Kant and the Ends of Aesthetics

Kant and the Ends of Aesthetics

Gary Banham

Language: English

Pages: 211

ISBN: 0312227485

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The importance and significance of Kant's aesthetics has been widely debated. This work presents an original interpretation of Kant's account which is based on rethinking the nature of Critical Philosophy. Gary Banham presents the argument that the Critique of Judgement needs to be read as a whole. Aesthetics is investigated in relation to all three critiques with the recovery of a larger sense of the aesthetic resulting. This broader notion of aesthetics is connected to the recovery of the critique of teleology in an original presentation of Kant's critical enterprise as constituted by the attempt to think the meaning of ends.

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pure practical reason is not distinct from the transcendental logic of the Second Critique and the Doctrine of Elements of this work is bipartite rather than tripartite (the `Methodology' section is also much shorter in the Second Critique than in the First). Why does the second aesthetic belong within the province of analytic? The explanation Kant gives for this includes some qualifications of the sense of the term `aesthetic' as applied to this section. He writes in the `Elucidation of the

The internal division of the Analytic of the Sublime is based on working through the distinction between the two types of sublime feeling: that which, in its direct concern with quantity, utilises ideas of reason to reformulate a transcendental aesthetic of a new type (mathematically sublime) and that which, through a direct relation of imagination to reason alone, produces a dynamical agitation. Before discussing the two forms of sublime feeling it is worth pausing to examine and explain further

and universal. How is it that when we declare something to be beautiful we feel entitled to claim that others should assent of necessity even though we know that often enough they do not? As such, a judgment is not a statement about sensation but is a reflection, the claim being made in it is, of necessity, `not to be established by gathering votes and asking people what kind of sensation they are having' (Ak. 5:281). It rests purely on the autonomy of the subject who is making a judgment which

purposive momentum, i.e., imparts to them a play which is such that it sustains itself on its own and even strengthens the powers for such play. (Ak. 5:313) Geist thus imparts a purposive momentum and animation to the subject's cognitive powers such that the free play of them is strengthened and sustained. This principle (Geist) is, says Kant, the ability to `exhibit aesthetic ideas' (Ak. 5:314) which ideas are presentations of the imagination to which no concept can ever be adequate. Thus the

although we must not ask what is the end for which the being had to exist [as] so organised, [that being] still serves as a means extrinsically related to a purpose. For here, just as in the case of an individual, we can always go on to ask: Why did such a pair have to exist? The answer is: This pair is what first amounts to an organising whole, even if not to an organized whole in a single body. (Ak. 5:425) The sexual reproductive relation is the form in which the species appears as a kind and

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