The Sublime Experience
Published at : 27 Jan 2021
Prior to the eighteenth century, and before Edmund Burke’s foundational treatise, the sublime was understood as beauty and greatness beyond measure. Subsequently, awe, the emotion classically associated with the sublime, was given new psychological depth and even physiological dimensions, bringing fear and the grotesque into aesthetic considerations of the sublime. In Kantian, the sublime exists beyond the realm of the sensible: beyond form and purpose, but not beyond morality. How might the nature of the sublime differ in relation to visual arts, music, religious experience, nature itself? What can religion and philosophy, as well as psychology and neuroscience, teach us about the distinction between an experience of pleasure and the ecstasy of the sublime?
Research Fellow in the Philosophy and History of Science, Boston University
William Lampson Professor of English, Yale University
Conductor, Music Director of the Israel Symphony and the Little Orchestra Society
Professor of English, Boston College
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Indiana University