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De Man's Negativity

De Man's Negativity DE MAN’S NEGATIVITY LEE EDELMAN Of the many questions for which we might turn to Paul de Man’s writings for guidance or insight, “What is an erection?” probably doesn’t rank among the top ten. But in “Kant’s Materialism,” a preliminary version of “Phenomenality and Materiality in Kant,” de Man observes that “erection… is likely to be anything but what one—or should I say men?—think(s) it to be” and then, still focused on erection, de Man asks: “What is it for Kant?” (1996b, 126). Stranger still, in seeking an answer, de Man locates, as he puts it, “a hint” in the following much-discussed passage from section 29 of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment: If we call sublime the sight of a star-studded sky, we must not base this judgment on a notion of the stars as worlds inhabited by rational beings, in which the luminous points are their suns, moving purposefully and for their benefi t. We must instead consider the sky as we see it, as a wide vault that contains everything. This is the only way to conceive of the sublime as the source of pure aesthetic judgment. The same is true of the sea: we must not http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke uni_neb

De Man's Negativity

symploke , Volume 26 (1) – Nov 28, 2018

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 symploke.
ISSN
1534-0627

Abstract

DE MAN’S NEGATIVITY LEE EDELMAN Of the many questions for which we might turn to Paul de Man’s writings for guidance or insight, “What is an erection?” probably doesn’t rank among the top ten. But in “Kant’s Materialism,” a preliminary version of “Phenomenality and Materiality in Kant,” de Man observes that “erection… is likely to be anything but what one—or should I say men?—think(s) it to be” and then, still focused on erection, de Man asks: “What is it for Kant?” (1996b, 126). Stranger still, in seeking an answer, de Man locates, as he puts it, “a hint” in the following much-discussed passage from section 29 of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment: If we call sublime the sight of a star-studded sky, we must not base this judgment on a notion of the stars as worlds inhabited by rational beings, in which the luminous points are their suns, moving purposefully and for their benefi t. We must instead consider the sky as we see it, as a wide vault that contains everything. This is the only way to conceive of the sublime as the source of pure aesthetic judgment. The same is true of the sea: we must not

Journal

symplokeuni_neb

Published: Nov 28, 2018

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