The Kantian Sublime

Bonnie Mann

in Women's Liberation and the Sublime

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195187458
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786565 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

  The Kantian Sublime

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The turn of the century was marked by a preoccupation with relationships of Otherness, both internal and external to Europe. In establishing his difference from these Others, the Euro-masculine subject also established himself. The very possibility of erecting a convincing edifice of freedom, autonomy, and sovereignty rested on what he did with these Others. Kant wrote his Observations and, more than two decades later, his “Analytic of the Sublime” in the midst of these debates. He attempted to sort through the confusions that characterized the Euro-masculine relation to Others, both as a philosopher and as one of the founders of the new field of anthropology. This chapter discusses these confusions based on two general sets of paradoxes: the paradox of space and the paradox of time. The first paradox considers these sorts of questions: where are the Others of the Euro-masculine subject in relation to him — inside or outside? What kind of space or place does this subject inhabit? Is a woman a part of a man? If so then how is it that a man is not partly a woman? How is this subject's spatial self-constitution built around a man's spatial relations to nature and women? The second paradox considers questions of time and sequence: what kind of time does this subject inhabit? What kind of time inhabits him? Where are others in this subject's time? Are racialized others that I encounter encountered in my time? How is temporal self-constitution built around temporal relations to racialized others?

Keywords: Kant; paradox of space; paradox of time; Euro-masculine subject; Others; feminism

Chapter.  14722 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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