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From Kant to Nietzsche

In 1796 a German politico-philosophical manifesto proclaims the 'highest act of reason' as an 'aesthetic act'. The ways in which this transformation relates to the development of some of the major directions in modern philosophy is the focus of this book. The book focuses on the main accounts of the human subject and on the conceptions of art and language which emerge within the Kantian and post-Kantian history of aesthetics. Immanuel Kant's main work on aesthetics, the 'third Critique', the Critique of Judgement, forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason. The early Romantics, who, after all, themselves established the term, can be characterized in a way which distinguishes them from later German Romanticism. The 'Oldest System Programme of German Idealism', is a manifesto for a new philosophy and exemplifies the spirit of early Idealism, not least with regard to mythology. The crucial question posed by the Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling of the System of Transcendental Idealism (STI) is how art relates to philosophy, a question which has recently reappeared in post-structuralism and in aspects of pragmatism. Despite his undoubted insights, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's insufficiency in relation to music is part of his more general problem with adequately theorising self-consciousness, and thus with his aesthetic theory. Friedrich Schleiermacher argues in the hermeneutics that interpretation of the meaning of Kunst is itself also an 'art'. The book concludes with a discussion on music, language, and Romantic thought.

Open Access (free)

The interest in aesthetics in philosophy, literary and cultural studies is growing rapidly. This book contains exemplary essays by key practitioners in these fields which demonstrate the importance of this area of enquiry. New aestheticism remains a troubled term and in current parlance it already comes loaded with the baggage of the 'philistine controversy' which first emerged in an exchange that originally that took place in the New Left Review during the mid-1990s. A serious aesthetic education is necessary for resisting the advance of 'philistinism'. Contemporary aesthetic production may be decentred and belonging to the past, but that is not a reason to underestimate what great works do that nothing else can. Despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism, film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics 'is a relatively young discipline, dating from the early 1990s'. The book focuses on the critical interrogation of the historical status of mimesis in the context of a gendered and racial politics of modernity. Throughout the history of literary and art criticism the focus has fallen on the creation or reception of works and texts. The book also identifies a fragmentary Romantic residue in contemporary aesthetics. The Alexandrian aesthetic underlies the experience of the 'allegorical'. 'Cultural poetics' makes clear the expansion of 'poetics' into a domain that is no longer strictly associated with 'poetry'. The book also presents an account of a Kantian aesthetic criticism, discussing Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Aesthetic Judgement and Critique of Judgement.

Andrew Bowie

1 Modern philosophy and the emergence of aesthetic theory: Kant Self-consciousness, knowledge and freedom The importance attributed to aesthetic questions in recent philosophy becomes easier to grasp if one considers the reasons for the emergence of modern aesthetic theory. Kant’s main work on aesthetics, the ‘third Critique’, the Critique of Judgement (CJ) (1790), forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason (CPR) (1781) and Critique of Practical Reason (1787).1 In order to understand the significance of the CJ

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Burke’s poetic (Miltonic) reading of the sublime
Eva Antal

social interactions, Burke quotes Milton’s powerful words evoking strong emotions being shared by us all. Rather manipulatively, with the sensible reading of ‘the universe of death’ and experiencing the shocking power of the phrase, the Burkean sublime – in its negative way (via negativa) – leads us to the sublime of the Kantian moral imperative. Kant was influenced by Burke’s empiricist aesthetics, though in his The Critique of Judgement (1790) Burke’s ideas are criticised (or built in). However, Kant’s early, pre-critical work titled Observations on the Feeling of

in Writing and constructing the self in Great Britain in the long eighteenth century
David Lloyd’s work
Laura Chrisman

is that ‘the terms developed for aesthetic culture in the late 18th century, as constituting the definition of human identity, continue to regulate racial formations through the various sites of contemporary practice’ (pp. 63–4). Lloyd situates Kant’s formulation of aesthetic culture in the Critique of Judgement, and particularly his discussion of concepts of ‘common taste’ and ‘the public sphere’, as formative of Western racism.2 Lloyd states that his ‘formal analysis of the ideological Subject’ is a necessary complement of ‘material histories of the specific

in Postcolonial contraventions
Abstract only
Vybarr Cregan-Reid

Philosophical Enquiry into Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful and Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgement (1790).24 Burke’s Enquiry is to-date the most influential study of the sublime, not only because of its comprehensiveness but also for its juxtaposition and differentiation of the sublime and the beautiful. ‘Beauty’, Burke suggests, ‘should not be obscure’; it should be ‘small’, ‘smooth, and polished’, ‘light and delicate’.25 Each of these adjectives denotes a noun that is perceivable, knowable, recognisable and identifiable. Reynolds more directly described beauty

in Discovering Gilgamesh
Open Access (free)
An introduction
John J. Joughin
Simon Malpas

truth and justice is opened. Between epistemology and ethics, Kant draws a division that cannot be crossed. By arguing that knowledge is bound by the ‘limits of experience’ which cannot be exceeded without falling prey to antinomy, he makes room for a separate ethical realm in which human freedom rests upon a ‘categorical imperative’ that is not reducible to knowledge because it is not generated by experience. The third critique, the Critique of Judgement in which Kant discusses aesthetics and natural teleology, sets out explicitly to form a bridge between

in The new aestheticism
Abstract only
Andrew Bennett

approach literary agnoiology would be to consider the importance, in the history of aesthetics more generally, of the separation of art from truth because of its divorce from cognition and reason. Undoubtedly the most influential expression of such ‘aesthetic alienation’ 14 is Immanuel Kant’s conception of art as autonomous and as involving ‘purposefulness without purpose’. In his discussion of genius in the Critique of Judgement (1790), Kant responds to the notion of aesthetic experience – put forward by Alexander Baumgarten in particular – as ‘confused cognition

in Ignorance
Mark Olssen

poststructuralist revision of Kant’s Critique of Judgement in important senses. 4 What is important here, however, is not her detailed analysis and rewriting of Kant’s third Critique , but her own reformulations with respect to normativity. Kant’s theory, says Ginsborg, ‘rests on our entitlement to ascribe normativity to nature in ourselves’ ( 2015 : 6). She sees the faculty of judgement as the basis of such an immanent normativity. Here, importantly, however, she claims that Kant only implicitly saw judgement as normative in this sense (‘while not articulated explicitly by

in Constructing Foucault’s ethics
Roger Scruton’s England: An Elegy (2000)
Daniel R. Smith

recognise that the pursuit of beauty is an attempt to work with our neighbours, not to impose our views on them. As Kant argued in his great Critique of Judgement , in the judgement of beauty we are ‘suitors for agreement’, and even if that judgement begins in a subjective sentiment, it leads of its own accord to the search for consensus. What people want is buildings that reflect the history, character and identity of their community and that belong in their surroundings: somewhere, not anywhere. Hence a walkable settlement, in which the streets are an improvement on

in The fall and rise of the English upper class