The Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy series has a standard cover layout — for example, here’s the cover of my Gödel book in the series, with a rather anonymous bit of abstract artwork (not chosen by me). Some other books use more interesting illustrations — for example, here’s the cover Martin Peterson’s book on Decision Theory (this is part of The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs (c. 1630) by Georges de la Tour).
Well, I’d wanted to use the Paul Klee’s Castle and Sun for the second edition of IFL which will appear in the same series. But sadly, CUP’s arrangement with Getty Images has changed, and that’s no longer an option. So I wondered about a Cézanne still life from Chicago. I had a print of another of his still lifes with apples on my wall as a logic student all those years ago, and rather liked the idea of — as it were — going full circle with another one. But my editor thinks it isn’t sufficiently “logical/technological”, and I can see the point.
But that leaves me at a bit of a loss where to go next. So suggestions of suitable cover art for an introductory logic text will be most welcome! It needs to be reasonably vibrant in colour to fit into the overall series design, of the same general shape as the two illustrated examples. and, ideally, freely available under a creative commons licence or similar. Any thoughts?
[By the way, I’ve only just discovered the website of the Chicago Art Institute: well worth a visit!]
10 thoughts on “The small matter of a cover picture … and one that got away”
How about Chagall?
Of the pictures suggested so far, I like “Each night put Kashmir in your dreams” best, but I don’t like any of them very much.
René Magritte’s ‘La reproduction interdite’ is the one I like least for a cover. Plus it’s already been used for Bernard William’s Problems of the Self. If you want something paradoxical, there are alternatives that are much more enjoyable to look at. For example (especially if you were still using trees), there’s this by Rob Gonsalves: https://kottke.org/plus/misc/images/rob-gonsalves.jpg
How about an old-fashioned, nineteenth century country scene of someone climbing over a turnstile?
Two suggestions: René Magritte’s ‘La reproduction interdite’ and, by the same artist, ‘Le soir qui tombe’.
Kandinsky’s “Complex Simple” could be suitable. Perhaps not quite vibrant enough, but the name seems apt for a logic textbook: https://www.freeart.com/gallery/k/kandinsky/kandinsky45.html
I’ve in fact suggested a couple of Kandinsky’s paintings to my editor — we’ll see what her response is. It transpires than much of Kandinsky’s work is freely available in the public domain.
Another good one, “Sunset” by Paul Klee —
I like this untitled work by Charles Biederman —
There is a nice one by Nilima Sheikh titled “Each Night Put Kashmir In Your Dreams” — it used to be at the Art Institute but I can’t find it there right now.
Here’s a link to an article about the series of works under that title. Nice that it has a universal quantifier, you might even say a Kashmirgorical Imperative. The work I had in mind is on page 169.