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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Kant on Sublimity and Morality

The concept of the sublime was crucial to the thought of Immanuel Kant, who defined it as the experience of what is great in power, size, or number. From ancient times to the present, the aesthetic experience of the sublime has been associated with morality, but if we want to be able to exclude evil, fascistic, or terroristic uses of the sublime—the inescapable awe generated by the Nuremberg rallies, for example—we require a systematic justification of the claim that there are internal moral constraints on the sublime. In Kant on Sublimity and Morality, Joshua Rayman argues that Kant alone provides the system by which we can bind sublimity to moral ideas, the exhibition of freedom, the production of respect, and violence towards inclinations.

256 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2012

Political Philosophy Now

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Political Science: Classic Political Thought

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Table of Contents


Part I: Genealogy of the Kantian Sublime
1. Longinus and the Origins of the Sublimity–Morality Connection
2. Sublimity and Morality in Eighteenth-Century British Aesthetics
3. Kant’s German Precursors
Part II: Kant on Sublimity and Morality
4. The Moral Functions of Sublimity in the Kantian System
5. Replies to Objections to Sublimity’s Moral Functions
Part III: Sublimity and Morality in German Idealism and Recent Continental Philosophy
6. Post-Kantian Continental Work on Sublimity and Morality
    I. Sublimity and Morality in German Idealism
   II. Sublimity and Morality in Contemporary Continental Philosophy


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