Loading Salons

« All Salons

Dreams of Sublimity: Chance encounters with “the sublime” in modern times

Monday April 15 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm CDT

Start time where you are: Your time zone couldn't be detected


Join Archer Lim, a Developer Relations, Community, Facilitation, and Product Marketing professional with a background in organizing, education, and strategy development. He was reared professionally in high-growth startup environments and, in another life, would have been an academic. Instead, he’s an amateur philosopher and is part of this community!

REMEMBER the last time you felt completely overwhelmed – perhaps lacking the proper speech to describe what was confronting you – by something breathtakingly beautiful? Something utterly awe-inspiring and bigger than yourself such that you suspected you were experiencing something supremely uncommon and important, perhaps fundamentally transformative. The person you were before experiencing what we will properly refer to as the sublime or sublimity heretofore is not exactly the same person afterward, one might imagine.

Sublime experiences are exceptionally rare, but they are perhaps some of the most worthwhile kind of moments that can happen in a human life. This bears out in the relatively abundant or at least voluminous tomes authored on this concept in the Western philosophical tradition throughout the last several centuries, and it remains an object of contemplation.

This salon offers an opportunity for us to contemplate encounters with sublimity and the value it brings to a life worth living – presumably a shared desire and goal – by reading our own prior experiences of it (or, possibly, lack thereof?) and engaging with some optionally assigned texts (prior reading not required).

Potential guiding questions:

  • What class(es) of things could be said to viably contain or encompass sublimity?
  • Can sublimity be created or contrived? Or is it random?
  • Is sublimity a state of mind? Or is it something that exists independent of cognition?
  • Is the sublime objective? How and why would something present as a sublime experience to one person, but perhaps completely ordinary to another?
  • Is sublimity synonymous with awe/wonder? Are they even related? How or how not?
  • Is that which is sublime necessarily beautiful? Is there a relation between the sublime and art?
  • Is the sublime something universally accessible, at any time? Or does it require a specific state of mind or meeting of a set of conditions to witness? Does the sublime only exist in the realm of physical things? What else could constitute a sublime experience that isn’t dependent on the seeing sense?
  • What is the effect of sublimity on human beings as individuals? Does it matter to us in any “essential” way?
  • What would a life be if an individual were to never experience sublimity? Would that represent a deprivation of a sort of “non-negotiable” experience, or a “nice to have?” What function does sublimity serve?
  • Are we all intrinsically motivated to seek out the sublime? Or does it only have a profound effect on a particular kind of person?
  • Is experiencing the sublime a purely individual endeavor or can it be a simultaneous communal experience?
  • What purpose does sublimity serve in our everyday lives? Is it worth thinking about? Consciously pursuing?
  • What is antagonistic to sublimity? What prevents or precludes its manifestation?
  • What is the antithesis of sublimity? Is there a negation?
  • Is sublimity an experience presumably exclusive to human consciousness? Could AI apprehend sublime experiences? Would it be better off for it, if it could?

Recommended Reading:

Sublime (philosophy) – Wikipedia (Let this be an initial provocation to your thinking with which you may object to some propositions within, or maybe you’ll agree with everything. We’ll see!)

Optional Reading:

Suggested Prework:

Arrive with an example in mind of something you consider imbued with sublime qualities. It can be something tangible (e.g. music, art, film, or other cultural formations) or a remembrance of an experience. Optional: Message Archer in the Philosophy channel of the Interintellect community forum before the salon with your example. I’d love to include it if I have a guiding presentation spun up.


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Dreams of Sublimity: Chance encounters with "the sublime" in modern times
5 free coupon spaces available
$ 10.00


Monday April 15
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm CDT
Salon Category:
Salon Tags:




Archer Lim


Ticket price (US$)
Debut host ($10)