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Art and interpretation

words or sentences, in his rejection of the immediate givenness of things, and in his insistence on the ineliminability of context and background knowledge in all understanding. The underlying pattern in the history of analytical philosophy is the move from the conviction that the world provides a ‘given’ which is the immediate foundation of certainty in questions of truth and meaning, to the realisation, as Wilfrid Sellars argued, that such a given is in fact a ‘myth’, because all awareness that can lead to knowledge must be linguistically structured and thus

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
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seventeenth century when Descartes 2 Aesthetics and subjectivity makes the ‘I think’ the main point of certainty upon which philosophy can build, but Descartes still relies upon God to guarantee the connection of ourselves to the order of the universe. Towards the end of the eighteenth century Immanuel Kant aims, in the light of Descartes’s arguments about self-consciousness, to describe the shared structures of our subjective consciousness which are the ‘condition of possibility’ of objective knowledge, and he tries to do so without having recourse to a divinity who

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Kant

famously located the certainty which warded off the scepticism generated by the unreliability of empirical perception in the thought that even if I doubt everything I think I Modern philosophy and aesthetic theory 17 know about the world I must exist qua doubter. Doubting the thought of my existence involved an undeniable existential relationship of the doubter to the thought that is being doubted, which therefore provided a minimal point of certainty: I must at least exist as a thinking being. However, Descartes provided very little else by this argument, and he

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
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An epilogue

seize upon and sift through textual traces, oral liturgies, experiential entanglements, and graphic imaginaries. On offer is a visual hermeneutics that renders details with a twist. Here, haunting images resonate with oracular expression, prior certainties echo limiting doubts, and the force of the past sounds out the fleeting, the fragmentary, and the transitory. All this is shored up by a vulnerable

in Subjects of modernity
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The beginning of aesthetic theory and the end of art

sense data are an immediate, non-inferential foundation of certainty which are the ultimate court of appeal in epistemological matters. What causes the real trouble in interpreting claims of the Logic is the relationship between the Phenomenology’s closely argued and historically based account of the genesis of the essential modes of thinking through the working out of contradictions in the historical forms of thought in society, and the Logic’s use of a similar method which does not refer to history as such and makes such claims as the one just cited.5 It is not

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
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An introduction

certainties. On the other hand, disciplines such as sociology, at the very least in the Euro-American academe, have only rarely recently engaged with postcolonial perspectives (and decolonial departures). Upon taking such steps, they have often intersected – critically and conceptually – with work in historical sociology that articulates colonial pasts, also putting a distinct spin on sociological writings that

in Subjects of modernity
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Identities and incitements

, which speak in the uneasy echoes of limiting doubt rather than deal in dead certainties. 32 It only follows that the emphases outlined above have not resorted to spatial-temporal, geometric oppositions involving cyclical notions of the past as characteristic of the East and linear conceptions of history as constitutive of the West. Nor have they approached the assertive appropriations and enunciations

in Subjects of modernity

certainties and her school mistress adages: ‘Stay and shelter from the rain, it will soon stop. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Always study your work. Don’t wear jeans and T-shirt again when you visit me, they keep you too hot.’ Then a new story confirms her respectability. ‘The last funeral that I attended I

in Frontiers of the Caribbean
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Art as the ‘organ of philosophy’

contemporary thought. In the System Programme it was claimed that art and beauty manifest the connection between the sensuous and the intelligible, thereby making into a metaphysical certainty what Kant had cautiously postulated in the CJ. This claim is the core of an Idealist view of aesthetics, contrasting with the Romantic view, in which, as we saw in Novalis, art only gives a negative sense of the absolute, thus putting a positive metaphysical account of the ground of subjectivity into question. Schelling’s work is often uneasily located between Idealist and Romantic

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
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Time and space

linked to the simultaneous exclusive claims made on behalf of these knowledge formations. Apparent certainty and actual ambivalence regarding demarcations of time and space both have an important role here. Thus, as has been repeatedly emphasized by prominent postcolonial critics among others, the concept of the postcolonial has rested upon the divide between the colonial and the postcolonial. 55 Here, an entirely exclusive

in Subjects of modernity