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The Personal is Political. The Political is Personal.

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February 01, 2011
Kant's 3rd Critique: Who cares?

A terrific new article by Oxford Prof. Jim    T. J. Reed does a fine job of conjuring up the radical sociopolitical implications, for their time (& even ours), of Kant's aesthetics:
Kant's thesis allowed the inference that the authorities could legitimately neither demand that art help inculcate belief and morals, nor criticize and prohibit works or art for failing to do so, or for suggesting alternative beliefs and behaviors, or even for treating them as an open quesion. . . .

[H]e was setting, with an almost naive radicalism, the power of principle against mere practice. Things might be as they were, but that was never a ground for accepting them.

See "Kant and his German Literary Culture: Coincidences and Consequences," here.

(Thus some of Kant's concerns seems as timely as contemporary debates about Wojnarowicz or Céline.)

Reed finishes with a refreshing engagement with the never non-fun problem of why Kant's writing style in general is so blastedly -- purposefully -- difficult to read.

The article appears in the fiftieth anniversary issue of the British Journal of Aesthetics, the entire, overall interesting content of which is readable on-line this month, here.