The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference

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Routledge, Jan 11, 2013 - Philosophy - 240 pages
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Christine Battersby is a leading thinker in the field of philosophy, gender studies and visual and literary aesthetics. In this important new work, she undertakes an exploration of the nature of the sublime, one of the most important topics in contemporary debates about modernity, politics and art.

Through a compelling examination of terror, transcendence and the ‘other’ in key European philosophers and writers, Battersby articulates a radical ‘female sublime’. A central feature of The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference is its engagement with recent debates around ‘9/11’, race and Islam. Battersby shows how, since the eighteenth century, the pleasures of the sublime have been described in terms of the transcendence of terror. Linked to the ‘feminine’, the sublime was closed off to flesh-and-blood women, to ‘Orientals’ and to other supposedly ‘inferior’ human types. Engaging with Kant, Burke, the German Romantics, Nietzsche, Derrida, Lyotard, Irigaray and Arendt, as well as with women writers and artists, Battersby traces the history of these exclusions, while finding resources within the history of western culture for thinking human differences afresh

The Sublime, Terror and Human Difference is essential reading for students of continental philosophy, gender studies, aesthetics, literary theory, visual culture, and race and social theory.

 

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Contents

1 A terrible prospect
1
2 Terror terrorism and the sublime
21
3 Kant and the unfair sex
45
Islam race and ethnicity
68
5 Egypt parerga and a question of veils
85
6 Ourself behind ourself concealed
105
7 Antinomies of the female
135
8 Nietzsche and the genealogy of the sublime
157
reconfiguring the sublime
177
10 Terror now and then
190
Notes
207
Bibliography
208
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Christine Battersby is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Warwick. She is a leading philosophical thinker, with specific interests in feminist metaphysics and aesthetics and the author of Gender and Genius: Towards a Feminist Aesthetics and The Phenomenal Woman: Feminist Metaphysics and the Patterns of Identity.

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