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Colloquium: Emily Brady, Texas A&M University with reception to follow


Emily Brady is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M, and she holds the Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock Director’s Chair in the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research. Before coming to A&M, she was Professor of Environment and Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests range from Aesthetics, Philosophy of Art, and Eighteenth-Century Philosophy to Environmental Ethics, Environmental Humanities, and Animal Studies. Her co-authored book, Between Nature and Culture: The Aesthetics of Modified Environments will be published in late 2018. Before this, her most recent book was, The Sublime in Modern Philosophy: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Nature (Cambridge, UP, 2013).



This paper explores ideas relating to magnanimity in Kant’s discussion of the sublime in the Critique of the Power of Judgment. In the Kantian sublime, the subject becomes aware of a certain kind of greatness of mind through an aesthetic judgment of nature, that is, awareness of one’s moral capacities as part of humanity and admiration for greatness in the natural world. More broadly, Kant’s approach shows how ideas about greatness – if not magnanimity as such – flow into philosophical approaches that lie beyond virtue ethics, moral thought, and an exclusive focus on the human. I argue that a comparative relation between self and sublime phenomena is central to understanding greatness of mind in his theory (as well as other theories of sublimity). Drawing out this comparative relation provides a deeper understanding of how both self-regarding and other-regarding attitudes feature within sublime experience, and just how this greatness might express itself within an aesthetic context.


Thursday, October 4 • 3:45 PM • YMCA 401