PHL 230
Instructor: Dr. Bob Zunjic


Deduction of the Judgment of Taste

An Outline


This outline covers in its first part Kant's exposition of the deduction of taste (31-39) and a few sections dealing with the nature of genius (46-49). In the second part it summurizes Kant's solution for the antinomy of taste (56-57) followed at the very end with a brief overview of Kant's thesis that the beautiful is the symbol of morality (59).


Introduction Having analyzed the properties of the judgment of taste Kant has finished his task of explicating the conditions of the beautiful. By turning his attention to our subjective feelings he has circumvented the objects that we call beautiful with the justification that aesthetic judgments are not logical and objective. This is certainly true but they arise on the ocasion of certain objects and not regarding any object, which means that in judging some as beautiful we suppose that they possess certain qualities which allow the perceiving subject to feel pleasure or displeasure with regard to them. These qualities come down to a certain form that is capable of inducing the feeling of harmony in the subject with regard to his faculties of representation. This harmony is what Kant calls subjective purposiveness.
Question Now Kant wants to find out what is the cause of this purposiveness, or, in general, why certain objects rather than other make us feel a harmonious interplay of our cognitive faculties? In order to be able o answer this question he resumes his analysis of aesthetical judgments which creates the impression of repetitiveness. But he is not any longer interested in eliciting the components of the judgment of taste. Rather he is concerned with its deduction in order to justify the claim for universality and necessity contained in them.
Note: This deduction concerns only the judgment about the beautiful, not those on the sublime, because the latter are not in any way linked to the form of their objects. Since sublimity is only our reactive feeling to the situation when we cannot comprehend an object the judgment of sublimity remains entirely subjective and this makes it unnecessary to ask how certain objects cause our feelings of sublimity. Since the object that we regard sublime are sensible (natural) they cannot be responsible for the pleasure arising from rational awareness that we are still superior over nature. The only claim raised by judgments about sublimity is that every object that makes the judging subject aware of its rational superiority will make the subject delighted. Therefore the exposition of the judgments about sublimity equals their deduction.
31 It is not so with the judgments about the beautiful that make reference to the object (form) and therefore need a deduction. What Kant is trying to accomplish with this deduction is to provide a proof of legitimacy (or validity) for the judgment of taste. He was convinced that such a legitimization was needed as the judgment of taste lays claim to necessity by demanding the agreement of everyone who will judge the object we deem beautiful (albeit in the manner of subjective universality). Precisely because this necessity is not cognitive but subjective it requires a justification for the said assumption that a subjective purposiveness we feel when presented to object is valid for everyone.
Task The task is to prove theoretically the universal validity of a singular judgment that expresses the subjective purposiveness of an empirical representation of the form of an object. If it were a cognitive judgment based on a concept there will be no problem to secure the universality by establishing the adequacy of the concept. Bu how a judgment that does not operate with concepts and is not cognitive can claim necessity and universality?
Objective The proof of validity for such a claim is needed to explain how a thing can please (cause delight) in the mere act of judging it without the impact of sensation or concepts? How the satisfaction of one person can be proclaimed as the rule for every other judging person? In other words (if we retain Hume's problem), what is the foundation for a standard of taste?
Method Kant is sure that universal validity is not based on any general observation. It cannot be obtained by polling people or collecting suffrages (votes) about their sensations or feeling.
  It must be instead derived from an analysis of the autonomy of the judging subject with respect to the feeling of pleasure in the given representation.
Peculiarities If we do that we realize that the universal validity of aesthetical judgment rests on our own taste. The judgment of taste thus has the following two peculiar features:
(a) a priori universal validity as a singular judgment;
(b) necessity which does not depend on a priori grounds.
  Kant's question is how is this possible? The explanation of these peculiarities should suffice for the deduction of aesthetic judgments.
1st Peculiarity of Taste
The judgment of taste raises claim for the assent of everyone as if it were objective.
Problem The judgment of taste determines its object as beautiful according to the pleasure taken in it and it raises the claim for the agreement of everyone as if the beauty were the objective property that does not accommodate itself to the variety of subjective tastes as it does with the pleasant. But how this could possibly be the case if the beautiful things must accommodate themselves "to our mode of apprehension" if they are to be experienced as beautiful at all. The beautiful cannot be ascribed directly to the object.
Duality On the other hand, when we judge something to be beautiful we rely exclusively on our subjective feeling. How then can we claim that our judgments is universally valid? Thus we phrase judgments of taste as objective logical judgments but we fail to supply logical predicates for them. And the other way round, we ground them on our subjective feelings but stil expect others to agree as if they are objectively valid.
Autonomy There are some other peculiarities of the judgment of taste. The first is autonomy. Aesthetical competence requires that the subject judges by himself without paying attention to the judgments of others and their satisfaction. Taste requires autonomy - you cannot persuade or dissuade somebody to feel or not to feel delight. If we simply follow the opinion of others that leads to heteronomy and the lack of taste. An artist who adjusts to the opinion of the public does that either to gain recognition or (if he is mature) from his own (better) insight.
For Kant, this means that the judgment must be pronounced a priori, and not by mere limitation (by adjustment to empirical and actual circumstances). We do not need to know how other have judged, how the object was assessed in the past or whether the majority of people would approve it.
Models This could create the impression that there are some a priori rules exemplified in certain models. However, Kant repudiates such an idea. Classical models in art, science and religion are not patterns that must be blindly copied and imitated. They point to certain sources, they exercise influence, they teach about previous accomplishments so that new generations do not have to start from scratch. But these are a posteriori sources that by no means dispense of our a priori principles of taste (thus all Hume's advices how to improve taste already presuppose the autonomous activity of the subject).
Principles (1) The subject should judge by himself.
(2) "The judgment should be pronounced a priori, and not by mere limitation" (accommodation to what is expected or experienced).
Parallels Scientific progress is rendered possible (along with the productive use of our powers) precisely because we do not have always to start anew but can build upon the achievements of predecessors. The continuity of research does not relegate posterity to sheer imitation.
Even in religion (where novelties are suspicious) the following secures the continuity of tradition although it must be always personally adopted. Another similarity with taste: more is accomplished there by procuring great examples that will entice the autonomy of virtue than by preaching universal precepts or formulating universal concepts. Similarly, since taste lacks conceptual foundation it needs examples more than any other faculty.
Science Independent Insight
Religion Personal Acceptance
Taste Autonomous Judgment
Clue There are formal features of authentic reflective judgment - universality claim, necessary satisfaction, etc. They point to an a priori principle. It needs to be found.
Note: In contrast to these characteristics those elaborated under 1st and 3rd moment (disenterestedness and purposiveness) are at best the indicators that our judgments are made in response to a beautiful object and in so far could be regarded as evidence that these judgments are aesthetical.
2nd Peculiarity of Taste
Taste resists proof (does not allow determination) as if it were merely subjective.
  Logical judgments are independent of the judging subject's feelings. Therefore it is possible to decide conclusively whether in any particular case they are right and if so it is possible to force others to agree with them.
Unenforceable There is no empirical proof to coerce others to a certain judgment of taste.
- Nobody can force an agreement in matters of taste. At most just faking an agreement.
- The agreement of others provides no proof of validity for a judgment of taste. At best it can arouse some doubts in the disagreeing subject.
- The fact that something has pleased others cannot by itself induce a respective aesthetic judgment in me. At most it can move me to reexamine my own judgment.
Non-rational There is no a priori proof to determine a judgment of taste. There is no conclusive proof of validity based on some accepted or established rules no matter whose authority may stand behind them (ancient or modern). A work may very well agree with these rules but this conformity does not suffice to gain me over because my judgment makes reference to my feelings of satisfaction not to the rules of understanding or reason. If I do not feel delight I cannot call something beautiful.
Non-objective Hence an objective elucidation of reasons why something should please based on some objective properties of that piece or dish (like nutrition facts) must leave my senses unaffected (not accidentally Kant here refers to bodily taste). My judgment is based on what my sensory organs tell me, not on objective features.
Singularity This outcome is in keeping with the fact that judgments of taste must be formulated as singular judgments - referring to a particular object and singular experience. If the judgment treats the relation between the object and taste as the predicate of that kind of objects then it becomes a logical judgment. This holds true even for judgments that are inductively reached by means of comparison, like the generalization that "all tulips are beautiful".
  The judgment of taste is always about a particular object and the feeling of particular person. Still, despite its subjective validity, it claims the assent of all subjects in a manner resembling cognitive judgments. Thus the judgment of taste vacillate between sheer subjectivity and pure objectivity without ever collapsing fully in any of these two extremes. The following characteristics describe its dual nature:

Aesthetical Reflective
Subjective Disinterested
Delightful Free
Singular Universally Valid
W/out Purpose Purposive
Exemplary Normative
Uncertain Necessary

34 There is no objective Principle of Taste
No Syllogism We do not possess a principle that would allow to reason syllogistically in matters of taste. It is not possible to subsume a concept of an object under the major premise of a syllogism stating necessary conditions of beauty and then to get a conclusion that the object is beautiful. This is what Kant means when he says that there is no objective principle of taste.
Immediacy On the contrary, if something is beautiful we must immediately feel satisfaction i observing it before we can reason about it at all. It may be true, as Hume contends, that critics can reason more plausibly than cooks (the reference is not to Hume's essay on taste but on his moral essays) but they also must first feel satisfaction if they have experience of the beautiful.
Thus taste remains a matter of reflection upon our own feeling, not something relying on proofs. It is only a judgment of pleasure (or pain) with regard to a given object.
Task of Critique Critics may continue to reason in order to correct or expand some judgments of taste, but they cannot determine them based on a universally applicable formula.
What is then the role of critique with regard to taste? Kant sees two main areas of work:
- to investigate the cognitive faculties and their exercise in the judgment, and
- to explain by examples the reciprocal subjective purposiveness the form of which constitutes beauty (the reciprocal relation between the understanding and the imagination).
Critique of Taste The critique of taste is concerned of reducing to rules the accordance or discordance between imagination and understanding. But it does this always with regard to a given representation and thus it is always subjective whether it proceeds as art or as science.
Two notions of critique
Critique as Art (Art Critique) = shows the reciprocal relation by examples (as Hume envisioned) and applies the rules of actual taste (criticizes the products).
Critique as science (Transcendental Critique) = derives the possibility of judgment from the nature of faculties a priori (criticizes faculties).
Difference The latter is obviously the job of the Critique of Judgment which asks how are judgments of taste possible (since they are synthetical a priori the ground of their possibility must be discovered and demonstrated philosophically).
Since it develops and justifies subjective principle of taste it is a philosophical critique that should not be confused with the art critique that applies empirical (physiological or psychological) rules according to which taste actually proceeds.
35 The principle of Taste is the subjective Principle of Judgment in General
  According to Kant, the nature of taste and its legitimacy could be unraveled only from the features of the judgments of taste. The main point here is that, unlike logical judgments, the judgment of taste does not subsume the representation of the object under the concept and it does not claim the necessity according to the concept of the object.
Subsumes Representation under a Concept Relates Representation to a Feeling
Capable of Proof Incapable of proof
Claims Universality and Necessity Claims Universality and Necessity
Claim is objective (according to concept) Claim is subjective
Basis The concepts also constitute the content of the judgment of taste although it is not determined by them. "It is based only on the subjective formal condition of a judgment in general." This means that "the subjective condition of all judgments is the faculty of a judgment in general".
Accordance The above grounding requires the accordance of two representative powers:
imagination (for the intuition and comprehension of the manifold), and
understanding (for the concept as a representation of the unity of this comprehension). The faculty of judgment cannot produce a definite relation between imagination and understanding in judgments of taste - it only indicates that certain reference to the principle of unity must be there and through it to understanding.
Note: As Cassirer has noted: The faculty of Judgment is not an independent faculty of mind. It exists by relating the other two faculties of mind (Imagination/Intuition and Understanding) to each other (H. W. Cassirer, A Commentary on Kant's Critique of Judgment, p.256-7).
Subsumption Since the judgment of taste does not rest on the concept of the object it consists in the subsumption of the imagination itself under the conditions required by understanding to pass from intuition to concepts. The principle of subsumption is not cognitive (intuitions under concepts) but of the faculty of intuitions (imagination) under the faculty of concepts (understanding), so far as the former is free to harmonize with the latter in its lawfulness. Since imagination schematizes without any concept, the judgment of taste must rest "on a mere sensation of the reciprocal activity of the imagination in its freedom and the understanding with its conformity to law".
Judging Faculty The judgment of taste rests on a feeling which prompts judging the object "by the purposiveness of the representation" with regard to "the furtherance of the cognitive faculty in its free play". Taste is therefore inevitably subjective. The condition of possibility of all judgments, however, is not the person of the judging subject ("I think") but the judging faculty itself which, by its regression, exceeds the ability of the subject to accomplish its temporal synthesis by succession.
36 The Problem of a Deduction of Judgments of Taste
Judgment of Experience Judgments of experience are produced by combining the concept of an object in general with the empirical predicates of the object (perceived characteristics). This combination makes the judgment cognitive. The ground of possibility for such a combination are the a priori concepts for the synthetical unity of the manifold of intuition. These concepts are the categories = the a priori principles of understanding. Their deduction was accomplished in the Critique of Pure Reason which has thus solved the problem how are synthetical a priori judgments of cognition possible.
Aesthetical Judgment When a perception of an object is combined with a feeling of satisfaction that so to speak plays the role of a predicate we get instead an aesthetical judgment. It is non-cognitive judgment because it only asserts a connection between the representation of an object and a subjective feeling. Still, it is not a judgment of sensation (the judgment about the pleasant asserts the same connection) but the one of reflection. It is a formal, not just an experiential judgment. Hence it can impute the same satisfaction necessarily to everyone.
A priori Principle The analysis must again focus on formal features of the judgment of taste all the more so as the judgment of taste is formal although based on a sensation. As formal, the judgment of taste must have a some a priori principle as well (we do not wait for the assent of other to make it). It may be subjective as it is but it needs a deduction that would demonstrate the ground of its necessity notwithstanding its subjective character. To discern the ground of its necessity and universality would be the same as to explain how the judgments of taste are possible.
Faculty as Law For Kant, this deduction could be accomplished only by explicating the a priori principles of the "pure faculty of judgment" as it is operative in aesthetical judgments. This means it must be examined in judgments in which it is both the object and its law - not just a subject to a theoretical law. The former judgments are judgments of taste, the latter cognitive judgments. None of them are analytical - they do not excract the predicate from the subject, but add it to the subject.
Synthetical a priori The judgments of taste are hence synthetical (they add as predicate something that is really not in the cognition of the object). We are not necessarily interested to find out what is exactly the object we regard as beautiful. But despite the empirical character of the predicate they add to the object (that is, of the feeling that joins the representation) they are a priori with regard to the required assent of everyone (or at least are supposed to be). The problem of how it is possible to judge that our pleasure will be attached to the object by all perceiving subjects shifts now to the problem how such synthetical a priori judgments are possible.
37 What is properly asserted a priori of an object in a judgment of Taste?
Empirical Connection The aesthetical synthesis of a representation of an object with the accompanying satisfaction cannot be known a priori. This bind can be only internally perceived. The pleasure in the judgment of taste is bound up with the act of judging - thus connecting the predicate of satisfaction with the given individual empirical representation.
Not Practical If the judgment of taste were just a report about this connection an empirical introspection would suffice to explain how it works. But the aesthetical combination of a representation and the feeling requires an a priori principle which does not reside in the reason that directs the will. Only the connection between the representation of the moral law and the feeling of respect for it could be a priori determined. But the pleasure in the beautiful does not stem from the principle of our actions but from the mere act of judging prior to all concepts. We can never a priori determine the pleasurable outcome of aesthetical experience.
Mental Bind What is a priori represented in a judgment of taste is not just a pleasure but the universal validity of this pleasure (mentally connected with the judgment of the object and represented as a universal rule for everyone's judgment).
(1) It is an empirical judgment to say that I enjoy watching this particular object.
(2) It is an a priori judgment to say that this object is beautiful.
To say the latter is the same as to attribute this satisfaction necessarily to everyone.
Thus the judgment of taste (the beautiful) is both contingent and necessary. It is contingent in the sense that it calls a particular object beautiful without relying on definite concepts, but it is necessary in view of the fundamental and universal nature of cognitive capacities involved. The condition of the use of the power of judgment are common to all human beings.
38 Deduction of Judgment of Taste
Quasi-Deduction The above necessity and universality encourages Kant to try a transcendental deduction of the judgment of taste that will match the transcendental deduction of the categories of the understanding and the deduction of the moral law from the fact of freedom. He does not call the deduction of taste transcendental but certainly regards it that way.
Transcendental Deduction Transcendental deduction is such a method of analysis that transcends direct observation by getting behind it in order to unveil its necessary conditions, that is to say the conditions necessary to render possible certain truth claims.
  We can have an aesthetical experience of the beautiful only when we become aware of the harmonious interplay of our cognitive faculties (imagination and understanding). The source of this awareness is the faculty of Judgments itself in its reflective version. The reflective judgment is equally independent from concepts and sensations. What we enjoy in the beautiful is not the knowledge of an overarching concept nor a bunch of sensual qualities. The pleasure stems from the subjective purposiveness that the object presents for the faculty of Judgment.
Act of Judging Kant now establishes a connection between the two following equations: To say that the satisfaction in the object is combined with the act of judging its form is tantamount to state that its subjective purposiveness for the judgment is mentally combined with the presentation of the object.
Satisfaction in the Object
Subjective Purposiveness
combined (+)
mentally combined (+)
Mere act of Judging its Form
Representation of the Object
  In order to be able to properly understand Kant's meaning we need to note that he does not claim that a pleasure is universally represented in a judgment of taste but only that "the universal validity of this pleasure is perceived in the mind as connected with the mere judging of the object".
Subjective Conditions Thus Kant does not demonstrate the necessity of a pleasurable response to any particular object but the reasonableness and the plausibility of expecting the agreement of other people in responding in the same way. The deduction establishes the possibility of such agreement, or better to say, it unveils the ground of the possibility of an universally valid response. The judgment of taste is therefore always about the subjective conditions of its employment in general.
Subjective purposiveness "We may rightly impute to everyone the pleasure or the subjective purposiveness of the representation for the relation between the cognitive faculties in the act of judging a sensible object in general."
This finally the proof of validity that Kant has promised to give. But what we got is a very short and no less abstruse formula. It is by no means easy to understand what Kant means in the first place, let alone to apply it as a valid proof of validity.
According to one interpretation, the gist of the "proof" is that the reason why we are justified and obligated to suppose that the subjective conditions of judgment must be the same in all men lies in the necessity of the communicability of knowledge. In other words, for the sake of communicability (and intersubjectivity) it is necessary that the relations between imagination and understanding be the same in all judging subjects. The communicability of the satisfaction in the beautiful is secured by the same subjective conditions that apply for objective (intersubjective) knowledge. Since human beings are capable of sharing knowledge this fact must be recognized as supporting the claim of universal validity. This is consistent with the way how Kant grounds the necessity of the moral law and binding norms, but in this case it is something that does not provide the proof and is itself a quod demonstrandum est. Anyway, based on his proof Kant establishes the following deductive chain:
A) Judging a sensible object => B) Relation between cognitive faculties => C) Pleasure of the harmonious interplay=> D) Subjective purposiveness of the representation=> E) Imputation of C and D to everyone
  Purposiveness in the judgment of taste is subjective because it pertains only to the apprehension (Auffassung) of the object. But its foundation must be in the form and shape of the object although it escapes ony objective predication. Thus we obtain a strange combination of contingency and necessity. The contingent character of the necessary aesthetical delight is the specific characteristic of the experience of beauty as opposed to the experience of the merely pleasant or the good.

Comparative Table of the Three Relations of Representation to Feeling

ACTION / STATE gratifies approved delights
ATTITUDE inclination respect favor
SATISFACTION pathological practical contemplative
TIME immediate mediate immediate
MOTIVATION interest interest indifference
CHARACTER instinctive compulsory free
PARTICIPATION animality rationality rational animal
FACULTY senses reason imagination
REFERENCE actual possible necessary
FINALITY personal purpose objective purpose no purpose
A PRIORI PRINCIPLE N/A universality of will form of purposiveness
JUDGMENT Synthetical a posteriori Synthetical a priori Synthetical a priori


Easiness In the chapter entitled "remark" Kant explains in which sense the deduction of taste is easy. The deduction of the judgment of taste turns out to be easier than the deduction of cognitive judgments because it does not have to establish the reality of the concept of beauty. For the legitimization of taste it suffices to show that we are justified in assuming that the same subjective conditions of judging will apply to/in all other judging subjects when exposed to the object we regard as beautiful.
Subjective Conditions Another condition of validity for a judgment of taste is the proper subsumtion of the particular representation under an indeterminate subjective rule of harmonious play between imagination and understanding. In the judgment of taste there is no subsumtion under definite concepts and rules - only the subsumption under those conditions assumed to be universally present. Of course, Kant is aware that, - given the sensible nature of the relation between imagination and understanding as occurring in the representation of the form of the object, - this assumption does not always apply smoothly. However, this does not affect the legitimacy of the claim to universal assent since it rests only on a universal subjective rule.
  Note: The above assumption is different from the assumption that nature a priori represents a complex of objects of taste (beautiful natural objects). The latter assumption ascribes to nature the purpose of exhibiting the forms that are purposive for our judgment, but, as Kant remarks, this teleology remains doubtful.
45 Nature - Art
  Kant argues that we can enjoy an artwork only if we do not view it as intentionally produced. If we regard it as intentionally created all satisfaction will vanish and there will ne no free play of cognitive faculties in place. The outcome of this surprising contention is that we need to regard artworks as products of nature, free from any human purposes.
  On the other hand, Kant explicates the workings of nature as if they were acts of a human artist. According to him, nature is beautifuil if it looks like art. This qualifies the previous statement all the more so as art cannot work quite unintentionally. Unintentional art sounds like a contradiction in terms. Intention must be there, although it does not aim at a particular sensation or concept. Artistic intention aims at producing a product the representation of which will make the perceiver aware of the harmony of his cognitive faculties. Thus art can be a product of purposive human mind, although this purposiveness remains subjective and the artist is not necessarily aware of the rules that guide him in the process.
46 Beautiful Art is the Art of Genius
  In this section Kant draws some radical conclusions from the close connection he has established between art and nature. Since the artist does not create according to definite rules, although every artwork embodies certain rules, this can only mean one thing: the rules of artistic production spring from the artist's individual nature. This individual nature is not just a segment of the objective nature that could be studied and explained by virtue of definite laws and concepts but a kind of "subjective purposiveness".
Definition The above insight leads Kant to the formulation of his famous definition of genius. It reads:
"Genius is the talent (or natural gift) which gives the rules to art."
Logically, this definition is a kind of intensional definition known under the technical name 'definition by genus and specific difference'.
Genus Difference
Talent (Natural Gift) Giving rules to Art.
Giving Rules The first part of the definition may appear as simply conveying the romantic notion of genius as an innate talent, but the second part (the specific difference) introduces a very original idea of creative legislation that breaks up with tradition and its precepts.
For Kant, genius is not an exceptionally productive person capable of achieveing important results, nor an individual possessing extraordinary abilities of creating perfect objects, and certainly not a person with an aptitude to learn, calculate, and discern better than other people no matter how good and effective s/he can be. For Kant, genius is simply somebody capable of imposing his own rules. With this definition Kant opens an entirely new chapter in our understanding of artistic genius.
Nature - Art Since talent represents something natural, Kant links this artistic legislation with natural self-legislation. Genius is accordingly nothing else but "the innate mental disposition through which nature gives rule to art".
Note: This may sound as the ultimate triumph of Nature over Art, but the statement could be understood also as the final reconciliation between the two. Truly, Kant has made the judgments concerning the beautiful contingent on the relation with Nature, but he has also admitted the need for art to make sense (purposiveness) of crude Nature that does not reveal its beautiful forms by itself. Thus the figure of the genius represents the point at which Nature transforms itself into art, and the other way round, the point at which art reveals nature in its aesthetical qualities.
Beautiful Arts In order to be able to perform his mediatory role as a catalist between nature and art the genius must be a great artist.
Another consequence of the above is that "beautiful arts" must be "necessarily considered" as "arts of genius".
In other words, "beautiful arts" cannot produce their works according to concepts. This contention is consistent with the previous denial of cognitive rules as determining the judgment on the beautiful conceptually. However, since artistic production can not be random and arbitrary it must proceed according to some rules. Kant finds these can be only those springing from the great subject speaking on behalf of Nature, which again means that "beautiful art is only possible as a product of genius".
Fine Arts Note: Kant's phrase "beautiful art" (schoene Kunst) is an exact match to the English "fine art". The adjective "beautiful/fine" sets apart the arts based on inspiration and the beautiful from those that are only useful (mechanical) or just entertaining.
Rules Kant is aware that the rules imposed by a genius are not pre-given or predictable precisely beacuse they spring from the artist's subjectivity.
Therefore to be a genius does not mean to possess an aptitude to learn by rules no matter how quick and impressive that learning process may be. The work of genius does not consist in reproducing or imitating something given according to certain rules. It is rather "a talent for producing that for which no definite rule can be given".
From this circumstance four additional characteritics of genius follow:
  (1) Originality: The trademark of genius is that he is not an imitator but an original creator.
(2) Exemplarity: The originality of a genius is not self-serving or arbitrary (original non-sense) - it becomes a model for others.
(3) Inexplicability: A genius cannot explain scientifically his nature and his process of invention. Nor can he simulate it at will or put in precepts how other can emulate him.
(4) Naturality: By the medium of the genius Nature prescribes rules to fine arts. (not the other way round nor to the sciences).
  Note: The above characteristics are in accord with the very origin of the term genius which in Latin denotes a guardian spirit allotted to each man at birth. However, Kant strips this innate, animating spirit of its divine aura and replaces it with the unfathomable bounty of nature. This bounty is the source both of originality and exemplarity that cannot be explained although they deserve to be ackowledged and imitated by admirers and the public.
47 Elucidation and Confirmation of the Explanation
  Based on what Kant hassaid it is not difficult to see that the ability to learn and the capacity to teach cannot make a genius. Learnability and teachability (teachableness) are not the characteristics of a genial work even if they are present in an unusual amount of excellence.
Kant's reasoning on the impossibility of imapring the talent of a genius proceeds like this:
Syllogism Genius is opposed to imitation.
Learning is imitation.
Teachableness presupposes imitation.

Genius cannot be learned or taught.

Independence To be sure the ability to learn and imitate are valuable characteristics but they constitite a shallow pate rather than a genius. The genius is a special product of nature. Hence Kant refuses to regard as genius a person who thinks and composes on his own and discovers for himself important things in art and science even if this is independent of what the others have taught. The reason fot this is that these things could be learned and taught or they simply follow from the process if we logically pursue the investigation within a given area. This is especially true for the sciences because they proceed according to certain rules that make it possible to reenact the process.
Science - Art Thus, according to Kant, we can follow even the greatest scientists in their ideas and we can reconstruct closely their way of thinking. However, we cannot create great art by imitating or following in the footsteps of great artists. While scientists can demonstrate how by means of fixed rules and air tight proofs they have achieved their results artists cannot explain their creative process and cannot state any universal rules how to repeat it.
Therefore, Kant concludes, that the difference which exists in science between the greatest discoverer and some "laborious imitators" is always a matter of degree, but in art the one whom nature has bestowed a special gift is specifically different from those who otherwise may be very skilled.
Difference This differentiation does nor devaluate science in comparison with art - it just qualifies the respective achievements of the great men of science (Wissenschaft) and of the "nature's favorites" in art. While the former seek the ever more perfection of knowledge the latter have already accomplished their ultimate perfection in the classical art (that is the "boundary" the artists cannot overcome). The former can explain and impart the achievements of their science to everyone who wants to listen, the latter are not capable of communicating their artistic ability to others. This results in the following contrast:
Advancement of Knowledge Standstill of Perfection
Imparting Knowledge Non-Communicability
Nature of Rule  
  Still the work of a genius is not enclosed in his subjectivity - it can and should serve as a model for others. What Kant means by this is not that the genius should be imitated but followed in a way that could inspire and stimulate others. Great artists could be influences or enticed. This eliminates the need for formulaic or empirical rules. The rules that nature prescribes to art through genius are indefinite and can exist only in the form of (classical) models.
Note: Kant was obviously convinced not only that there is no progress in art but that the pinnacle of artistic development has been already achieved in classical art. He considered quite advantageous the fact that these models are formulated in "dead" languages because this prevents posterity of regarding them as instructional descriptions. They should be followed not just copied.
System of Arts In addition to the distinction with the sciences Kant distinguishes "beautiful arts" (= fine arts) from other arts crafts. He first divides all arts into (a) mechanical, and (b) aesthetical. The former are useful but not aimed at poruring pleasure when their products are subjected to judgment. This is precisely the main point of "aesthetical arts". They could be of two kinds as well: (1) entertaining whose main concern is to produce something enjoyable (the pleasure accompany the representations as a mere sensation), and (b) "beautiful arts" whose purpose is that the resulting pleasure accompanies the reprsesentation as a mode of knowledge. This probably explains why the most important fine art in Kant's view was poetry. In addition he regarded it the most free and the most spontaneous art. Poetry is followed by oratory, music and painting (in this order).
  The main divide was the one between fine arts and crafts; the former was a matter of genius, the latter depended on learning (instruction) and industry.
Fine Arts
Genius Instruction
Inspiration Skill
Skill No product of craftsmanship can be good based solely on inspiration and good design - it must be executed properly, which means by virtue of the needed manual skill. This requirements does not hold in fine arts. Still, Kant concedes that there is no fine art that does not include some manual skills (a "mechanical element"). If so, there is a moment of dexterity in fine arts that could be practiced and mastered in them. This in turn implies that they possess a "scholastic component" and allow aprenticeship aswell (skills are subject to rules that could be taught and learned).
Superficiality Also, since every artistic creation is conscious and purposive activity (random activity and chance do not count as art) it must include some rules in conceiving and deploying its intent. Therefore it is laughable to see sheer imitators of the genius ignoring or violating all the academic rules just to attract attention and claim originality at all costs. But, for Kant, this is a very easy and superficial way of trying to emulate the "ingenuity" (inventivity) of a genius. One thing is to overcome the existing rules another is to fail to respect academic constraints.
School For proper understanding of great art we need a proper education. Genius provides rich material for rational analysis and good judgment. These faculties cannot be replaced in the process of evaluation by pretending to possess the imagination of genius in matters that require clear insight and careful examination.
48 Relation of Genius to Taste
Producing and Assessing Art The creation of great art requires a genius. Thus, according to Kant, if you are not a genius you cannot possibly become a great artist even if you are an acclaimed artist. This does not sound very fair, but the distribution of natural talents does not go by the principle of fairness. As a solace, Kant offers the possibility of universal appreciation of art - to judge art one does not need to be a genius - "only" to possess taste. Conversely, taste is not necessary for creating great art. As Lyotard puts it: "Genius is to the creation of forms what is taste in their estimation." (Lyotard, p. 161)
Producing Fine Art
Judging Fine Art
Genius Requisite Genius not Requisite
Taste not Requisite Taste Requisite
Distinction and Confusion To justify further the above contention Kant distinguishes between "natural beauty", which denotes "a beautiful thing", and "artificial beauty" which signifies "a beautiful representation of a thing". He argues that for judging the former one needs only taste, whereas for conceiving the latter one needs genius who only can judge its possibility properly.
These are somewhat confusing statements. One would expect exactly the opposite of what Kant says. The suprise may become even greater when we learn in what follows that in appreciating a beautiful work of art we presuppose a concept of the object. Has Kant not already separated the judging of the beautiful from concepts?
  Kant clarifies the difficulty by explaining that different status of purposiveness in beautiful natural objects and beautiful artworks.
Natural Beauty To judge a natural beauty one does not need to have beforehand a concept of what the object is supposed to be or to know its material purpose - it suffices to focus on its given form in order to be delighted when judging it. The constitution of the object in so far as it embodies its inner destination (or perfection) does not have to be taken into account. In fact, we cannot ascribe to nature any intention or purpose of creating beauty (we can only assume the aesthetical technique of nature for the sake of our judging it). If we do, then the judgment ceases to be a judgment of taste (an aesthetical judgment) and becomes a judgment of objective purposiveness. For instance, the judgment "this is a beautiful woman" means that in this particular figure nature represents "the purposes in view of the shape of a woman's figure". That is to say, we do not look at the object as it appears "like art" but start to regard it teleologically as actual supernatural art. The object must please in the mere estimation of it. If there is any attachment to the purpose or to its matter (colors, tone, etc) the judgment will turn either into an objective judgment or the judgment of the pleasant.
Note: Colors and sounds are, for Kant, only "charms" that do not define the form but only "enliven the presentation".
Artificial Beauty In judging artificial beauty we have (1) to refer the representation of the object to the will of the artist because we know that he is a rational human being, and (2) we have to realize that his intention and purpose were to create beauty. In other words, we need to pay attention to the unity of the manifold in the object with its "inner destination" because this unity constitutes the perfection of the object. We are not ascribing any definite purpose to the artist and certainly not objective concepts as his guiding principles, but we recognize his rational intention to create purposiveness. This regard allows more freedom and in fact proves superior over natural beauty because it renders possible beautiful artistic representations of objects that are in nature deemed to be ugly or displeasing (Aristotle has noticed this already). The only "kind of ugliness" that could never produce aesthetic satisfaction is the one which excites disgust. By definition a disgusting object opposes a pleasant satisfaction and if it remains what it is in representation it will retain its natural repelling quality.
Note: One limitation for sculpture follows from this advantage of artificial beauty. Given the closeness of sculptural representations with natural figures this art must avoid the immediate representations of ugly objects by resorting to symbolism. This is another example of Kant's classicist prejudices that would prevent him from admiring an Auguste Rodin.
Form of Presentation Kant maintains that the beautiful representation of an object in the above sense is in fact "the form of the representation of a concept" and that as such it could be communicated universally. But to estimate this form afterwards and to give it to the object beforehand are two different operations of the mind. The latter very often emerges slowly through a painstaking process of improvement and polishing. It is not that much a matter inspiration as it is a matter of skilled attempts to find the form adequate to the thought, the one that will eventually please the artist.
Non-productive Taste To estimate this form once the process of production is over is something for which taste is requisite. But taste is a judging faculty, not a productive one. Therefore its proper realm are not the works of fine art as much as those belonging to applied (mechanical) arts and sciences. The products of useful arts are executed according to certain rules and they exemplify certain forms that are combined with some purposes. Despite these constraints we have certain latitude for a free representation which explains how we do react to the objects of applied arts.
Beautiful Arts Useful Arts
Genius/Inspiration Skill / Taste
Poem Moral Treatise Sermon
Piece of Music Music box
Picture Gallery Table Appointments
Disparity From these considerations it should be possible to realize why genius and taste do not necessarily coincide. Something could be very pleasing precisely because it is executed according to certain rules. But it does not have to display a genius (for instance, small pieces by Benvenuto Cellini that are lovely and decorative). And the other way round, there are works of beautiful art that display a lot of genius along with a great lack of taste (for instance, Rembrandt's nudes are overweight and old).
Note: Sociability may coincide with taste, all the more so as taste presupposes universal communicability. But the former is always empirical, whereas taste may be non-empirical.
49 Faculties that constitute Genius
Spirit In this section Kant raises the question what are the faculties the artist must draw upon to produce a work of art and how do they relate to each other? He argues that the artists must possess the productive capacity of a genius which in turn requires the mind animated by what he calls "spirit" (Geist). Spirit is the animating principle of the mind. It is what "puts the mental powers purposively into swing" (or to use our common language - it is what we find exciting and what sets in harmonious motion our mental powers).
Aesthetical Idea Kant contends that spirit is in fact "the faculty od presenting aesthetical ideas". Aesthetical idea is in its turn a "representation of of the imagination which occasions much thought" without being reducible to any definite concept. Imagination contains much more than a concept could embrase. In this sense aesthetical idea is a reversed counterpart of a rational idea, that is, of a concept without adequate intuition (representation). To be sure, Kant is talking here about aesthetical imagination, not about productive and reproductive imagination that are dependent either on empirical laws or laws of understanding.
Free Imagination Artistic imagination must make a reference to understading, but since it cannot occur in definite concepts this gives rise to the creative activity. Within it the power of imagination can transform the material of nature into something different and even new. This transformation must proceed in accordance with analogical laws of nature (even fantastic art respects this principle), but it transcends the laws of empirical association that are based on the way how understanding comprehends nature. Since these representations of imagination surpass the bounds of experience and since they come very close to the concepts of reason (although more as internal intuitions than concepts) they could be legitimately called ideas. Genius is the faculty of conceiving aesthetical ideas as representations of imagination. Genius consists precisely in the disposition which enables us to find ideas for these reprsentations and indefiniteconcepts while retaining the ability to express them in a such manner that our state of mind could be communicated to others.
Overpowering Now the power of imagination overpowers understanding also in the sense that it creates representations that provoke more thoughts than could be grasped and made clear by definite concepts of understanding. This creativity entices reason rather than understanding to respond as the faculty of intellectual ideas and it is reason that can again take over once imagination reaches its boundary in experiencing the sublime.
The shifting power relations between these faculties could be represented in the following way in the two kinds of judgments of taste.
Beautiful Sublime
Understanding Imagination
Imagination Reason
Disparity In order to explain the notion of spirit Kant uses another possible disparity as a lead. He notes first that it is possible to have products of art that are pleasing and full of taste while totally deprived of spirit. It is not uncommon to see a work that does not have artistic blemishes but still lacks spirit. For instance, a picture might be beautiful bout soulless, a musical piece elegant but unappealing, a woman pretty but stief and dull. The reason for this in all these cases is that spirit is missing that brings life to every artwork. On the other hand, when imagination enrices reason it becomes possible to add in thought more that can be expresed in language which establishes the connection with spirit.



56 Seemingly Kant tackles here the problem of objectivity of taste (Hume's problem). In fact, as he puts it, he deals with the determining ground for the judgment of taste. The difference is enormous: there is no dialectic of taste (the pleasant in itself allows a whole array of opposing views), whereas a reflection upon the judgment of taste easily slips into contradictions because it is rational. Nonetheless Kant shows that judgments of taste, despite their subjective and non-conceptual nature justifiably raise claim to the assent of others, that is to say, to universal validity. Precisely this claim is the origin of a dialectical tension that emerges when the critique of taste unveils two equally plausible propositions about it that contradict each other.
Common Places Kant first analyzes two common sayings that purport to illustrate the subjectivity and irrationality of taste and then shows that they are far from being self-evident and non-contradictory. These "common places" are:
(1) everyone has his own taste, and
(2) no dispute about taste.
These two sayings are usually quoted together as if (2) follows from (1): if everyone has his own taste, then it does not make sense to argue about taste.
Elucidation Kant's elucidation of the sayings goes its own way: According to him, the first one asserts the subjectivity (relativity) of taste and thus serves as the favorite defense to all those who want to avoid any criticism of their poor taste. The second one, on the other hand, does not exclude the possibility of some objective ground for taste and consequently allows contesting somebody's judgment of taste but rejects any resolution of the dispute based on concepts. Kant articulates the implications of the two sayings in the following way:
Saying   Consequence
Everyone has his own taste => (1) taste is subjective (the determining ground is pleasure or displeasure);
(2) there is no legitimate ground to claim the necessary assent of others.
No dispute about taste => (1) there are no definite concepts (although there may be objective ground of taste);
(2) there are no conclusive proofs for a dispute (although contesting is possible).
  Note: Not every one will accept Kant's interpretation of the second saying which is typically understood in the sense of denying any objective ground for taste and consequently any purpose in discussing differences in taste. But Kant introduces a subtle distinction between disputing (controversy) and contesting (quarreling) which, in the case of the second saying, leaves room for the latter. Both disputing and contesting logically presuppose the possibility of agreement but only the former assumes some objective concepts as the determining ground for judgment.
Controversy Now Kant argues that in the continuum between these two sayings we logically need to insert a third one to the effect that there may be a quarrel about taste, although no controversy. But this third proposition contradicts (1) because quarreling presupposes the possibility of mutual reconciliation (for why quarrel?). If quarreling makes sense, then the grounds for our judgments of taste cannot be solely private and everyone's taste is not equal, which means that if we accept (2) then we must reject (1).
Antinomy Thus Kant, unlike Hume, discovers that the popular sayings do not support one and the same common sense position but rather contradict each other in a manner that undermines (1), and the other way round with regard to (2). Having uncovered the implicit contradiction between (1) and (2) Kant formulates an antinomy of taste that follows from both. The true antinomy of taste exists between the two opposing propositions that are legitimately derived from (1) and (2) with regard to the conceptual and consensual basis of our judgments of taste:
(1) Thesis (A) The judgment of taste is not based on concepts (B) for otherwise it would admit of controversy (would be determinable by proofs).
(2) Antithesis (C) The judgment of taste is based on concepts (D) for otherwise we would not quarrel about it (we could not claim for our judgment the necessary assent of others).
Iron Clad The antinomy between the thesis and antithesis appears to be iron clad. Both propositions rest on indisputable facts and both are logically inferred from plausible premises. Since we cannot have a controversy on taste resolvable by conclusive proofs, the judgments of taste are not based on concepts. But since we can quarrel about the judgments of taste and since we claim the assent of others when making them they must be based on concepts. We can reason both ways, that taste is subjective and objective, but this undermines the very possibility of the judgment of taste.
  Note: It seems that Hume's opposition between two strains of common sense, one claiming that taste is subjective and relative, another that it is objective and unequal, despite all differences in accent and vocabulary precedes and prepares Kant's antinomy.
  Every antinomy is psychologically unbearable. But it is desastrous cognitively because it introduces irrationality in the effort to understand and explain the subject. Therefore it is normal and justified to try to diffuse it if at all possible.
Amphiboly The antinomy of taste, according to Kant, can be solved only by removing the conflict that apparently exists between the two principles stated in the thesis and its antithesis. This could be done only by uncovering certain amphiboly (shifting meaning) within the antinomy that creates the conflict. Kant believes that there is an amphiboly contained in the antinomy and he links that amphiboly to the ambiguity (twofold sense) in the term "concept" to which we relate the object in the judgment of taste.
Illusion Kant points out that t he term 'concept' does not have the same sense in both propositions. This creates the confusion that translates into the illusion of antinomy. If so, it should be easy to remove the conflict by simply explicating the fallacy. However, Kant warns of committing another fallacy of reasoning in trying to avoid this one. This twofold sense is not just a simple fallacy, but a reflection of a necessary twofold point of view which makes the illusion "natural and unavoidable".
Necessity The judgment of taste must indeed refer to some concepts - otherwise quarreling would not make sense and the claim for assent of everyone would be totally unfounded. But to make reference to a concept is not, for Kant, the same as " being proved from a concept". Here Kant makes the distinction between the concepts that are determinable and those that undetermined or entirely undeterminable. The former represent the concepts of understanding, the latter of reason.
Faculty Understanding Reason
Concept Determined Undetermined
  The concepts of understanding are fully determined through predicates of sensible intuition which can correspond to them. But the transcendental rational concept of the suprasensible cannot be determined theoretically although it lies at the basis of all sensible intuition. Now the illusion of an irreconcilable conflict arises because of the false dilemma: either the judgment of tasterefers to determinate concepts or to no concepts at all.
Non-Determined Singularity The judgment of taste is applied to objects of sense, but they do not determine the concept of them for understanding. Their nature is not cognitive and their function is not to supply determinate concepts. Therefore they must be confined to the feeling of pleasure or displeasure felt by one particular subject with regard tp a singular representation and stated in a respective singular judgment. Seemingly this provide support for the first common saying which limits the validity of taste to private judgments.
Indeterminate Conceptuality However, Kant points to the fact that every judgment of aesthetical taste includes "a wider reference of the representation of the object (as well as of the subject)" which serves as the basis for the claim of these judgments to be taken as necessary for everyone. Kant maintains that at the bottom of this pretension there must be a concept of some kind although not necessarily determined through intuition and the categories of understanding. And he identifies this kind of concept as "the mere pure rational concept of the suprasensible which underlies the object (and also the subject judging it)". Although this concept does not supply any proof for the judgment of taste it grounds our perception of the phenomenal objects and our claim to universal validity. Without the concepts of the suprasensible we would not be able to understand the sensible and the nature of our knowledge (including taste).
Explanation The concept of the suprasensible is indeterminable. Kant explicates it as "the concept of the general ground of the subjective purposiveness of nature for the judgment". Such a concept does not provide or enlarge knowledge and cannot procure any proofs since it is not determined. But owing to it the judgment of taste has the validity for everyone although always through a singular judgments accompanying the intuition of the object. Without such a reference our experience of the beautiful would not be possible and "the claim to universal validity would not hold good". Hence the judgment of taste must include a reference to the suprasensible (purposiveness) from both parts of the relation (subjective and objective).
Solution The solution of the antinomy consists in the demonstration that both the thesis and antithesis are correct, but that they do not contradict each other and could be reconciled once we realize that they apply the term concept in two different senses. In the thesis the term means "determinate concepts", while in the antithesis it denotes indeterminate ones. Once we realize that there is no contradiction between A and B we can reformulate the antinomy in a non-antinomic way:
(3) Thesis (A) The judgment of taste is not based on (determinate) concepts (B) for otherwise it would admit of controversy (would be determinable by proofs).
(4) Thesis (C) The judgment of taste is based on (indeterminate) concepts (D) for otherwise we would not quarrel about it (we could not claim for our judgment the necessary assent of others).
Impossibility In other words, both the thesis and antithesis require a qualification. Once we make it the antinomy disappears. Once the contradiction gets eliminated we can combine (A) and (D) and say that the judgment of taste is not based on determinate concepts for otherwise we would not quarrel about it and we would not claim the necessary agreement of others. This does not sound as an air tight reasoning but we cannot establish a more stringent connection between (A) and (D) or between the concept in question and our particular judgments of taste.
Unknown It is impossible to formulate a definite objective principle of taste that would make it possible to derive and justify particular judgments of taste. The principle of taste remains subjective: it is "the indefinite idea of the supersensible in us" whose sources are mysterious and resists further explanation. we must presuppose the ability to make indeterminate concept that refer to the suprasensible although we can never understand why we possess this ability nor can we prove objectively that it exists.
Idea In subsequent sections Kant explains that we cannot explain why do we posses the ability of aesthetical appreciationa and why some people have the ability to produce objects that induce a harmoinious interplay of cognitive faculties in us is due to the fact that the underlying principle is subjective and non-cognitive. It is an idea that must be linked to something transcending nature.
  For Kant, ideas are representations that are referred to objects without giving us knowledge of those objects. He distinguishes between aesthetical and rational ideas and this distinction further illuminates why and how we think of the suprasensible.

Reference to intuition Reference to concept
Subjective principle Objective principle
Indicates harmony of imagination and understanding Separates imagination and understanding
Contains more than could be explained Gives more than could be exhibited
Inexponible representation of imagination Indemonstrable concept of reason
Suprasensible The antinomy of taste does not represent an impass - on the contrary, it reveals the true nature of the reflective judgment of taste. Both propositions on it may be true depending on the way how we understand the reference of the representation to the concept of the object. The solution of the antinomy, similarly to the way how Kant resolved the antinomies of pure reason, establishes a point of unity (of our cognitive faculies) in the realm of the suprasensible. This reference to the suprasensible is the product of the faculty of aesthetic ideas.
Contradiction The antinomy cannot be resolved if the determining ground of taste is placed either in pleasantnes or in the principle of perfection. The former is contained in singular representation, the latter is clearly universal. If these are taken into a definition of taste both contrary propositions about taste will be false. This outcome would in its turn confirm that the concept of taste they give rise to is self-contradictory whereas the one that seemingly creates an antinomy could be resolved in a non-contradictory manner.
  In this section Kant advances his famous thesis that beauty is not just representation of a beautiful form but a symbol of the good. In order to make sure that his thesis is properly understood he first explains the notion of symbolism.
Reality - Concept To establish the reality of a concept we need respective intuition (perception). Since concepts could be of different nature Kant develops a very elaborate classification of their reality based intuitions in order make sure that they get their correct match. Depending on the nature of the concepts he distinguishes the following cases:
Concepts Intuitions Illustrations
Empirical Examples N/A
Pure Schemata Schematical
Rational N/A Symbolical
Symbolism The objective reality of a concept comprehended by understanding is established via the process of schematizing intuitions. The objective reality of ideas, on the other hand, cannot be established by means of intuitions because no sensible perception could be adequate to rational concepts. However, a concept thought of by reason can be represented symbolically in a way which is analogous to the schematical presentation (hypotyposis).
  Note: Kant criticizes the usage of the term "symbolical" in logic as "incorrect" and "misleading". Since it is rather stipulative it is difficult to see how it could be "incorrect" but it is certainly misleading in calling symbolical "mere charactrizations or designations of concepts" by means of "sensible signs" (algebraical) that do not have anything to do witgh the intuition of the object. At least historically, the symbolical was a mode of the intuitive.
Hypotyposes Kant says that "all intuitions that we supply to concepts a priori" are either schemata or symbols. The nature and the mode of their respective representations of concepts are indicated by the following chart:
  Schemata Symbols
Representation Direct Indirect
Mode Demonstratively Analogously
Symbolical Analogy In the case of analogical representations the judgment first applies the concept to the object of a sensible intuition, and then applies the mere rule of the reflection made upon that intuition to a quite different object of which is only the symbol. Kant gives several examples that are supposed to illustrate how symbolical presentations work. Unfortunately, with one single exception they are culturally conditioned as they belong either to the art of heraldry or to German linguistics. But the said exception (the word substance) suffices to make his point intelligible in general: The intuitive (literal) meaning of the word 'substance' is to "stand under", which is obviously used as an analogy when the reflection moves from an intuitive object (support, bearer) to a concept that is too abstract to acquire a direct intuition (the bearer of accidents in Modern philosophy).
Note: As Nietzsche will have shown in his unmasking of hidden metaphors (transfers), Kant was right in claiming that "our language is full of indirect presentations of this sort, in which the expression does not contain the proper schema for the concept, but merely a symbol for reflection".
Cognition If a cognitive designation is to be associated with the mode of representation then all our knowledge of the absolute or God must be only symbolical. If it is regarded as schematical we will fall in anthropomorhism (which was the case in politheism). Conversely, if we reject any intuitive representations (even by analogy) we will fall into deism (a purified intellectual acceptance of God espoused by some philosophers of the Enlightenment).
Morally Good Having explained how he understands the notion of symbol, Kant now asserts that the beautiful is the symbol of the morally good in the sense defined above.
Related to this he claims in addition that:
(1) This reference to to the good is natural to every man and that it is postulated as duty in others;
(2) The beautiful gives pleasure and raises a claim for the agreement of everyone else only in this respec;.
(3) This enobles and elevates us as humans above the mere sensibility to sensual pleasure;
(4) We estimate the worth of other people in accordance with their ability to raise themselves above the sensible in their judgment.
(5) This maxim of judgment is the intelligible to which taste must look and to which other faculties seek to agree.
Maxim of Judgment This maxim makes the judgment of taste autonomously self-legislating the way that resembles how reason legislates over desires. But the ground of this self-legislation is not absolutely rational. Its ground is in the judging subject although related to something outside him; yet it is neither nature (empirically regulated) nor freedom (respect for the law) but something connected with "the supersensible ground" of freedom. This ground is the point where the theoretical and practical faculty meet in a unity which is very common though unknown (in its nature).
Aesthetics - Morality Kant elaborates the similarities and differences between aesthetical and moral categories on the backdrop of an analogous relation. The connection is analogous in the sense of "as the beautiful, so the good", not in the sense that "if the beautiful, then the good" (Lyotard, p,167). This means that the the beautiful and the good are comparable and even connected while remaining different in important aspects.
Beautiful Good
(1) The beautiful pleases immediately in reflective intution. The good pleases mediately and in concepts.
(2) The beautiful pleases apart from any interest. The good is necessarily bound with an interest produced by the judgment.
(3) In judging the beautiful the freedom of imagination is harmonious to the law of understanding In moral judgments the freedom of the will is harmonious with itself according to the laws of reason
(4) The principle in judging the beautiful is subjective but is represented as universal (valid for everyone) although not cognizable through concepts. The principle of morality is objective and stated as cognizable by means of universal concepts.
Because of the above differences the aesthetical use of judgment must not be confused with the practical employment of self-legislating reason. Aesthetical delight will always be different from the faculty of desire. The former is purely intellectual and non-empirical. The latter becomes such only under the impact of the will that follows reason. When the beautiful is experienced it makes it possible for the pure reflective judgment to be experienced as the senasation of delight. When the interest for the realization of law is aroused it is mediated because it comes from the concept of the law which defines the good. The interest in the good does not precede moral judgment and therefore remains free and not subjected to any object. The will is free in morality as imagination is free in taste.
  The connection between art and morality must not be overstretched. It is not entirely correct to ascribe Kant a moral interest for aesthetical disinterstedness simply because aesthetical disinterestedness will never as such yield moral intersest. Kant simply points to the analogy that exists between the proclivity to actualize the apprehension of beauty and the demand to actualize a rational will in a moral way.
Moral Connotations Judging beautiful objects in terms of moral values is a very common although not sufficiently reflected practice. Kant points to several typical expressions with moral overtones and argues that this practice is no accident. For instance, we speak of
- majestic and magnificents structures, or
- innocent, modest and tender colors.
Transition The transition from the charm of sense to moral interest is rendered possible by virtue of taste. Thus, by suggesting a moral aspect that represents the imagination in its freedom as capable of purposive determination, taste enables us to find a free and noble delight even in objects of sense.


Transcendence of Aesthetical Notions

Beautiful Beyond concepts
Sublime Beyond the finite
Genius Beyond rules

Kant scrutinizing a Koenigsberg meat ball in a mental combination of intuition and understanding.


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