Chapter

Sentimentalism and the Discourses of Freedom: The Aesthetic Analogy from Hume to Arendt

Hina Nazar

in Enlightened Sentiments

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823240074
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823240111 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823240074.003.0003
Sentimentalism and the Discourses of Freedom: The Aesthetic Analogy from Hume to Arendt

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This chapter explores how sentimental moral philosophy engages the modern norm of autonomy by honing in on a hallmark of sentimental ethics from Shaftesbury to Adam Smith: its treatment of moral experience as broadly analogous to aesthetic experience. The sentimentalists’ use of an aesthetic analogy for moral judgment produces an unexpected connection to the Kantian liberal tradition, with which the concept of autonomy is most closely associated, and more particularly, to interpretations of Kant's Critique of Judgment. Attention is drawn especially to the parallels that emerge between judgment as theorized by Hume and Smith, on the one hand, and by interpreters of Kant like Hannah Arendt, on the other hand, by way of delineating a revisionist reading of Kantian autonomy that is context-sensitive and vectored in a this-worldly direction.

Keywords: Autonomy; Judgment; Aesthetics; Ethics; Immanuel Kant; Hannah Arendt; David Hume; Adam Smith

Chapter.  8248 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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