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The Aesthetics of Architecture
Roger Scruton
With a new introduction by the author

Paperback | 2013 | $42.00 | £34.95 | ISBN: 9780691158334
320 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 90 halftones. 1 musical example.
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Architecture is distinguished from other art forms by its sense of function, its localized quality, its technique, its public and nonpersonal character, and its continuity with the decorative arts. In this important book, Roger Scruton calls for a return to first principles in contemporary architectural theory, contending that the aesthetic of architecture is, in its very essence, an aesthetic of everyday life. Aesthetic understanding is inseparable from a sense of detail and style, from which the appropriate, the expressive, the beautiful, and the proportionate take their meaning. Scruton provides incisive critiques of the romantic, functionalist, and rationalist theories of design, and of the Freudian, Marxist, and semiological approaches to aesthetic value.

In a new introduction, Scruton discusses how his ideas have developed since the book's original publication thirty years ago, and he assesses the continuing relevance of his argument for the twenty-first century.


"Compelling and readable. . . . [O]ne not just to read but to return to and to query with persistence and concentration, a book in fact not to borrow and peruse, but to possess and make one's own."--Anthony Savile, Times Literary Supplement

"This book is powerful and unusual. . . . The author combines wide knowledge of both buildings and the main writings on architecture with searching philosophical analysis."--Literary Review

"A remarkable contribution that should interest designers, teachers, critics, and historians."--Michael McMordie, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

"This is a highly readable book, valuable in its examination of philosophical concepts in the immediate context of architecture, and valuable in its overview of architecture itself."--Kenneth Nugent, Month

"This is an important book which deserves to be read, not just by students and academics, but by all who take an intelligent interest in architecture."--Peter F. Smith, RIBA Journal


"Impressive in its intellectual depth and range, and imbued throughout with wisdom and humanity, this brilliant book is the most important contribution to its subject since the writings of Ruskin. There is simply no modern equal to Professor Scruton's unique and comprehensive architectural treatise."--David Watkin, professor emeritus of the history of architecture, University of Cambridge

"The Aesthetics of Architecture has long been recognized as an important book. This new edition demonstrates that it is indispensable for anyone concerned about rectifying the 'uglification of the world.'"--Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of the New Criterion

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Table of Contents:

Introduction to the 2013 Edition ix
Acknowledgments xxi
Preface xxiii
1 Introduction: The problem of architecture 1
Part I
2 Architecture and design 21
3 Has architecture an essence? 34
4 Experiencing architecture 66
5 Judging architecture 96
Part II
6 Freud, Marx and meaning 127
7 The language of architecture 146
8 Expression and abstraction 165
9 The sense of detail 190
10 Conclusion: Architecture and morality 218
Part III
Summary 239
Notes 243
Bibliography 275
Index of Names 277
Index of Subjects 283

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Roger Scruton:

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File created: 7/11/2017

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