With more than 1, titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. Edmund Burke was elected as an MP in He championed the unpopular cause of Catholic emancipation and a great part of his career became dedicated to the problem of India. What would you like to know about this product? Please enter your name, your email and your question regarding the product in the fields below, and we'll answer you in the next hours.
A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of the Sublime and Beautiful
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Welcome to Christianbook. Sign in or create an account. Search by title, catalog stock , author, isbn, etc. Wishlist Wishlist. Write a Review. Advanced Search Links. David Womersley New York: Penguin, Originally published The passions which belong to self-preservation turn on pain and danger; they are simply painful when their causes immediately affect us; they are delightful when we have an idea of pain and danger, without being actually in such circumstances; this delight I have not called pleasure, because it turns on pain, and because it is different enough from any idea of positive pleasure.
Whatever excites this delight, I call sublime. The passions belonging to self-preservation are the strongest of all the passions. Plato famously links the good and the beautiful, that there has to be a linkage of beautiful with aesthetic. Burke however attacks the notion that we can impart ideas about aesthetic and impose on another.
He disagrees with the Platonic point that beauty must have a moral dimension. For Burke, aesthetic consideration is autonomous. Burkes originality consists in his developing a concept of delight that is not reducible to either pleasure or pain, positively understood, and also in developing a related concept of the sublime that is not explained in terms of order harmony or beauty.
The sublime and the beautiful are in fact contrary qualities giving rise to contrary sensations, and it will transpire that delight in the sublime, as understood by Burke, is originally closer to pain than pleasure. He wants to separate aesthetic response from other responses.
Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Sublime and Beautiful - PhilPapers
For sublime objects are vast in their dimensions, beautiful ones comparatively small; beauty should be smooth and polished. I do believe that something that we find to be beautiful is an automatic response of our senses but I believe that these responses are influenced by a variety of factors, such as culture, society, the media, and tradition.
Qualities that you or I may see as crucial to what we define as beautiful can be of a major contrast with those opinions of others. I believe this is a result of wider cultural forces. For example, tribal people such as the Mursi women of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia, wear gigantic plates in their ears and in their lower lip. The original reasons for creating this massive lip plate was to prevent men from taking the tribal women as slaves.
Now, it is considered a thing of beauty.
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This is just one example of ethnic modification which is considered by those, for whom it is part of their social identity, to be something beautiful. In another society this could be viewed as hideous. This shows how tradition, society and culture influence our responses. Yes the aesthetic response is autonomous, and it is immediate, but it has been mediated by other factors. The basis of beauty is highly questionable.
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For Burke, the sublime makes a greater impact on us than the beautiful. The ultimate sources of this aesthetic pleasure being pp.
Certain experience of terror and fear can galvanise us, it must however be controlled. For example, going on a roller- coaster ride, travelling at tremendous speed, dropping from enormous heights being turned upside down can give us a thrill, because we are safely strapped in and the chance of coming to any harm is very slim. However, if one was faced with taking the same roller-coaster ride with no safety barriers or straps to hold them in, death is a very likely outcome.
The danger can only be enjoyable when it is controlled.