File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0111, message 50

Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 09:37:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: The Sublime

The issue is, indeed, the sublime and maybe after 9-11 we're finally ready
to see that Kant on the sublime is really a call for the development and the
use of the atomic bomb.  I know it sounds preposterous but so much was
slumbering in the great acts of a priori rationality.  And thus we can begin
to see the psyche hiding behind the ratio--in Kant and all who continue to
draw on him both for their hyper-rational superstructures and the covert
prosecution of their deepest desires.  Because yes, the horror of 9-11 was
that at one register of the psyche it was experienced as a sublime image.
And thus shocking the need of so many to moralistically deny this and attack
all who want to understand it.  For the understand is perhaps this: a
sublime affect can only be replaced by another sublime affect.  As on 8-6-45
and 8-9-45 and on .....???
When traumatic events happen historicity within the psyche turns on the
sublime register.
I have tried to discuss these matters---and Kant on the sublime at

At 06:03 AM 11/10/01 -0600, you wrote:
>I want to deal with some of these other issues in another post, when I
>have a little more time.
>But, first of all, there is clearly a difference between interest and
>the ethical, certainly within both the Aristotlean and the Kantian
>Kant clearly distinguishes between duty and interest and says that
>ethics is only concerned with the former and not the latter.  I realize
>the word duty is not a popular one today.  Put in its place something
>like 'the right thing' or justice and what Kant says makes more sense.
>It is also interesting that Kant make a similar distinction between
>interest and beauty, but I digress...
>Also, there is a clear concept of the sublime that can be described in
>both Burke and Kant and it is something that is very different from the
>ineffable. My next post will deal with sublime in greater detail. 
>I also think, contrary to Steve, that there is a Kantian side to Badiou
>and not merely a Hegelian paternity.
>More later....


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