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About This Book
This volume—the second in Max Van Manen's Phenomenology of Practice series—brings together personal narrative, human research methodology, and an extensive knowledge of aesthetic discourse to redefine the sublime in terms of direct and immediate experience. Erika Goble first traces the concept's origin and development in Western philosophy, revealing how efforts to theorize aesthetic quality in axiomatic or objective frameworks fail to account for the variety of experiential paradoxes that can be evoked by a single image. She then examines several first-person descriptions of encounters with the sublime in order to reflect on a series of questions that have escaped aesthetic philosophy so far: What makes an experience uniquely sublime? What does this experience reveal about the human phenomenon of sublimity when it is evoked by an image? What does the experience of the sublime reveal about ourselves as being in the world with images? Goble's book is a corrective to the rampant philosophizing in contemporary discussions of the sublime and an invaluable contribution to phenomenological research.