The German philosopher Immanuel Kant’s 1790 “Critique of Aesthetic Judgement” is an amazing piece of thinking, and the foundation for the last few centuries’ worth of art: he explains what, exactly, beauty and sublimity are, and how we respond to them. It’s also one of the most savagely difficult pieces of writing ever published. In these five minutes and twenty slides, I will explain Kant’s ideas about aesthetics in the most comprehensible—and most awesome—terms that time permits. There may be a special appearance by the ghost of Patrick Swayze.
Douglas Wolk is the author of “Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean” and “Live at the Apollo.” He spoke at the first Ignite Portland (on “The Complete and Utter History of the Numa Numa Dance”).