How to feel a judgement: a discussion of the Kantian sublime

Deligiorgi, Katerina (2018) How to feel a judgement: a discussion of the Kantian sublime. In: Sorensen, Kelly and Williamson, Diane (eds.) Kant and the faculty of feeling. Cambridge University Press, pp. 166-183. ISBN 9781316823453

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Kant's treatment of the sublime in the third Critique shows the strain of accommodating a knotty topic. For a start, the sublime eludes placement within a taxonomy of emotions: it encompasses a number of feelings and yet it also names a specific aesthetic feeling, which, though aesthetic, is not a feeling of pure delight, but rather it combines pleasure with displeasure.Furthermore, the sublime is also a judgment, which exactly matches the dual character of the feeling, by combining 'purposiveness' and 'contrapurposiveness'. To say of something, 'this is sublime', is not sort the object categorially, as in ordinary cases of predication, rather it is to reflect on the mental state of pleasure and displeasure; 'purposive' and 'contrapurposive' are technical terms aiming to capture that reflection. Such reflection reveals finally that the content of the judgment is a priori determined by reason: the judgment refers to the object but it is about the subject's moral vocation. In what follows, I seek to trace a path through these complex matters, for the purpose of finding out why this topic, which, as Kant himself acknowledges, 'seems far-fetched and subtle, hence excessive for an aesthetic judgment' (CJ 5:262), matters for Kant and what its accommodation within the architectonic tells us about his conception of system. The argument is presented as answers to a series of questions, 'What is the sublime?', 'What is the sublime about?', and 'Why does the sublime matter?'

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: Kant's aesthetics, the sublime, judgement
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
Depositing User: Dr Katerina Deligiorgi
Date Deposited: 24 May 2017 11:18
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2019 14:52

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