Kantian Gloom-Watch: Approaching Melancholy Edition

This is from one of Kant’s pre-Critical works, published in 1764, Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime:

A profound feeling for the beauty and dignity of human nature and a firmness and determination of the mind to refer all one’s actions to this as to a universal ground is earnest, and does not at all join with a changeable gaiety nor with the inconstancy of a frivolous person. It even approaches melancholy, a gentle and noble feeling so far as it is grounded upon the awe that a hard-pressed soul feels when, full of some great purpose, he sees the danger he will have to overcome, and has before his eyes the difficult but great victory of self-conquest. Thus genuine virtue based upon principles has something about it which seems to harmonize most with the melancholy frame of mind in the moderated understanding.

Beobachtungen über das Gefühl des Schönen und Erhabenen (trans. Goldthwait) p. 62-3.

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