The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom
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- Author: Robert R. Clewis, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Pennsylvania
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In this book Robert R. Clewis shows how certain crucial concepts in Kant's aesthetics and practical philosophy - the sublime, enthusiasm, freedom, empirical and intellectual interests, the idea of a republic - fit together and deepen our understanding of Kant's philosophy. He examines the ways in which different kinds of sublimity reveal freedom and indirectly contribute to morality, and discusses how Kant's account of natural sublimity suggests that we have an indirect duty with regard to nature. Unlike many other studies of these themes, this book examines both the pre-critical Observations and the remarks that Kant wrote in his copy of the Observations. Finally, Clewis takes seriously Kant's claim that enthusiasm is aesthetically sublime, and shows how this clarifies Kant's views of the French Revolution. His book will appeal to all who are interested in Kant's philosophy.Read more
- Appendices summarise and classify Kant's thoughts on enthusiasm, respect, beauty and sublimity
- Clewis' interpretation of aesthetic enthusiasm clarifies Kant's views of the French Revolution
- Draws upon Continental and analytic scholarship in English, French, Italian and German languages
Reviews & endorsements
“This is a comprehensive and insightful treatment of the Kantian sublime. It convincingly links Kant’s aesthetic discussions of the sublime to both his moral philosophy and his political perspective. Toward that end Clewis emphasizes the role of enthusiasm in the sublime and provides exceedingly nuanced analyses of the various senses of disinterestedness and interest that help to elucidate how the aesthetic can have moral import.”
--Rudolf A. Makkreel, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Philosophy, Emory University
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“In this learned, acute, and lucid book, Robert Clewis supplements recent discussion of connections between Kant's aesthetics and his ethics with a demonstration of the tie between his aesthetics and his politics, convincingly establishing a relation between Kant's concepts of the sublime and of enthusiasm as a positive political force. Along the way, he also throws new light on Kant's views about freedom, interest and disinterestedness, respect, and republicanism, and illuminates Kant's attitude toward the French Revolution. This is a must read for all students of Kant's aesthetics, moral philosophy, and political philosophy.”
--Paul Guyer, Murray Professor in the Humanities, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania
"Clewis's book The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom presents a new challenge for those who criticize Kant's moral theory for its "rigor" and its insufficient recognition of the relevance of sensibility and emotions in human moral life. ... [it] is a valuable contribution to our understanding of Kant's notion of the sublime and its relation to morality. aesthetic enthusiasm share phenomenological and structural affinities with the moral feeling of respect, and thus prepare us for the exercise of our moral agency."
--- Lara Osteric, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"...provides an interesting and systematic discussion of an oft-neglected aspect of Kant's philosophy... it is of obvious interest to people working on and interested Kant's moral philosophy, especially if they are also interested in the impure, empirical side of Kant's thinking... an impressive and interesting piece of Kant scholarship..."
---Carsten Fogh Nielsen, MA, Metapsychology Online Reviews
"....Clewis has accomplished much.... this book is well worth reading by anyone who is interested in the connection between aesthetics and moral theory."
--Stefan Bird-Pollan, Department of Philosophy, University of Kentucky, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
"...there has been only a handful of sustained scholarly works on the sublime in Kant. Clewis’s book, which emphasizes the connection between the sublime and enthusiasm in Kant’s writings, tracing Kant’s thoughts on these topics back to his early work, is a very welcome addition to Kant scholarship.... provides a rich and detailed analysis of Kant’s concepts of the sublime, of enthusiasm as well as the moral feeling of respect, showing their differences and interconnections.... I learned a lot from reading this book and benefited from thinking about the issues involved..."
--Melissa Zinkin, Associate Professor of Philosophy, SUNY Binghamton, TPR Critique
"Robert Clewis’s book The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom is a rich and thoughtful examination of Kant’s concept of the sublime, of the interface between Kant’s aesthetics and his practical philosophy, and of Kant’s attitude toward moral enthusiasm, which he effectively argues..."
--Paul Guyer, Jonathan Nelson Professor of Humanities and Philosophy, Brown University, TPR Critique
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- Date Published: May 2009
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9780511530531
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. The Observations and the Remarks
2. The judgment of the sublime
3. Moral feeling and the sublime
4. Various senses of interest and disinterestedness
5. Aesthetic enthusiasm
6. Enthusiasm for the idea of a republic
Appendix 1. On the Remarks
Appendix 2. Some features of the feelings discussed in this book
Appendix 3. Classification of what elicits sublimity
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