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Irving Singer Library

The Irving Singer Library makes available Irving Singer's classic works on philosophy and aesthetics, with new prefaces by the author, as well as his more recent books on these topics. For 55 years, Irving Singer (1925 - 2015) was professor of philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Singer published books on a wide variety of topics, including cinema, love, sexuality, opera, creativity, and the philosophy of George Santayana. He also wrote extensively about the film directors Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Renoir, and Orson Welles. His books have been translated into numerous languages.

A Partial Summing-Up

The author of the classic philosophical treatment of love reflects on the trajectory, over decades, of his thoughts on love and other topics.

Philosophy in Film

Mythic themes and philosophical probing in film as an art form, as seen in works of Preston Sturges, Jean Cocteau, Stanley Kubrick, and various other filmmakers.

The Creation of Value

An acclaimed philosopher views the search for meaning in life as the search for a mode of creativity that will make our lives meaningful.

The Pursuit of Love

An acclaimed philosopher offers a systematic mapping of the various facets of love.

The Harmony of Nature and Spirit

An acclaimed philosopher suggests that the art of living well employs the same principles as those that exist in all artistic creativity.

Reflections on His Creativity

The development of themes, motifs, and techniques in Bergman’s films, from the first intimations in the early work to the consummate resolutions in the final movies.

The Modern World

The final volume of Singer’s trilogy discusses ideas about love in the work of writers ranging from Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Tolstoy to Freud, Proust, D. H. Lawrence, Shaw, and others in the contemporary world.

Plato to Luther

An analysis of concepts of bestowal, appraisal, imagination, and idealization followed by explorations into the writings of thinkers that include Plato, Ovid, and Martin Luther.

Courtly and Romantic

An examination of ideas and ideals of medieval courtly love and the transition into later Romantic love, analyzing the work of Dante, Shakespeare, and Schopenhauer, among many others.

Hitchcock, Welles, Renoir

Examining the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, and Jean Renoir as it expresses their disparate visions of the human condition.

Film and Meaning and Technique

Singer concentrates on questions about appearance and reality, the visual and the literary, and the interplay between communication as a goal and alienation as a hazard in films of every sort.

The Concept of Love in Their Operas

An exploration of the sensuous and the passionate, as expressed in operas by Mozart and Beethoven.