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On the Ruins of Babel
Author: Daniel L. Purdy

ISBN: 9780801476761
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 17 May 2011
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.3
Description:
The eighteenth century struggled to define architecture as either an art or a science-the image of the architect as a ground figure who synthesizes all other disciplines within a single master plan emerged from this discourse. Immanuel Kant and Johann Wolfgang Goethe described the architect as their equal, a genius with godlike creativity. For writers from Descartes to Freud, architectural reasoning provided a method for critically examining consciousness. The architect, as philosophers like to think of him, was obligated by the design and construction process to mediate between the abstract and the actual.

In On the Ruins of Babel, Daniel Purdy traces this notion back to its wellspring. He surveys the volatile state of architectural theory in the Enlightenment, brought on by the newly emerged scientific critiques of Renaissance cosmology, then shows how German writers redeployed Renaissance terminology so that "harmony", "unity", "Synthesis", "foundation", and "orderliness" became states of consciousness, rather than terms used to describe the built world. Purdy's distinctly new interpretation of German t...

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