Kant's Dynamically Sublime

Essay by dreyazHigh School, 10th gradeA-, September 2007

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In the Critique of Judgement, Kant defines the dynamically sublime as the feeling that one experiences that is associated by encountering objects or things that appear absolutely “mighty,” which is “a power superior to great hindrances”, although Kant further states that we judge objects of nature as dynamically sublime is “nature considered in an aesthetic judgment as might that has no dominion over us”. By this, I believe it means that nature is dynamically sublime if it is both seemingly possessing infinite power which is beyond the grasp of human comprehension, whilst having no control over our life and the way we live. With this in mind, it is perhaps conceivable that the dynamically sublime possesses not only power that implies danger and risks to those who venture into its domain, but it also possesses the power to greatly affect the minds and soul of Man. This power from the dynamically sublime kindles our imagination, stimulates our senses into feeling as if we were actually standing right before that sublimity of nature.

Take the chosen painting for instance. The immediate feeling one may have whilst imagining, say, about to fall from the waterfall the painting is undoubtedly the feeling of insignificance and relevance. With these feelings also comes the feeling of fear, as we soon recognize that against this might, “all such resistance would be quite futile”, that is, it all efforts in resisting against the current is in vain, as the current will inevitably lead you to fall down quite a distance and most likely be injured. And so, for nature to be dynamically sublime, it needs to be regarded as terrifying, in a sense that we must be fearful of the nature’s might whilst not being afraid. One other condition that must be met in order to experience...