the past twenty years--its anticipated demise as an influence on intellectual thought and the speculation as to what might take its place--it's significant that this volume is now in its second edition. What that significance may mean I'm not entirely sure as I'm no longer involved in academic endeavors so I'll leave that question for you to ponder.
While Bronner skillfully outlines the major evolutions of the field of Critical Theory from its inception as a critique of historical materialism to its fragmentation into myriad critical theories in the '80s and '90s, and describes the philosphical lines of force traced by the thinkers of the Frankfurt School, his exposition of these admittedly complex ideas is often confused, and his jargon-filled explanations are anything but, defeating the purpose of an introduction for the unititiated. Bronner's editor at Oxford UP may also be partially to blame, since a lot of of the most puzzling sentences in the book are created even more opaque through numerous typographical errors (missing periods and words, commas used in put of periods, strange spacing choices). Despite the glimmer of a handful of insightful commentaries of seminal critical theoretical works and well-wrough turns of phrase, the curious reader may have problem locating truly lucid and digestible presentations of a lot of tenets of critical theory.
Very interested in art criticism and in turn social critique as seen regularly in The Fresh Yorker. Funny how I became aware of Critical Theory by watching the "Shameless" series on HBO. This book offers a amazing historical overview with a lot of disparate views for uses of this particular field. Art criticism has been advanced by David Salle and revisiting Pragmatism. The study of Critical Theory is useful for a greater appreciation of art and its usefulness for the greater amazing at a time when art has become overly commoditized with the absurdity of hedge fund managers becoming artists.
This book, actually more of a long pamphlet, reads surprisingly well. In my case I started with the mathematical appendix, since I can't really understand anything in physics without attaching it to at least a sprinkling of math. Once I could see how his terms were relative to the simplified ver of the math he presented in the appendix everything kind of fell into place. There is just the slightest homeopathic amount of math to create the reader feel virtuous, but not enough to intoxicate them.Kudos to Polkinghorne for his brief introductory history at the beginning of the book. This paragraph is a tangent based on my reading of that section. Which has nothing to do with quantum theory except that you have to some understanding of classical mechanics and optics to understand where quantum mechanics starts. I'd developed a general interest in this topic after studying the theories behind the patterns I'd seen in a single half slit device, the Foucalt tester, used during the polishing of a telescope mirror. So if could compare the level of this book with books on that subject, the level is 'junior hobbyist level', not what you'd see in a college course but not junior high level either. (Junior high level is really hard to determine since I figured my first mirror in the eighth grade.) I'd suppose an equivalent level book on the topic of mirror testing would be David Habour's introduction "Understanding Foucalt".The reader interested in really looking at the topic should instead look at the Quantum Mechanics course offerings from the online MITOpenCourseWare site. Or they can buy this book when their family member asks for a brief explanation of what they learn in those courses.
This book is billed as "A Very Short Introduction" to quantum theory but, in fact, it's no introduction at all! The author tosses out a number of ideas from quantum theory but fails to explain them in any meaningful way. This makes the book really more appropriate as a review for people who've already studied this in the past and makes the book entirely unsuited to those who would like to learn something about this for the very first time. As an example, we have,"The principal difference between a particle and a field is that the former has only a finite number of degrees of freedom (independent ways in which its state can change), while a field has an infinite number of degrees of freedom."which is simply stated without any explanation whatsoever of why it might happen to be real or what those degrees of freedom might happen to be. The subsequent discussion then proceeds from this statement and is entirely inpenetratable without having first understood this merous examples of this create this book entirely unsuited for those fresh to this subject. The book is only appropriate for those who have already understood the topic and, for some reason, need a brief refresher that happens to skip all of the math (a rather little audience, I would suspect).
How it all really went down. Awesome thing about this book is that it is perfect in its pedagogy (teaching you the concepts) while AT THE VERY SAME TIME not creating a fairy-tale story -- not simplifying things as if each question was pursued only in a nice orderly textbook-style fashion. So the book teaches you quantum theory VERY effectively BUT ALSO teaches you how science really goes down. And yet: the book is not the least bit confusing. Not even the least small bit. If anybody ever thought you just had to make a fairy tale to be able to teach lay persons a science field at all well, then this book proves a counter-example to that contention. You can indeed teach both the concepts and present how science (and scienTISTS) developed without confusing your reader. Thus YOU, the review reader, can buy this book for either or both reasons: learning quantum theory or learning of how it really went down. Either or both, you'll search your book in this one. And the detail is not all that sparse. Fairly thorough.
Rather than a text on the nitty gritty of the math, this book frames quantum theory in the stream of modern thought. I found it extremely helpful in developing an understanding of the depth of impact that quantum theory has created on our understanding right up to serious ontological questions. Well written, clear, insightful.
A very amazing and readable introduction to quantum theory. The book will prove challenging to a lot of readers, especially the second half, in which the author gets beautiful technical, even for a short introduction. However, the technical info are important to adequately deal with this very necessary theory which uses some sophisticated mathematics as an essential element.
A text written by a real master who brings the explanations and discussions of the foundations of quantum physics to a fresh level in famous books. You won't easily search elsewhere the same level of depth and broad understanding of science nor of the a lot of conceptual puzzles that quantum physics bring to us. as you search here. A must read not only for those interested in science and physics but also to those interested in a understanding of the nature of our world.
This book is amazing for people seeking a primary view of Quantum theory. Polkinghorne has an simple to read style of writing and is able speak in terms a layman will easily understand. There is some mathematics in this book but it is nothing any undergraduate could not grasp. I enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it to anybody who wants to know what Quantum Theory is all about.
I am a Pollkinghome fan. So I have fun his writings and search them understandable. ********WARNING, WARNING, WARNING******** For those of us that wear glasses: don't buy the physical book.. The font is VERY, VERY small. I understand this was done to hold the books cheap. But if you wear glasses, it is a huge eye strain.
Quantum mechanics is a difficult subject, and most college courses don't really explain how the mathematics envolved really relates to the physical phenomena. This book gives an perfect qualitative explanation of the subject, and is an excellent, non-mathematical overview of it. I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the subject.
An perfect short intro as the title mentions. It probably needs some familiarity with school physics. Two things I liked best about the book. First, it contains not only the science, but also briefly the history of how it did develop. Secondly, the latest chapter, which tried to address the meaning of quantum mechanics. One of the best books as an entry to this field for non-experts.
Amazing book based on ISO GUM. Like the GUM itself it occasionally devolves into jargon and math which is poorly explained. Despite this it makes a amazing reference for a lot of facets of Uncertainty analysis. It is also cheaper than a lot of full blown text books on the subject.
If you are fresh to the zone of metrology or calibration this is a amazing beginner's text for learning about measurement and errors. It focuses on a lot of various calibration scenarios and does a amazing job of laying a foundation. I think this book is definitely manditory for any physical science/ engineering student, as it will give a very amazing understanding of the significance of measurements and errors in the true globe to which all undergraduates are heading.
Amazing book! Instead of digging through the GUM (Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement) and getting lost in the dense, standard-speak verbiage, this is a amazing option and an easier read. Use it very frequently and always nice to have a textbook that is a amazing representation of the principles set out in the GUM.
This is a nice and simple to read book about uncertainty. The book explains the uncertainty concept very well. This could be a nice textbook for engineering students looking for some knowledge in uncertainty.
The calculation of uncertainty is an necessary part of my research and I obtained a copy of the ISO Tutorial to the Measurement of Uncertainty to support me with my calculations. However, I found the ISO publication to be difficult to follow. Although the terms in the ISO publication are defined in the appendices, I still had difficulty applying it direction to my rtunately, I found this book, An Introduction to Uncertainty in Measurement: Using the GUM in my university library and it has been a tremendous help. The authors do a amazing job at walking the reader through the calculations required for GUM and at providing examples. I found the book simple to read and simple to understand. There are several examples of applying GUM to measurements at the back of the book. Once I read this book, I went back and reread the ISO publication and this time, I found that I could understand how to apply it correctly.I found this book to be very good, but it did lack a few things. The authors tend to repeat themselves in various chapters and I think that the book could have been better organized. Also, correlated sources of uncertainty are mentioned, but examples of how to address correlated sources are not provided in the book. Lastly, the examples which are given in the book are related in nature and I would have preferred to see a wider range of examples given.Overall, I strongly recommend this book if you are using GUM. However, I would like to see future editions address the organization of the book and the examples which are given.
I wasn't exactly a brilliant mathematics student, always messing up things, and hoping to memorize things, but never really understanding the basics. Although this book is very short it is very easy to understand and pleasantly written. I loved 'King henry doesn't usually drink chocolate milk'. I never learned those things when in school! Thanks, Paula!
Though the description notes that it is for introductory math classes at the college level, I search the use of the terms "introductory" and "beginner" to be a bit inaccurate. You need a beautiful well established understanding of mathematics going into this book, which means that it is not a beginner level introduction. I would give fewer stars out of frustration, but recognize that I am not an expert mathematician... that having been said, that's why I bought the book. I will need to study a lot more before I can follow this introduction. Buyer be warned.
This is an perfect book for beginners who would like to learn what pure mathematics is. It is written in a simple, elegant,pleasant, and simple to read and follow way. Though it might be helpful to have a amazing high school math base, but does not need any deep math e content:1- is very engaging and any interested beginner would always wonder what s the next chapter will be.2-Written in a method like building legos. The sequence of the chapters and the topics(ideas) in each chapter flow smoothly and logically.3-All concepts and theorems are explained clearly and followed by plenty of examples.4-All issues come with detailed solutions and additional explanations. Some issues are difficult and may require the reader to look at the solution which might need to be read once or twice to understand.I had amazing pleasure learning and exploring the subjects of pure mathematics from this book, and I highly recommended for beginners who are going to any undergrad major requiring pure math and for self-learners too. It may also serve as a reference for graduate students for a fast review.
I am PhD in Theoretical Physics and a Beginner in Pure Mathematics. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in mastering the primary and intermediate levels of Logic, Set Theory, Abstract Algebra, Number Theory, True Analysis, Topology, Complex Analysis and Linear Algebra. For each topic, there is a logical progression of concepts and they are introduced gradually and built upon one another. This is an EXCELLENT book for both beginners and intermediate students as is book is PERFECT!! The author has the magical ability to explain only the important and sufficient ingredients in a truly didactic approach. The theories are constructed from the very beginning at an accessible starting point and progresses in incremental steps in such a method the the reader feels like (s)he is the one constructing e Issue Sets are ingenuously well place in five various levels of difficulty. Some chapters also contain a challenge problem. This is definetely the most effective book for developing our pure mathematical skills from the beginning quickly and accurately.I am also studying "Set Theory for Beginners" (by the same author). I highly recommend that book too!!Set Theory for
The first chapter logic, which I was already familiar with is poorly e only method you can download the PDF with the solutions is to provide youremail address. This is not mentioned in the description of the book on Amazon.
This truly outstanding book explains proofs, theory and structure of some of the most core locations of mathematics, and does so in a method that is clear, comprehensible and compelling. To do so in locations as complex and as abstract as these topics are is no mean feat, but Dr. Warner makes it look easy. It is the best book I could have obtained as I am contemplating pursuing a Masters in math after receiving my bachelors degree over fifty years ago. This text provides me with a excellent car for review and update. I rate it six stars out of a possible five!
This is an exceptionally amazing book, and one of the best I’ve ever seen for self-study. The content, overall structure and clarity of explanation is e first two chapters on logic and set theory provide a solid foundation for the rest of the subjects in the book, and for all of mathematics. The issue sets gradually increase in difficulty, and combined with fully explained solutions, enable a true understanding of the material. I also like that he explains how to think about certain concepts and how proof techniques and solution writing is included - highly recommend!
This book was very useful for understanding the mathematics used in proving theorems in the mathematical treatments of quantum mechanics. The book is amazing for self study since it provides clear and thorough solutions to the issues which can be consulted after working through the issues on your own.
This book is great. Perfect introduction to the subjects covered. Straight to the point. Nice notes about proofs and theorems. Amazing illustrations. Clear and concise. I do not have enough words to describe how helpful this book was to me.
This is one of the best books I've ever purchased. It helped give me a powerful foundation in math, one that I could not obtain from discrete maths (I'm in computer science).This book is rigorous. In fact, it is pure rigor. It is 200 pages of formal definitions, proofs and problems. There is very small to support you with intuition. However, if you supplement this book with lots of YouTube videos, this is not a problem. Please be advised that you will have to do this if you are an intuitive e quizzes are excellent. ALL of the questions have online answers (as opposed to selected questions, which you will often search in math textbooks). The author is very elaborate with them.
I bought this book for my son, who is 16 and studying for GCSEs in the U.K. He loves Maths and is looking to do Maths and Further Maths A levels. He is not the most communicative of souls, but he really likes it, and says that it explains complex ideas in easy language. He says it was his second favourite Christmas show - a high accolade for a Maths book. (the favourite was a bookshelf).From the practical perspective, it was well wrapped, arrived undamaged and came surprisingly quickly considering I think it came from the US.
Even though I purchased this book for a class, it is certainly a must-read for those getting into rhetorical theory. It isn't as theory-heavy as, say, Perelman or, jeez, Derrida, but it's got enough to definitely move you forward in your journey through rhetoric.
This book gives fresh meaning to the pejorative aspect of the term "rhetoric"- it is singularly the most uninspiring, irrelevant and inaccessible textbook I have ever read and I have read many, a lot of textbooks over the course of my academic career. Thus far, the author has offered nothing more than a never-ending litany of esoteric claptrap, presumably to impress other academics and pie-in-the-sky philosophers as he prattles on ad nauseam, dragging his student audience through incredibly boring, dated, long-winded, and at times incongruent examples and clarify, I am not discounting the practical value of amazing rhetorical form nor the validity of studying it, but rather the over-inflated value of Dr. Hauser's book in teaching these critical skills of day-to-day interaction with a lay audience. Most people can mount a fairly reasonable argument incorporating the devices outlined in the text without having any knowledge of the academic taxonomy of the devices described, just as one can eat a hamburger in a functional and even elegant fashion without having read a definitive text on the animal husbandry of domesticated ruminants. Hell, they don't even have to know what a domesticated ruminant is.If you have the misfortune of having to read this book as needed course material, I offer my heartfelt condolences. The only consolation will be that, in all likelihood, your brain will purge this gobbledygook from its memory stores shortly after your final exam and free up zone for something more useful, such as dryer lint sculptural techniques or anything in the realm of reality TV.
This is the most painful text I have ever had the misfortune to read. Hauser uses five examples where one would work. He drones on in multipage illustrations that leave the reader asking, "so what." Hauser may be an expert in his field, but he has no business writing an undergraduate textbook. This text is a shining example of the issue with "publish or perish." I would avoid any course that uses this text.
Hauser (professor of communication, University of Colorado) provides a coherent overview of rhetoric that incorporates aspects of Aristotle, Kenneth Burke, Stephen Toulmin, Chaim Perelman, and Jurgen Habermas. Unlike other rhetorical theory textbooks, which are usually organized chronologically, Hauser's book is organized topically and focuses on contemporary understandings of rhetoric. This approach is more likely to be useful--and interesting--to beginning students of e book is not without its shortcomings. The title is somewhat of a misnomer ("Introduction to Rhetorical Reasoning" or "Introduction to Rhetorical Argumentation" would be a more accurate description). And while Hauser's writing style is mostly clear, he often omits concrete examples that would support to illuminate theoretical points in further spite the book's limitations, I recommend it for use in undergraduate rhetorical analysis or argumentation classes. At $25 new, it retails for just a fraction of what other related textbooks cost.
This is one of the most boring text books I have ever read. I was assigned to read this book as a college student in an Introduction to Rhetorical Reasoning Class and I couldn't understand a word. As an introduction class I figured the reading would be somewhat stimulating, but it completely turned me off to the rhetorical communication field. It was very repetitive and felt at times, that I just wanted to skip a huge portion of the reading.
I am very happy with my purchase of But Is It Art? The book was in amazing shape, as advertised, and I am so glad that it was both very affordable and simple to purchase. Cynthia Freeman, the author, makes the concept of art, from a culturally educated perspective, refreshingly accessible. As she writes to bring the reader along on her logical and interesting journey, it becomes understandable that this is what any form of art is: the creator's journey. Thus, Ms. Freeman succeeds at either introducing or reintroducing the idea that art remains, however strange or even horrific that it gets, an invitation to relate to aspects of reality through creative means.
Freeland's simple prose and organizational structure create this book a quick, fun, and insightful read into art-historical-philosophies with a brief look at Classical Greeks like Plato and Aristotle, a amazing look at the works of Kant, and a survey of contemporary philosophers and art critics book-ended and interspersed with looks at artworks and just enough context to create sense of their put in the timeline.
This book is a show for a college student of the Arts whose Art Theory teacher created them purchase her own sloppy work at amazing expense. On brief review, it seemed this book place art theory in an easily understood nutshell and will support to provide a amazing basis for her career. It was delivered by the seller in perfect condition and just in time for Christmas.
Cynthia Freeland does a amazing job backing up her arguments and providing both sides of the discussion in each chapter with enough resources. However, I got lost a lot of times while reading because it seemed as if the repeated herself quite often.
I bought it to read for a class. The book is fairly easy. She takes you through several theories about art. She introduces everything as if you knew nothing about them. (Nice for the average reader who wants to learn more about art.) Very interesting views. I enjoyed the book.
If this book was designed to be read by students of economics, I'd say it's a amazing nontechnical explanation of Android game Theory. Fortunately for me, I am a grad student in economics and have studied economic theory beautiful intensely for the past few years. I think the author does a amazing job of explaining the ideas covered in normal android game theory courses and explaining the ideas in nontechnical language. I would recommend this to anybody studying economics/game theory (undergrads, grad students, profs, researchers). Sometimes we obtain lost in all of the mathematics of android game theory and I think it's a amazing explanation of what we study in daily ever, I would probably not recommend this to people who do not formally study android game theory. Some of the author's explanations are terse or convoluted. Since I formally study this stuff, I typically understand what he's trying to say, even if is explanation is not great. I can't imagine his explanations being sufficient for the daily reader.
This book deserves a much higher score than it's recieved. The reason why it has such an even distribution between 1-5 stars is that Binmore's book is written for a person who doesn't necessarily know much about android game theory but is reasonably well read in other fields similar to android game theory. This is what allows Binmore to write such a short book on this complex field. A amazing method to mitigate this issue in reading the book is to also read the VSIs on Causation, Social Psychology, Risk, Networks, Statistics, Info and Probability.
This book is needlessly abstruse, and difficult to follow. It's this kind of 'catch me if you can' authorship that leaves people in the dark on what could otherwise be an interesting and challenging read. Instead of explaining concepts and terminology, and integrating them with examples, the author seems to be simply writing down his own thoughts on the topic with no intended reader in mind.Will readers learn anything from this book? It's hard to say. If you are willing to spend 15-20 mins on a paragraph of text to reverse engineer what the author was trying to explain, then you may be able to obtain something out of this book. But if you are looking for a work that will teach you even the basics of android game theory, this is not it worthwhile in my d to that the random and disorienting political and human interest asides scattered throughout and this ends up being far more confusing read than it should be.
This is not a replacement for an academic level textbook, nor is it recommended for readers looking for some fluffy hand wavy book of charming non-mathematical anecdotes.If you are a math/cs/statistics/engineering graduate looking for some lightweight technical reading to expand your understanding, this is a very amazing book.
I avoid writing negative reviews, but am willing to do so when there is a need to warn other readers about wasting time and cash on a book. This book presents one such e issue is simply that this book works very poorly as an introduction. The early parts of the book fail to provide the lay of the land, definitions of terms are unclear, a lot of subjects are poorly explained, and all sorts of important info are missing.I see that another reviewer loved the book, but I also obtain the impression that this reviewer already has some background in android game theory (which I don't). Readers with that background might search this book to be a fun and breezy review since they can fill in the missing content but, again, the issue is that this book purports to be an introduction.Lest anyone think that the true issue was that this book was over my head, I'll just note that I'm an engineer, and I've done fine with plenty of books dealing with math, science, and other analytic subjects, a lot of of which are a amazing bit more advanced than Binmore's.I had to chop my losses and abandon this book about a third of the method through, and I'll now be looking again for a android game theory book which is genuinely a proper introduction. After reading such a book, perhaps I'll come back to Binmore's book and see if I can obtain more out of it.
This is an perfect introduction to Literary Theory by a person who is well positioned to provide it. Jonathan Culler has achieved prominence for his ability to explain complex materials in a fair and balanced way. Here the topic is one of his ‘usuals’—literary theory. Note that this is capital-T Theory, not the literary theory which begins in antiquity, continues through the middle ages, renaissance and enlightenment until being somewhat displaced by the Romantics under the particular influence of Kant’s Critique of Judgment. This is the theory associated with the French Nietzscheans and their structuralist predecessors (again, preceded by the linguistic concerns of Saussure).Culler is clearly fascinated by it and supportive of it, but he realizes its hegemonic tendencies, which is particularly interesting for an intellectual movement which is centered around the effacing of cultural hegemony. He notes, e.g., that Theory consciously reduces our study of literature (we still read Shakespeare, but Beaumont and Fletcher, Ben Jonson, Thomas Kyd, et al. not so much). He recognizes and acknowledges the politicization that is never far from the surface in the work of Theory’s practitioners. He does not go so far as to say (with Theory’s critics) that Theory’s attack on the enlightenment and its norms is a method of salvaging socialism; since socialism’s fortunes in the true globe are stained with blood, the truth claims of the enlightenment empiricism which records those processes are systematically undercut. He does not point out the antinomianism which frequently characterizes Theory; E.D. Hirsch, e.g., has described it as ‘cognitive st important, he is far more optimistic about Theory’s future than current practice would suggest. Louis Menand, e.g., has charted the tendencies in postwar literary study and has seen us now move past Theory’s better days. At the micro level the student interest in Theory has waned immensely, though its political dimensions continue to influence their practices. At my institution the number of prospective graduate students expressing an interest in specializing in Theory has dwindled to a little trickle. The contrast between current realities and the days in which Theory’s advocates argued for a complete displacement of traditional literary study has tom line: Culler’s introduction is now, primarily, a historical document, but it is a very amazing one, one that not only identifies the players and their ‘schools’ (acknowledging that the outlines of such entities are often vague). He even contains some clever and instructive cartoons (without noting, in passing, that Theory’s practices are often conducive to such representations). The writing is very lucid, in contrast to the often opaque and convoluted writing of the Theorists sum, this is an perfect short introduction to the subject, one of the best in this series.
Whoever at Oxford Press designed this perfect book has done the author a amazing disservice in choosing an 8-pt. type size for the text. I was involved in design and typography for over 30 years and in my opinion, unless you have close to 20/20 vision you might have a bit of a ide from that, the book is a amazing read. Chapter 2 alone--"What is Literature and Why Does if Matter?"--is worth the purchase. If this paperback came with a pair of readers, I'd give it 5 stars. If there's a hardcover version, I hope it has a larger format, the content is more than worth the consideration.
Already own a copy and have used in my English classes. Amazing break down for a novice, in theory. I especially like the "identity" unit. Have modified and taught it over and over to all levels and grades of high school students, who are fascinated with themselves and wish to learn how their "identity" develops and continues to evolve. The theories are simple to grasp and . . . relevant. [Connections in different works of literature.] I also used this unit for my MA in English. The unit was an perfect source, for the Multicultural Literature course. Hot subject and timeless . . . Culler does a amazing job, in a concise small handbook.
As usual, Jonathan Culler does an perfect job explaining complex theoretical concepts so the reader may clearly understand what literary theory is, how it is done, how to apply it to both literary texts and literary criticism and everything else in life. The book is witty, insightful and illuminating. On reading it I have finally understood that literary theory is not necessarily a self contained corpus of doctrines aiming at deciding what literature is but rather a never ending practice, interdisciplinarian in nature, that helps us in making sense of our life and experience through our interaction with literature and culture. I think I can fairly claim that I now have a better understanding of what is "the literary" in literature and any other cultural discourse and practice thanks to this book.
I have a Master's degree in Literature and when it came time for my requisite literary theory courses, they were taught in the driest, most pretentious, disconnected from reality method possible. So much so that I decided that the academic study of literature was for people who wished to escape reality and deny their responsibility as citizens of a troubled populace. This little book reaffirmed my love for the study of literature, albeit years after my life has taken other turns. Cullers, rather than simply defining and describing the various schools of literary criticism (which was what I bought the book expecting), approaches the material with the questions of "what does it mean to read?" and "what makes literature distinct from other forms of expression?" With a historical perspective and an ear for how people have used rhetoric and literary devices over time, this is a short, but fascinating explanation of why the study of literature is relevant. Perhaps there are better, more comprehensive books out there, but until I read those, this one is worth 5 stars!
The fact that literary theory is often referred to as just 'theory' should alert the newcomer to its amorphous and unfocused nature. It is no longer concerned just with literature, but with every aspect of culture and experience. It is a theory of theories, a post-modernist stocktaking of the western intellectual ller traces several paths through this boundless philosophical landscape. Seven such paths actually, exploring aspects of language, identity and meaning. These constitute as gentle an introduction as is possible. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a better tutorial than Culler, with his clear and elegant style and his breadth of knowledge. Although this is not a conventional school-by-school primer, there is a section at the end briefly summarizing the major schools, from Russian Formalism to Queer Theory (yes, you heard right). The author advises that you can read these summaries before, after, or during the main text. I recommend leaving them until after, when they will be a lot more meaningful. Otherwise, they might frighten you off from reading the text e illustrations consist of a half-dozen or so vaguely relevant cartoons. I suppose, as this series is illustrated, OUP felt obliged to contain something, even if the text had no need of it. More positively, this book is blessedly free of the typos that normally bedevil the series.If you want to 'dip your toe in the water' of literary theory (and be warned, it is a maelstrom) Culler's book is the excellent put to do it.
I'm not a literary scholar, but was interested in "theory"; I was familiar with Wittgenstein, had read a book on Roland Barthes and been fascinated, and I love words and signs. This small book was more than I could have asked for. Without being in college and without some professor to tutorial me along, I would have had no hope of understanding what the subject even "was".This sort of thing is not for everybody, I understand. And, others have criticized that this book does a fine job of introducing "theory" but does almost nothing to discover different major "schools" of theory. I'm fine with that; I got all I required right here, and I have a solid enough foundation to move on should I choose e author, Culler, is a amazing writer; his Introduction to Roland Barthes book was fabulous too. It was my find for other works by Culler that lead me to this.
Honest book that identifies various schools of thought without any apparent bias. Author is not "selling" anything, just describing things as well as possible. Very nice glossary, too. Note: This Oxford series is inconsistent - some of the authors take their roles seriously, even if for "very short introductions," while others must have submitted their mss. after writing up some notes after an afternoon at the beach, or perhaps in the local pub. This may reflect the inconsistent editing or even lack of true focus of the series as much as anything. But this book is a model of the right method to do it. You will need to read deeper books, of course, to obtain a true handle on what's going on with literary theory.
I am a law student looking to take up the serious study of literature in my free time. I chose this book in the hopes that it would support me develop some tools for literary analysis. Really this book exists at a higher level than my intended purpose, but I am thrilled that I stumbled upon it. This is really a book about how modern thinking influences and has influenced modern literature. A truly exciting experience.
Don't judge a book by its cover. Excellent description for this book. It has a lot of info regarding the the theme the book is trying to cover and it is really really helpful. They examples that I used and the language is just broken down to the better understanding of every single person regardless of where you are in terms of understanding literature or at least the same as hand. Highly recommended.
The overview of philosophical hermeneutics is clearly written, even with the arcane terminology and concepts this zone of human knowledge often flaunts. I was able to obtain a clear understanding of a lot of of the scholars I've read about but never wanted to read because it all seemed so distant and inaccessible. Porter and Robinson present clearly how scriptural hermeneutics fits into the whole enterprise from a Christian point of view but without any polemic tone, integrating the insights of the secularists into a responsibly Christian understanding.
This is an perfect survey of hermeneutical theory from Schleiermacher to Culpepper. Porter and Robinson take a very careful, robust, and even-handed approach to the different necessary thinkers whose thought they summarize. After reading the book the reader will be exposed to the most necessary hermeneutical thinkers of the past two centuries and have a working knowledge of the main themes and emphases of their thought and approach. I highly recommend this work to anyone interested in hermeneutics.