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Eli I. Lichtenstein
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  1. The Passions and Disinterest: From Kantian Free Play to Creative Determination by Power, Via Schiller and Nietzsche.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:249-279.
    I argue that Nietzsche’s criticism of the Kantian theory of disinterested pleasure in beauty reflects his own commitment to claims that closely resemble certain Kantian aesthetic principles, specifically as reinterpreted by Schiller. I show that Schiller takes the experience of beauty to be disinterested both (1) insofar as it involves impassioned ‘play’ rather than desire-driven ‘work’, and (2) insofar as it involves rational-sensuous (‘aesthetic’) play rather than mere physical play. In figures like Nietzsche, Schiller’s generic notion of play—which is itself (...)
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  2. Sensory Force, Sublime Impact, and Beautiful Form.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2019 - British Journal of Aesthetics 59 (4):449-464.
    Can a basic sensory property like a bare colour or tone be beautiful? Some, like Kant, say no. But Heidegger suggests, plausibly, that colours ‘glow’ and tones ‘sing’ in artworks. These claims can be productively synthesized: ‘glowing’ colours are not beautiful; but they are sensory forces—not mere ‘matter’, contra Kant—with real aesthetic impact. To the extent that it inheres in sensible properties, beauty is plausibly restricted to structures of sensory force. Kant correspondingly misrepresents the relation of beautiful wholes to their (...)
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    Nietzsche Contra Sublimation.Eli I. Lichtenstein - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    Many commentators have claimed that Nietzsche views the “sublimation” (Sublimierung) of drives as a positive achievement. Against this tradition, I argue that on the dominant if not universal Nietzschean use of Sublimierung and its cognates, sublimation is just a broad psychological analogue of the traditional (al)chemical process: the “vaporization” of drives into a finer or lighter state, figuratively if not literally. This can yield ennobling elevation, or purity in a positive sense—the intensified “sublimate” of an unrefined original sample. But it (...)
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    Force and Objectivity: On Impact, Form, and Receptivity to Nature in Science and Art.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    Scientific objectivity is valuable only insofar as it is a species of objectivity in a broader sense—which extends to art and aesthetic experience, as well as myth and religion. Objectivity should be understood as outwardness, or receptivity to basic features of the world. Scientific objectivity is receptivity to basic features of the world specifically by adopting their ‘point of view’. It is not a ‘view from nowhere’, or universally-valid perspective. Nor is it a matter of the liberal democratic regulation of (...)
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