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The Kantian Sublime and the Revelation of Freedom

  • Date Published: December 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107559264


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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • 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
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    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, Emory University, Atlanta

    'In this learned, acute, and lucid book, Robert R. 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, University of Pennsylvania

    '… 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, TPR Critique

    'Robert R. 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, TPR Critique

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107559264
    • length: 274 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • 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
    7. Conclusion
    Appendix 1. On the Remarks
    Appendix 2. Some features of the feelings discussed in this book
    Appendix 3. Classification of what elicits sublimity

  • Author

    Robert R. Clewis, Gwynedd-Mercy College, Pennsylvania
    Robert R. Clewis is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Gwynedd-Mercy College, Pennsylvania. He received his BA in Philosophy and French from Wake Forest University, North Carolina and an MA and PhD in Philosophy from Boston College, Massachusetts. He also received an MA in Economics from the University of Bologna, Italy.

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