Essay Examples on Kant's philosophy

Kant's thoughts on judgments of taste

In The Critique of Judgement Kant expresses the belief that judgments of taste are disinterested. This refers to the fact that unlike things such as the pleasant and the good one does not gain anything in particular when ascribing an aesthetic taste to an object. By achieving or obtaining things that are pleasurable one may be able to find a sense of contentment and achievement of the good allows for moral fulfillment. Yet through identifying beauty one does not quench the same sense of personal interest Kant pp 23. In fact, Kant mentions that this personal interest must be quenched in order to then identify those who possess real taste p3. He describes the taste as the faculty of judging of an object or a method of representing it by an entirely disinterested satisfaction or dissatisfaction. The object of such satisfaction is called beautiful p3. He also explains that aesthetic judgment should be indifferent in regards to the existence of the object of this representation p2. A judgment should not depend on anything else besides a mere observation which is not concerned with the existence of the object itself but with the representation of the object p2. The object s representation should then evoke a feeling of satisfaction or dissatisfaction p3 felt under the strict condition that the satisfaction or lack of cannot be attributed to any of the subject's own personal opinions. As a result, this taste should carry value with everyone making it universal p3. Yet these opinions are meant to be subjective in the sense where it does not use an understanding and instead uses the imagination to let the subject take a representation of the object itself into consideration p1.
This disinterested universal allows for a level of detachment from the object of judgment since there is no apparent personal interest involved. This is important because according to Kant the involvement of interest allows for a very partial evaluation and is not considered a pure judgment of taste p3. Through taking a disinterested approach one aims to reach a universally applicable conclusion without the hindrance of self advancement and personal involvement p 23. Although this poses an interesting point this is not a completely plausible claim for a few reasons. It is almost impossible for a subject to analyze an object in a completely disinterested manner. It is hard for a person to give an aesthetical judgment without considering the physical concepts of an object and to solely focus on the representation and to avoid involving personal opinions and relationships. As a result it is also difficult to present a feeling of pure satisfaction or lack thereof. For example if a person were to attempt a disinterested judgment of taste it would automatically be hindered since one tends to take physical traits and details as one of the first points of analysis.
Additionally one naturally reverts to the use of comparison as a scale of measurement by which an object may be assessed because one tends to look for a level of relatability even if in the most distant way. This then poses the issue of bringing personal interest and opinions into consideration automatically disqualifying the judgment. Yet assuming that the judgment had proceeded since some opinions weight more than others and more often than not opinions tend to intersect one would not be able to give an assured distinction between satisfaction and dissatisfaction. It would be very difficult to find a person who would be able to completely remove themselves from the situation in order to give a purely disinterested universal judgment of taste. Kant presents an ideal for identifying an aesthetic judgment like his predecessors rather than a practical one.
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