Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (2):62-71 (2008)
Ralph Ellis discusses inspiration in important philosophical and psychological ways, and this response to his essay both appreciates and amplifies his discussion and its conclusions by framing them in terms of sublimation and speech, using insights from the work of Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze. Inspiration is not derived from another plane of existence, but refers to tbe creation of human meaning and value. Inspiration as a form of sublimation conceives sublimation as a process of substitution that avoids elevating a phenomenon from a lower material to a higher spiritual level, and speech can be seen as a complex form of inspiration that forms along what Deleuze calls a plateau. Speech as inspiration is both physiological breath and productive of cognitive and emotional significance. I conclude with abrief consideration of inspiration as speech in Cormac McCarthey’s novel The Road
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