The Paradox Of The World Essay

The Paradox Of The World Essay

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Accordingly, the paradox in Kant’s transcendental reunion with the world is not used “to refer to some realm beyond the phenomenal world, but to indicate the conditions of possibility for experiencing it” (Bell 1999, 19, my emphasis, and in Walsh 1975). In this context, the form (or representation) of the world is an aesthetic end in itself, and travelling becomes the means of connecting each world citizen to the wholeness of the world: “The form of the world is a real connection […] because it is a real whole” (Kant cited by Gaston 2013, 5). For Kant, the anthropological project is set to be a mediator between the universally familiar (self) and the exotically strange (world), breaking away from the burden of history, in order to pave the way for imagining a world as a form and without content. In such a way, travelling contributes to closing the gap between the particular and the universal through the personal experiences gained during a journey, be it geographical or artistic. This extrovert move to the world would ideally open channels of communication, beyond the limits set by borders and ideologies. Therefore, the key to understanding Kant’s anthropological project is communicability, and “the standard of deciding about it is common sense” (Arendt 1982, 69, my emphasis). Accordingly, the development of a “world society as a vocation” requires us to “rely on personal judgment moderated by common sense, in the double meaning of shared intelligence and taste” (Hart 2003, 1). However, the idea of a common sense represents an enigma in Kant’s writings, particularly when related to universal ideas. Kant wonders:

The necessity of the universal assent that is thought in a judgement of taste, is a subjective necessity which, under t...


... middle of paper ...


...rs through specific exclusions, conventions, and discursive practices” (Clifford 1988, 52, and in 1986, 24-26, 98-121). The distant, neo-romantic, “innocent eye” in Grimshaw’s terms (2001, 45) is filled with childlike curiosity and playful indifference (Paganopoulos 2013). But as Bourdieu famously stated: “The ‘eye’ is a product of history reproduced by education”. Accordingly, the act of empathy, Einfuhlung, which is the art lover 's pleasure, presupposes an act of cognition, a decoding operation, which implies the implementation of a cognitive acquirement, a cultural code” (Bourdieu 1984, 3). Bourdieu’s reminder reveals the affinity between the problem of disinterestedness in Kant’s theory of art and the gap between anthropological theory and practice as it emerged following the post-mortem publication of Malinowski’s diaries (see introductory note to the volume).

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