2
Philosophical Celebrations of Mass Art: The Minority Tradition

Introduction

Though most of the philosophical attention that has been directed to mass art has been negative, there is a minority tradition for whom mass art promises great things. Two of the leading figures in this tradition are Walter Benjamin and Marshall McLuhan, the subjects of this chapter. I call their responses to mass art philosophical celebrations. That these responses are celebratory is demonstrated by the extreme enthusiasm with which Benjamin and McLuhan, respectively, greet the emergence of the age of mechanical reproduction and the electronic future. Moreover, their defences of mass art are philosophical, since they are based upon conceptions of the nature of mass art.1

That is, unlike the proponent of such arts who defends mass art by showing that it is being produced by artists of the highest calibre, Benjamin and McLuhan defend mass art by attempting to show that the essential structures of the mass-art media are such that they have the capacity to produce effects of an order such that no one can gainsay their artistic status.

Someone like Gilbert Seldes, in contrast, attempts to show that mass art (or, for him, popular art) is defensible, since some of its practitioners-like Charlie Chaplin, Fanny Brice, Al Jolson, Ring Lardner, George Herriman,

____________________
1
In this book, I treat positions on mass art -- whether they are celebratory or resistant -- as philosophical, if they are based on some conception of the nature or essence of mass art, since essences are the sorts of things in which philosophers trade. Of course, not all philosophers are essentialists. But a theoretical concern with essences is philosophical.

-110-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Philosophy of Mass Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Contents xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Philosophical Resistance to Mass Art: The Majority Tradition 15
  • 2 - Philosophical Celebrations of Mass Art: The Minority Tradition 110
  • 3 - The Nature of Mass Art 172
  • 4 - Mass Art and the Emotions 245
  • 5 - Mass Art and Morality 291
  • 6 - Mass Art and Ideology 360
  • Envoi 413
  • Index 419
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 425

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.