Introduction to Cosmological Aesthetics Through The Kantian Sublime and Nietzschean Dionysian

Introduction

Almost all of the Pre-Socratic philosophers began to speculate from the level of phusis or kosmos and define the ethical, artistic and political concepts according to the dynamics and principles of the whole (ta panta). This was an attempt to explain the place and role of microcosmic human existence within a macrocosmic picture. Heraclitus, for example, did not use the categories of logic and tended to describe the same thing (or roughly the same thing) now as a god, now as a form of matter, now as a rule of behaviour or principle which was nevertheless a physical constituent of things1. The multiple natures and definitions of his logos are down to its intermediary role between different realms of thought (such as cosmology and aesthetics) and strata (microcosm and macrocosm). In Heraclitean sense, logos is the principle which sustains the relation between the divine (natural) law and human life and secures the continuity of the orientation of nomos and ethos in the cosmic law by way of regulating the apprehensibility and application of the moving forces of matter through the generation of intelligible concepts. It is not a static comprehensible principle but an ec-static (beyond or out of static) and apprehensible aesthetic principle. Logos is the active mediating principle of motion that communicates human inner and outer senses and finds expression in pure and manifold concepts of understanding. It represents the regulatory essence of both the moving forces beyond time and space, and their transition into concepts through human judgment. It is both the cosmic force of balance that motivates life and the aesthetic principle that regulates the judgment we make on that motivation. 

But before we arrive at the purity of the cosmologic-aesthetic understanding and Heraclitean logos, we need to answer the following questions. Why do we need this transdisciplinary approach for a better understanding of both Nature and human arts? Why is aesthetics more related and applicable to cosmology than other divisions of metaphysics2? One of the arguments we can follow is that cosmology is not solely metaphysical but has to relate to physics for the completeness of its conceptual representations. Any cosmological argument must also refer to the physically sensible moving forces and/or their apprehensible metaphysical foundations, and in that sense, it must also be demonstrated with reference to the way these forces are apprehended. Thus, human sense-intuitions, understanding and judgment are the primary faculties regulating the transition from the phenomenal appearance of forces into intelligible concepts, which is necessarily an aesthetic process3. The inherent relation between aesthetics and cosmology also derives from the proposed view that aesthetics does not solely investigate the appearance of physical objects but must extend its focus in active as well as passive human understanding, sense-intuitions (Anschauung) as well as sense-perceptions (Empfindung). The source of any aesthetic concept or judgment related to the nature as a whole lies in the way the cosmic forces communicate human inner and outer senses, and hence any aesthetic judgment or concept must also be demonstrated with reference to the way we apprehend the moving forces in nature.This is because the transition occurs only when the moving forces do not exceed the intellectual or intuitive capacities of human mind. Reciprocally, human sense-intuitions and understanding are unable to apprehend and conceptualise any motion beyond their imaginative capacity.

This paper is founded on an elaborate reading of Kant’s Opus Postumum in order both to explore the essential motivation which drove Kant to write a last comprehensive magnum opus (after having completed his critical philosophy) and, by doing so, to show the essential link between his aesthetics and the idea of ‹bergang (transition from the metaphysical principles to physics) which was chosen by him to be the title of this last work. For this work contains not only his dynamical theory of matter defining motion within the natures of space and time, and the advanced version of his philosophy of natural science, but also his arguments for the phenomenal validity of the metaphysical foundations (or the essential unity of the theoretical and practical reason), his teachings on the aesthetic human faculties of judgment and Anschauung (sense-intuition), and the discernment of the transcendental philosophy from Platonic idealism carrying it to a rather cosmological level, i.e. Kant’s  insertion of the concept of cosmotheoros. That is why it would not be inappropriate to characterize the incomplete (but rich and innovative) Opus Postumum, as the continuation of both his theory of the sublime and reflective judgment from the third Critique, and his underlying motivation to integrate his physics, aesthetics, ethics and metaphysics into a single philosophical viewpoint like in the philosophical – cosmological systems of Pre-Socratics.  For only in Opus Postumum, Kant began questioning the validity of the dichotomies between object and subject, matter and form, phenomenon and noumenon, physis and ethos, nature and reason, world and God4. For only there he mentioned the necessity of an all-encompassing a priori principle (of transition) from which all these oppositions derive and through which they exist in unity and balance. This system is itself the demonstration of the unity and relation of our pure intuitions of motion, space and time and the conceptual structure of our thought processes, of the primitive laws of nature and our aesthetic, ethical and political concepts. But since the process of transition is an aesthetic process based on the human senses, intuitions and judgments, the argument will follow that in order to explicate ‹bergang, we need to reconcile cosmology, as the oldest branch of philosophy dealing with the ways the forces of motion affect human life, with aesthetics, as the youngest branch of philosophy dealing with how we sense, intuit and judge the form and motion of matter. Therefore, in the last analysis, ‹bergang becomes rather a cosmologic-aesthetic principle similar to the Heraclitean logos. In that, while the agitating forces condition human perception and thus conceptualisation, equally and simultaneously, the same forces acquire their meaning and thus definition in the very same process of transition. But since this process is itself the determinant of the rules of the acts of cognition, the logical self-consciousness is not the determining act but the determined product of this very process. The analysis of ‹bergang shall further be substantiated by a discussion of the arguments of pioneering scholars of Opus Postumum like Fˆrster, Tuschling, Guyer, Mathieu and Zammito.

Another building block of the paper is the fruitful comparison between the Kantian sublime and Nietzschean Dionysian, which are going to be construed as the aesthetic theories on human understanding representing the transition from nature to art. For both of them are not only conceptual – aesthetic but also dynamic – cosmological theories owing to their reference both to nature and to human nature5. Bearing the abovementioned points in mind, this paper concerning the transition between the natural forces and aesthetic concepts will try to examine how we take nature in and apply it to the concepts of understanding with regards to the Sublime and Dionysian. In doing so, the Kantian sublime shall be defined both cosmologically and aesthetically, both as the aesthetic representation of Universality or kosmos, and as an idea generated within the faculty of the power of Judgment, which schematises the transition from the sensible to supersensible6. When it comes to the Dionysian, it is going to be proved that not only is it an aesthetic theory that links Nature (physis) to Human Nature (ethos) as it is represented in the Chorus in Greek Tragedy which plays an intermediary role between the gods and humans, but also is the symbolic representation of the universally valid and entirely senseless pure cosmic forces that require Apollonian form and sense giving force for its actualization. Following these, lastly, the paper shall examine the aesthetic element in ‹bergang through the idea of Genius in Kantian, Schopenhauerian and Nietzschean Aesthetics so as to accentuate the role of creative and productive imagination in the discovery of the relation between the cosmological forces and aesthetic concepts.

Part I

The relationship between the a priori moving forces of matter that are apprehended through intuition and intelligible concepts of understanding rests neither on metaphysical principles, nor on empirical principles but on the transition between them. As it is presented in Kant’s Opus Postumum, the determination of the purity of the concepts of understanding is dependent on the demonstration of their links to the a priori forces constantly affecting the human understanding. On the other hand, these forces can only acquire meaning through the concepts generated by human understanding, though this does not mean that human mind and its concepts are prior to the moving forces. Rather, this proves the necessity of a simultaneous transition between the sensible and supersensible realms for the completeness of human understanding. In that the transition occurs only when the moving forces do not exceed the intellectual or intuitive capacities of human mind. Reciprocally, human sense-intuitions and understanding are unable to apprehend and conceptualise any motion beyond their imaginative capacity7.Therefore, transition, rather than the dualist formations like forces and concepts, objects and subjects, phenomena and noumena, phusis and ethos must be the starting point of any philosophical inquiry.

In that sense, so as to have an account of both the moving forces and the ways they are apprehended and conceptualized through human inner and outer senses, as an introductory analysis, we have to demonstrate the cosmological and aesthetic arguments in Opus Postumum.

The Cosmological Argument in Opus Postumum

The cosmological argument is not new in Kantian philosophy. From his doctoral thesis, Principiorum primorum cognitionis metaphysicae nova dilucidatio (A New Explanation of the First Principles of Metaphysical Knowledge) and early writings such as the Universal Natural History and the Theory of Heavens to his latest writings on dynamics and moving forces such as Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, Kant reflected on the principles and forces of nature and the universe as a whole. In the Critique of Pure Reason, for instance, Kant defines the cosmological ideas and cosmical concepts (or world-concepts) as follows:

“I have called the ideas with which we are now concerned “cosmological ideas,” partly because by “world” is understood the sum total of all appearances, and our ideas are also directed only toward the unconditioned among appearances, nut partly too because in the transcendental sense the word “world” signifies the absolute totality of the sum total of existing things, and we are directing our attention only to the completeness of the synthesis (though properly only in the regress toward its conditions). Considering, moreover, that taken collectively these ideas are all transcendent and, even though they do not overstep the object, namely appearances, in kind, but have to do only with the sensible world (not with noumena), they nevertheless carry the synthesis to a degree where transcends all possible experience; thus in my opinion one can quite appropriately call them collectively world-concepts (Weltbegriff)”8 (A420/B447).

 In Kantian philosophy, cosmical concepts cover the synthesis of noumena and phenomena as the cosmic forces can only accomplish their transition from appearances through human senses, and thus through the aesthetic understanding. Nevertheless, on the general spectrum of the first Critique, Fˆrster notes, “the fundamental a priori determinations of a “nature in general” were the proper subject of this book, not the systematic unity of an empirical science”9. This is also valid for Opus Postumum. But then, what is new in the latter? Why did Kant feel the need to write a post-critical Opus when everyone was convinced of the completeness of his philosophical system after the third Critique? Kant’s answer is that he found a new principle, which would bridge his system of nature and the systems of pure understanding and reason. This new principle, I argue, is not a logical but a “cosmological” principle. It is not just transcendental (at least in the sense of its use in the first Critique) because its existence must be justified through the empirical intuitions activated by the moving forces. Tuschling is right when he says Kant is not content with his transcendental deductions in the first Critique; according to the new principle however, the concept of an object of possible experience begins to point at the universality of the experience. Fˆrster too agrees that transition is the principle according to which basic forms and concepts can be thought within an all-encompassing system10.

In Opus Postumum, Kant uses the concept of cosmotheoros (world-observer) which constitutes, as a principle, in his words “a basis in idea for all the unified forces which set the matter of the whole of cosmic space in motion”11. Thus, it is crucial to bear in mind that in Opus Postumum, Kant argues for the precedence of the positing of moving forces affecting the human mind over the apprehension and conception of the spatial and temporal relations12. Therefore, the person’s relation to motion initially determines his relation to space and time, and serves as a prime mover in the transition that takes place in human mind. As a person, he is the one “who creates the elements of knowledge of the world himself, a priori, from which he, as, at the same time, an inhabitant of the world, constructs a world-vision [Weltbeschauung] in the idea”13. There is a very crucial essentially corresponding but subsequently partially contrasting passage in the first Critique where Kant converses the logical and cosmological handling of the concept of philosophy:

“Until now...the concept of philosophy has been only a scholastic concept, namely that of a system of cognition that is sought only as a science without having as its end anything more than the systematic unity of this knowledge, thus the logical perfection of cognition. But there is also a cosmopolitan concept14(conceptus cosmicus) that has always grounded this term, especially when it is, as it were, personified and represented as an archetype in the ideal of the philosopher. From this point of view philosophy is the science of the relation of all cognition to the essential ends of human reason (teleologia rationis humanae), and the philosopher is not an artist of reason but the legislator of human reason. It would be very boastful to call oneself a philosopher in this sense and to pretend to have equaled the archetype, which lies only in the idea”15 (A838-9/B866-7) 

While here Kant finds the construal of philosopher as cosmotheoros too boastful, as an idea, or as the status of philosophizing, it does not contradict but upgrades Kant’s position as a philosopher from the one who works systematically on the second-order questions of method of setting up a prolegomenon for metaphysics to a real artist of reason who searches for the principles or archetypes grounding the philosophical inquiry. While in the first Critique Kant aimed at preparing the framework of thinking to clean up the blurry metaphysical vision he had to inherit from the previous traditions, in Opus Postumum he took on the responsibility and risk to work on new cosmological ideas.

When it comes to the demonstration of the essential relation between cosmology and aesthetics, one of the structural arguments this thesis shall follow is that the theory of moving forces presented in Opus Postumum acquiesces essentially a similar motivation that constitutes both Kant’s theory of sublime in nature and his theory of reflective judgment. For both argumentations begin from the construal of Nature as an aesthetic notion and systematized whole based on an a priori elementary system. However, for the investigation of the common motivation behind the third Critique and Opus Postumum, we also need to demonstrate the aesthetic argument in the latter. This paper, defining the ‹bergang as a cosmologic-aesthetic principle, shall converse the aesthetic argument in Kant’s magnum opus.

The aesthetic argument in Opus Postumum

Can Opus Postumum be considered as the continuation of Kantian aesthetics presented in the third Critique? Most of the commentators discussed this question not only because these books are both among Kant’s late period works but also due to the continuity of the arguments Kant employed in them. Opus Postumum launches a new theory of aesthetics based on a new a priori principle introducing the mediating character of the power of reflective judgment and the crucial role of motion and moving forces in the determinative concepts of understanding and regulative ideas of reason. This new theory begins with the picturing of the concepts of understanding as a whole or from a cosmological level, and this new aesthetics is beyond Kant’s theory of taste and analytic of beauty. Mathieu, for instance, argues for the succession in Kant’s argumentation in his three last books: Metaphysical Foundations, Critique of Judgment and Opus Postumum, even though their contents were different, first ground for a science of nature, second for an aesthetics of nature (especially the second half), and last for the transition between these grounds 16. What interests us in this paper is the relation between the second and the last book of this alleged trilogy. Mathieu defends this relation stressing the unifying role of the subjective principle of reflective judgment and thus its indispensable necessity for any science or art of transition. Even though Fˆrster tries to rule out this argument of Mathieu, he cannot help but concluding his book on Kant’s final synthesis with Hˆlderlin17 (using his aphorism ‘I regard reason as the beginning of the understanding’) which is evidently a sign of his recognition of the intermediary role of aesthetics and reflective judgment (bridging understanding and reason). This proves the necessity of consulting with transcendental aesthetics for the completeness of any argument made on Opus Postumum.

Nevertheless, it should be admitted that the new principle introduced in Opus Postumum not only complements but also, revising Kantian metaphysics as a whole, encompasses particularly the third Critique among others. In that sense, I agree with Fˆrster’s argument that the primary motivation behind Opus Postumum cannot solely be attributed to the problems and ideas arising in Kant’s theory of the reflective judgment. Rather, I support the view that the third Critique itself (especially from the section on the sublime onwards) was a product of the very same unresolved motivation that possessed Kant throughout his philosophy, which ended up with the unfinished Opus Postumum. And that is precisely why reading of Kant must begin with his last work.

In Opus Postumum, Kant uses the term ‹bergang for transition meaning ‘to go over, to move over from one realm to another’. The English word “transition” is an elaborate choice as a translation for ‹bergang as it perfectly preserves its sense of “movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage or concept to another”.
Actually there are two different notions of transition developed in Opus Postumum; the first is the transition from the metaphysical foundations of natural science to physics, and the second is the transition from the metaphysical foundations to the transcendental philosophy. But it is possible to reconcile these two notions in one principle of transition following the subsequent explanation. The transition designates the intermediary realm between the natural forces and intelligible concepts. Even though Kant conceptualized two transitions, both of them begin from the same point, and naturally become the phases of one transition for thinking beings. While former requires looking ‘outside’, at the external horizon of nature, the latter requires looking ‘within’, at the internal horizon of imagination. First one leads to the understanding of phusis or the principle of motion, second leads to the understanding of ethos or one’s character, concepts and meaning as a human being. And finally the apprehension of reconciliatory point where these transitions begin leads to the understanding of logos. Moreover, since every ‘looking out’ necessitates looking within, and every ‘looking within’ requires looking out for the completeness of any understanding, these processes cannot be considered separate from each other, and they are but the simultaneously interdependent phases of one transition, or one logos. This paper as a whole is an attempt to demonstrate this seemingly obscure but constantly present reconciliatory or intermediary point of reference or the aesthetic principle of transition.

As Fˆrster argues in his introduction to Kant’s Opus Postumum, this necessary science of transition “requires an ‘idea’ or ‘plan’ according to which it is to be executed…This idea cannot be derived from physics itself, any more than the ‘idea of a transcendental philosophy’ could be derived from metaphysics’. Nor can it be derived from the Metaphysical Foundations from which the ‘Transition’ commences”18. For the derivation of this idea or plan, I propose, we need to demonstrate the transition between the moving forces such as attraction and repulsion, and the pure concepts of understanding or between the intuitive knowledge on the cosmic forces, and the thought studying the concepts of human life. In so doing, we need primarily to understand this transition (‹bergang) between these realms of thinking, in other words, how the cosmic forces affecting human inner and outer senses are represented in the concepts of human understanding and in the ideas of human reason. This pure understanding of nature, I propose, is necessarily an aesthetic one. In that sense, the transition to physics can develop itself in a new set of concepts according to the law of the connection of human intuitions and judgments in the investigation of the relation between cosmical and aesthetic concepts through an elementary system presented in Opus Postumum.

In short, the proposed theory of Cosmological Aesthetics aims to explain the contents of transition through an elaborate discussion on the human sense-intuitions (Anschauung) by which the transition takes place in the faculty of understanding, and examination of the faculty of the power of Judgment (Urteilskraft) in which the transition is regulated and applied to the pure concepts of understanding.

On the Human Faculty of Sense - Intuition (Anschauung) through which the Transition takes place

The German concept Anschauung refers both to notion, idea and intuition, and to outlook and appearance; in other words, it is the human faculty that reconciles the metaphysical and phenomenal existences of man by way of initiating an immediate and spontaneous transition between the phenomenal and noumenal consciousness. Anschauung is a developed and active faculty when compared to Empfindung  (which refers to passive immediate sensation or literally ‘finding yourself affected’)19; since Anschauung deals with the inner sense to which all human senses are linked and in which the apperception (or the perception via apprehension) of the moving forces surrounding the person is completed and prepared for the next phase, conceptualisation: “Intuition and concept: the first is for representation of the senses, the second for the understanding, which combines the manifold of intuition according to a principle. Appearance is the subjective and formal element of intuition, as the subject affects itself or affected by the object”20. This renders Anschauung the most important element within the human faculty of understanding without which the transition (‹bergang) would never take place and unity of senses in inner sense would remain underdeveloped like in the case of the animals. Therefore, the faculty of sense-intuition, as the faculty transmitting the effects of the cosmic moving forces to human act of conceptualisation, is what makes human beings special. While animals are directly and unconsciously affected and driven by the dynamics of nature, human beings possess the power to become conscious of these forces (like in the case of tragic wisdom) and actively conceptualise them through intuition even though they may not alter the ways they are being affected.  

On the other hand, “since no concept of the object is the ground of the judgment, it can consist only in the subsumption of the imagination itself…under the condition that the understanding in general advance from intuitions to concepts”21 Therefore, the aesthetic concepts of motion (which are conceptualised by the human faculty of understanding) essentially derive from the effects of moving forces of matter upon the human faculty of Anschauung by way of which the transition is accomplished. This occurs only insofar as these empirical intuitions are concluded with concepts. Kant does not easily achieve this balanced argument between idealism and empiricism, even though he was never blindly driven by intuitionism like Schelling22. In the first Critique, for example, as Tuschling puts, Kant’s argument was that “the apprehension of the manifold of an empirical intuition can only be an intuition of a particular something (of apparent objects) because it is necessarily related to those concepts by which an object is thought… because all existence, as existence of possible or actual contents of experience and objects of a cognizant subject, is subject to the conditions of conceptual synthesis or unity of thought”23. This can also be verified by Kant’s argument that for the achievement of pure concepts of understanding, and not just concepts void of content governed by mere logical forms, the rules or conditions under which the objects are in harmony with the concepts must be determined a priori through empirical intuition and power of judgment24. The metaphysical foundations of the natural science provide sense and meaning to the empty concepts of understanding. However, Kant slightly alters this line of argument in Opus Postumum where he recognizes that apprehension and the formation of the empirical intuition are themselves subject to a priori rule or principle that all life “belongs to a single cosmic, dynamic system”25. So, Tuschling rightly questions the possibility of a priori being a single existent or being an object of empirical intuition: “Kant must also explain perception and how it is possible, not only with respect to its form seen as subject to a cosmological system of forces or primordial matter”26.

To respond these questions, we have to refer to the late fascicles of Opus Postumum where Kant explicitly argues for a direct relationship between the formal and transcendental apprehension of the a priori moving forces given that the completeness of understanding requires a unity of the form and content of the perceived matter or motion. There, Anschauung functions for the completion of the process of understanding. It is the inner sense to which the outer senses are connected, and through which the forces and concepts are represented. “All existence of consciousness in space and time is mere appearance of inner and outer sense, and, as such, a synthetic principle of intuition takes place a priori, and affects itself as a thing existing in space and time”27. This inner sense derives from and represents the a priori moving forces of matter through which every perception and experience must be defined. The act of understanding makes the Anschauung into an empirically perceptible object: “The intelligible object is not an objectum noumenon, but the act of the understanding which makes the object of sensible intuition into a mere phenomenon”28.For the argument on the relation between Anschauung and the moving forces of matter, Kant continues; “Empirical intuitions (Anschauung) with consciousness depend on forces which move the senses and form an elementary system of matter”29. This further strengthens the idea of the reconciliation of cosmology and aesthetics when we construe the former as the thought dealing with the intuitions dependent on the cosmic forces, and the latter as the one that examines the movements affecting human inner and outer senses. The sublime for instance is an aesthetic idea that moves and disturbs human sensual understanding forcing it to reconsider the governing intuitions of time and space.

In Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Anschauung as the inner sense plays a very important role in the deduction (Deduktion) of the pure concepts of understanding since it is the first phase of the spontaneous understanding. Kant defines the threefold synthesis underlying all knowledge as following: “apprehension of representations as modifications of the mind in intuition; reproduction of representations in the imagination; and recognition of representations in a concept”30. Moreover, in the first Critique, he explicitly describes Anschauung as the inner sense to which all human senses are related and thanks to which the understanding and thus transition takes place: “Whatever the source of our representations may be, whether they are produced by the influence of external things or by inner causes, whether they arise a priori or empirically as appearances, still they belong, by virtue of being modifications of the mind, to inner sense…”31 In other words, all our representations and concepts regardless of their being a priori or a posteriori have roots in the human inner sense or Anschauung.

Anschauung is itself the link between the appearances in the sensible realm and the ideas in the supersensible realm: “Appearances are not things in themselves but the mere play of our representations, which ultimately amount to determinations of inner sense”32. This last point shows how Kant diverges from the Platonic understanding of “appearances” as complete illusions that dichotomise the real ideas of the supersensible realm. Rather, Kant argues that appearances as the play of our representations do not exist in themselves but are part of our understanding of the world (Weltanschauung33) and thus are essentially related to our ideas and concepts, and as real as the ideas of the faculty of reason. Keeping this in mind, Kant reconstructs his cosmology through the new principle of transition generated by the faculty of Anschauung:

“World is the whole of sense-objects – thus also including the forces acting on the senses – insofar as it amounts to a unity (that is, combined synthetically according to a principle). ‘ Totality of sense-objects,’ [since it represents merely] logical unity, does not express the concept of ‘world.’ Thus [the concept of ‘world’] does not just belong to metaphysics but to transcendental philosophy – in which latter, knowledge is given a priori in intuition, through concepts (not through their construction, for that would be mathematics) and forms the transition from the metaphysical foundations of natural science.”34.

However, especially in the last sections of Opus Postumum, Kant attempts to use this unity of sensible forces in an inner sense as a proof for his hypothesis of the a priori synthetic unity and oneness of experience which leads him to argue for the possibility of the idea of the existence of an omnipresent intelligent being or God. Here, God appears to be the absolutely necessary cosmic principle of all possibility, or the ontological ground of the unity of all experiences. According to Fˆrster, this leaves undetermined how the realities (material for all possible notions) are supposed to be given to the human mind 35. Thus this project aims in turn at purifying the Kantian cosmology from the notions of the Christian tradition through redefining them as the consequences of the conceptualisation processes of the interplay between the moving forces of matter. In doing so, a cosmological aesthetics must limit its focus to the satisfactory explanation of the transition between the dynamical forces of nature and aesthetic concepts of motion rather than expanding on a comprehensive explanation of the transition between these forces and human actions so as to remain independent from the ontological questions such as those on the existence of God and free-willing subject. 

The important link between this primordial force (the principle of motion) and the role of intuition in its apperception by human understanding shall be examined in the section on the Kantian sublime. But next, I would like to discuss how the transition is regulated and determined by the faculty of Judgment (Urteilskraft) for the completion of the human understanding of the cosmic moving forces.

On the Power of Judgment as the faculty that regulates and determines the Transition

The transition can only be demonstrated through aesthetics since human senses have the mediating power on the forces of matter, and the human faculty of Judgment is the intermediary faculty linking human understanding to human reason. In the third Critique, Kant states: “what is at issue is not what nature is or even what it is for us as a purpose, but how we take it in36. It is crucial to see here that section 58 operates for the transition between the Critique of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment and the Critique of the Teleological Power of Judgment. Indeed, while it construes subjective purposiveness as a real end of nature or of art, it also establishes it via its very correspondence to our power of judgment: “subjective purposiveness is a real (intentional) end of nature (or of art) aimed at correspondence with our power of judgment, or, in the second case, that it is, without any end, merely an intrinsically yet contingently manifested purposive correspondence with the need of the power of judgment in regard to nature and the forms generated in it in accordance with particular laws”37

At this point, Opus Postumum, as Kant’s major work composed after the third Critique, embodies the continuation both of his theory of sublime and of the second part of the third Critique, where he theorizes the relation between empirical and rational, a posteriori and a priori determining principles of the power of aesthetic judgment. Even though Kant’s last major work must be seen as complementary to the third Critique and Kantian aesthetics in general, what is new in Opus Postumum is Kant’s argument that “the objective element in appearance presupposes the subjective in the moving forces; or conversely, the empirical element in perception presupposes the form of composition of the moving forces with respect to what is mechanical”38. This quotation functions as a deconstruction of the general Kantian subject – object dichotomy and demonstrates the necessity of a comprehensive analysis of the physical essence of the metaphysical principles or the transition from the natural moving forces to the concepts of motion through human faculty of Judgment and the metaphysical essence of the physical forces or the transition from the apperception of the aesthetic intuition to a priori principles of motion hidden in appearance again through human Judgment. Moreover, Fˆrster argues, “The analysis of judgments of taste for the first time showed the power of judgment to be a separate cognitive faculty with its own a priori principle: Nature for the sake of judgment, specifies its universal laws to empirical ones, according to the form of a logical system”39. This a priori principle yields the laws of transition as prerequisite for the redefinition of systematic empirical doctrines as a priori apprehensible within the regulated format generated in the faculty of the power of judgment.

In support of the previous arguments on the inherent relation between Opus Postumum and the third Critique, both Guyer and Zammito agree that Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment is an attempt to demonstrate the relation and prove the necessity of Transition between nature and freedom. Kant compares these two domains as following:

“All facts belong either to the concept of nature, which proves its reality in the objects of the senses that are given (or can possibly be given) prior to all concepts of nature, or to the concept of freedom, which sufficiently proves its reality through the causality of reason with regard to certain effects in the sensible world possible by means of it, and which are irrefutably postulated in the moral law. The concept of nature (belonging merely to theoretical cognition) is either metaphysical and completely a priori, or physical, i.e. a posteriori, and necessarily conceivable only by means of determinate experience. The metaphysical concept of nature (which presupposes no determinate experience) is therefore ontological”40

Kant claims the existence of an incalculable gulf fixed between the domain of the concept of nature, as the sensible, and the domain of human nature, as the supersensible, so that from the former to the latter no transition is possible, just as if they were two different worlds. “But that these two different domains, which are inevitably limited not to be sure in their legislation but still in their effects in the sensible world, do not constitute one domain, stems from this: that the concept of nature certainly makes its objects representable in intuition, but not as things in themselves, rather as mere appearances”41. However, he also argues for the necessity of a common ground for the two domains, something that “nevertheless makes possible the transition from the manner of thinking in accordance with the principles of the one to that in accordance with the principles of the other”42. In Opus Postumum, he puts it as following: “Nature and freedom are two hinges (principles) of philosophy, founding it”43. In summarizing the abovementioned arguments, the forces of nature can only acquire meaning through their transition to the concept of freedom. Adhering one hinge of philosophy to another, the transition requires the mediation of the detached (disinterested) human understanding and the power of free reflective judgment.

The argument for the necessity of the free reflective judgment (which is thus considered to be the telos of nature) for the possibility of aesthetic understanding leads us to the question: why did Kant bring aesthetics and natural teleology together in the third Critique? According to Guyer, he did so because aesthetic judgments concerning the beautiful and the sublime and teleological judgments concerning nature as a whole “are both instances of…reflecting judgment, a use of judgment that seeks to discover a concept for a particular object that is given to it rather than to find a particular object to which to apply a concept that it already has”44. While aesthetic judgments can be coupled with the cognitive judgments, natural teleology refers to “determining judgment” and must rather be categorized as non-cognitive judgment. As Guyer asserts, “Kant’s deepest reason for connecting aesthetics and teleology in a single book…is that both aesthetic and teleological judgment lead us to look at products of nature and indeed all of nature itself – and in his theory of genius Kant will imply that even works of fine art must be considered to be gifts of nature”45. Allison too underlines Kant’s argument in the introduction of the third Critique concerning the conciliatory role of the aesthetic faculty of Judgment 46. However, again, what all these writers fail to recognize is that neither the idea of freedom nor the concept of nature, but rather the principle of transition presented in Opus Postumum (which takes place through human intuition and which is regulated by human judgment) is the common source for both hinges of philosophy.

The underlying relation between natural teleology and aesthetic judgment is also mentioned by Kant in Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, where he argues that “the natural need of all human beings to demand for even the highest concepts and grounds of reason something that the senses can hold on to, some confirmation from experience or the like”47. In that sense, while any teleological natural judgment requires aesthetic confirmation, any aesthetic judgment must be grounded upon the products or forces of nature 48. This is precisely why he advocates, in the section 58 of the third Critique, the idealism of the purposiveness of nature as well as art as one of the chief principles of the power of aesthetic judgment. In that sense, in his third Critique where he tries to assign totality and unity to his transcendental system, he chooses aesthetics among the other disciplines and judgment among the other human faculties to bridge his philosophy of nature and teleology with his ethics. This is also evident in his definition of nature as art on account of its teleological character: “Nature is no longer judged as it appears as art, but to the extent that it really is art (albeit superhuman); and the teleological judgment serves as the foundation for the aesthetic”49.

Finally, Kant construes the human faculty of the power of judgment as the faculty for thinking of the particular as contained within the universal (das Allgemeine or ta panta): “The power of judgment, through its a priori principle for judging nature in accordance with possible particular laws for it, provides for its supersensible substratum (in us as well as outside us) determinability through the intellectual faculty”50. From this follows the argument that the power of judgment is the mediating faculty that determines the supersensible concepts with reference to the relation between the natural laws and human understanding, and categorizes them under cosmological principles of motion and transition.   

On the Intuiting and Judging Man as the Source of Transition

In this section, I attempt to reconcile the arguments developed in the earlier sections by examining the intuiting, self-positing and judging man in Kant’s Opus Postumum. Human beings (unlike other organisms) possess manifold existences, both natural, as they are moved by the moving forces of matter, and intelligent, as they have the power to transformthese forces into concepts through their understanding. The transition of these forces into intelligible concepts takes place exactly “when ‘I’ apply these concepts not in metaphysical but in physical-dynamic functions, to real bodies”51. In that sense, “experience is not given but made by the subject” and aesthetics is the philosophical set of doctrines that deal with the knowledge of the inner and outer sense-objects in experience generated by this transition. In other words, experience is mediately related to the object as it necessarily depends on the “form of intuition” (Anschauung) in human mind52. “Subjectively ‘outer perceptions’ –of phenomena-, as material for possible experience (which lack only their form of connection), are nothing other than the effect on the perceiving subject of the ‘agitating forces of matter’, which are given a priori”53. Therefore, while these agitating forces condition human perception and thus conceptualisation, equally and simultaneously, the same forces acquire their meaning and thus definition in the very same process of transition. But since this process is itself the determinant of the rules of the acts of cognition, the logical self-consciousness is not the determining act but the determined product of this very process.

The previous argument would also be a good response to the questions Fˆrster poses concerning the laws according to which we insert in ourselves the actus of cognition:

“What kinds of forces, what actus of cognition, do we have to insert into ourselves – prior to any distinction between innerand outer, a distinction itself dependent on these acts of cognition? The logical act of self-consciousness only yields something determining and something determined (something thinking and something thought) And then? Where do the concepts inner and outer come from? And where do such concepts as right, duty, freedom, on the one hand, and attraction, repulsion, space occupation, on the other originate?”54

However, having posed all these important questions, Fˆrster erroneously looks for a response to “how the self-positing and self-determining subject avails itself of these concepts”55. Nevertheless, I maintain the argument made above for the a priori determining and active role of the process of transition not only for the generation and substantiation of the aforementioned concepts, but also for the anticipation and orientation of the intuiting, judging and self-positing man within the senseless moving forces of matter. 

In defence of this argument, as Tuschling referring to the second edition of the first Critique stresses, “perception of what subsists (what determines my existence in time empirically) is “possible only through a thing outside me, not through the mere representation of a thing outside me” (CPR, B275). However, following this argumentation, in the last sections of Opus Postumum Kant once more associates the metaphysical principles of natural science with God; physical empirical laws with the world; and the transition from the former to the letter with man both as noumenon or metaphysical being (like God) and as phenomenon or physical being (like any other object in the world). Even though the first two correlations are (especially the first one) arbitrary, the designation of man as the transition between the Idea of God and Concept of the world can be thought of as the further clarification of our earlier attempt to define human being in the world as twofold: both as an intelligent being who perceives, judges, and inquires the physical objects and metaphysical concepts, and also as a phenomenon who is subjected to the moving forces of matter and is created, moved, affected and thus whose consciousness of the world is determined by the way he apperceives these forces. This last point is evident in the following passages from Opus Postumum where Kant presents a revision of his transcendental philosophy:

“Reason comes into being (generally speaking) when the original spontaneity of the power of representation limits itself or imposes laws upon itself. In order to posit oneself, the task is consequently to anticipate “possible forces affecting reason”56. In another place, Kant suggests, “This ideal of God...is nothing other than “pure practical reason in its personality, with reason’s moving forces in respect to world-beings and their forces57

Coupling this with the passage in which Kant argues “in this way I recognize through experience my own practical freedom as one of nature’s causes, namely, as a causality of reason in the determination of my will (A803)”58, Fˆrster tries to prove the essential unity of the theoretical and practical reason. This is for the demonstration of the relationship between the anticipation of the spontaneous power of representation and the understanding of the laws of nature or the phenomenal consciousness. In Opus Postumum, Kant defines Man as a being that not only thinks but also can say to itself ‘I think’: “...a being that can distance itself from the world of sense and, because also endowed with a will, can command its own nature”59 Taking all these new findings into consideration, in Opus Postumum, Kant distinguishes his new transcendentalism from classical metaphysics.

Bearing Kant’s description of cosmotheoros in mind, it would not be wrong to call this new theory cosmological transcendentalism which is grounded on intuition of a material object or apprehensible motion: “How is the metaphysician different from the transcendental philosopher? In that the latter addresses merely what is formal, the former what is material (the object, the material)”60. And later he continues,

“Transcendental philosophy is the system of ideas which, independently of all given objects, creates objects for itself and delivers to reason a necessary determined whole as the totality of beings. One must here proceed not from the one to the many, but from the totality to the one” like the “progress from the metaphysical foundations of natural science to transcendental philosophy”61.

This is a very similar account to the pre-Socratics who understand philosophy as the examination of the transition from the totality of cosmic moving forces (phusis) to the concepts of human understanding. It is also possible to observe this in later passages where Kant associates transcendental philosophy with wisdom: “The love of wisdom is the least that one can possess; wisdom for man the highest – and hence, transcendent. The transcendental philosophy is the progression from the latter (wisdom) to the former (love of wisdom)”62. In the end Kant, assigning primacy to wisdom for any reflexive or rational knowledge, summarizes his views on the argument that the intuiting and judging wise man is the source of transition from nature to art as following:

“Without transcendental philosophy one can form for oneself no concept as to how; and by what principle, one could design the plan of a system, by which a coherent whole could be established as rational knowledge for reason; yet this must necessarily take place if one would turn rational man into a being who knows himself”63

Humanity itself is a bridge from the forces of nature to the concepts of art, from the pure intuitions to intelligible concepts, from the apprehensible to the comprehensible. A wise man (as Heraclitus, Kant and Nietzsche would agree) is necessary to establish the principle by which the system can be designed and coherent whole or kosmos can be theorized. The same argument is also apparent in Heraclitus’ fragments 1,2 and 50, which associate wisdom and being wise with the complete apprehension of the whole, and make clear that the knowledge of logos is prerequisite for any judgment made on the forces and any meaning attributed to the concepts.

Part II

As Fˆrster shows, Kant’s ‹bergang serves for the same purpose: “The transition, Kant says, is ‘a schematism of the concepts of metaphysics’. Its absence, he adds, would ‘commit the propositions of philosophy to the play of opinions and hypothesis’ – to a mere random groping among concepts”64. Logos too is a schematism of the philosophical concepts by which they continue to exist in balance in relation to each other, and maintain their substance in relation to the forces in nature65.

Another similar character of logos to the principle of transition is that it is the common apprehensible principle only communicating directly to the inner sense (Anschauung), as further explained in the following. Heidegger too accepts that logos is only apprehensible and thus does not depend on the comprehensible words: “Properly understood, fragment 50 proves precisely the opposite of what people read into it. It says: you should not cling to words but apprehend logos”66. The world is familiar to us in a basic, intuitive way. Most originally, Heidegger argues, we do not understand the world by gathering a collection of neutral facts by which we may reach a set of universal propositions, laws, or judgments that, to a greater or lesser extent, corresponds to the world as it is. The world is tacitly intelligible to us.

In his Introduction to Being and Time Heidegger, inspired by the Fragments 2 and 50 of Heraclitus, underlines the difficulty of the discovery of the original moving forces or phusis because of the domination of the human tradition or the temporal and spatial concepts of ethos on the ways to apprehend the transition:

“The tradition that hereby gains dominance makes what it ‘transmits’ so little accessible that at first and for the most part it covers it over instead. What has been handed down it hands over to obviousness; it bars access to those original ‘wellsprings’ out of which the traditional categories and concepts were in part genuinely drawn. The tradition even makes us forget such a provenance altogether. Indeed it makes us wholly incapable of even understanding that such a return is necessary”67

For this reason continues Heidegger, Dasein becomes imprisoned in the microcosmic level and unable to apprehend the most elementary productive forces or phusis.

Furthermore, it is possible to find the echoes of Logos as transition through human intuition (Anschauung) in the concept of worldview or Weltanschauung, which became popular in the early 20th century especially in the philosophies of Dilthey, Jaspers and Heidegger. It is the conceptualisation referring to a wide world apprehension by which the individual understands and interprets the world, accomplishes the reconciliation of his phenomenal and noumenal consciousness and interacts in the world through this ideal framework. Heidegger, (as aforementioned) by associating apprehension with Greek noein, gives it a double meaning that renders it akin to Anschauung:

“On the one hand, to apprehend (Vernehmen) means to take in (hin-nehmen), to let something come to oneself – namely, what shows itself, what appears. On the other hand, to apprehend means to interrogate a witness, to call him to account, and thus to comprehend the state of affairs, to determine and set fast how things are going and how things stand. Apprehension in this double sense denotes a process of letting things come to oneself in which one does not simply take things in, but rather takes up a position to receive what shows itself”68

In that sense, logos is what makes phusis sensible and apprehensible since it embodies the codes of the transition between Nature (defined through forces) and human nature (defined through concepts). Logos as apprehension is also articulated by Kahn in his paraphrase of the fr.124 69: “Graspings, that is to say groups holding together, apprehensions bringing things together: these are wholes and not wholes; they characterize a system which is convergent, divergent, structured by cooperation and by conflict; this system is consonant, dissonant, held together by harmony and discord alike; from all its components a unity emerges, and from this unity all things emerge70.

Accordingly, Weltanschauung is also crucial in understanding how the empirical - phenomenal world (Welt or phusis) is coupled with the metaphysical foundations through Anschauung, as an intuitive and perceptive faculty referring both to outer senses (image, appearance) and to the inner sense (idea, notion), both to what appears and to how it is conceptualised. Therefore, Weltanschauung in its purest form can also be associated with our definition of Logos as the common intermediary principle unifying the metaphysical with the physical and thus leading to Kant’s ‹bergang. In addition, epistemologically, the concepts generated through Weltanschauung must be a priori, universal and cosmological rather than a posteriori, particular and logical. This is also found in Logos given that it is a common and cosmological principle rather than a particular and logical one. It is a priori as it has always been there to be apprehended even though it is incomprehensible for and hidden from the most. A coherent definition of logos must thus consist in cosmological rather than logical principles since logical principles are necessarily dependent on a priori intuitions of time and space. On the other hand, cosmological principles rooted in the primal moving forces that are prior to the logically assembled temporal and spatial conditions and thus are able to approach a purer and more universal designation for logos as transition. Kant confirms this in Opus Postumum where he defines ‹bergang as the originator of itself rather than the logical employment of reason which merely concerns the formal (temporal-spatial) element of knowledge71.

Logos in the form of Weltanschauung is not only cosmological but also aesthetic principle since Anschauung or sense-intuition is an active and aesthetic faculty, and understanding how the forces become concepts entails the employment of an aesthetic worldview or principle. Heidegger explicitly confirms this argument in his Comments on Karl Jaspers’ Psychology of Worldviews in his analysis on Jaspers’ cosmological foreconception arising from the fundamental experience of the whole of life:

“…it is possible here that without allowing himself to be placed before an antinomy, Jaspers does indeed gain access to the essential thing for him, i.e., the Absolute, within a fundamental aesthetic attitude and sets about classifying it in the same manner. It is likewise possible that his view of life focusing on the full “vehemence” and “force” of the “vital process” is an aesthetic one, even if the content of this “process” is understood to be of an ethical nature. Life “is there” as something we have by means of looking at it, and it is by means of this kind of having that we gain possession of it in the sense of a whole encompassing everything”72

When it comes to the functions of the discovery of the link between Kantian ‹bergang and Heraclitean logos, first of all, this association uncovers the territories of philosophy veiled by modern concepts and dichotomies. One of these, Heidegger suggests, is the alleged dichotomy between Being and appearing:

“Being essentially unfolds as appearing…With this, there collapses as an empty construction the widespread notion of Greek philosophy according to which it was supposedly a “realistic” doctrine of an objective Being, in contrast to modern subjectivism. This common notion is based on a superficial understanding. We must set aside terms such as “subjective” and “objective”, “realistic” and “idealistic”.”73

This stance against modern philosophy naturally involves a criticism of Kantian philosophy in general. On the other hand, some Kant scholars like Tuschling argue that even in the first Critique these concepts were not in antagonistic relation but rather “the subjective conditions of empirical knowledge are also the objective conditions of possible objects of that knowledge; that in turn, is why the rules for combining representations in the understanding are the basic laws of nature and of the empirical world”74. The understanding of nature and its moving forces surrounding us are dependent on “the synthesizing activity of understanding”75. However, as both Tuschling and Fˆrster would agree, by the idea of ‹bergang, Kant attempted to reconcile all these seemingly antagonistic conceptions within a single a priori principle, which serves as the framework of a single system. This system is itself the demonstration of the unity and relation of our pure intuitions of motion, space and time and the conceptual structure of our thought processes, of the primitive laws of nature and our aesthetic, ethical and political concepts.
 

Consequently, logos is not a static comprehensible principle but an ec-static (beyond or out of static) and apprehensible aesthetic principle. Logos is the active mediating principle of motion that communicates human inner and outer senses and finds expression in pure and manifold concepts of understanding. It represents the regulatory essence of both the moving forces beyond time and space, and their transition into concepts through human judgment. It is both the cosmic force of balance that motivates life and the aesthetic principle that regulates the judgment we make on that motivation. It is more appropriate to identify logos as the combination of the intuitions that define the principles of transition and motion (which constitute the framework of Cosmological Aesthetics). It represents the regulatory essence of both the moving forces beyond time and space, and their transition into concepts through human judgment. It is both the cosmic force of balance that motivates life and the aesthetic concept that defines the apprehension of the judgment we make on that motivation. 

After this further elaboration of the principle of transition through an analysis and interpretation of the Heraclitean logos, which (like ‹bergang) actively determines and regulates the forces of phusis and concepts of ethos, we are now ready to examine and compare the Kantian sublime and Nietzschean Dionysian as the theories of aesthetics representing the transition.

Part III

The Kantian Sublime as a Theory of Cosmological Aesthetics representing the Transition

Both the Kantian sublime and Nietzschean Dionysian represent a transition from the phenomenal to the metaphysical realm through intuitions, and/or from the microcosm to macrocosm by way of conceptualising the cosmic moving forces76. In Kant’s words, sublime pushes human mind to apprehend the transition from the sensible stratum to the supersensible substratum77. It is also crucial to remember that Kant’s theory of the sublime attempts to show and set the rules for how we apprehend and understand nature and how the aesthetic concepts are essentially grounded on their transition from/to natural moving forces.

Main arguments on the Kantian sublime:

    1. The sublime is the aesthetic representation of Totality and Universality ascribed to Nature (The Cosmological Argument On the Sublime)

 

  1. The sublime, as an idea generated within the faculty of the power of Judgment, requires the mediation of the faculty of intuition (Anschauung) that goes beyond the limit of sensibility sustaining the transition from the sensible to supersensible (Argument for the Aesthetic Role of the Sublime)

In the Critique of the Power of Judgment, Kant defines the sublime as the presentation of an indefinite concept of Reason symbolizing the formless and boundless idea or feeling which has developed itself from the Idea of the Object of Nature, and which pleases immediately in multiple ways but communicates with thought as one totality ascribed to Nature. According to this cosmological viewpoint, the sublime is a “whole” rather than an individual object and therefore it is absolutely great but equally incomprehensible (if not entirely inapprehensible) by human mind since it requires a supersensible purely intuitive faculty as an extension of the mind which feels itself able in another (practical) point of view to go beyond the limit of sensibility78. In Kant’s theory of aesthetics, Nature is considered somehow distinct from human beings. However, Kant also acknowledges Nature as the source of any sublime feeling and movement in the faculties of the human mind. In that sense, the motion in nature and the movement occurring in the aesthetic faculties are essentially linked not only by way of their affects but also of their source.

“Nature considered in aesthetic judgment as a power that has no dominion over us, is dynamically sublime”79. Kant associates power, motion, energy, fear, evil with dynamically sublime, and confines our aesthetical judgment on the sublime in nature. However, the might of the natural object (as the amalgam of the abovementioned characteristics) is apprehended via the greatness of the resistance that can only be developed in human rationality again through a necessary separation of human from Nature so as to ensure the outcome of a free aesthetical judgment on the latter. For Guyer, Kant’s dynamically sublime is rather “a feeling that suggests a certain interpretation that we can only spell out by means of concept, but at the same time gives us a certain palpable sense of the validity of those concepts before we have even spelled them out”80 In other words, for Kant, it is impossible to schematize our Nature via Imagination and here, the sublime, to which the subjective purposiveness directed represents the Nature beyond the achievability of human mind. Thus, since nature itself is unattainable, we have to and can only identify and examine nature with its phenomenal representation without really knowing but only intuiting and apprehending its essential sublimity. Similarly, in Nietzschean aesthetics, this sublime movement (stimulated by the Dionysian art) appears to be posited as the feeling occurring via the reconciliation of the outer sensible nature and inner intuitive nature or via the final apprehension of the oneness; in other words, as the essential unity of the moving forces and the human understanding which actually is one of the objects of Nature.

Our cognitive faculties are inadequate to adopt a standard for the unlimited might of Nature and its aesthetic estimation. However, while this sublimity in Nature leads us to accept our physical powerlessness, it also reveals our capacity for judging ourselves independent of it81. In this argument, it is necessary to discuss the plausibility of Kant’s distinction between the internal and external nature. For Kant, there are two different natures: pre-human and human nature; and our experiences of the sublime objects of nature, which generate fear in the sphere of the pre-human external nature, elevate us to or make us aware of our internal, rational human nature82. “Nature is here called sublime merely because it raises the Imagination to the point of presenting those cases in which the mind can make palpable to itself sublimity of its own vocation even over nature”83. However, the examples Kant provides to substantiate the claim for the externality of the experience of the sublime (such as the sublimity of war carried on with a sacred respect for the rights of the citizens and the sublimity of a courageous who does not fear from the boundless might in his nature and faces it with fullest deliberation and compassion 84) actually fail to support it. This is because both examples consider internal rationality and external nature to be inherently related and sublimity to underlie in both. Here, Crowther defends Kant by asserting, “the major reason why, for Kant, war can be regarded as sublime is that, in the ultimate analysis, it is conducive to the realization of the final end – morality”85. This argument could be true if we consider Kantian philosophy as a whole. However, while discussing the sublime in human nature, he praises these not only for their pragmatic moral consequences but also for their aesthetic fullness (substantiality) and universality:

“For what is that that is an object of the greatest admiration even to the savage? It is a man who shrinks from nothing, who fears nothing, and therefore does not yield to danger, but rather goes to face it vigorously with the fullest deliberation”86.

Here, Kant accentuates the universality (“even to the savage”) and substantiality (“with the fullest deliberation”) of the sublime in human nature down to its motive force, and then goes on to converse the rationally generated moral pragmatic principles. From these examples, we can also conclude that human morality and goodness are essentially in need of the energy provided by the heroic human motives such as fearlessness and courage (which are amongst the motive characteristics of the sublime in human nature). In the end, Kant (not in his theory but in his examples) claims the inherent unity of man’s internal and external nature. In order for human action to reach an ultimate sublimity, the rational (internal) human nature has to reveal its roots in the (externally oriented) natural feelings and desires that are derived from phusis or natural forces. The sublime human action is the disclosure of the motivation underlying human rationality87.

On the other hand, in the third Critique Kant completely rejects any unsystematic motive pleasure (as represented in the Ideas of religions from pagan cultures to Christianity respectively based on the bodily satisfactions and on the weaknesses of human soul) as means to achieve sublime representations which, for him, must necessarily refer to the Ideas of Reason in order to become real and intellectually purposive88. This must be seen as the replacement of the cosmological idea of God or Highest Being, which was put forward in Kant’s Universal Natural History and the Theory of Heavens:

“After frailty had exacted its due from human nature, the immortal soul will with a rapid swing raise herself above all that is finite and place her existence with respect to the entire nature in a new relationship which derives from a closer connection with the Highest Being”89

On the other hand, in the third Critique, Kant accentuates the necessity of the feeling of the sublime for the non-conceptual immediate apprehension of the sublimity or superiority of the Moral Law and Reason over Sensibility:

“For where the senses no longer see anything before them, yet the unmistakable and inextinguishable idea of morality remains, there it would be more necessary to moderate the momentum of an unbounded Imagination, so as not to let it reach the point of enthusiasm, rather than fear of the powerlessness of these Ideas to look for assistance for them in images and childish devices”90.

What Kant describes and defends here can be seen as a critique of the immoral and irrational Dionysian Dithyrambs philosophized by Nietzsche. However, the latter accentuates the fact that the sublime art of Greek tragedy, which culminates the sublimity of the essentially motive natural forces with the creative imagination of the tragic artist, was rooted in these Dithyrambs. The Dionysian tragic artist is the one who “has command over the chaos of the Will before it has assumed the individual shape”91. These arguments of Nietzsche on the sublimity of the motion over human rationality shall be elaborated in the section on the Dionysian.

On Kant’s deification of human reason and morality, Guyer claims, “On Kant’s conception, reason teaches us humility about our individual merits but pride in our humanity in general, pride in a faculty of our own in whose image God himself is created (rather than vice versa)” 92. According to Kant, the thing, which we judge to be sublime, is not sublime in itself but rather stimulates our Imagination and causes us to define it as sublime. This takes place when our faculty of Imagination realizes its limits (having been forced and moved by the sublime) and “so in judging a thing to be sublime the same faculty is related to reason, in order to correspond subjectively with its Ideas (though which is undetermined)”93.Therefore, “true sublimity must be sought only in the mind of the one who judges, not in the object in nature, the judging of which occasions this disposition in it”94. This leads Kant to argue for the triviality of Nature when compared to the Ideas of Reason such as God. Here, Kant tries to set the theoretical framework for his announcement of the sublimity of the subjective faculty of Reason with its ultimate dominion and elevation over the faculty of Imagination and thus the sublimity of human being over the other objects of nature owing to his subjective superiority (which constitutes the basis for the creation of human morality). Thus, the feeling of sublimity derives from our own subjective sublimity as a human being over the natural forces. For Kant, this makes intuitively evident the superiority of the rational determination of our cognitive faculties to the greatest faculty of our sensibility 95. This shows the essential subjectivity of the feeling of the sublime, which rather arises from the discovery of our own human nature, thus the object of this pleasure is apparently the finality of this self-discovery96. However, this self-discovery cannot be accomplished devoid of the apprehension of the natural context framed by the moving forces. Sufficient understanding of one’s ethos97 entails the thorough apprehension of the phusis and of the simultaneous transition between phusis and ethos. Therefore, self-discovery mentioned by Kant has to be an aesthetic one since it is based on reflective judgment on the sublime and initiates a simultaneous transition between the concepts of ethos and forces in phusis. This aesthetic aspect of the Kantian sublime is the topic of the following section.

 The sublime disturbs our mental powers that are hopelessly left to endeavor to provide some satisfactory and rational explanations for this complex and difficult experience. In the end, this movement of the faculties of the mind causes the reduction of the supersensible Idea of the sublime into the level of human faculty of reason. On the other hand, the sublime positively and indirectly stimulates and strengthens the possible use of our intuitions98 (the relationship between the sublime and Anschauung) by which it encourages our feeling of purposiveness “independent of nature”. The stimulation of our intuitions occurs since our apprehension of the sublime requires our faculty of Imagination to try to extend its limits in order to be able to make a satisfactory judgment about the idea of the sublime object, causing in this same struggle “a movement of the mind”99. Therefore, for Kant, no object can be called sublime, as the sublime grows out of our faculty of Imagination, which falls beyond our standards of taste as an entirely intuitive faculty. Kant acknowledges that for the pure judgment on the sublime to be aesthetical, it should not be grounded on an object or its conceptual representation. This approves the suprarational essence since no cognitive faculty can apprehend the sublime in its purest state due to its magnitude and formlessness. The sublime is a “whole” rather than an individual object and therefore it is absolutely great but equally incomprehensible by human mind since it requires a supersensible faculty. The Idea of the sublime is generated through our determining Judgment and is not to be sought in the things (phenomena) of nature hence “it is the disposition of the mind resulting from a certain representation occupying the reflective Judgment, but not the object, which is to be called sublime”100. The sublime excites us without a reason and in our attempt to apprehend, it violates our faculty of Imagination with its irregular and chaotic character derived from its vastness and extensive power. In the third Critique,all these direct and immediate characteristics of the sublime are presented as negative and unimportant by Kant because they display nothing purposive in their nature having been entirely irrational and having forced mind to abandon direct sensibility and to obey the mechanism of nature.

As Zammito rightly accentuates, “now we can fully appreciate how profoundly Kant intended his claim that the essence of the sublime was its aspect of “relation,” i.e., the relation of the sensible to supersensible”101. Kant introduces the faculty of judgment as an intermediary faculty relating the particular to the universal, the sensible to the supersensible, and the microcosm to macrocosm: “The concept which originally arises from the power of judgment and is proper to it is that of nature as art, in other words that of the technique of nature with regard to its particular laws”102. In other words, when one makes a judgment about the things and forces in nature (including himself and all human beings), one unconsciously universalizes the particulars reshaping, categorizing and hence transforming them into Ideas. In Observations Kant directly and unsystematically identifies the sublime with the moral, exalted, virtuous, honorable, dutiful action and the good will insofar as they are built upon proper universality: “…when universal affection toward the human species has become a principle within you to which you always subordinate your actions…it has been placed to its true relation to your total duty…Now as soon as this feeling has arisen to its proper universality, it has become sublime”103. In another part of the same essay, he claims, “…true virtue can be grafted only upon principles such that the more general they are, the more sublime and noble it becomes”104. Therefore, in Observations Kant rhetorically declares that the sublimity is not the essential characteristic of a moral feeling, but rather the latter acquires sublimity by way of its universalization. However, in the third Critique, he replaces the ‘feeling of the sublime’ with the ‘judgment of the sublime’, which requires the intervention, and ultimate dominion of the faculty of Reason and which, due to its initially supersensible and consequently rational character, involves a stronger possibility of universalizability.

Setting universalizability as the main criterion for his theory of the sublime, Kant construes the Burkean sublime as a feeling, which rests on an impulse towards self-preservation and fear due to the movement it produces and purification, excitement and satisfying horror it stimulates, and which contains psychological observations and phenomenological analysis of the human mind; in short as something not universalizable. However, Kant suggests,

“It is not the pleasure but the universal validity of this pleasure perceived in the mind as connected with mere judging of an object that is represented in a judgment of taste as a universal rule for the power of judgment valid for everyone. It is an empirical judgment that I perceive and judge an object with pleasure. But it is an a priori judgment that I find it beautiful, i.e., that I may require that satisfaction of everyone as necessary”105.

Accordingly, he accentuates the necessity of a transcendental (or cosmological) ground for all of our aesthetical judgments. While the beautiful object pictured by Imagination ought to arrive at its conceptual representation in Understanding, the sublime in nature ought to be concluded as a rational (and potentially moral) Idea in order to become universal. In that sense, Kant distinguishes our judgments on the beautiful in nature and those on the sublime in nature mainly in terms of their respective levels of universality. He asserts that while the more universalizable the former is due to its objective relation to the faculty of Understanding, the less the latter due to its qualitative dependence on the subjective (and thus social) faculty of practical Reason (which is developed according to the level of cultural maturity)106. The feeling of the sublime primarily stems from human nature since it occurs due to the dissonance between human reason and imagination stimulated by the inadequacy of Nature as a whole to human mind, which would always fail to capture an exact mental picture of it, and thus contradictorily defines it as both terrible and attractive. This universal natural feeling underpins every cultural description and representation of the sublimity of Nature. However, its final acknowledgment ranges from terrible (in immature barbarian cultures) to moral sublime (in the most mature educated cultures)107.  Therefore, Kant actually draws attention to the potential for morality present in human nature and associates this with the feeling of sublime in nature by means of its formative relativity to the faculty of the practical Reason although only under a subjective presupposition ascribed to everyone.

From the Sublime to the Dionysian

Geuss claims in his eloquent introduction to The Birth of Tragedy that “In one sense the child108 (Weltkind) who in metaphysical play creates and destroys the world is our underlying reality (because it is the underlying reality of everything), but in the usual sense of ‘identical’ we are not ‘identical’ with that child, ‘we’ are one of the insubstantial shapes with which it plays” 109. In that sense, Nietzsche follows an aesthetic worldview and proposes the Heraclitean “cosmic child” as a sublime metaphor whose play represents “a Becoming and Passing Away without any moralistic calculations. He (Heraclitus) conceives of the play of children as that of spontaneous human beings: here is innocence and yet coming into being and destruction…The eternal living fire plays, builds, and knocks down…directed by justice, may be grasped only as an aesthetic phenomenon. We find here a purely aesthetic view of the world. We must exclude even more any moralistic tendencies to think teleologically here, for the cosmic child (Weltkind) behaves with no regard to purposes but rather only according to an imminent justice”110 .

If we consider Kant’s and Nietzsche’s use of the sublime and the Dionysian as the aesthetic theories that are designed to represent the relation and transition between Nature (phusis) and human nature (ethos), Geuss’s point is open to question. This is because the argument that the substantial motion in human life is imparted by the primordial child does not lead us to claim that we are one of the insubstantial shapes created by it; rather, for Kant and Nietzsche we human beings are a process within this act of creation with our inherent powerful but transformed intuitions and senses, in other words, are essentially substantial and inseparable elements of this senseless and irrational power. Kant, at this point, would claim that we, thanks to our capacity of pure thinking and judgment, are the consciousness or the ‘eyes’ of this blind sublime force which could finally complete his ultimate largest and tallest edifice: the human mind. So, human rationality and morality must be considered as the most sublime creations, which have always been the ultimate purpose and inevitable final product of the blind force or innocent artist-child.

Fourteen years after publishing The Birth of Tragedy, in his Attempt at Self-criticism, Nietzsche confesses that he ruined the spirit of the Dionysian with his Schopenhauerian pessimistic metaphysical aesthetics, which is grounded upon the Kantian sublime. Therefore, in order to acquire more insight in our comparison of the sublime and the Dionysian, it is necessary to understand the Schopenhauerian reception of the Kantian sublime111. Schopenhauer, in The World as Will and Representation, describes the Kantian theory of the sublime as “By far the most excellent thing in the Critique of Judgment” which touches on the real problem of aesthetics very closely but does not provide a real solution for it 112. Schopenhauer argues, “I have sought to make clear the nature and extent of the share which the subjective condition has in aesthetic pleasure, namely the deliverance of knowledge from the service of the will, the forgetting of oneself as individual, and the enhancement of consciousness to the pure, will-less, timeless subject of knowing that is independent of all relations”113. In this passage, which seems to be a kind of transitory conception of aesthetics between the Kantian Sublime and the Nietzschean Dionysian, Schopenhauer claims that aesthetic pleasure and judgment serve as an intermediate process between the metaphysical unity or the Will and the subjective individuality or the Representation, rather as Dionysian art is the representative of an intermediary aesthetic realm between the primal unity and the principium individuationis, in Nietzsche.

Before expanding on the Dionysian and Nietzschean aesthetics in general, I will briefly discuss the link between the sublime and the Dionysian in terms of their contrast with the beautiful or the Apollonian. The Apollonian is the formative force in ancient Greek tragedy: ‘It is only Apolline art that seeks to replace suffering by beauty. The ‘eternity’ promised here is the eternity of the phenomenon. In Apolline art beauty replaces truth’114. Apollo, the sculptural God of beauty and perfection, represents the beautiful appearance and the measured restraint with his ability to distil boundless attraction from the threat of self-destruction. In other words, he has a shielding effect on existence. Apollonian art is the plastic art that puts the non-visual art of music inspired by Dionysus into form. Apollonian art activates the principle of individuation and thus encourages individual members to freely coexist within an architectural frame. While he construes the Dionysian as the substance-giving, deepening, universalizing and transfiguring force, Nietzsche describes the Apollonian as the form-giving, personifying and thus beautifying creation which renders the Dionysian force long-lasting and more beautiful and sensible. So, the main difference between the Dionysian Greeks and Dionysian Barbarians is that, with the assistance of the Apollonian, Greeks were able to transform the wild, senseless, terrible force into the sublime art of tragedy by which they could consciously encounter their true nature represented in aesthetic form115. While the overabundant, senseless and life-giving moving forces are represented in the Dionysian; the categorizing, limiting and creating human senses and aesthetic faculties can be associated to the Apollonian. The reciprocal relation (or transitions) between the moving forces of matter (which give life or will to the tragic hero) and the sensing, intuiting and judging subject who gives sight, concept and thus “form” to the motion can also be explained through the Apollonian – Dionysian dichotomy that constitutes the framework of tragic art.

The Nietzschean Dionysian as a Theory of Cosmological Aesthetics representing the Transition

Arguments:

    1. I. The Dionysian is the symbolic representation of the universally valid and entirely senseless pure cosmic forces (The Cosmological Argument)

 

    1. II. The Dionysian is an Aesthetic Theory linking Nature (phusis) to Human Nature (ethos) (Argument on the Aesthetic Character)

 

  1. III. The Dionysian represented in the Chorus in Greek Tragedy serves as an intermediary link between the gods and humans, noumena and phenomena, nature and art. (The substantiation of the 2nd argument through tragedy)

 In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche proposes his thesis on the sublime function of the Dionysian representations in the Greek Tragedy. In doing so, following the romanticist view, he begins with the abovementioned necessary dissolution of the “rationally driven and sensibly judging” individual in the supersensible underlying natural unity of the Will (as the Dionysian art). Thereby, he attributes a purely cosmological essence to the latter confirming the necessity of the individual’s (or hero’s) self-negation for the affirmation of the metaphysical existence even though he tries to escape from the inevitable realization of the irredeemable suffering in the world as argued by Schopenhauer. For instance, he defines the experience of true tragedy (most of all in Aeschylus and Sophocles plays) as “the (metaphysical) solace that in the ground of things, and despite all changing appearances, life is indestructibly mighty and pleasurable” {reference}. In this passage, and second half of The Birth of Tragedy in general where he overtly conforms the Schopenhauerian metaphysics, Nietzsche contradicts some of the general aspects of his theory of the Dionysian. One of them is that in those sections, tragedy appears to be a completely static metaphysical art that neglects the continuous flux categorizing it as appearance rather than the essence of life. This reduction of the real life into a metaphysical one leads to the simplification of his aesthetics, thereby, Nietzsche’s Dionysian comes to define the truth as hidden, above and beyond human life and the forces affecting it like in the discourse of the static Christian god or Indian Buddhism. The second contradictory claim is the justification of life through the dissolution of the hero under the metaphysical will, truth or Nature beyond the human imagination, which requires us to negate our life and the forces affecting it as a whole in order to create a portrayal of that beyond-life like in many monotheistic religions.

However, then Nietzsche regrets his romantic argument for the individual’s self-negation in the process of his reconciliation with the metaphysical unity of Nature and theorizes his own Dionysian, beyond the Schopenhauerian aesthetics:  As he notes in his Attempt at Self-Criticism: “But there is something much worse about the book (BT) which I regret even more than having obscured and ruined Dionysian intimations with Schopenhauerian formulations, and this is the fact that I had ruined the grandiose Greek problem116. Rather, his own Dionysian represents the aesthetic affirmation of human life by means of natural forces and human will (mainly will to live and will to power) that actually are the sublime components of it: “How differently Dionysus spoke to me! How alien to me at that time was precisely this whole philosophy of resignation!”117. Actually we can also trace his life-affirming aesthetic thought, which aims at the reconciliation of the phenomenal and metaphysical, in The Birth of Tragedy where he talks about the origins of the gods. Heconstrues the representation of the sublime in art as the saviour of life owing to its redirection of the terrible forces of nature in an aesthetic form118. Thereby even the early Dionysian stands for the only bridge between these naturally separated worlds. This correlation between the human and metaphysical realm can only be constituted by the Dionysian half-human and half-god satyr which represents the godly features of the human nature and human features of the gods: “…what he (the Greek) saw in the satyr was the original image (Urbild) of mankind, the expression of man’s highest and strongest stirrings, an enthusiastic celebrant, ecstatic at the closeness of his god (Dionysus)”, he “was something sublime and divine; and he was particularly bound to seem so to the painfully broken gaze of the Dionysian man…(whose) eye dwelt in sublime satisfaction119. Hence, Nietzsche locates this metaphorical representation of the satyrs in between the phenomenal and metaphysical world as an intermediary realm that generates an aesthetic unification.

In the Will To Power, Nietzsche associates the word “Dionysian” with originality, creativity, openness to change, constant destruction and recreation, complexity (finding sorrow in joy, joy in sorrow), overabundance, painful but total affirmation of life, animation, motivation and finally the blissful reception of life itself with all its immoral qualities120. This presentation of the Dionysus is reformulated by Nietzsche in his Self-Criticism of The Birth of Tragedy in which he describes it as ‘amoral artist-god who frees (lˆst) himself from the dire pressure of fullness and over-fullness, from suffering the oppositions packed within him, and who wishes to become conscious of his autarchic power and constant delight and desire, whether he is building or destroying’121.

If we refer back to our metaphorical cosmic child, Nietzsche explicitly associates the child with Greeks and the sublime with the Greek tragedy: “the Greeks are eternal children, and in tragic art, too, they are mere children who do not know what sublime toy has been created –and smashed – by their hands”122. In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche defines the entrance of the Dionysian in the mythological Greek world as the supreme moment in Greek history by which the Greek religion has been sublimated with the reconciliation of Apollo and Dionysus or of the beautiful and the sublime within Attic tragedy. The most important function of the tragic art is its power to redirect the repulsive thoughts about the terrible or absurd nature of human existence into sublime representation of human life “whereby the terrible is tamed by artistic means”. For example, the chorus of satyrs saves the Greek art by redirecting these terrible truths “in contemplation of the intermediate world of these Dionysian companions”123.

Nietzsche theorizes his own Dionysian, beyond the Kantian Sublime and Schopenhauerian reconstruction of it. While for Kant, it is impossible to attain a schema of our Nature via Imagination and here, the sublime, to which the subjective purposiveness directed represents the Nature beyond the achievability of human mind (or the cosmic nature). Thus, since nature itself is unattainable, we have to and can only identify and examine nature with its phenomenal representation without really knowing its essential sublimity. At this point, Nietzsche also claims that we cannot “know” the essential truths of the Nature but he adds that at least there is an achievable “middle world between beauty and truth…The world reveals itself in a playing with intoxication, not in complete entrapment by it”124. This is “the artistic of the Olympians. In order to be able to live, the Greeks were obliged, by the most profound compulsion, to create these gods”125. Homer’s poetry stands as a great example of this middle world between beauty and truth, or the aesthetic representation of the cosmic forces.

For the further confirmation of the intermediary nature of Nietzsche’s theory of the Dionysian, Del Caro, in his essay on Nietzsche’s transfiguration of the Dionysian suggests, “the Dionysian is not a religion in the sense that requires religious faith or needs dogma to defend it. In fact, the Dionysian properties are conducive to life-affirmation…for Nietzsche Dionysus became a ‘philosopher god’ or with less fanfare, a human”126. Nietzsche’s tendency to unveil the Dionysian myth within human nature is very apparent even in the early Dionysian which he describes as “the god who experiences the sufferings of individuation in his own person (like the tragic hero…and who) has a double nature; he is both cruel, savage demon and mild, gentle ruler”127. In that sense, Dionysus is both god and human, he is an aesthetic symbol of the transition between the godly, deified natural forces and the concepts of human understanding; he is the best representation of this metaphysical transition with his double nature which originates from the most complex and deepest insights and forces of human nature128.

Zarathustra is the best example to illustrate Nietzsche’s argument on the sublimation or deification of these forces. In the section called “Those Who Are Sublime”, Nietzsche echoes the Dionysian-Apollonian amalgamation he defended in The Birth of Tragedy for the creation of the sublime art of tragedy where he argues for the final embodiment of the sublime and beautiful in overhero who is internally hard and enduring (substantial), and externally more beautiful and gentle (joyful)129. In Ecce Homo, he describes Zarathustra as the most affirmative spirit or the overman who says the loudest ‘Yes’ to life, while embodying all oppositions in human nature such as the sweetest (the beautiful) and the most terrible (the sublime)130. In the Will To Power, he apparently personifies Dionysus (to which he dedicates his last book) as the overman who has completed his transformation and has become a man with stronger instincts: “he instinctively gathers from all that he sees, hears, experiences, what advances his main concern –he follows a principle of selection”131. As half-human – half-god Dionysian materializes his cosmological existence owing to the seductiveness of the embodiment of beauty and consciousness through aesthetic human understanding and reflective human judgment. Therefore, it would also not be wrong to call the overman a superabundant man who undergoes a double overcoming. He transcends his old values, rational categories and moral norms, thereby first leading to his deification, projection towards the eternal cosmic unity previously disrupted in the name of metaphysical illusions, deities and other ideal objects; but then purified from the metaphysical illusions and descended and returned back to the human realm as a metamorphosed individual-god overman who has internalized or discovered the eternal motion and consciously become a part of it: “Your will and your valuations you have placed on the river of becoming; and what the people believe to be good and evil, that betrays to me an ancient will to power”132. However, it is important to note that Nietzsche’s concept of will to power is very ambiguous and it must be distinguished from the concept of ‘will’ and defined through ‘becoming’ rather than ‘being’.

Nietzsche, in the end, seems to argue that the metaphysical transformation of the phenomenal (like the transformation of human into a substantial being) is simultaneous with the phenomenal transformation of the metaphysical (like the transformation of the Dionysus into a beautiful deity), and both processes require aesthetic motivation and insight represented by the tragic sublime or the Dionysian. The reason for this simultaneity, I argue, is that neither metaphysical nor physical, neither noumenal nor phenomenal exist independent of their transition to and from each other and of a mind that initiates or apprehends this transition, for their primary qualities derive from this very process. This also confirms our main thesis: transition is the phase from which both the metaphysical foundations of natural forces and the physical foundations of aesthetic concepts derive.

Nietzsche defines the tragic chorus through its function of intermediation between the metaphysical ideas (or noumena) and the world of phenomena: “just as tragedy, with its metaphysical solace, points to the eternal life of that core of being despite the constant destruction of the phenomenal world, the symbolism of the chorus of satyrs is in itself a metaphysical expression of that original relationship between the thing-in-itself and phenomenon”133. However, in accordance with the principle of transition, Homeric gods referred by the tragic chorus are not simply the deified representations of human passions but actually the human reconstruction of the cosmic forces (affecting on human nature) through direct or indirect association with aesthetic concepts. And the qualitative changes rooted in this reconstruction, Heraclitus argues, are not arbitrary but according to logos or the laws regulating the continuous change, the laws through which the forces of phusis and aesthetic concepts of ethos continue to exist in balance, the laws of the transition between them.

Indeed, the laws of transition are present in any process of deification, any attempt to design a god has to understand and interpret them in detail and use them effectively. Using these laws effectively also entails a comprehensive knowledge of the ethos of the people for which the deification is intended. Observe for example the discrepancies between the Homeric and Jewish deifications all of which are the representations of the supersensible force(s). These differences derive from the ways both intuit, apprehend and judge the transition between the universal phusis and their concepts of ethos. While former uses multiple gods in shape and character of and relation with humans, the latter considers all these forces intertwined in one intuition reconciling the multiple and diverse representations and strictly distinguishing between the contingent realm of humans and pure realm of God. Thus, the process of deification is the major factor according to which the gods and the concepts such as justice, life, death, love and strife are defined. In other words, the transition from a moving force to an intelligible concept is the only determinant of the way cosmological principles are constructed. However, this art of deification entails much higher philosophical criteria than the logical and allegedly objective accounts of the analytic of the beautiful object.

In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche explicitly disapproves of the conception of beauty in contemporary aesthetics which has entirely ignored the substantial qualities of the beautiful and the sublime: “What a spectacle our aestheticians present as they lash about, with movements that are to be judged neither by the standard of eternal beauty nor of the sublime…an aesthetic pretext for their own sober-sided, impoverished sensibility”134. Nietzsche furthers his critique on the weaknesses of the rationalist and objectivist accounts of aesthetical education in the following section where he declares its confrontation with the true art, tragedy which celebrates its rebirth with Goethe, Schiller135 and Wagner: “We understand why such debilitated education hates true art, for it fears that it will be destroyed by it”136. The “true art” for Nietzsche is evidently the Dionysian or the tragic art, or the art that destroys the veil of beauty and depicts the ugly, formless, unmediated forces inherent in human nature. Then, he accuses the contemporary aesthetics of misinterpreting the tragedy as the consequential triumph of the universal moral order and in doing so, lacking the ability to make a substantial analysis of human sense-intuitions and drives represented in the tragic art: “they (aestheticians) never tire of characterizing the true essence of tragedy as the struggle of the hero with fate, the triumph of a universal moral order”137. This critique is mainly directed against the sublime in Kantian aesthetics which is associated with tragedy (in the Observations) and which is used as the primary link between morality and aesthetics via the faculty of Reason. Nietzsche also draws attention to the domination of the good and noble principles that derive from the moral view of the world in the aesthetic presentation of tragedy (which he defines as the supreme art above and beyond the moral categories and principles). Hence, he defines the morally sublime as impure due to its consequential resort to the territory of ethical condolence with the feelings it evokes such as pity and fear. However, he builds his aesthetics neither on an antithesis of the moralizing tendency in art nor on l’art pour l’art which would render art and life purposeless and pointless. Rather, in the Twilight of the Idols, he explicitly announces the art as “the great stimulus to life”138. This must be considered as the representation of artist’s most basic inspirations that are rooted in the senseless cosmic forces represented by the Dionysian. But, due to the senselessness of the forces, the tragic artist must communicate the ugliest, harshest, questionable, and fearful aspects of life so as to create a motive, disturbing and purposeful art which can stimulate the spectator’s understanding and imagination projecting a middle world in which the chorus resides 139. This entails a pure demonstration of the tragic transition between the forces in nature and pure concepts of human life.

Conclusion

The main argument defended in this paper can be summarized thus:

Transition is what makes stratum sensible, and substratum supersensible. For the forces in nature can only acquire meaning and identity through the supersensible concepts of understanding, and these concepts of understanding are alive and substantial insofar as they continue to represent these forces. Transition is thus the principle from which both the cosmic forces and aesthetic concepts derive.And this transition is only apprehensible because it functions simultaneously. The reason for this simultaneity, I argue, is that neither metaphysical nor physical, neither noumenal nor phenomenal exist independent of their transition to and from each other and of a mind that initiates or apprehends this transition, for their primary qualities derive from this very process. There is no static atemporal being but rather only the moving forces and the processes deriving from their mutual agitation. So, “is” does not refer to what but rather to how, not to any original being but to the ways and processes of the apprehension of forces and composition of concepts. An analysis of logos is an examination of how questions 140, it is the very process of unearthing of the underlying transitions.

Neither a purely empirical science (e.g. modern physics), nor a purely metaphysical thinking (e.g. monotheistic religions) can explain the nature of things independent of each other. But, this paper proposes that they are not directly dependent on each other, they are themselves the product of the transitions between cosmic forces and human concepts as they are formed and reformed according to these transitions. While we cannot think of Nature and its component forces without the process of conceptualisation, we cannot have meaningful or artful or moving concepts that are active in communication or language once we empty their natural content or cut off their roots in the moving forces in nature. 

The possibility of cosmological aesthetics as a discipline of thought depends on the exposition of the transition between the cosmological forces of matter and aesthetic concepts of motion since the determination of the relationship between these rests on the transition between them. In establishing the structure of this transition, this paper uses Kant’s Opus Postumum as the primary source not only because of its provisional name (‹bergang) and content (transition from the metaphysical principles to physics), but also thanks to its comprehensive and general character which encompasses several fields of philosophy and thus allows various alternative approaches to Kantian thought, e.g. Heraclitean philosophy. The structure is also advanced through an elaborate use of Kant’s first and third Critiques and his Metaphysical Foundations. This paper also made use of Nietzschean aesthetics in his Early Writings, The Birth of Tragedy, Pre-Platonic Philosophers and Late Notebooks. 

In the end, the following point can be derived from this paper: It is much less important to intuit what is in transition than to determine the laws, rules or principles of this transition because the transition itself is the phase where the a priori forces find their meaning and thus a body of definition as pure concepts. In that sense, unlike what Kant assumes, it is not the metaphysical principles of nature that define the transition, but the transition defines these seemingly separate realms of thought since the principle of transition itself (like the Heraclitean logos) determines the ways the forces of nature (phusis) are apprehended and aesthetic, political, ethical and legal concepts are understood and defined. As the Greek tragedy was born from the spirit of the Dionysian aesthetics, the Nature is apprehended and represented through the creation of the Sublime ideas, and logos as transition is the determinant and creator of both phusis and ethos, the human being and his concepts of understanding are the products of the ways of apprehension and conceptualisation of the cosmic forces.

 


References

1Kirk, G.S., The Pre-Socratic Philosophers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1957, p.186

2 Prior to Kant, Wolff and Leibniz define cosmology as a division of metaphysics together with natural theology, psychology and ontology

3 For a further discussion on the aesthetic character of the principle of transition from the sensible substratum to intelligible substratum, see section XI of Kant’s First Introduction to Critique of the Power of Judgment, where he explicitly shows the systematic foundations of his philosophy

4 Even though this issue will comprehensively be discussed throughout the paper, it will be elaborated specifically in the section where I discuss Heraclitean logos and Heideggerian critique of conventional metaphysics 

5 Therefore, an elaborate understanding of the comparison between these theories requires higher criteria and principles by which we can observe the affinities and transitions between forces and concepts, physics and metaphysics

6 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.26, p.139 Also see Zammito’s chapter on the sublime and symbolism

7 Nietzsche explicitly confirms this argument in his Late Notebooks: “Our senses have a particular quantum as a medium span within which they function, i.e., we experience large and small in relation to the conditions of our existence. If we sharpened or blunted our senses tenfold, we would perish” (Nietzsche, Friedrich. Writings from the Late Notebooks, ed. Bittner, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003, p.111)

8 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason, ed. Guyer and Wood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p.466

9 Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.4

10 Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.115

11 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.82

12 Fˆrster, Eckart, “Introduction” in Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.xlii

13 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.235 Here, even though Kant uses Beschauung (observation or inspection) rather than Anschauung, it is not hard to see that the 20th century term Weltanschauung, as the follower of the Heraclitean Logos, is a version of the Kantian Weltbeschauung, or cosmo-theory. These points are going to be expanded on in the sections concerning the relation between Heraclitean logos and Kantian ‹bergang, and between the Genius and Kantian cosmotheoros.

14 Both referring to its original form, Weltbegriff and to Kant’s own Latin translation, conceptus cosmicus, it is far more appropriate to call this cosmic or cosmical concept (which was chosen by most of the other translators) rather than cosmopolitan concept.

15 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason, ed. Guyer and Wood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp.694-5

16 Lehmann was one of the first scholars to assert that the origins of the idea or schema of a transition are present in the Critique of Judgment and Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science prioritizing the former to the latter in his Kants Nachlasswerk und die Kritik der Urteilskraft (1939).

17 Here, Fˆrster particularly underlines Hˆlderlin’s definition of art as the bridge from nature to culture (phusis to ethos). Furthermore, supporting Hˆlderlin’s aesthetic argument Fˆrster writes, “Reason lays the ground with its principles (Grunds‰tze), which are laws of thought and action that are related to what Hˆlderlin views as the universal conflict in man. This universal conflict is the conflict between the striving toward the absolute on the one hand, and the striving for limitation on the other. It is a conflict that characterizes the human situation in what he calls the Urtheilung, or ‘original separation.’ The primordial being of which Hyperion speaks passed into the Urtheilung when we became conscious. As an original unity of subject and object that precedes every relation of a subject to an object, this ‘being’ can never itself become an object of knowledge” (Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.153)

18 Fˆrster, Eckart, “Introduction” in Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.xxxvii

19 What Descartes ‘discovered’ in his “Wax Experiment” and found his entire philosophy on, I argue, was nothing more than this difference between sense-intuition and sense-perception which was one of the main concerns of the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers. Heraclitus says, for example, “Eyes and ears are worthless witnesses for humans if their souls are barbarous.” Heraclitus (B 107) We need the help of a cultivated or experienced sense-intuition or inner sense to make a reflective judgment on the sense-data. Descartes says, wax when melted does not appear to our sense-perceptions (eyes) like wax anymore, and from this jumps to the conclusion that owing to the ideas of reason, we are able to understand the continuing existence of wax in another form. Kant of course prefers the former explanation having categorized reason and its ideas as a separate faculty and described human understanding in three main phases that are not necessarily distinct from each other: sensing, intuiting and conceptualising.

20 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.191

21 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.35, p.167

22 What Kant wanted to avoid when arguing for the necessity of conceptualisation for the realization of an intuition is something like Schelling’s theory of productive intuition: “The necessity of productive intuition, here systematically deduced from the entire mechanism of the self, has got to be derived, as a general condition of knowing as such, directly from the concept thereof; for if all knowing borrows its reality from an immediate cognition, it is this alone that is to be met with in intuition; whereas concepts, in fact, are merely shadows of reality, projected through a reproductive power, the understanding which itself presupposes a higher power, having no original outside itself, and which produces from within itself by a primordial force” (Schelling, F.W.J., System of Transcendental Idealism, trans. Peter Heath The University of Virginia Press, 1978, p.73)

23 Tuschling, Burkhard. Apperception and Ether: On the Idea of a Transcendental Deduction of Matter in Kant’s Opus Postumum in Kant’s Transcendental Deductions ed. Fˆrster, Stanford University Press: Stanford, California: 1989, p.197

24 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason, ed. Guyer and Wood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, p.270 – A136. For further discussion on this see Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, pp.56-61

25 Tuschling, Burkhard. Apperception and Ether: On the Idea of a Transcendental Deduction of Matter in Kant’s Opus Postumum in Kant’s Transcendental Deductions ed. Fˆrster, Stanford University Press: Stanford, California: 1989, p.200. On this point, Fˆrster too agrees that the task assigned to the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science to ascertain the objective validity and real applicability of the pure concepts of understanding can only be undertaken by the Transition. (Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.74)

26 ibid.

27 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.181

28 ibid.

29 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.117

30 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason, ed. Politis, London: Everyman, 1993, p.121

31 ibid, p.122

32 ibid, p.123

33 The relevance of the concept of Weltanschauung to the main thesis is discussed in the Interlude along with the Heraclitean Logos.

34 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.210

35 Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.78

36 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.58, p.224

37 ibid, p.221-2

38 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.118

39 Fˆrster, Eckart. “Introduction”  in Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.xxxv

40 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, p.339

41 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp.62-63

42 ibid, p.63

43 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.255

44 Guyer, Paul. Kant, New York: Routledge, 2006, p.308

45 ibid.

46 Allison, Henry E., Kant’s Theory of Taste, Cambridge University Press, 2001, p.200

47 Kant, Immanuel. Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, M. Greene and Hoyt H. HudsonLondon: Harper & Row, 1960, p.109

48 This argument constitutes one of the core building blocks of the inherent link between the principles of motion and transition

49 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.58, p.224

50 ibid, p.82

51 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.41

52 ibid, pp.122-4

53 ibid, p.88

54 Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.161-2

55 ibid, p.162

56 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.249

57 ibid, p.143

58 Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, pp.138-9

59 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.139

60 Ibid, p.246

61 Ibid, p.249

62 Ibid, p.255

63 Kant, Immanuel. Opus Postumum, ed. Fˆrster, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.256

64 Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.73

65 Heidegger too confirms  this meaning of logos as ‘bringing together’ in his Early Greek Thinking, trans by Krell, (Harper & Row Publishers), London, 1975, p.60

66 Heidegger, Martin. Introduction to Metaphysics, Yale: Yale University Press, 2000, pp.136-7

67 Heidegger, Martin. “Introduction to Being and Time” in Basic Writings ed. Krell, Routledge: London, 1978, p.65

68 Heidegger, Martin. Introduction to Metaphysics, Yale: Yale University Press, 2000, p.147

69 F.124: (Theophrastus): [the fairest order in the world (‘the most beautiful kosmos’), says Heraclitus, is a heap of random sweepings.]

70 Kahn, Charles H., The Art and Thought of Heraclitus, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979, p.286

71 Fˆrster, Eckart. Kant’s Final Synthesis, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000, p.150. This argument is comprehensively discussed in the chapter on the principle of motion.

72 Heidegger, Martin. Supplements: From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond, ed. Van Buren, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002, p.88

73 ibid, p.107

74 Tuschling, Burkhard. Apperception and Ether: On the Idea of a Transcendental Deduction of Matter in Kant’s Opus Postumum in Kant’s Transcendental Deductions ed. Fˆrster, Stanford University Press: Stanford, California: 1989, p.210

75 ibid.

76 Swift argues in his recently published book, “both the sublime and Dionysian represent underlying forces of nature that make the transcendental subject feel insignificant” (Swift, Paul A. Becoming Nietzsche: Early Reflections of Democritus, Schopenhauer and Kant, Lexington Books, 2005, p.111) Nonetheless, I totally reject that “subject” feels insignificant as a result of the experience of the sublime or Dionysian. Rather, in Kantian analysis, sublime triggers human imagination and exalts the ideas of human reason over the objects of nature. Similarly, Nietzschean Dionysian causes intoxication and teaches how to possess a stronger nature and higher consciousness through pathos.

77 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.26, p.139 Also see Zammito’s chapter on the sublime and symbolism.

78 ibid, sec.26, p.138

79 ibid, sec.28, p.143

80 Guyer, Paul. Kant, New York: Routledge, 2006, p.308

81 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.28, p.145

82 “Kant presents us with spectacle of a formless and boundless and chaotic nature of might and magnitude, on the one hand, and man with a consciousness of his “supersensible destination”, on the other hand, finding delight in the feeling of the sublime precisely because of the contrast involved” This argument of Kant has been very popular among his followers including Hegel and Schopenhauer. For a more detailed discussion see Knox, Israel. The Aesthetic Theories of Kant, Hegel and Schopenhauer, Columbia University Press, 1936, p.64

83 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.28, p.145

84 He actually borrows these examples from his Observations, see p.56

85Crowther, Paul. The Kantian Sublime: From Morality to Art, Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1991, pp.115-116 Then, Crowther concludes that Kant “wishes to show that the aesthetic experience’s metaphysical raison d’Ítre is, in the final analysis, to promote our existence as moral beings” and it “does not exist in a vacuum” (or it is not purposeless) “and the sublime in particular has the capacity to humanize” (ibid, p.174) Here, it is possible to claim that while Kant tries to promote the justification of human existence by means of the moral consequences of the feeling of the sublime, Nietzsche does so by means of the immoral essence of the Dionysian representation of pure and motive process in human nature.

86 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.28, p.146

87 What is more, in an Aristotelian evaluation of this reconciliation referring to the notions like phronesis, since the rationality and morality of an action can only be determined a posteriori, while the irrationality of an external desire or motive is determined internally, the rationality of an idea can only be understood when applied to praxis. Therefore, it would not be wrong to argue that these nature(s) (internal and external) are essentially linked and that the relation and simultaneous transition between them is the chief determinant of both.

88 ibid, sec.29, pp.154-5

89 Kant, Immanuel. Universal Natural History and the Theory of Heavens, trans. Stanley L. Jaki, Edinburgh, Scottish Academic Press, 1981, p.196

90 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, p.156

91 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “Dionysian Worldview” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings ed. Geuss and Speirs Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, sec.1, p.122

92 Guyer, Paul. Kant and the Experience of Freedom, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.191

93 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.26, p.139

94 ibid.

95 ibid, sec.27, p.141

96 This argument can be compared with the Heraclitean ‘Know thyself’ which actually entails the knowledge of Logos (see the ‘Interlude’ for an elaborate discussion on this)

97 The expression “sufficient understanding of ethos” is my Heraclitean attempt to replace the Kantian-Schopenhauerian “Principle of Sufficient Reason”

98 This is one of the links between the sublime and human faculty of sense-intuition that

99 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.24, p.131

100 ibid, sec.25, p.134

101 Zammito, John. H., The Genesis of Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992, p.283

102 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, Introduction, p.10

103 ­­­Kant, Immanuel. Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, trans. J. H. Goldthwait University of California Press, 1960, p.58

104 ibid, p.60

105 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.37, p.169

106 This argument entirely contradicts his early account in his Observation to which the character of a feeling is sublime insofar as it is universal and deducible to human nature in general.

107 Kant, Immanuel. Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, sec.29, p.155-6

108 As against Kant’s apparently teleological construction of the free-willing “subject” which ends up with the moralized and all-encompassing spiritual entity (or the Idea of God).

109 Geuss, Raymond. “Introduction”, in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, p.xxv

110 Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Pre-Platonic Philosophers, trans., ed. Whitlock, Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2006, p.70

111 Even though Schopenhauerian aesthetics is one of the most important links between Kantian and Nietzschean aesthetics considering the epistemological and terminological similarities, it is certainly not the only link as it is shown especially in the upcoming sections

112 Schopenhauer, Arthur. The World as Will and Representation Volume I, trans. E. F. J. Payne, Dover Publication, 1969, p.532

113 ibid, p.199

114 Silk, M. S. & Stern, J. P., Nietzsche on Tragedy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981, p.79 

115 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Birth of Tragedy” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, sec.2, p.20

116 Nietzsche, Friedrich.  “Attempt at Self-Criticism” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, sec.6, p.10

117 ibid.

118 ibid, “Birth of Tragedy”, sec.7, p.40

119 ibid, sec.8, p.41

120 Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Will To Power, ed. Walter Kaufmann, New York: Vintage Books, 1968, sec.1050, p.539

121 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Birth of Tragedy” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.: “An Attempt at Self-Criticism”, sec.5, p.8

122 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Birth of Tragedy” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.: “An Attempt at Self-Criticism”, sec.17, p.82

123 ibid, sec.8, p.40

124 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “Dionysian Worldview” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings ed. Geuss and Speirs Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, sec.3, p.130

125 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Birth of Tragedy” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, sec.3, p.23

126 Del Caro, Adrian. “Nietzschean Self-transformation and the Transformation of the Dionysian” in Nietzsche, Philosophy and the Arts, Kemal, Gaskell, Conway, Cambridge University Press, 1998.

127 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Birth of Tragedy” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, sec.10, p.52

128 Here, Nietzsche heavily criticizes the historical-pragmatic construal of mythology for lacking these complex motives (Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Birth of Tragedy” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999 sec.10, p.53)

129 Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Walter Kaufmann, New York: Penguin Books, 1966, pp.118-119

130 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “Ecce Homo” in The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols, and Other Writings, ed. Ridley and Norman Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, sec.6, p.130

131 Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Will To Power, ed. Walter Kaufmann, New York: Vintage Books, 1968, sec.1003, p.520

132 Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Walter Kaufmann, New York: Penguin Books, 1966, p.113

133 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Birth of Tragedy” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, sec.8, p.41-2 Deleuze, in his Empiricism and Subjectivity expands on the relation between Gods of polytheism and the World: “The gods of polytheism are the echo, the extension, and the reflection of the passions, and their heaven is our imagination only” Deleuze, Gilles. Empiricism and Subjectivity: An Essay on Hume's Theory of Human Nature, New York: Columbia University Press, 1991, p.73

134 Nietzsche, Friedrich. “The Birth of Tragedy” in The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, ed. Geuss and Speirs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, sec.19, p.94

135 Nietzsche’s attitude about Schiller and Romanticism as a whole is very controversial. Generally, on the one hand, he confirms that Schiller enriches and develops the aesthetics in German culture; on the other, he disapproves of Schiller’s appreciation of Kantian ideal that the aesthetic education of individuals must lead to the transformation from the “Natural State into a Moral one” (Schiller, Friedrich, On the Aesthetic Education of Man, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967, p.13)

136 BT: sec.20, p.97

137 BT: sec.22, p.105

138 Nietzsche, Friedrich “Twilight of the Idols” in The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols, and Other Writings, ed. Ridley and Norman, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005, sec.24, p.204

139 ibid, pp.204-205

140 See the Fragments 2, 5 and 6. Heraclitus, On Nature, Frs.5-6: “The majority of people have no understanding of the things with which they daily meet, nor, when instructed, do they have any right knowledge of them, although to themselves they seem to have. They understand neither how to hear nor how to speak”

 

 

 

 

 

Join Metanexus Today

Metanexus fosters a growing international network of individuals and groups exploring the dynamic interface between cosmos, nature and culture. Membership is open to all. Join Now!