Authors
Sandra Shapshay
Hunter College (CUNY)
Abstract
The aesthetic category of the sublime has been theorized as integrally intertwined with the moral. Paradigmatic experiences of the sublime, such as gazing up at the starry night sky, or out at a storm-whipped sea, lead in a moral or religious direction depending on the cognitive stock brought to the experience, since they typically involve a feeling of awe and reflection on the peculiar situation of the human being in nature. The monumental is a similar aesthetic category, integrally intertwined with the political, but, by contrast, has garnered almost no attention from aestheticians. My main goal in this paper is to sketch a theory of ‘the monumental’ as an aesthetic category—one that is a species of the sublime but differs qualitatively from the natural/environmental sublime in significant ways, and thus merits a distinctive label. In doing so, I aim to shed light on the nature and power of monuments specifically, and to begin to address a lacuna in our understanding of a long-standing and culturally important form of public art.
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DOI 10.1093/jaac/kpab002
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Critique of the Power of Judgment.Immanuel Kant - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

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