|Philosophy of mind, aesthetics|
|discursive vs. non discursive symbols|
朗格生於美國紐約州紐約市的曼哈頓，是一位德國移民律師安東尼奧·克魯特與太太艾爾色·克魯特的女兒。朗格的母親是一位家庭主婦，只說德語。童年的小朗格在上維爾田私立女校（Veltin private school）之時學會了拉大提琴和提鋼琴。畢業後升讀著名女子大學拉德克利夫學院，於1920年取得學士學位，1926年取得博士頭銜。阿爾弗雷德·諾思·懷特黑德是她的論文導師。畢業後，朗格曾在母校拉德克利夫學院任教，之後轉往衛斯理學院、史密斯學院及哥倫比亞大學任教，亦曾於多所其他高等院校擔任客席講師。1941年， she met Ernst Cassirer whose work The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms she had read in the 1920s and had greatly influenced her thinking. Recognizing their common ground, Cassirer remained in close contact with Langer until his death in 1945.
In 1921 she married William L. Langer who later became a history professor at Harvard. They had two sons, Leonard born in 1922 and Bertrand born in 1925. In the late 1930s they drifted apart and were divorced in 1942.
From 1952 to 1962, Langer was professor of philosophy at Connecticut College. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1960. In 1956 she was awarded a grant from the Edgar J. Kaufmann Foundation which allowed her to devote the remaining 25 years of her life to research and writing.
Langer died in Old Lyme, Connecticut on July 17, 1985 after finishing the third volume of her magnum opus, Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling.
Langer's philosophy explored the human mind's continuous process of meaning-making through the power of “seeing” one thing in terms of another. Langer's first major work, Philosophy in a New Key put forth an idea that has become commonplace today: that there is a basic and pervasive human need to symbolize, to invent meanings, and to invest meanings in one’s world. Beginning with a critique of positivism, the work is a study of human thought progressing from semantic theory through philosophy of music sketching a theory for all the arts. For Langer, the human mind “is constantly carrying on a process of symbolic transformation of the experiential data that come to it,” causing it to be “a veritable fountain of more or less spontaneous ideas”.
Langer's distinction between discursive versus presentational symbols is one of her better known concepts. Discursive symbolization arranges elements (not always words) with stable and context invariant meanings into a new meaning. Presentation symbolization operates independently of elements with fixed and stable meanings. The presentation cannot be comprehended by progressively building up an understanding of its parts in isolation. It must be understood as a whole. For example, an element used in one painting may be used to articulate an entirely different meaning in another. The same principle applies to a note in a musical arrangement- such elements independently have no fixed meaning except in the context of their entire presentation.
Langer believed symbolism is the central concern of philosophy because it underlies all human knowing and understanding. As with Ernst Cassirer, Langer believed that what distinguishes man from animal is the capacity for using symbols. While all animal life is dominated by feeling, human feeling is mediated by conceptions, symbols and language. Animals respond to signs, but humans' stimulus from a sign is significantly more complex. The perspective is also associated with symbolic communication where animal societies are studied to help understand how symbolic communication affects the conduct of members of cooperating group.
The power of understanding symbols, i.e. of regarding everything about a sense-datum as irrelevant except a certain form that it embodies, is the most characteristic mental trait of mankind. It issues in an unconscious, spontaneous process of abstraction, which goes on all the time in the human mind: a process of recognizing the concept in any configuration given to experience, and forming a conception accordingly. That is the real sense of Aristotle’s definition of man as “the rational animal.”——Susanne Langer，Philosophy in a New Key, page 58
In her later years, Langer came to believe that the decisive task of her work was to construct a science and psychology based theory of the "life of the mind" using process philosophy conventions. Langer's final work, Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling represents the culmination of her attempt to establish a philosophical and scientific underpinning of aesthetic experience, relying on a three volume survey of a comprehensive set of relevant humanistic and scientific texts.
- The Cruise of the Little Dipper, and Other Fairy Tales (1924 illustrated by Helen Sewall)
- The Practice of Philosophy (1930, foreword by Alfred North Whitehead)
- An Introduction to Symbolic Logic (1937) ISBN 978-0-486-60164-9
- Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art (1942) (online copy) ISBN 978-0-674-66503-3
- Language and Myth (1946), translator, from Sprache und Mythos (1925) by Ernst Cassirer ISBN 978-0-486-20051-4
- Feeling and Form: A Theory of Art (1953)
- Problems of Art: Ten Philosophical Lectures, 1957
- Reflections on Art (1961) editor.
- Philosophical Sketches, 1962 ISBN 978-1-4351-0763-2
- Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling (1967/82) three volumes, vol. 3: ISBN 978-0-8018-2511-8
Partial list of publications[编辑]
- Confusion of Symbols and Confusion of Logical Types, Mind 35: 222–229, 1926
- Form and Content: A Study in Paradox, Journal of Philosophy 23: 435–438, 1926
- A Logical Study of Verbs, Journal of Philosophy 24: 120–129, 1927
- The Treadmill of Systematic Doubt, Journal of Philosophy 26: 379–384, 1929
- Facts: The Logical Perspectives of the World, Journal of Philosophy 30: 178–187, 1933
- On a Fallacy in ‘Scientific Fatalism’, International Journal of Ethics 46: 473–483, 1936
- The Lord of Creation, Fortune 29: 127–154, January 1944
- Why Philosophy?, Saturday Evening Post 234: 34–35, 54, 56, 13 May 1961
- Henry M. Sheffer, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 25: 305–307, 1964
- 中国图书商报：赵旭东. 修辞：一种权力政治. 東莞圖書館：每日一书. 2007-03-15 [2013-06-21] （中文（简体））.
- Dryden, Donald, Susanne K. Langer (pdf), Duke University, 2004
- Howard Gardner, Philosophy in a New Key Revisited: An Appreciation of Susanne Langer, Art, Mind, and Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity, New York: Basic Books: 48–54
- Hoffmann, Michael HG, Geist und Welt - durch die Symbolisierungen der Kunst betrachtet, a review of Susanne K. Langer, Die lebendige Form menschlichen Fühlens und Verstehens (The living form of human feeling and understanding). Munich: Fink, 2000. ISBN 3-7705-3462-X., IASL Online, [2010-03-19]
- Lachmann, Rolf, From Metaphysics to Art and Back: The Relevance of Susan K. Langer’s Philosophy for Process Metaphysics 26, Process Studies: 107–125, January 1998
- Littlejohn, Stephen W.; Foss, Karen A., Theories of Human Communication 9th, Belmont, California: The Thomson Wadsworth Corporation: 105, 2008
- Langer, Susanne K., Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art. 6th, Cambridge: New American Library: 58, 1954
- Schultz, William, Cassirer and Langer on Myth: An Introduction, Routledge, 2000, ISBN 978-0-8153-2465-2
- Innis, Robert E., Susanne Langer in focus: the symbolic mind, Indiana University Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-253-22053-0
- Dryden, Donald, Susanne Langer and William James: Art and the Dynamics of the Stream of Consciousness, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy 15 (4): 272–285, 2001, doi:10.1353/jsp.2001.0036
- Watling, Christine P., The Arts, Emotion, and Current Research in Neuroscience, Mosaic 31: 107–124, 1998
- Royce, Joseph R., The Implications of Langer’s Philosophy of Mind for a Science of Psychology,, Journal of Mind and Behavior 4: 491–506, 1983
- Shelley,, Cameron, Consciousness, Symbols and Aesthetics: A Just-So Story and Its Implications in Susanne Langer’s Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling, Philosophical Psychology 11: 45–66, 1998
- Durig, Alexander, What Did Susanne Langer Really Mean, Sociological Theory 12: 254–265, 1994
|维基语录上的相关摘錄： Susanne Langer|
- Langer, Susanne K., The Hudson Review, Summer 1950, III (2): 219–233 缺少或
- Petri Liukkonen. Susanne K. Langer (1895-1985). Books & Writer's Calendar. [2010-03-19].
- Anthony Flood. Susanne K. Langer. [2010-03-19]. Essays by and about Langer.
- Harvard University Press Philosophy in a new key overview
- A Summary of Susanne K