“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Can't Find this Kant

Help guys. I need to find the page range for Kant's analytic of the sublime in The Critique of Judgment ed. Pluhar (Indiana). In particular, I want the part dealing with infinity. I'm finishing my essay for Gerry Canavan and Kim Stanley Robinson and this is the one missing piece.


Apples and Oranges said...

The section on infinity is, I think, Section 26 "On Estimating the Magnitude of Natural Things" which is pages. 107-114. The entire Analytic of the Sublime is from pages 97-201.

Henry Warwick said...

I have the BERNARD translation, from 1914. In the critique of judgment the word infinity occurs in the following locations in the Analytic of the Sublime:

page 110
Now we can come by definite concepts of how great a thing is, [only] (1) by numbers, of which the unit is the measure (at all events by series of numbers progressing to
infinity) ; and so far all logical estimation of magnitude is mathematical.

page 111
Now for the mathematical estimation of magnitude there is, indeed, no maximum (for the power of numbers extends to infinity) ; but for its aesthetical estimation there is always a maximum, and of this I
say that if it is judged as the absolute measure than which no greater is possible subjectively (for the judging subject), it brings with it the Idea of the
sublime and produces that emotion which no mathematical estimation of its magnitude by means of numbers can bring about (except so far as the aesthetical fundamental measure remains vividly in the Imagination).

page 114
In the process of combination requisite for the estimation of magnitude, the Imagination proceeds of itself to infinity without anything hindering it ; but the Understanding guides it by means of concepts of number, for which the Imagination must furnish the schema.

page 115:
principle of progression. In this mathematical estimation of magnitude the Understanding is equally served and contented whether the Imagination chooses for unit a magnitude that we can take in in a glance, e.g. a foot or rod, or a German mile or even the earth s diameter, of which the apprehen
sion is indeed possible, but not the comprehension in an intuition of the Imagination (not possible by
comprehensio aesthetica, although quite possible by comprehensio logica in a concept of number). In both cases the logical estimation of magnitude goes on without hindrance to infinity.

page 116:
Nature is therefore sublime in those of its phenomena, whose intuition brings with it the Idea
of their infinity. This last can only come by the in adequacy of the greatest effort of our Imagination to estimate the magnitude of an object.

page 117:
Now the proper unchangeable fundamental measure of nature is its
absolute whole ; which, regarding nature as a phenomenon, would be infinity comprehended.

page 125:
Now, in the immensity of nature, and in the inadequacy of our faculties for adopting a standard
proportionate to the aesthetical estimation of the magnitude of its realm, we find our own limitation ;
although at the same time in our rational faculty we find a different, non-sensuous standard, which has that infinity itself under it as a unit, and in comparison with which everything in nature is small.

In my translations, those are the only mentionings of the word infinity in that chapter of Critique of Judgment.

I hope that helps. I would recommend stop using books. If you need information, use information appliances (computers).


in the shortwave said...

The "Analytic of the Sublime" covers pages 97-126 of the Pluhar edition; Kant deals with infinity on 106 and 111-2.

cameron.keys said...

Second Book -- 24 A to 26.

"the sublime is that in comparison with which everything else is small."


Nature is therefore sublime in those of its phenomena, whose intuition brings with it the Idea of their infinity

cameron.keys said...

Interesting choice of a passage, by the way.

Kant is presupposing the infinite universe of Newton. Assuming that our milky way is part of a milky way of milky ways, and so on, this "represents our Imagination with its entire freedom from bounds, and with it Nature, as a mere nothing in comparison with the Ideas of Reason..."

This is an interesting moment, when Reason reduces Nature to "a mere nothing".


cameron.keys said...

In the Pluhar edition it will be between page 82 and 95, section 26, which is

roughly (yet fairly precisely, with ~90% certainty) pages 85 to 89.

Henry Warwick said...

The problem, of course, is that the universe is not infinite. Otherwise, we would be bathed in an infinite field of radiation for eternity (conservation of mass and energy). The sky is dark : the universe is finite.