Philosophical aesthetics have seen an amazing revival over the past decade, as a radical questioning of the very grounds of Western epistemology has revealed that descriptions of what used to be seen as specific to aesthetic experience can instead be viewed as a general model for human cognition. In this revival, no text in the classical corpus of Western philosophy has been more frequently discussed and debated than the dense, complex paragraphs inserted into Kant's Critique of Judgment as sections 23-29: (...) the Analytic of the Sublime. This book is a rigorous explication de texte, a close reading of these sections. The Analytic of the Sublime, he points out, tries to argue that human thought is always constituted through a similar incompatibility between different intellectual and affective faculties. These lessons thus try to isolate the analysis of a differend of feeling in Kant's text, which is also the analysis of a feeling of differend, and to connect this feeling with the transport that leads all thought (critical thought included) to its limits. (shrink)
Lyotard is considered one of the most brilliant and influential of French post-structuralist thinkers. Published in 1974 by Minuit, Économie libidinale is, of all his work to date, the most creative in its mode of writing and in its theorizing: a stunning, dense, brilliant piece in which Lyotard, ranging from Marxist and Freudian theory to contemporary arts, argues that political economy is charged with passions and, reciprocally, that passions are infused with the political.
This translation of Lyotard's first book, La phenomenologie (first publication in 1954; the translation is from the 10th edition of 1986, Presses Universitaires de France) supplies an important link to Lyotard's more recent work.
In his “Marxism and the Post-Modern Condition” Raulet examines the relation between modernity, post-modernity, and the aesthetics of the sublime. I would like to make a modest clarification. Raulet argues that I counterpose the Kantian sublime, which is based on incommensurability of powers [Vermögen], to the Hegelian dialectic which totalizes them. Thus I place myself in a position of being able to oppose totalitarianism only by means of a politics of terror. Both equations (speculative discourse = totalitarianism; and philosophy of (...) the sublime = terrorism) need to be dissolved. Let us briefly recall the objections to these equations. (shrink)