(28) In Descartes's dualism there is no orientation of the soul toward a supersensible
realm of ideas.
According to Kant's idealism, the realm of nature is limited to a realm of appearances, and we can intelligibly think supersensible
objects such as God, freedom and the soul, though we cannot have knowledge of them" (Bristow, "Enlightenment")
In their epochal The Literary Absolute, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy argued that at the heart of Kant's empirical realism about ordinary objects and rejection of any rationalist metaphysics of supersensibles
(including a supersensible
subject) lies a paradox of the presentation of the human subject.
It means: The supersensible
world, more especially the world of the Christian God, has lost its effective force in history" (Heidegger, 1985: 485).
Gordon posits that art exists by virtue of its relation to what Kant calls the "supersensible
" "thing-in-itself" and what later German idealist philosophers referred to more succinctly as "the absolute." He cites Kant's Critique of Judgment and The Critique of Teleological Judgment, Fichte's On the Spirit and the Letter in Philosophy, Schelling's The System of Transcendental Idealism and The Philosophy of Art, and Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation.
However, the sublime requires distance from danger even as it clarifies our dependence on and struggle with indifferent nature, magnified, Schopenhauer states, "when we are abroad in the storm of tempestuous seas." In this situation, the spectator feels herself simultaneously as a feeble individual before these annihilating forces and as "the eternal, serene subject of knowing, who as the condition of every object is the supporter of this whole world, the fearful struggle of nature being only his mental picture or representation." This supersensible
feeling that we create the world and are therefore not ultimately oppressed by its immensity, however, may or may not be subsequently corroborated (1:204-05).
Addressing perennial issues of theological aesthetics, especially the relationship between sensible and supersensible
beauty, these authors summarize the issues without offering many new insights.
Once we see this, Ross reasons, we will not be deceived into imagining that there really are (objective) norms and values, which then have to be located in some sort of supersensible
realm, such as Kelsen's 'world of the ought.' As fellow Scandinavian realist Karl Olivecrona (65) puts it in an illuminating article on realism and idealism in legal philosophy, "[w]e are misled by our own feelings of being bound by the law into believing in these metaphysical relations."
But he nevertheless tried his hand at it, attempting to construe extension (after Descartes) as just one way to think the noumenal or, as he also terms it, the "supersensible
" (Ubersinnliche) world.
This effort--and the feeling of the unattainability of the idea by means of the imagination--[...] forces us, subjectively, to think nature itself in its totality as a presentation of something supersensible
, without being able objectively to arrive at this presentation.
If we cannot completely rely on the grace of the emissaries of the supersensible
sphere, let alone common sense of mankind, which seems to be in the pit of self-indulgent individualism.
This condition of submission to the limitations of the lower quaternary which is transcended by a movement of re-integration into the supersensible
is also experienced by the solar heroes who perform a "descent and ascent journey" (Penglase 93) which is also referred to as "the cosmic journey" (Penglase 45).