Ideal Embodiment

Ideal Embodiment : Kant's Theory of Sensibility

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Angelica Nuzzo offers a comprehensive reconstruction of Kant's theory of sensibility in his three Critiques. By introducing the notion of "transcendental embodiment," Nuzzo proposes a new understanding of Kant's views on science, nature, morality, and art. She shows that the issue of human embodiment is coherently addressed and key to comprehending vexing issues in Kant's work as a whole. In this penetrating book, Nuzzo enters new terrain and takes on questions Kant struggled with: How does a body that feels pleasure and pain, desire, anger, and fear understand and experience reason and strive toward knowledge? What grounds the body's experience of art and beauty? What kind of feeling is the feeling of being alive? As she comes to grips with answers, Nuzzo goes beyond Kant to revise our view of embodiment and the essential conditions that make human experience possible.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 150 x 232 x 24mm | 621.42g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253220157
  • 9780253220158
  • 1,762,274

Review quote

"Nuzzo (CUNY) presents a novel reading of Kant's entire corpus centered on the theme of embodiment.... Highly recommended." -Choice, June 2009 "A rare gift, a new perspective from which to view one of philosophy's seminal thinkers." -Bernard Freydberg, Koc University "The book admirably draws from both analytic and continental philosophy and demonstrates a deep understanding of Kant scholarship, contemporary debates, and the history of modern philosophy... Nuzzo's comprehensive book is aesthetically appealing and readable, having an overarching narrative that moves it along at a confident pace." -Review of Metaphysics Nuzzo (CUNY) presents a novel reading of Kant's entire corpus centered on the theme of embodiment. The novelty here is that Kant traditionally is thought to have had nothing to say on this topic. Nuzzo reads Kant as focused on the question of embodiment negatively (as a way of resolving certain difficulties of traditional metaphysical dualism) as well as positively, through the concept of sensibility that recurs throughout his work. Although she focuses on Kant's critical writings, her argument relies on elaboration of key precritical writings as well. Her argument is simply that Kant presents a theory of transcendental sensibility throughout his work and that the body is thus a key preoccupation from beginning to end. Nuzzo thus organizes her work around Kant's theoretical writings and his transcendental aesthetic in the first part of the book before turning to Kant's moral philosophy in the second. In this section, she works out the relationship between moral personhood and moral feelings before turning to Kant's Critique of Judgment and the role of embodiment in reflective judgment. In sum, a clear, engaging, and novel contribution to Kant studies. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers. --ChoiceC. R. McCall, Elmira College, June 2009
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About Angelica Nuzzo

Angelica Nuzzo is Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center and Brooklyn College (City University of New York). She has received a Mellon Fellowship at the Center for the Humanities, CUNY, Graduate Center (20072008), an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (20052006), and been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard (20002001). Among her publications are Kant and the Unity of Reason (2005), two volumes on Hegel (Logica e sistema, 1996; Rappresentazione e concetto nella logica della Filosofia del diritto, 1990), and the monograph System (2003). Her numerous essays on German Idealism, modern philosophy, and theory of translation appear in such journals as the Journal of the History of Philosophy, Metaphilosophy, Journal of Philosophy and Social Criticism, Hegel Studien, and Fichte Studien.
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Table of contents

Key to Kant Works Cited
Introduction: Transcendental Embodiment
Part 1. The Body in Theory
1. Bodies in Space
2. Bodies and Souls
3. Disembodied Ideas
Part 2. The Body in Practice
4. Bodies in Action
5. Pure Practical Reason and the Reason of Human Desire
6. Freedom in the Body
Part 3. The Body Reflected
7. Aesthetics of the Body
8. Reflections of the Body, Reflections on the Body
9. Embodied Ideas
Transcendental Embodiment: A Final Assessment
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