By Andrew Bowie

New, thoroughly revised and re-written version. bargains a close, yet asccesible account of the important German philosophical culture of wondering paintings and the self. seems to be at contemporary old examine and modern arguments in philosophy and idea within the humanities, following the trail of German philosophy from Kant, through Fichte and Hölderlin, the early Romantics, Schelling, Hegel, Schleiermacher, to Nietzsche.

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Extra resources for Aesthetics and Subjectivity From Kant to Nietzsche

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13 Kant’s aim, then, is to link the harmony manifest in aesthetic apprehension of natural objects with the idea of natural teleology, thereby revealing the ultimate connection of nature as a whole to the ways in which we think about it and relate to it. He remains ambiguous as to whether such a link is merely a regulative idea or could actually be constitutive, tending more to the former conception. Subsequent thinkers, like Schelling, will, as we shall see, try to make the link constitutive. Such a strong conception of natural teleology may be hard to defend, but what interests Kant in this question will not simply go away, even if one rejects teleology out of hand as inappropriate for the explanation of natural products.

Whether this ‘common sense’ is a ‘constitutive principle of the possibility of experience’ or only a ‘regulative principle’, for creating ‘a common sense for higher purposes’ (B p. 68), Kant leaves open. However, he does insist that we necessarily presuppose such a norm if we wish to make valid claims about taste, because such claims depend upon a difference between mere contingent individual pleasure and what we think everyone ought to be able to agree about. As he already claimed in 1769–70: ‘Contemplation of beauty is a judgement, and not a pleasure’ (Kant 1996 p.

The perceived inadequacy of language to aesthetic ideas makes other thinkers, particularly the early Romantics and Schopenhauer, look for a ‘language’ which is adequate to such ideas. The language in question is, however, the conceptless language of music, to which some thinkers will even grant a higher philosophical status than to conceptual language. Although music is manifested in sensuous material, it does not necessarily represent anything and may in consequence be understood metaphorically as articulating or evoking what cannot be represented in the subject, namely the supersensuous basis of subjectivity which concepts cannot describe, where necessity and freedom are reconciled.

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