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By Andrew Bowie

New, thoroughly revised and re-written version. deals an in depth, yet asccesible account of the important German philosophical culture of brooding about artwork and the self. appears to be like at fresh 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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48). Kant claims in reflections from the time of his writing of the CJ Modern philosophy and aesthetic theory 37 that: ‘The general validity of pleasure [in beauty] and yet not via concepts but in intuition is what is difficult’ (Kant 1996 p. 137). Intuitions, as we saw, are regarded by Kant as inherently particular: how, then, are they supposed to be the basis of something universal that is grasped in a judgement? The answer has to do with the question of feeling and its links to the possibility of a sensus communis.

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.

220, A p. 217). Music represents feelings, in much the same way as language supposedly represents ideas or objects. ’ (ed. Strunk 1998 p. 699). However, Kant does not adopt this literalist conception in every respect. Music also communicates aesthetic ideas, but these are ‘not concepts and determinate thoughts’, though their purpose is solely to ‘express the aesthetic idea of a coherent whole’ (CJ. B p 220, A p. 217), the pleasure in which is generated by the mathematical proportions upon which the whole is based.

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