The origins of our ideas of the beautiful and the sublime, for Burke, can be understood by means of their causal structures . According to Aristotelian physics and metaphysics , causation can be divided into formal, material, efficient and final causes. The formal cause of beauty is the passion of love; the material cause concerns aspects of certain objects such as smallness, smoothness, delicacy, etc.; the efficient cause is the calming of our nerves; the final cause is God's providence. What is most peculiar and original to Burke's view of beauty is that it cannot be understood by the traditional bases of beauty: proportion, fitness, or perfection. The sublime also has a causal structure that is unlike that of beauty. Its formal cause is thus the passion of fear (especially the fear of death); the material cause is equally aspects of certain objects such as vastness, infinity, magnificence, etc.; its efficient cause is the tension of our nerves; the final cause is God having created and battled Satan, as expressed in John Milton 's great epic Paradise Lost .
Yes, of course, since human beings are by definition not bats, they can't have the experience of being a bat. But it does not follow that there are facts about bat experiences they can't understand. You see, actually we can know what it's like to be a bat. We can know what sizes of objects echolocation detects, and how the bat directs its ears and the stream of sound, and thousands of facts of that kind. We can know all about the kinds of information a bat's senses supply, and with the right equipment we can experience echolocation ourselves at least by proxy.