Aesthetics and cognition in Kant's critical philosophy by Rebecca Kukla

By Rebecca Kukla

This 2006 quantity explores the connection among Kant's aesthetic thought and his severe epistemology as articulated within the Critique of natural cause and the Critique of the ability of Judgment. The essays, written specifically for this quantity, discover middle parts of Kant's epistemology, resembling his notions of discursive figuring out, adventure, and aim judgment. additionally they display a wealthy take hold of of Kant's severe epistemology that permits a deeper figuring out of his aesthetics. jointly, the essays show that Kant's serious venture, and the dialectics of aesthetics and cognition inside it, remains to be proper to modern debates in epistemology, philosophy of brain, and the character of expertise and objectivity. The booklet additionally yields vital classes in regards to the ineliminable, but difficult position of mind's eye, sensibility and aesthetic adventure in notion and cognition.

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It arguably represents a serious challenge to Kant’s critical project, as it marks a place where responsibility for successful objective judgment has been displaced from the discursive to the aesthetic domain – a domain that by its very nature has an essentially receptive dimension that cannot be brought under our discursive or legislative control. How worried was Kant himself about the threat his own expanding aesthetic posed to his critical objectives? Several commentators have thought that it worried him a great deal indeed, to the point where he found ways of suppressing and deflecting the problem rather than addressing it head on.

These two ways are defined as follows: “If the universal (the rule, the principle, the law) is given, then judgment, which subsumes the particular under it . . is determining. ) As Kant goes on to make clear, the Critique of the Power of Judgment is particularly concerned with judgment in its capacity as reflecting rather than determining. It is concerned, that is, with how we are to find universals (which he glosses as rules, principles, or laws) for given particulars. 2 The sense of ‘universal’ (allgemein), then, would appear to be the same sense that is implied in Kant’s characterization of a concept as a “universal” (or as it is sometimes translated, a “general”) representation (Logic §1, 9:91).

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” (A90/B122, my emphasis), but we have seen that by the middle of the third Critique, intuition has all but disappeared from the critical apparatus, and sensibility has become a hotbed of activity, elaborately infused and intertwined with the spontaneous operations of faculty of concepts.

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