The Anthropology of Poiesis

The volume addresses a distinct field in the anthropology of culture, namely that of creativity. It defines the cultural field of poiesis, which includes not only the poetic creation, but also the scientific and philosophical one, and, above all, insists on the connection of creativity with the metaphysical spirituality, the mythological imaginary, and the sacred realm. Creation is primarily personal—this phenomenon is obvious both in the field of art and of theory. This book considers that it is necessary to emphasize, from the perspective of cultural anthropology, the importance and significance of the creative act that binds all fields of culture. To this end, it gives new meanings to the relationship between the symbolic and abstract in the field of cultural creation, a relationship considered from the perspective of three concepts—beauty, harmony and dynamic asymmetry—as well as the relationship between creative intuition and constructive reason. The book adopts a historical-comparative approach, from the perspective of the dialectic of the creative act, the becoming and synthesis of some opposite elements, coordinated by the abstract-creative principle: dynamis and symetros, rational and symbolic, immanent and transcendent. It shows that the meaning of experience as a creative synthesis is primordial and fundamental to human existence. The book is addressed both to specialists in the field of philosophy of art or cultural anthropology, and to the general reader who wants to approach the original meaning of spiritual creation, poiesis, which is the unification of all possible experiences, both feelings and knowledge.


Mihai Popa, PhD, is an alumnus of the History Faculty, at Bucharest University and a Researcher at the “Constantin Rădulescu-Motru” Institute of Philosophy and Psychology at the Romanian Academy. His fields of interest are historical philosophy, cultural philosophy, and art philosophy. He is the author of a number of journal articles, as well as the books A.D. Xenopol ‒ Philosopher of History (2007) and Science and Representation in Renaissance Art (2014).

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ISBN: 1-5275-7828-3

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-7828-9

Release Date: 2nd February 2022

Pages: 150

Price: £58.99

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