Date of Submission

Spring 2022

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Professor Daniel Berthold

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This project aims to explore themes of language, the ineffable, and aesthetic ideas as presented in the work of Kant, Kierkegaard, and Wittgenstein. The first chapter, dedicated to a close analysis of the Critique of Judgment, serves to lay the groundwork for the later readings of Kierkegaard and Wittgenstein. In this chapter I support an aesthetic cognitivist reading of the third Critique as well as defend against the claim that the Critical Kant supports a thought / language dualism. Moving to Kierkegaard, I will use evidence from The Musical Erotic from Either / Or I to show how Kierkegaard can be read as importantly expanding the Kantian notion of aesthetic ideas, namely by introducing the notions of theme and medium, i.e., what medium is best suited for the expression of certain things. The theme of the ineffable or unsayable will continue with Kierkegaard, particularly within the religious stage in Fear and Trembling. Irony, specifically religious irony, will be introduced as an important linguistic mode that results from ineffable experience. Finally, I turn to Wittgenstein on rule-following, nonsense, private experience, and the possibility of a necessarily private, but unintelligible experience that is shown to be akin to Kierkegaardian, religious irony and Wittgenstein's notions of rule-following are examined against the paradox of rules in art in Kant's third Critique.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

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