Abstract

This essay draws upon recent discussions of cosmopolitanism to argue that reason or judgment performs a larger role than previously thought in Edmund Burke’s theory of the sublime. Burke’s theory contains an aesthetic and moral component; the former stimulates subjects through their recognition of their imagination’s limitations, and the latter directs subjects to form a sympathetic attachment to an external object. In a cosmopolitan sense, both components motivate subjects to recognize an obligation to, and to take interest in, unfamiliar communities and peoples, thereby promoting open-ended and nonsectarian moral action, demonstrated in Burke’s speeches on India and the American colonies.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 643-666
Launched on MUSE
2013-08-26
Open Access
No
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