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The Sublime: Precursors and British Eighteenth-Century Conceptions
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy, Aesthetics.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation studies the attraction of the sublime in British criticism during the eighteenth century, with particular emphasis on the arguments that served as precursors to the interest in the experience of the sublime.

The first part explores Samuel H. Monk’s standard work on the British eighteenth-century sublime, along with more recent studies. In order to expand the contextual features of Monk’s established account, and to be able to connect the sublime with the impact of the criticism of intellectual literature during the second half of the seventeenth century, this study needs to begin by considering the arguments put forth by Longinus in his treatise Peri Hupsous, a work that exerted considerable influence on eighteenth-century critics.

Thus, the second part addresses the relevance of the arguments made by Longinus, who reflected on the significance of the concentrated exercise of the imagination and drew attention to the inner carriage required to bring about the experience of the sublime. The third part, then, demonstrates the importance assigned by critics of the sublime to the intense exercise of the imagination. However, to fully understand the attraction of the Longinian sublime, this demonstration also needs to take into account the attention given to the exercise of the imagination in criticism of intellectual literature during the second half of the seventeenth century. Finally, I illustrate the relevance of including such criticism in the interpretation of the attraction of the sublime during the eighteenth century by considering Thomas Hobbes’ claims on the subject of the imagination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala universitet, 2007. , 235 p.
Keyword [en]
Aesthetics, the sublime, Longinus, Peri Hupsous, British eighteenth century, Samuel H. Monk, criticism of intellectual literature, Thomas Hobbes, imagination
Keyword [sv]
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7863ISBN: 978-3-03911-107-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-7863DiVA: diva2:170235
Public defence
2007-05-12, room IV, Universitetshuset, Box 256, 751 05 Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2007-04-24 Created: 2007-04-24 Last updated: 2012-01-31Bibliographically approved

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