Monday, June 16, 2008

Philosopher's Carnival

The Seventy-First Philosopher's Carnival, er, Karneval, is up at The Ends of Thought. Roman has done a great job here, selecting some excellent posts and giving thoughtful summaries and commentary. This is the first Philosopher's Carnival in a long time (perhaps ever?) where I have liked every entry quite a bit. (There's perhaps too much Davidson, but that's a forgivable lapse of good taste.)

My post on sublimity is in the carnival. Roman says of it:

I am sympathetic to this project, but worry whether the contemporary scene can competently tend to the sublime: the French flirtation with sublimity in the late '80s, one might recall, was short-lived and not wholly productive.

I think this is a legitimate worry. I haven't read all or even much of the French work Roman mentions, but what little I have read is certainly a mixed bag. What's often called the 'religious' or 'theological' turn in phenomenology, such as one finds in Marion, is really a turn to the sublime, religion simply being one of the few contemporary fields where recognition of the sublime is still common (even if not often reflected upon). There are a few interesting things there (although perhaps only covering a limited range of the sublime). But I think Roman's right to worry that the resources for an adequate approach to the sublime are not as available today as they would need to be for there to be a serious change on this point.

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