Kant's Theory of Taste: A Reading of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment (Modern European Philosophy)

Kant's Theory of Taste: A Reading of the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment (Modern European Philosophy)

Henry E. Allison

Language: English

Pages: 444

ISBN: 0521795346

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book constitutes one of the most important contributions to recent Kant scholarship. In it, one of the preeminent interpreters of Kant, Henry Allison, offers a comprehensive, systematic, and philosophically astute account of all aspects of Kant's views on aesthetics. An authoritative guide to the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment (the first and most important part of the Critique of Judgment), no one with a serious interest in Kant's aesthetics can afford to ignore this groundbreaking study.

New Left Review, Volume 321 (May - June 2014)

















determinative. Obviously, much more needs to be said in order to provide anything like an adequate account of Kant’s conception of the act of judgment as contained in the first Critique. In particular, it is important to bring out the connection between this act and the table of logical functions, which is the focal point of much of Longuenesse’s analysis, and which Kant himself attempts to do in §19 and §20 of the B-Deduction. Nevertheless, even without this, it should already be apparent that

of judgment. In fact, he does so on the by-now familiar grounds that here “judgment legislates neither to nature nor to freedom, but solely to itself” (FI 20: 225; 414). Combining the discussions of heautonomy in the two Introductions indicates that the “legislations” of systematicity or logical purposiveness and of taste should be viewed as two species of heautonomy (presumably that of teleology being a third), that is, of reflective judgment legislating to itself regarding the conditions of its

negative as well as positive judgments of taste. Indeed, one would expect this to be the case, since our basic intuitions about aesthetic valuations surely indicate that negative judgments must have the same status (as judgments of taste) and the same claim to validity as their positive counterparts. Otherwise, the point on which Kant insists in his discussion of the Antinomy of Taste, namely, that we can quarrel [streiten] about taste, though we cannot dispute about it (KU 5: 338; 210–11), would

he clearly does not take himself to be using it in a familiar way. This much is evident from his explicit distinction of it from the common understanding [gemeine Verstand], which, he notes, is also referred to as a “common sense” [Gemeinsinn] (KU 5: 238; 87). Indeed, given Kant’s well-known disparagement in the Prolegomena of the attempt of the Scottish “common sense” philosophers to answer Hume by appealing to the “gemeinen Menschenverstand,”9 one would hardly expect him to appeal to a variant

problematic in the exposition of this judgment-type given in the Analytic of the Beautiful. Again, there is nothing noteworthy in denying the possibility of proof for a judgment claiming merely a subjective or private validity, such as one regarding agreeableness. On the contrary, this is just what one would expect. But that this is denied in the case of a judgment making a necessity claim, that is, one demanding universal agreement, is indeed peculiar, since it seems to undermine the very

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