Volume 1, 1998
Aesthetics and Philosophy of the Arts
The Sublime in the Beautiful in Kant’s Third Critique and Aristotle’s Poetics
I argue that Kant's analysis of the experience of the beautiful in the third Critique entails an implicit or potential experience of the sublime, that is, the sublime as he himself describes it. Finding the sublime in the beautiful is what I call philosophical beauty. I then consider some aspects of Aristotle's analysis of tragedy in the Poetics, specifically his identification of the key elements of tragedy as those involving the experience of fear and pity, which leads to a catharsis of these emotions. Aristotle is famously unclear about what happens in this process of catharsis. I use the notion of philosophical beauty derived from Kant to suggest a possible explanation.