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From Kant to Nietzsche
Author: Andrew Bowie

In 1796 a German politico-philosophical manifesto proclaims the 'highest act of reason' as an 'aesthetic act'. The ways in which this transformation relates to the development of some of the major directions in modern philosophy is the focus of this book. The book focuses on the main accounts of the human subject and on the conceptions of art and language which emerge within the Kantian and post-Kantian history of aesthetics. Immanuel Kant's main work on aesthetics, the 'third Critique', the Critique of Judgement, forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason and Critique of Practical Reason. The early Romantics, who, after all, themselves established the term, can be characterized in a way which distinguishes them from later German Romanticism. The 'Oldest System Programme of German Idealism', is a manifesto for a new philosophy and exemplifies the spirit of early Idealism, not least with regard to mythology. The crucial question posed by the Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling of the System of Transcendental Idealism (STI) is how art relates to philosophy, a question which has recently reappeared in post-structuralism and in aspects of pragmatism. Despite his undoubted insights, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's insufficiency in relation to music is part of his more general problem with adequately theorising self-consciousness, and thus with his aesthetic theory. Friedrich Schleiermacher argues in the hermeneutics that interpretation of the meaning of Kunst is itself also an 'art'. The book concludes with a discussion on music, language, and Romantic thought.

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The interest in aesthetics in philosophy, literary and cultural studies is growing rapidly. This book contains exemplary essays by key practitioners in these fields which demonstrate the importance of this area of enquiry. New aestheticism remains a troubled term and in current parlance it already comes loaded with the baggage of the 'philistine controversy' which first emerged in an exchange that originally that took place in the New Left Review during the mid-1990s. A serious aesthetic education is necessary for resisting the advance of 'philistinism'. Contemporary aesthetic production may be decentred and belonging to the past, but that is not a reason to underestimate what great works do that nothing else can. Despite well-established feminist work in literary criticism, film theory and art history, feminist aesthetics 'is a relatively young discipline, dating from the early 1990s'. The book focuses on the critical interrogation of the historical status of mimesis in the context of a gendered and racial politics of modernity. Throughout the history of literary and art criticism the focus has fallen on the creation or reception of works and texts. The book also identifies a fragmentary Romantic residue in contemporary aesthetics. The Alexandrian aesthetic underlies the experience of the 'allegorical'. 'Cultural poetics' makes clear the expansion of 'poetics' into a domain that is no longer strictly associated with 'poetry'. The book also presents an account of a Kantian aesthetic criticism, discussing Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Aesthetic Judgement and Critique of Judgement.

Andrew Bowie

1 Modern philosophy and the emergence of aesthetic theory: Kant Self-consciousness, knowledge and freedom The importance attributed to aesthetic questions in recent philosophy becomes easier to grasp if one considers the reasons for the emergence of modern aesthetic theory. Kant’s main work on aesthetics, the ‘third Critique’, the Critique of Judgement (CJ) (1790), forms part of his response to unresolved questions which emerge from his Critique of Pure Reason (CPR) (1781) and Critique of Practical Reason (1787).1 In order to understand the significance of the CJ

in Aesthetics and subjectivity
Gary Banham

of something termed ‘aesthetics’. I will here briefly revisit the three distinct senses given 194 Reflections to the term ‘aesthetic’ in Kant’s three critiques, suggesting thereby an agenda for an expansion of the term beyond the restricted notion which presently is the major one accepted. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason opens with a section entitled the ‘transcendental aesthetic’. In this part of the work Kant treats of the contribution to knowledge provided by sensibility. The use of the term ‘aesthetic’ to describe the notion of sensibility was widely accepted

in The new aestheticism
Thomas Docherty

culture as potentiality. Notes 1 W. Benjamin, ‘Experience’ in M. Bullock and M. W. Jennings (eds), Selected Writings Volume 1: 1913–1926 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), pp. 3–5 (p. 5). 2 Agathon, in Plato, Symposium, trans. C. Gill (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1999), p. 29. 34 Positions 3 Benjamin, ‘Experience’, pp. 3–5. See also I. Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, 2nd edn (1787), trans. J. M. D. Meiklejohn (London: Dent, 1946), p. 30. 4 Benjamin, ‘Experience’, p. 3. I suggest the alignment with modernism so that we can see the emergence of these new forms

in The new aestheticism
Mads Qvortrup

latter work is rather lesser known than his more abstract treatises it is worth noting that Lettres was deliberately written to demystify his theories. Rather than being a merely apologetic tract, Lettres was also a popularised version of thoughts which he had previously expressed in a theoretical language. One could perhaps say that Lettres stands in the same relationship to Du Contrat Social as Kant’s Prolegomena stands to his Critique of Pure Reason. In Lettres Rousseau proceeded through examples rather than through stringent deductive reasoning. The result was a

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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Bronwen Price

the scientific community represented in Bacon’s fable and elsewhere in his work continued in various shapes and forms. The French philosophes of the Enlightenment highlight the social and humanitarian function of scientific knowledge in Bacon’s writings,36 and his ideas were implicitly regarded as being central to the Encyclopedists’ focus on the mechanical arts, practical science and classificatory schemes.37 Immanuel Kant dedicated his Critique of Pure Reason (1781) to Bacon and refers to the ‘fresh vigour’ ‘wise Bacon’ gave to the seventeenth century’s ‘new

in Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis
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Henry David Thoreau
David Herd

is a good phrase, communicating well the burden under which people go into the world, or fail to go into it; a phrase that implies, in Kantian terms, a critique of pure reason. The importance of Kantian thought to American writing, its principles and the problems it brought forth, cannot be overstated. Which is neither to say that all significant American poets have been Kantians, nor even that Kant has been on most American poets’ reading lists – though famously, of course, he was on Stevens’. Kant is central because he was foundational for the Transcendentalists

in Enthusiast!
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Kevin Harrison and Tony Boyd

area of private life as possible over which the state has no right to trespass. Indeed, he declared that the right to the greatest possible degree of freedom was second only to the right to life. Immanuel Kant Running through Kant’s many works, most notably Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), Critique of Judgement (1790), is the linking of

in Understanding political ideas and movements
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Between Adorno and Heidegger
Joanna Hodge

indeed to Adorno’s recasting of Kantian antinomy as dialectic of enlightenment see G. Rose, Hegel contra Sociology (London: Athlone, 1981). 8 The notion of antinomy here has a history going back to the writings of Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787), in which he analyses the antinomies of the understanding with respect to the deployment of concepts. Kant sets out an antinomy of practical reason in his Critique of Practical Reason, which concerns the different trajectories of an analysis of virtue and of happiness respectively. The argument considers the

in The new aestheticism