Tagged: Immanuel Kant

Metall auf metall

To paraphrase Kant: English is the language of commerce; German, the language of philosophy; French, the language of poetry.

MDMA is making a comeback. It’s safe to bring out your pacifier and glow sticks.

The most dangerous drug is monotheism.

It’s no surprise that Mr Trump stiffed the Veterans, got caught, and was forced to pony up.

The law & order, family values Republican Party is throwing its support behind a twice divorced harlequin, who is also a grifter and a cheat.

We are not even close to peak Bond watch. It’s time for a non-binary Bond.

Overture

The majority of Americans are not cathected to the embargo against Cuba. Miami, the old stronghold of anti-Castro sentiment, is now dominated by other Latin Americans who arrived via first class accommodations rather than by raft. Revanchists like Mr Rubio are tilting against a tsunami of indifference.

Kitsch pleases, but does not edify. As per Kant, it is neither beautiful nor sublime. However, this is not true of ironic kitsch (called “pre-emptive kitsch” here).

Not even the Vatican Patriarchs desire to tangle with nuns.

The unchurched are a potential bulwark against future state sponsored torture.

Taste

In order to decide whether or not something is beautiful, we do not relate the representation by means of understanding to the object for cognition, but rather relate it by means of the imagination (perhaps combined with the understanding) to the subject and its feeling of pleasure or displeasure. The judgment of taste is therefore not a cognitive judgment, hence not a logical one, but is rather aesthetic, by which is understood one whose determining ground cannot be other than subjective. Any relation of representations, however, even that of sensations, can be objective (in which case it signifies what is real in an empirical representation); but not the relation to the feeling of pleasure and displeasure, by means of which nothing at all in the object is designated, but in which the subject feels itself as it is affected by the representation.

Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, First Part, First Section, § 1.

Of human nature

In human nature, praiseworthy qualities never are found without concurrent variations that must run through endless shadings to the utmost imperfection. The quality of the terrifying sublime, if it is quite unnatural, is adventurous. Unnatural things, so far as the sublime is supposed in them, although little or none at all may actually be found, are grotesque. Whoever loves and believes the fantastic is a visionary; the inclination toward whims makes the crank. On the other side, if the noble is completely lacking the feeling of the beautiful degenerates, and one calls it trifling. A male person of this quality, if he is young, is named a fop; if he is of middle age, he is a dandy. Since the sublime is most necessary to the elderly, an old dandy is the most contemptible creature in nature, just as a young crank is the most offensive and intolerable. Jests and liveliness pertain to the feeling of the beautiful. Nevertheless, much understanding can fittingly shine through, and to that extent they can be more or less related to the sublime. He in whose sprightliness this admixture is not detectable chatters. He who perpetually chatters is silly. One easily notices that even clever persons occasionally chatter, and that not a little intellect is needed to call the understanding away from its post for a short time without anything going wrong thereby. He whose words or deeds neither entertain nor move one is boring. The bore, if he is nevertheless zealous to do both, is insipid. The insipid one, if he is conceited, is a fool.

Immanuel Kant, Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (1763)