Volume 1, 2018
Aesthetics and Philosophies of Art
Carlos Javier Ferrero Martínez
Dynamics of the Sublime: A Way into the Wild
The Kantian notion of sublime is taken to be a dynamic kind of feeling that human beings can experiment on/with. For example, when an alpinist is on a mountain, alone, at a snowy edge, close to the peak he wants to conquer or when he watches a sunrise; in these moments the alpinist realizes how wonderful the nature is, how incredible the world is, and he realizes that only a thin line separates that feeling and death. There is just a void over that edge, a scary fall for hundreds of meters. This paper suggests that the sublime is a consequence of the approach, through these kinds of activities, to the environment; a feeling that provides us with knowledge of the limitless and, most importantly, a knowledge of our human condition. In the mountaineering, as in other kinds of physical, exploratory activities, the sublime is possible due to the physical skill and the power of decision and adaptation to the hazards of being in an extreme situation. This paper also shows how, through these kinds of activities, the sublime is maintained in confrontation with the western “society of simulation” and the ideas of virtual experience and “safe experience”.