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Encyclopedia > Sublime (philosophy)

In aesthetics, the sublime (from the Latin sublimis (exalted)) is the quality of transcendent greatness, whether physical, moral, intellectual or artistic. The term especially references a greatness with which nothing else can be compared and which is beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement or imitation. Aesthetics (also esthetics and æsthetics) is the philosophy of beauty and art. ... Latin is an Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... Transcendental in philosophical contexts In philosophy, transcendental experiences are experiences of an exclusively human nature that are other-worldly or beyond the human realm of understanding. ...


The first study of the value of the sublime is the treatise ascribed to Longinus: On the Sublime. Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant both investigated the subject (compare Burke’s Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful, 1756) and both distinguished the sublime from the beautiful. Later writers tend to include the sublime in the beautiful. Longinus (Λογγινος) is a conventional name applied to a Greek teacher of rhetoric or literary critic who may have lived in the 1st century, and is known only for his treatise On the Sublime (Περι υψους). ... Edmund Burke The Right Honourable Edmund Burke (January 12, 1729 – July 9, 1797) was an Anglo-Irish statesman, author, orator and political philosopher, who served for many years in the British House of Commons as a member of the Whig party. ... It has been suggested that Kantianism be merged into this article or section. ... A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful is a 1757 treatise on aesthetics, written by Edmund Burke. ...


For Kant, the sublime represented a feeling derived from aesthetic judgment, in which we realize the limits of our human nature: that is, we realize we cannot conceive of something because it is part of the noumenal realm. Much like being next to a brick wall, we know the wall is there and that, presumably, there is something inaccessible on the other side. For Kant, the exaltation we get from this realization is true sublimity; the realization that we cannot fully comprehend our own nature. In the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, a noumenon or thing in itself (German Ding an sich) is an unknowable, indescribable reality that in some way underlies observed phenomena. ...


Kant also described the sublime, in relation to how the mind operates under its effects, as rapidly alternating between two states—attraction and repulsion. The mind oscillates between the two states, which can account for the paradox of thinking that two feelings are happening at the same time. For example, infinity is a cause for the sublime. We cannot comprehend "forever," whether spatially or in relation to time. But it is this mystery that fascinates us, draws us in, even though it repulses the logical mind. So at one moment we feel incompetent at the inability to comprehend this idea, but in the next we may be fascinated and awed.


The Romantics were essentially preoccupied by the sublime and especially by the sublime in Nature.


It is a frequent theme in paintings of John Constable and William Turner, who tried to reach the essence of the sublime through experiment. Categories: Stub | 1776 births | 1837 deaths | British painters | Romantic art | Suffolk | Romanticism ... J. M. W. Turner, English landscape painter The fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, painted 1839. ...


Since the end of the 18th century, influenced by the works of the Romantic writers, the sublime, beautiful and picturesque have a more defined philosophy, and have florished in many forms of art. It is no longer a philosophical discussion. For example, Landscape garden, influenced by Chinese gardening, is an imitation of the beautiful and picturesque.


The sublime, as a theme in aesthetics, went into something of a decline during the Modernist period, though, particularly in the work of Jean-François Lyotard, the sublime has had something of a revival. For Lyotard, the sublime's significance is in the way it points to an aporia in human reason; it expresses the edge of our conceptual powers and reveals the multiplicity and instability of the postmodern world. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... An aporia is a figure of speech that occurs when a speaker expresses doubt about his or her position or asks the audience rhetorically how he or she should proceed. ...


References


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sublime (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (490 words)
For Kant, the sublime represented a feeling derived from aesthetic judgment, in which we realize the limits of our human nature: that is, we realize we cannot conceive of something because it is part of the noumenal realm.
The sublime, as a theme in aesthetics, went into something of a decline during the Modernist period, though, particularly in the work of Jean-François Lyotard, the sublime has had something of a revival.
For Lyotard, the sublime's significance is in the way it points to an aporia in human reason; it expresses the edge of our conceptual powers and reveals the multiplicity and instability of the postmodern world.
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