Aesthetics and Cognition in Kant's Critical Philosophy

Aesthetics and Cognition in Kant's Critical Philosophy

Rebecca Kukla

Language: English

Pages: 324

ISBN: 0521180899

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This volume explores the relationship between Kant's aesthetic theory and his critical epistemology as articulated in the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of the Power of Judgment. The essays, written specially for this volume, explore core elements of Kant's epistemology, such as his notions of discursive understanding, experience, and objective judgment. They also demonstrate a rich grasp of Kant's critical epistemology that enables a deeper understanding of his aesthetics. Collectively, the essays reveal that Kant's critical project, and the dialectics of aesthetics and cognition within it, is still relevant to contemporary debates in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and the nature of experience and objectivity. The book also yields important lessons about the ineliminable, yet problematic place of imagination, sensibility and aesthetic experience in perception and cognition.












the world. And it is clear that the reading of Kant in HWV is intended to square with that view. The Necessity of Receptivity 75 ideas does not itself suffice to show that they come from outside of him. Thus Descartes asks whether the active faculty that produces such sensory perceptions is in him or in something else. He quickly concludes that “this faculty cannot be in me, since clearly it presupposes no intellectual activity on my part, and the ideas in question are produced without my

cognitive powers, which is the ground of the experience and judgment of beauty, consists in the fact that the imagination responds to a manifold of intuition as if it satisfied all the conditions of cognition short of the application of any determinate concept of an object to that manifold. Yet advocates of the multicognitive approach can equally well appeal to another statement in Section VII of the First Introduction on behalf of their position: If, then, the form of a given object in empirical

every judgment of taste imputes the possibility of such a tribunal to the community of sensuous, discursive agents. At least on the face of things, then, the powers, importance, activity, and autonomy of the aesthetic faculty of sensibility spread and strengthen substantially over the course of the critical works. Early in the first Critique, Kant insists that intuitions are ‘blind’ and asserts glibly that “appearances can certainly be given in intuition without functions of the understanding”

experience of beauty itself, rather than an underlying ground for the universal subjective validity of this experience. For a subtle discussion of the ambiguities of Kant’s use of the term ‘represent’ here, see Schaper (1979). The Harmony of the Faculties Revisited 177 any indeterminate multitude of concepts.36 Likewise, when Kant finally presents his theory of fine art, he suggests that a work of art typically has a content, an “aesthetic idea,” which connotes a “rational idea,” on the one

the beautiful: Surely there are many objects of our experience, if not indeed the majority of them, that either have no intended use or from whose intended use we can abstract without finding them in the least beautiful. I can find some stones beautiful and others not, but I do not have to abstract from any intended use or purpose to find the former beautiful, nor is the absence of any intended use or purpose sufficient to make me find the latter beautiful. Most importantly, however, although

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