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The analysis of the Beautiful (I)

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Title: The analysis of the Beautiful (I)


1
The analysis of the Beautiful (I)
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
References third Critique Guyer/Matthews
2
The Critique of the Aesthetic Powerof Judgment
parts
Analytic 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
Dialectic of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment
Task resolution of a paradox
3
Two approaches to Aesthetics and Beauty
1. What is Beauty?
(e.g. Plato, Hippias Minor)
2. What is it to judge something beautiful?
(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.
Don't expect too much, anyway.... Beauty or
related judgments might not be fully describable.
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 Sing
ular
II. Quality Affirmative Negative Infinte
III. Relation Categorical Hypothetical Disjunctive
IV. Modality Assertoric Problematic Apodeictic
Title
Moments
translation Kemp Smith
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.
What are the main points in this result?
p. 96
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
understanding
the rose is beautiful
the rose is red
aesthetic judgments
logical judgments
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.) Interpreta
tion 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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