Engaging the Sublime without Distance

Environmental Ethics 38 (4):463-481 (2016)

Brendan Mahoney
State University of New York at Binghamton
Over the past decade or two, a number of scholars have proposed that the aesthetic experi­ence of the sublime offers a ground on which to build an environmental ethic. Among these scholars, Emily Brady has offered the most sustained and comprehensive analysis of this topic. Her position is firmly grounded in Kant’s aesthetic theory. She conclude that the experience of the sublime provides a robust aesthetic basis for an environmental ethic; however, Kant’s aesthetic theory presents difficulties for this position insofar as he claims that the experience of the sublime reveals the superiority of humans over nature. One source of Kant’s anthropocentrism is his concept of “safe distance.” However, drawing on Arnold Berleant’s theory of aesthetic engagement and Thoreau’s account of the sublime in “Ktaadn,” an engaged—or de-distanced—experience of the sublime offers a more solid foundation for an aesthetically grounded environmental ethic.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest  Social and Political Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0163-4275
DOI 10.5840/enviroethics201638438
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,928
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What's the Big Idea? On Emily Brady's Sublime. Clewis - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 50 (2):104-118.
The Sublime and the Other.Richard White - 1997 - Heythrop Journal 38 (2):125–143.
The Sublime and the Other.Richard White - 1997 - Heythrop Journal 38 (2):125-143.
Reassessing Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature in the Kantian Sublime. Brady - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 46 (1):91-109.
The Sublime Anthropocene.Byron Williston - 2016 - Environmental Philosophy 13 (2):155-174.
Contemporary Environmental Aesthetics and the Neglect of the Sublime.S. Shapshay - 2013 - British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (2):181-198.
Kant on Painting and the Representation of the Sublime.Gabriele Tomasi - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):545-567.
The Emotional Experience of the Sublime.Tom Cochrane - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):125-148.
Il Sublime Romantico: Storia di Un Concetto Sommerso.Giovanna Pinna - 2007 - Centro Internazionale Studi di Estetica.


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #924,084 of 2,319,058 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #571,679 of 2,319,058 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature