Sublime Understanding: Aesthetic Reflection in Kant and Hegel by Kirk Pillow

Sublime Understanding: Aesthetic Reflection in Kant and Hegel

byKirk Pillow

Paperback | January 24, 2003

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The topic of the sublime is making a return to contemporary discourse on aesthetics and cognition. In Sublime Understanding, Kirk Pillow makes sublimity the center of an alternative conception of aesthetic response and interpretation. He draws an aesthetics of sublimity from Kant's Critique of Judgment, bolsters it with help from Hegel, and establishes its place in a broadened conception of human understanding (thus differing from the many scholars who use Hegel to dismiss Kant or vice versa). He argues that sublime reflection provides a model for an interpretive response to the uncanny Other outside our conceptual grasp; it advances our sense-making pursuits but eschews unified, conceptual determination. Thus "sublime understanding" is the always partial, indeterminate grasping of contextual wholes through which we make sense of the uncanny particular in both art and the lived world.The book is divided into three parts. In the first two parts, Pillow presents insightful reinterpretations of Kant's and Hegel's aesthetics. In the third part he develops his own model of an aestheticized understanding, which illuminates contemporary discussions of metaphor and interpretation, while bridging Anglo-American and continental treatments of these issues. The presentation is a model of clear and well-crafted exposition, exemplifying the practice of aesthetically reflective sublime understanding that it articulates.

About The Author

Kirk Pillow is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton College.

Details & Specs

Title:Sublime Understanding: Aesthetic Reflection in Kant and HegelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:385 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:January 24, 2003Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262661365

ISBN - 13:9780262661362

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Sublime Understanding is one of the most useful books on Kant's aesthetics to have appeared in a decade, and the most fruitful juxtaposition of Kantian and Hegelian aesthetics to have appeared in a generation. Pillow's account of sublime understanding is a valuable corrective to the postmodernist misinterpretation of the Kantian sublime as a symbol of the unintelligibility of human experience. His work will undoubtedly engender lively debate from both traditionalists and postmodernists.