This book is dedicated to the Sublime, a key concept of aesthetics, especially in terms of the 18th and 19th century, to which contemporary aesthetic theory is still attracted to. In general, the Sublime is considered a counterpart to the Beautiful, ever since Edmund Burke had defined it as a central category of effect aesthetics. Just as the Beautiful, the Sublime follows specific characteristics that are distinguished, among others, by dimension, vastness, danger and power. Following Burke, philosophers like Immanuel Kant continued researching this aesthetic category and developing it theoretically. With regard to the aesthetics of art, the viewer of art as well as the listener of music is emotionally highly affected by it on an irrational level. In order to experience the imminent effects of the Sublime, the subject cannot be directly affected by the experience but needs to experience it from a safe distance. It is essential for the subject to keep an adequate distance to the object. But what if this safe distance is eliminated, leaving the subject without the necessary distance? At the interface between aesthetic experience and moral obligation (e.g. compassion), aesthetic categories change to ethical and moral categories. The author wants to defuse this unsolvable conflict by introducing another category, the Incomprehensible, as a superior aesthetic category, which allows the combination of both aesthetic and moral conditions. Aesthetic parameters of the Incomprehensible that have been systematically developed and schematized from a philosophical and art theoretical foundation will be reviewed for their applicability based on an analysis of specific works in the field of landscape painting and instrumental music of the 18th and 19th century.
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