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The Spirits of Satire: Kant and Blake Read Emanuel Swedenborg

Wednesday, 20 March, 2013

Speaker:  Allen Dunn, Department of English

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a scientist and mystic whose religious writings attracted a large following in the late 18th century.  Both Immanuel Kant and William Blake wrote satires of Swedenborg's work, and these satires proved to be pivotal in the careers of both the philosopher and the poet.  This paper examines how these satires reflect changes in basic assumptions about the nature and source of human knowledge and how both elevate the importance of the artistic imagination in ways that anticipate modern theories of art.

Organization:  Committee on Social Theory (in formation)





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