Joyce E. Chaplin, "Genealogies of Genius"
English | 2015 | ISBN-10: 1137497653 | 191 pages | PDF | 3 MB
Genius as a historical concept, rather than as a presumed trans-historical fact, is surprisingly underexamined, even as millions of daily decisions personal, institutional, and governmental are made according to unexamined assumptions about it. The essays in this book show that the origins and uses of concepts of genius warrant careful examination.
Cerebral incandescence, genetic anomaly, amoral irruption, demiurge of historical change itself-behold the genius, that superlative (if labile) figure who has haunted art, war, science, and politics in the modern period. Whence came these beasts-part god, part flesh? How did we come to think that among us wander a small tribe of transcendent beings, kissed by divine fire? This superb collection of essays asks and answers these fascinating questions, demonstrating, in the process, that history can catch the rarest birds in its delicate and wide-flung nets.
-D. Graham Burnett, Professor of History, Princeton University, USA
Genealogies of Genius is not simply about the origins of super intelligent beings: it is a history of how modern humans came to value themselves as good and as evil, and to rank each other as free people and as slaves. As such, this book goes deep to examine how Westerners have come to define themselves. It picks up where Michel Foucault left off, and follows genius as a thread of power and meaning that has permeated modern existence.
-Jacob Soll, Professor of History and Accounting, University of Southern California, USA