Kantian Review 25 (3):465-485 (2020)

According to Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgement, in the end all estimation of magnitude is sensible, or ‘aesthetic’, and the absolutely great in aesthetic estimation is called ‘the mathematical sublime’. This article identifies the relevant sensible element with an inner sensation of a temporal tension: in aesthetic comprehension, the imagination encounters an inevitable tension between the successive reproduction of a magnitude’s individual parts and the simultaneous unification of these parts. The sensation of this tension varies in degree and facilitates aesthetic estimation in general. But in the special case where it comes to involve a sense of exceeding our imagination’s limit, we judge a magnitude to be mathematically sublime. Pace Kant, I argue that this limit is private and contingent rather than transcendental, such that the judgement of the mathematical sublime is neither universal a priori nor necessary.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/s1369415420000278
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,536
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

Kant and the Experience of Freedom.Paul Guyer - 1995 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (2):369-377.
Kant's Sublime: A Form of Pure Aesthetic Reflective Judgment.Patricia M. Matthews - 1996 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54 (2):165-180.
Phenomenality and Materiality in Kant.Paul De Man - 1984 - In Gary Shapiro & Alan Sica (eds.), Hermeneutics: Questions and Prospects. University of Massachusetts Press.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Kant’s Mathematical Sublime and Aesthetic Estimation of Extensive Magnitude.Weijia7 Wang - 2018 - Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics 9.
The Sublime.Melissa McBay Merritt - 2018 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The Digital Sublime: Lessons From Kelli Connell's Double Life. Huang - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 46 (4):70-79.
Kant’s Account of the Sublime as Critique.Rachel Zuckert - 2019 - Kant Yearbook 11 (1):101-119.
Sublimity and Joy: Kant on the Aesthetic Constitution of Virtue.Melissa Merritt - 2017 - In Matthew Altman (ed.), The Palgrave Kant Handbook. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 447-467.
Reassessing Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature in the Kantian Sublime. Brady - 2012 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 46 (1):91-109.
The Sublime, The Event And Graffiti.Connell Vaughan - 2010 - Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 7 (2):50-61.
Awe or Envy: Herder Contra Kant on the Sublime.Rachel Zuckert - 2003 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 61 (3):217–232.
The Emotional Experience of the Sublime.Tom Cochrane - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):125-148.


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #781,801 of 2,385,586 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #60,697 of 2,385,586 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes