Kant on the Feeling of Beautiful and Sublime

Posted: 21/04/2020 by vequinox in Literature


Easter Quote Week

On the 22nd of April 1724, Immanuel Kant was born in Königsberg, Prussia. The German philosopher discussed the subjective nature of aesthetic qualities and experiences in Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, (1764):

51X8DPFXMDL“Philosophical eyes are microscopic.  Their view is exact but small and their intention is truth.  The sensible [sinnliche] view is bold and provides fanciful excess that is moving although only it will only be encountered in the imagination.

Beautiful and sublime are not the same.  The former swells the heart and makes the attention fixed and tense thereby tiring it. The latter lets the heart melt in a kind of softish sensation and, as it leaves the nerves behind here, the feeling becomes a gentler emotion which, if it goes too far, transforms into feebleness, boredom, and disgust.

The sublime must always be great; the beautiful can also be small. The sublime must be…

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