Sublime et cosmologie: l’étrange alliance de l’incompréhensible et du compréhensible

This entry is part 4 of 26 in the series Vol 6-2021

Abstract – Sublime and cosmology: the strange alliance of the incomprehensible and the comprehensible.
The philosophers represented on the Pompeii mosaic meditate on the globe that lies at their feet and models the universe. The development of cosmology has since then been dazzling. Hence the astonishment, which Einstein is credited with formulating : «What is incomprehensible about the universe is that it is comprehensible.» When thought no longer concerns the simple thinkable, but the unthinkable where it is resorbed, the questioning no longer concerns the contents of science, but the limits of its possibilities.
Baldine Saint Girons reminds us that the tradition of the sublime testifies to a great cosmological sensitivity as early as the Peri hupsous of Longin. She also shows how painting reveals an anxiety about the messages of the stars, the existence of a demon at the centre of the earth, and the strangeness of a science that transmits to us an idea of the world that is out of proportion to our intuitive data. She comments in detail on Freud’s text, modestly entitled «A Difficulty of Psychoanalysis» (1917), when he relates three types of trauma: cosmological, evolutionary and psychoanalytical. Hence a conclusion touching on the sublime defined as a fulguration of the incomprehensible in the extreme of the comprehensible, according to the law of coincidence of the opposites, as defined by Nicolas de Cues.

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