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Seminar Kant: Critique of the Power of Judgment University of Iceland Session 4 25/9/2007 Text: Critique of the Aesthtical Power of Judgment (1-5) Claus.

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Presentation on theme: "Seminar Kant: Critique of the Power of Judgment University of Iceland Session 4 25/9/2007 Text: Critique of the Aesthtical Power of Judgment (1-5) Claus."— Presentation transcript:

1 Seminar Kant: Critique of the Power of Judgment University of Iceland Session 4 25/9/2007 Text: Critique of the Aesthtical Power of Judgment (1-5) Claus Beisbart The analysis of the Beautiful (I) References third Critique: Guyer/Matthews

2 The Critique of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment – parts Analytic of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment Dialectic of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment Analytic of the Beautiful Task: what is required for calling an object beautiful must be discovered by the analysis of judgments of taste. (p. 89) Analytic of the Sublime Task: resolution of a paradox

3 Two approaches to Aesthetics and Beauty Don't expect too much, anyway.... Beauty or related judgments might not be fully describable. 1. What is Beauty? 2. What is it to judge something beautiful? (e.g. Plato, Hippias Minor) (e.g. Kant, third Critique) Approach 2 is more cautious: It does not assume that there is really beauty, but does not exclude this, either.

4 What is a judgment and how to proceed? 1. The meaning of an utterance (here of the type this is beautiful) Conceptual analysis 2. An inner act, an experience Phenomenology Kant uses both approaches

5 What kind of things did you judge beautiful? paradigm examples: a piece of music art (artworks) nature – a landscape a woman/a man there is also a broader use of beautiful, e.g. - the weather is beautiful - this is a beautiful thought we are only concerned with the narrow conception of the beautiful

6 Kant's definition of taste taste [...] is the faculty for the judging of the beautiful judgments of taste: judgments that something is beautiful (at least for the Analysis of the Beautiful) p. 89

7 Four moments Table of Judgment (Critique of Pure Reason) I. Quantity of Judgments Universal Particular Singular II. Quality Affirmative Negative Infinte III. Relation Categorical Hypothetical Disjunctive IV. Modality Assertoric Problematic Apodeictic translation: Kemp Smith Title Moments

8 Kant's main result under the first title Taste is the faculty for judging an object or a kind of representation through a satisfaction or dissatisfaction without any interest. The object of such a satisfaction is called beautiful. p. 96 What are the main points in this result?

9 Kant's result analyzed (1) 1. Kant's first claim: (P) there is a relation between judgments of taste and pleasure: If you judge something beautiful, it has to please you. Kant: feeling of pleasure, satisfaction. NB. the translation satisfaction is unfortunate, the German word is Wohlgefallen, which suggests that you like something, that it pleases you. Kant doesn't argue for (P).

10 Kant's result analyzed (2) 2. a consequence from Kant's first point: (A) Judgments of taste/about beauty are aesthetic. aesthetic doesn't mean related to beauty here, otherwise (A) would be trivial. Rather a judgment is aesthetic, if its determining ground cannot be other than subjective (89) Opposite of aesthetic judgments: logical judgments

11 Kant's result analyzed (3) NB. For Kant even objective knowledge is shaped by the subject, e.g. the categories of the understanding. So his point here must be that judgments of taste are even more subjective than other judgments. Kant: judgments of taste are not cognitive judgments, they don't represent knowledge. This is against Alexander Baumgarten, who gave a more rationalist account of beauty.

12 Kant's result analyzed (4) The picture representation of something (a rose, say) subject object imagination aesthetic judgmentslogical judgments understanding the rose is beautifulthe rose is red

13 Kant's result so far discussed (1) Objection: I can judge something beautiful without feeling pleas-ure or with feeling something else. Example 1: You look at a picture, you judge it to be beautiful, but you don't have any bodily experience, and you don't feel anything. Example 2: You hear a piece of music, you find it very sad, but still beautiful. Rejoinder: Kant's conception of pleasure is weaker.

14 Kant's result so far discussed (2) But what then is Kant's conception of pleasure? Maybe pleasure in the sense you like something. A suggestion by Kant: The consciousness of the causality of a representation with respect to the state of the subject, for maintaining it in that state, can here designate in general what is called pleasure (p. 105, Par. 10) Idea: Whenever you experience beauty, you want to stay in this state.

15 Kant's result so far discussed (3) Under this understanding of pleasure, one can still say that there is something more subjective about judgments of taste than there is in other judgments. If this is true, (P) can be saved.

16 Kant's result analyzed (5) 3. (D) the pleasure in judgments of taste is desinterested and in this sense free (paragraph 2). Kant's explanation of interest: The satisfaction that we combine with the representation of the existence of an object is called interest. Hence such a satisfaction has at the same time a relation to the faculty of desire, either as its determining ground or else as necessarily interconnected with its determining ground. (90, par. 2).

17 Kant's result analyzed (5) Kant's argument for (D): One can judge something to be beautiful, but at the same time reject it for other reasons. E.g. One can judge a palace to be beautiful, but at the same time condemn it morally. (paragraph 2).

18 Kant's result analyzed (6) what does (D) mean? Interpretation 1: Whenever I judge something (S) beautiful, then it doesn't matter whether I think that S exists. (An imagination might be judged beautiful) (Wenzel) Problems: In Par. 2 – 5 speaks a lot of the will, but interpretation 1 does not make sense of this. Kant's argument on the previous slide does not show (D) under interpretation 1.

19 Kant's result analyzed (7) Interpretation 2: Desinterestedness means that there is no relation to our will/faculty of desire. Whenever we judge something beautiful, our will is not involved, we don't want that the thing exists. (Of course, you can desire something and judge it beautiful at the same time, the idea is only that your judgment is not intrinsically related to your desire.) Interpretation 2 has enough textual support, but creates a systematic problem: Beautiful things are intrinsically valuable, so there are reasons to preserve them and to care about their existence, but this involves our will.

20 Kant's result analyzed (8) Reply 1: According to Kant, beautiful things are not intrinsically valuable, because there is only one good, which is the good will (Groundwork, Section 1). But they can be extrinsically valuable, if there is some relation to the good will. In this case, their value derives ultimately from the good will, so there is no direct relation between beauty and the will. This reply is probably in line with Kant's philosophy, but not very plausible otherwise.

21 Kant's result analyzed (9) Reply 2: The pleasure in judgments of taste is desin-terested in the sense that it does not derive from desires or the will – it is a different kind of pleasure. Its determining ground is not in the will. Desires must not distort your judgment of taste. cf. Kant: Everyone must admit that a judgment about beauty in which there is mixed the least interest is very partial and not a pure judgment of taste. One must not be in the least biased in favor of the existence of the thing, but must be entirely indifferent in this respect in order to play the judge in matters of taste. (par. 2, p. 91). But reply 2 is incompatible with what Kant says otherwise.

22 Kant's result analyzed (9) Reply 2: The pleasure in judgments of taste is desin-terested in the sense that it does not derive from desires or the will – it is a different kind of pleasure. Its determining ground is not in the will. Desires must not distort your judgment of taste. cf. Kant: Everyone must admit that a judgment about beauty in which there is mixed the least interest is very partial and not a pure judgment of taste. One must not be in the least biased in favor of the existence of the thing, but must be entirely indifferent in this respect in order to play the judge in matters of taste. (par. 2, p. 91). But reply 2 is incompatible with what Kant says otherwise.

23 Kant's result analyzed (10) Reply 3 (P. Guyer): In reading the third Critique, we should adopt the definition of interest in the second Critique, according to which an interest is always shaped by concepts and is really an interest for the existence of a kind of thing. Kant claims that a judgment of taste does not give rise to an interest, and his point is that from judging one thing beautiful, we cannot derive that any thing of the same type is beautiful as well.

24 Kant on the Beautiful, the Agreeable and the Good (1) Kant contrasts the pleasure that we take from what we judge beautiful with other pleasures – the pleasure that we take in agreeable and good things. The point of this is to show that only the pleasure from the beautiful is desinterested. Kant always proceeds in two steps: 1. he gives a definition of the good/agreeable 2. he derives that an interest is involved.

25 Kant on the Beautiful, the Agreeable and the Good (2) Kant's definitions: The agreeable is that which pleases the senses in sensation. (par. 3, p. 91) That is good which pleases by means of reason alone, through the mere concept. (par. 4, p. 92)

26 Kant on the Beautiful, the Agreeable and the Good (3) Both involve interest the agreeable, because it determines what happiness is for us, and, according to Kant, one's own happiness is a necessary aim for every human being. the good, because if we find out that something is morally good, we desire it. (Fricke)

27 Kant on the Beautiful, the Agreeable and the Good (4) Kant compares the Agreeable/Good and the Beautiful regarding other characteristics as well. 1. The Agreeable only involves the sensibility, not so the Beautiful 2. In order to find something good, one must have a concept of it, not so for the Beautiful.

28 Summary 1. If you judge something beautiful, it has to please you. 2. For this reason, judgments of taste are aesthetic, i.e. more subjective than other judgments. 3. The pleasure about things that you judge beautiful, is desinterested, where desinterested has different interpretations.


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