SublimAE seminar

Love, Form and the Murdochian Sublime

Clare Mac Cumhaill (Durham University)
Practical information
17 April 2023

ENS, Pavillon Jardin, meeting room, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris


At the close of her 1959 paper ‘The Sublime and the Good’, Iris Murdoch makes an astonishing and difficult-to-interpret statement : “Form is the great consolation of love, but it is also its great temptation”. In the first part of the talk, I offer a way of reading this claim. I spell out Murdoch’s reimagining of the Kantian Sublime and the significance of her conception of form. In the second part of the talk, I use this analysis to interrogate different ways of operationalizing her infamous claim that ‘Man is a creature who makes pictures of himself and then comes to resemble the picture’. The main task of moral philosophy is, she thinks, to understand this process. I draw on some recent work in aesthetics to make a start

SublimAE (the Sublime and Aesthetic Experiences) seminar, in connection with SublimAE ANR project, will focus on the interdisciplinary study of Aesthetic Experiences with an eye to the sublime by bringing together philosophy, psychology, and social sciences. We will explore, on the one hand, how the experience of the sublime connects to other similar or contrast experiences (the beautiful, terrible beauty, awe, wonder, the uncanny, …), and, on the other hand, the impact these experiences, and more specifically aesthetic ones, have on our representation of the self. The seminar will feature presentations by members of the project, as well as by invited speakers.

Venue : Institut Jean Nicod meeting room

Contact : Margherita ArcangeliJérôme Dokic

For the full programme click here.