Book — 1 online resource (285 pages) : text file, PDF
What is a copy?
Copia, or, The abundant style
Copying as transformation
Copying as deception
The mass production of copies
Copying as appropriation.
This book is devoted to a deceptively simple but original argument: that copying is an essential part of being human, that the ability to copy is worthy of celebration, and that, without recognizing how integral copying is to being human, we cannot understand ourselves or the world we live in. In spite of the laws, stigmas, and anxieties attached to it, the word 'copying' permeates contemporary culture, shaping discourse on issues from hip hop to digitization to gender reassignment, and is particularly crucial in legal debates concerning intellectual property and copyright. Yet as a philosophical concept, copying remains poorly understood. Working comparatively across cultures and times, Marcus Boon undertakes an examination of what this word means - historically, culturally, philosophically - and why it fills us with fear and fascination. He argues that the dominant legal-political structures that define copying today obscure much broader processes of imitation that have constituted human communities for ages and continue to shape various subcultures today. Drawing on contemporary art, music and film, the history of aesthetics, critical theory, and Buddhist philosophy and practice, "In Praise of Copying" seeks to show how and why copying works, what the sources of its power are, and the political stakes of renegotiating the way we value copying in the age of globalization. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
German critic Walter Benjamin wrote some immensely influential words on the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. Luxury fashion houses would say something shorter and sharper and much more legally binding on the rip-off merchants who fake their products. Marcus Boon, a Canadian English professor with an accessible turn of phrase, takes us on an erudite voyage through the theme in a serious but engaging encounter with the ideas of thinkers as varied as Plato, Hegel, Orson Welles, Benjamin, Heidegger, Louis Vuitton, Takashi Murakami and many more, on topics as philosophically taxing and pop-culture-light as mimesis, Christianity, capitalism, authenticity, Uma Thurman's handbag and Disneyland. (source: Nielsen Book Data)
The starting-point.--First truths.--The external world.--Language.--Duty and pleasure.--Man.--The brute.--Likenesses in animals and plants.--Natural selection.--Sexual selection.--An episode.--Causes.--Consequences.--A postscript.