Chapter

Beautiful Chaos?

in Borrowed Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226429786
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226429809 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226429809.003.0008
Beautiful Chaos?

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This chapter examines two of the most fully developed attempts to use chaos theory in aesthetic arguments about literature: the works of Alexander Argyros and Harriet Hawkins. First, it examines Argyros's attempts to use science to ground universal norms in both aesthetics and politics. Then it turns to Hawkins's articulation of fractal structure as the basis for aesthetic evaluation. It shows that the deployment by Argyros and Hawkins of such concepts as informational complexity and fractal structure touches not only on issues of beauty, but also on questions of goodness and truth.

Keywords: chaos theory; literature; Alexander Argyros; science; universal norms; aesthetics; politics; Harriet Hawkins; fractal structure

Chapter.  8860 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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