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Sketchbooks of Genius

Aaron Ridley (Southampton)

Many geniuses have left sketchbooks behind them, including artists such as Leonardo and Beethoven, and philosophers such as Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. How are we to understand these sketches? Of what use might they be for an understanding of the artists’ art or the philosophers’ philosophy? As I write this, the answers to these questions are obscure to me, since the essay of which this is the abstract is very much a work in progress. But the people just mentioned will very probably figure in it, and almost certainly Kant too; and – if all goes well – answers of some sort will have emerged by November 29th. Wish me luck!

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