The Possibility of Culture: Pleasure and Moral Development in Kant's Aesthetics (New Directions in Aesthetics)

The Possibility of Culture: Pleasure and Moral Development in Kant's Aesthetics (New Directions in Aesthetics)

Bradley Murray

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 1118950658

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Possibility of Culture: Pleasure and Moral Development in Kant’s Aesthetics presents an in-depth exploration and deconstruction of Kant’s depiction of the ways in which aesthetic pursuits can promote personal moral development.

  • Presents an in-depth exploration of the connection between Kant’s aesthetics and his views on moral development
  • Reveals the links between Kant’s aesthetics and his anthropology and moral psychology
  • Explores Kant’s notion of genius and his views on the connections between the social aspects of taste and moral development
  • Addresses aspects of Kant’s ethical theory that will interest scholars working in ethics and moral psychology













conception of culture in the very specific sense that has just been outlined. At times, Kant uses terms whose English translation is “culture” (including Kultur and ­Bildung) in ways that diverge from the specific sense that is primarily of interest here. It is beyond the scope of the present study to trace the subtle nuances of his usage of these terms, or to examine how Kant’s views on culture fit into the tradition of theorizing culture that was emerging in Germany around the time that Kant

to be true of the concept of a cabin, the assessment of the object’s level of quantitative perfection will invoke this function. Supposing, for example, that things of the sort “cabin” are to perform the function of keeping occupants protected from weather and wild animals, then it will follow that a cabin will manifest perfection to the extent that it is capable of performing these functions. Like the pleasure of agreeableness, the pleasure of goodness will be less closely bound up with

the interests of morality are served by our adopting such a perspective on humanity’s place in nature, precisely because our doing so motivates us to pursue culture – whose end, of course, is moralization. Although this strategy enjoys some plausibility, it yields a version of the Appendix argument that will have little force against many of Kant’s opponents. Specifically, it will lack force against those who maintain that pursuing happiness is part of a worthwhile life, and who also happen not

aspects of Kant’s aesthetic theory that are concerned with the justification of aesthetic judgment do not depend on empirical claims, our opponent might suggest, then we have reason to pursue those aspects, and to ignore the aspects that do depend on such claims – including Kant’s view of the connection between aesthetic pleasure and moral development. Such objections are not compelling. First, it would be a mistake to begin from the assumption that nothing fruitful can emerge from a

one. In other words, we are warranted in exacting from every one the pleasure or subjective finality of the representation in respect of the relation of the cognitive faculties engaged in the estimate of a sensible object in general.”19 What emerges beneath the technical detail of this passage is the view that the sought after a priori principle makes reference to a “subjective factor” which we may presuppose in every other experiencing subject – and, on a plausible reading, this subjective

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