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Leah Edmonds Wins Graduate Zeman Award

May 28, 2021

Leah Edmonds

The Department of Philosophy is pleased to announce that Leah Edmonds, MA student in Philosophy, is the winner of the 2021 Vladimir Zeman Award for her essay titled "From Aping to Emulation: Kantian Genius and the Language of Imitation."

Graduate Program Director in Philosophy Dr. Ulf Hlobil writes:

The paper, written under the supervision of Dr. Nabeel Hamid, examines Kant’s theory of artistic genius and draws attention to a little-noticed role for imitation in the production of beautiful art. The paper presents a careful, historically informed analysis of Kant’s technical distinction between ‘imitation’ (Nachahmung) and ‘emulation’ (Nachfolge), also taking into account difference to notions like nachmachen and nachäffen. Edmonds brings out some important shortcoming in interpretations due to Derrida and Bresnick. This is done, in part, by showing how, for Kant, imitative learning of artistic techniques and methods is a necessary element in the production of works of genius, and how it introduces a crucial role for reason and discursivity in the appraisal of beautiful art. Edmonds’s essay is an outstanding example of how a careful and historically informed reading of a historical text can yield results that are of utmost importance for contemporary philosophical research.

The Vladimir Zeman Award is a merit based student award established in honour of Professor Emeritus Vladimir Zeman’s longstanding and highly regarded contributions to teaching students in the Department of Philosophy, especially in the areas of Kantian and neo-Kantian philosophy, but also in philosophy of science, environmental philosophy and American Pragmatism.

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