The Philosopher’s New Clothes

The Anti-Sensory, Anti-Art, Anti-Joy Aesthetics of Immanuel Kant

[Not showing an image because the best and truest manifestation of Kant’s Sublime is a void, preferably with no oxygen so that you die a painful death.]

I finished my 6,000 word chapter on the aesthetics of Immanuel Kant, specifically his two works on Beauty, and the Sublime. It closes Part Two, so now I am in the home stretch of my book Evolution Through Art. Yay. The chapter covers some of his intellectual/spiritual background, a thorough examination of his concepts of Beauty, and the Sublime, lots of quotes, and his thought/judgement process which he calls Taste and Aesthetical. The most important element is I connected several famous postmodern artworks with his aesthetic thought.

In the intro to Kant’s Critique of Judgment, the translator, J.H. Bernard, writes: “And it is not a little remarkable that the man [Kant] who could write thus feelingly about the emotions inspired by grand and savage scenery, had never seen a mountain in his life.” Which gives a hint to his rationalistic, anti-perception, anti-experience frame of his aesthetics.

The reason for the chapter and its importance is that Kant’s house-of-cards aesthetic is the puppet master blueprint for all the stupid shit in today’s art world. The man was very clever in his obfuscation and disguising his irrelevancy in the face of a “self-interested” man. I hope I put to bed this aesthetic’s devolutionary nihilism. And we can move on to making great art, of being inspired, having fun, love, and optimism for our future.

Michael Newberry, Idyllwild, 9/5/2020