Title: A New Way of Thinking: Generative Thinking in Religion, Philosophy, ArtAuthor: Eric GansImprint: The Davies Group, Publisherssoft cover310 pp.USD 28.00 USISBN 97819345422552011A New Way of Thinking locates the major areas of human representation, religion, philosophy, and art, in the context of the originary hypothesis: given the scenic nature of all the forms of human culture, the human is best understood as having its roots in a scene of origin. When prehuman intelligence outgrows the peacekeeping capacity of the ape pecking order, humanity begins as a community symmetrically arrayed around a central desire-object whose very desirability makes it sacred and therefore forbidden. The reconceptualization of the forms of human culture in scenic terms provides a new approach to the tired controversy of whether or how we can speak of God. It explains the limits of philosophy and situates its project within rather than above that of universal morality. Finally, it elaborates a scenic theory of art and explains in its terms the difference between “popular” and “high” art, and the reasons why this distinction is increasingly less useful. The book includes a running footnote dialogue with fellow Generative Anthropologist Adam Katz.ContentsPart One — ReligionChapter 1 Why Do We Believe in GA? Chapter 2 Transcendence Chapter 3 Transcendence and Cultural WillChapter 4 The Question of Transcendence: An UpdateChapter 5 The New Anthropic PrincipleChapter 6 Believing in GAChapter 7 Notes for a History of TranscendenceChapter 8 A Minimal Theodicy: God Helps Those Who Help ThemselvesChapter 9 Cosmic OptimismChapter 10 Religion and Originary AnthropologyChapter 11 Intelligent Design? Chapter 12 Return of the Sacred I - The Sacred and the SignificantChapter 13 Return of the Sacred II - SecularismChapter 14 Tragedy and Christianity: Minimal and Maximal FaithPart Two — PhilosophyChapter 15 Monism or Dualism? Chapter 16 Philosophy to Metaphysics IChapter 17 Pre-Socratics II: Parmenides, Heraclitus, and AnaximanderChapter 18 Pre-Socratics III: Xenophanes and TheologyChapter 19 John Rawls’ Originary Theory of JusticeChapter 20 Richard Rorty's MetaphysicsChapter 21 From Phenomenology to Generative AnthropologyChapter 22 Ecriture from Barthes to GAChapter 23 The Fundamental Paradox of SignificationPart Three — ArtChapter 24 Why Art Defies AnalysisChapter 25 The Esthetic MomentChapter 26 The Sublime and the BeautifulChapter 27 High and Low EstheticsChapter 28 Popular Culture Is All We’ve GotChapter 29 On Realism Chapter 30 Art and OthernessChapter 31 New Thoughts on Originary NarrativeChapter 32 Poetic Justice: Notes on the Classical EstheticChapter 33 Story and PlotChapter 34 HermeneuticsChapter 35 The Dancer from the Dance)AuthorEric Gans received his doctorate in Romance Languages in 1966 under the direction of René Girard. He has taught French literature, critical theory, and film at UCLA since 1969, and published books and articles on aesthetic theory as well as Flaubert, Musset, Racine, and other French writers. Beginning with The Origin of Language (1981), Gans developed the concept of Generative Anthropology and has written several other books on the subject, including Science and Faith (1990), Originary Thinking (1993), Signs of Paradox (1997), and The Scenic Imagination: Originary Thinking from Hobbes to the Present Day (2007).Carole Landis: A Most Beautiful Girl, a life of the American actress (1919–1948), appeared in 2008. In 1995 Gans founded the electronic journal Anthropoetics: The Journal of Generative Anthropology (www.anthropoetics.ucla.edu), which he has continued to edit through 33 semi-annual issues; he has also written over 400 web essays in the associated series of Chronicles of Love and Resentment.
Also of interest
Adam Katz, The Originary Hypothesis: A Minimal Proposal for Humanistic Inquiry brings together a series of new essays by collaborators of Gans and Gans himself that demonstrate the sophistication and applicability of Gans’ hypothesis as well as its ability to transcend formalistic and narrowly disciplinary approaches to the arts and social sciences.