Sandra Shapshay

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Indiana University

Sandra Shapshay earned her B.A. in Intellectual History from the University of Pennsylvania (1992) and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Columbia University (2001). She is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University, Bloomington. Shapshay’s interests center on 19th century German philosophy, especially Kant and Schopenhauer, as well as contemporary aesthetics and ethics. Recently she has been reconstructing Schopenhauer’s theories of sublime experience and tragedy in a series of articles and book chapters : “The Problem and the Promise of the Sublime” in Suffering Art Gladly ed. Jerrold Levinson (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013), “Schopenhauer’s Transformation of the Kantian Sublime” (Kantian Review, 2012), and “The Problem with the Problem of Tragedy: Schopenhauer’s Solution Revisited” (British Journal of Aesthetics, 2012). She has also argued for the rehabilitation of the category of sublime experience in a paper titled “Contemporary Environmental Aesthetics and the Neglect of the Sublime” (British Journal of Aesthetics, 2013).

At present, Shapshay is working on a book provisionally titled Degrees of Inherent Value: Schopenhauer’s Ethical Thought. In this book she argues that given a charitable reconstruction Schopenhauer’s ethics of compassion, it offers a hybrid Kantian-Moral Sense theory of ethics that promises to interject a novel, less-anthropocentric option into the ethical-theoretical landscape.

She has been the recipient of a year-long fellowship as well as several research-travel grants from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and has won two teaching awards, the John Eliot Outstanding Teacher Award from Portland State University and a Trustees Teaching Award from Indiana University.

Participant In:

The Sublime Experience

Saturday, February 7, 2015
2:30-4:30 pm

Past Event

Prior to the eighteenth century, and before Edmund Burke’s foundational treatise, the sublime was understood as beauty and greatness beyond measure. Subsequently, awe, the emotion classically associated with the sublime, was given new psychological depth and even physiological dimensions, bringing fear and the grotesque into aesthetic considerations of the sublime. In Kantian aesthetics, the sublime… read more »