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Kantian ethics

An approach to moral questions deriving from the teachings and writing of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804). It is characterized by an emphasis on the rational endeavour of ...

Ethics of Reading

Ethics of Reading   Reference library

Matthew Garrett

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...guise—cannot withstand the scrutiny of what Raymond Geuss has called “outside ethics,” as in the key example of Hegel’s social understanding of the dialectical relationship between the subjective and the objective, which is “concerned with the real results and actual consequences of human action, not with everyone’s subjective intentions.” 19 At the same time, styles of thought that may seem incompatible with ethics understood in the Aristotelian, Kantian, or analytic fashions have also been grafted onto ethical readings of texts. So, for...

Genealogy

Genealogy   Reference library

Verena Erlenbusch-Anderson and Amy Nigh

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...in contrast to the Kantian project of transcendental critique, this contrast nevertheless sheds light on the specific form of critique that is at issue in genealogy and that it inherits from Kant’s critical philosophy, namely, an understanding of critique as inquiry into conditions of possibility. It is, therefore, useful to flesh out the notion of genealogy as critique by situating it in the tradition of Kant’s critical project. This has the additional benefit of further multiplying the beginnings of genealogy. The Kantian inheritance of genealogy...

Object-Oriented Ontology

Object-Oriented Ontology   Reference library

Graham Harman

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...Kantian formalism is overshadowed by a less beneficial one. Namely, it is not that Kant wants everything to be autonomous from everything else, but that he recognizes a rift only at the single gap between human and world. Anything can mix with anything else except human and world, just as Fried allows all elements internal to a painting to be absorbed with each other even as the relation of beholder to painting is supposed to be of a different kind altogether. The same problem is shown to be at work in the two other major parts of Kant’s philosophy: ethics...

Speculation

Speculation   Reference library

Graham Harman

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...on page 77 of the English text! 21. Meillassoux, The Number and the Siren , 214. 22. Meillassoux, The Number and the Siren , 222. 23. Graham Harman, Dante’s Broken Hammer: The Ethics, Aesthetics, and Metaphysics of Love (London: Repeater, 2016); and Graham Harman, Art and Objects (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2020). 24. Max Scheler, Formalism in Ethics and Non-Formal Ethics of Values , trans. Manfred Frings and Roger Funk (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1973); Bruno Latour, We Have Never Been Modern , trans. Catherine Porter (Cambridge, MA:...

Animal

Animal   Reference library

Christopher Peterson

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...Theory: An Anthology (New York: Routledge, 2017). 2. Aristotle, Politics , trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), 9; and Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics , trans. Roger Crisp (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 12. 3. Aristotle, Politics , 11. 4. Aristotle, Politics , 11. 5. See Peter Atterton and Matthew Calarco, eds., Animal Philosophy: Ethics and Identity (New York: Continuum, 2006). 6. René Descartes, “Discourse on the Method,” in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes , vol. 1, trans. John Cottingham et al....

Critique

Critique   Reference library

Charlie Blake

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
14,592 words

...random incident its savage caricature of Gottfried Leibniz’s more overtly metaphysical and tactically theological justification of worldly suffering in his influential Theodicy , it is at the same time a meditation on and critique of ethics in the broader sense of the term. 2 It is a meditation on and critique of ethics in that through rather than despite its more sensational elements it is a work of fiction concerned primarily with the question of how an individual should live and choose and act under the conditions of the essentially arbitrary life in...

Beauty

Beauty   Reference library

Jennifer A. McMahon

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

... Art and Ethics in a Material World: Kant’s Pragmatist Legacy (New York: Routledge, 2014), 135–139. 55. Geoffrey Hartman in his commentary “The Passing of the Canon,” in Kermode, Pleasure and Chang e, 59. 56. CJ AK 5: 252, §26. 57. Longinus, “On the Sublime”; see Jean-Francois Lyotard, “The Sublime and the Avant Garde,” in The Continental Aesthetics Reader , ed. Clive Cazeaux (New York: Routledge, 2011), 586–595. 58. Hartman, “Passing of the Canon,” in Kermode, Pleasure and Change , 62; For the distinction between standard formalism and Kantian...

Scandal

Scandal   Reference library

Tarek El-Ariss

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...reality is merely a “belief.” For Kant, undermining the certainty of knowledge and causality unsettles the categorical imperative, ethics, and metaphysics. 8 While belief for Kant should be relegated to an a priori truth like God or freedom, demonstrable proof should pertain to physical objects or what Kant situates in the realm of the phenomenal. But this philosophical outrage on the part of Kant to save epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics from the scandalous skepticism of Hume generates yet another outrage, this time by Heidegger, who critiques Kant’s...

Singularity

Singularity   Reference library

Derek Attridge

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...to preexisting universal concepts. Aesthetic judgments are never mechanical, and therefore can never be predicted or indeed fully explained. (The burgeoning of cognitive approaches to literary experience that occurred in the early 20th century flies in the face of this Kantian insight.) Such judgments are therefore particular and subjective, but Kant is aware that they bear some kind of relation to universality. When I judge a flower to be beautiful, I am not saying “This flower is beautiful to me, but I am ignorant of what others would feel”; I intend...

Discipline

Discipline   Reference library

Peter Hitchcock

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...least take seriously the social implications of the Bildungsroman. At this level, discipline, whether as a discrete knowledge or as training, has a distinctly social register and all disciplines are symptomatic of the shifting bounds and priorities of that base. To be sure, Kantianism represents only one strand of thinking about discipline in the Enlightenment, and any more extensive consideration would have to address, for instance, John Locke’s treatise Some Thoughts Concerning Education ( 1693 ), which builds on his earlier “Essay Concerning Human...

Form and Formalism

Form and Formalism   Reference library

Stephen Cohen

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
12,532 words

...and theorized. Among the first of these groups was Russian Formalism, which flourished between 1915 and 1930 in Moscow and Petrograd; its leading members included Boris Eichenbaum, Viktor Shklovsky, Boris Tomashevsky, and Roman Jakobson. The Formalists rejected Kantian aesthetics and other evaluative theories of beauty and value, as well as prescriptive theories of function, in favor of a descriptive study of the nature of the literary object itself—a science of literature. Their foundational premise was disciplinary: they sought to establish...

Thing

Thing   Reference library

Woosung Kang

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
10,810 words

...to determine what the thing as thing is? 28 Though it is not easy to follow Heidegger’s “phenomenological” argument in his essay “The Thing,” one thing is quite certain: his insistence on the thing’s ontological difference from its ontic representation. For Heidegger, even the Kantian concept of thing-in-itself ( das Ding an sich ) falls far short of illustrating the thingness of the thing, it being merely “the object-in-itself.” 29 Thing-in-itself means “an object that is no object for us, because it is supposed to stand, stay put, without a possible...

Enchantment

Enchantment   Reference library

Michael Saler

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022

...incalculable force, which was often presented as a fount of re-enchantment in a secularizing age: that of the imagination. This “aesthetic turn” transpired during the fin de siècle, notably in the related movements of aestheticism, decadence, and symbolism in the arts; in neo-Kantianism and pragmatism in philosophy; in the revival of occultism, esotericism, and folklore by practitioners; and in the explorations of the unconscious by psychologists. Indeed, Weber’s forceful definition of Western modernity as rational and disenchanted was a deliberate rebuke to this...

Aisthēsis

Aisthēsis   Reference library

David Vichnar and Louis Armand

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
12,742 words

...and open multiplicity in which relations are relations of reciprocal implication.” 43 Such indefinite and open multiplicity entails a radical revision of the old Cartesian mind–body dualism, as well as the Kantian notion of “a priori concepts.” The adaequation or equivalence implied by such “translational” dualisms is itself contradictory: the Kantian subject is situated, in the final instance, by an intuitional faculty with regard to an a priori world view, while the Cartesian subject is already “decentered” in the assumption of reflexivity. As...

Trauma and Memory Studies

Trauma and Memory Studies   Reference library

Karyn Ball

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
22,008 words

...a faculty of the mind that surpasses every measure of the senses.” 33 In Kant’s conception, the subject finds compensation for this failure through the faculty of reason, which affirms its capacity to recognize limits and thereby transcend them. Adorno’s adaptation of the Kantian sublime sheds this compensatory resolution, thereby leaving the subject adrift in a failure of representation. Adorno develops this “negative” sublime in his discussions of modernist art and Erschütterung (shudder) in the unfinished Aesthetic Theory but also, notably, in his...

Tragedy

Tragedy   Reference library

Alberto Toscano

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
15,373 words

...Aristotelian phobos in the shadow of the guillotine?). The second, which in its own way transcodes the political impasse of the relationship of German intellectuals without a state to the history-making violence of French liberation, has to do with the relation between a post-Kantian philosophy of autonomy (criticism) and a Spinozist understanding of necessity (dogmatism). 68 The specifically German idea of the tragic can be understood as a manner of thinking through, or repeating , the ancient Greeks in an effort to give form to the shattering...

Fictionality

Fictionality   Reference library

Simona Zetterberg-Nielsen and Henrik Zetterberg-Nielsen

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
10,116 words

...world by using knowledge about the real world, assuming that the principle of minimal departure picks the real world as model for the reconstruction of the fictional world. 19 The theory of “as if” constitutes another strand of approaches to fictionality. In 1911 , the Kantian scholar Hans Vaihinger published Die Philosophie des Als Ob . Vaihinger assumes that human beings make sense of the world by creating models that work “as if” something were the case. 20 Later theories follow in the vein of this idea. According to John Searle, fiction may be...

Anonymity

Anonymity   Reference library

Robert J. Griffin

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2022
Subject:
Literature, Literary theory and cultural studies
Length:
14,600 words

...All three were published in the years 1969–1970 . For Foucault the problematic of enunciation manifests itself in two kinds of anonymity in the form of two kinds of subjects, a transcendental one and an immanent one. Transcendental anonymity results from the projection of a Kantian transcendental ego, the unified subject of apperception (reflection) which is the formal a priori condition of consciousness. It is, for Kant, a necessary “unity of consciousness which precedes all data of intuitions, and by relation to which representation of all objects is...

Kant, Immanuel

Kant, Immanuel (1724–1804)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Critical Theory (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...Immanuel ( 1724–1804 ) German philosopher , one of the most influential thinkers of all time. His influence is so great, European philosophy is generally divided into pre-Kantian and post-Kantian schools of thought. Outside of philosophy, Kant’s essays on the sublime and the meaning of Enlightenment have been hugely influential in setting the agenda for research in aesthetics. Kant was born in Königsberg, then the capital of Prussia, but now a Russian exclave—it was renamed Kaliningrad at the end of World War II when the city was occupied by...

Object Theory and Asian American Literature

Object Theory and Asian American Literature   Reference library

Chad Shomura

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature and Culture

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2020

...Because it dismisses any access to knowledge that is not filtered through the subject, correlationism has ushered in a postmodern age wherein even religiosity enjoys the status of truth claims. 28 Meillassoux’s response is a “speculative realism”: It is speculative in the Kantian sense of exceeding categorical limits of thought with the impossible hope of reaching the Absolute; it is a realism in that it pronounces the necessity of contingency. In dialogue with speculative realism, object-oriented ontologists insist that objects are withdrawn from all...

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