Natural theology: Wit, the electric shock, the aesthetic idea—and a belated acknowledgment of points made by the late MR Gershon Weiler

Sophia 42 (1):9-26 (2003)
The paper concludes the argument that certain aesthetic objects conduce to a feeling of radical contingency, and to an openness to St Thomas's Third Way proof for the existence of God. Much is conceded to the late Mr Gershon Weiler's criticism of an earlier discussion. The upshot is (a) that Necessary Being as converse of radical contingency may be an Aesthetic Idea/Sublime of Kant's kind, and (b) that without the ‘I AM that I am’, it is empty. The ‘inference’ from radical contingency to Necessary Being may function as George Eliot thought Wit to function, intellectually/aesthetically.
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DOI 10.1007/BF02824838
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